Attic Insulation FAQs
Q. How much does attic insulation cost?
A. Costs vary for attic insulation installations and upgrades. Variables include venting soffits, air sealing, exhaust fan venting and how much insulation is being added. It is always important to insulate your attic but it's as important to maintain proper ventilation in a normal ventilated attic system. Ventilation gets rid of moisture that leads to potential mold. Ensure your attic insulation provider understands the importance of good ventilation and follows through with the proper installation of soffit and roof venting. Call Insta Insulation today for a thorough quote for insulation and ventilation.
Q. How can I save money by insulating my attic?
A. Properly insulating your attic can lead to increased home comfort and energy savings. Re-insulating a typical attic from R12 to R50 have home owners usually see savings in the range of 20-25%. Air sealing your attic with spray foam can yield even greater savings. Ask an Insta Insulation representative about our start fresh approach to retro fitting an old attic.
Q. What is the best insulation for increasing the R-value in my attic in Ontario?
A. Most insulation products when installed correctly should reduce the rate of heat transfer. Products like 2lbs spray foam like BASF Walltite Eco or foam board insulaiton; closed cell insulation have a better ability to resist air flow. When air and moisture flow through insulation the R-Value is reduced significantly. Reducing air movement through the insulation will increase energy saving dramatically. When increasing the R-value of your home incorporate spray foam to obtain best results.
Q. Where is the best place to get attic insulation?
A. The best place to get insulation is from a professional installation contractor. Get peace of mind knowing the installer is trained and assumes the risk associated with doing the work correctly. Although the "do it yourself" approach seems like a good idea and might be less expensive, the benefit of a professional installation far outweighs the risk. A professional installer will make sure it's done correctly. Issues home owners encounter when doing the install themselves include; falling through a drywall ceiling , crack ceilings, repainting, not providing sufficient ventilation leading to mold. Call Insta Insulation for a free in home insulation consultation.
Q. How much can I save by insulating my attic?
A. Insulating your attic properly means heat will not flow into your home as much in the summer and heat does not escape as readily to the outside in the winter. The less your furnace and air conditioning turn on or run the more money you save. Proper Insulation and ventilation will ensure you save money heating and cooling your home and keeps the attic dry free of mold.
Q. What's better fiberglass or cellulose for upgrading and reinsulating my attic?
A. Cellulose provides a better effective R-Value, is more dense and tighter thus providing better resistance to air movement making it our preferred choice of insulation when upgrading existing attic insulation. Tightening up your home with cellulose insulation not only reduces energy cost but also reduces flame spread if a fire were to start. (check out "The Big Burn") Cellulose also has the ability to wick and dry, so if you have a leak in your roof the cellulose will draw out the moisture and dry out as opposed to other fiberous insulations which do not.
Q. What is cellulose made of?
A. Cellulose is primarily made of newspaper and fire retardants. The fire retardants include boric acid, borates and ammonia sulfate. Depending on the manufacturer the amount of each fire retardant differs. The fire retardant ingredients also control mold and rodents. Cellulose's ability to control moisture and air flow better then fiberglass make it Insta Insulation's preferred choice for all attic insulation installs.
Q. What is in Cellulose insulation?
A. Cellulose is primarily fire retardants blended with newspaper. The fire retardants include borates, ammonia sulfate, and boric acid . Depending on the manufacturer the levels of each fire retardant differ. The fire retardant ingredients also aids in mold and rodent resistance. Cellulose's ability to control air flow and moisture better then fiberglass make it Insta Insulation's preferred choice for all attic insulation installs.
Q. What ingredients make up cellulose insulation?
A. Cellulose is made of newspaper and fire retardants. Fire retardants differ from manufacturers but usually include ammonia sulfate, boraic acid and borates. Cellulose has a unique ability to deal with moisture and air flow this making it our #1 product we recommend for attic insulation installs.
Q. How much does it cost to add insulation to my attic?
A. Depending on how much insulation you currently have and how much prep work there is determines the price of an attic insulation upgrade. Ventilation, air sealing, soffit prep are all things that need to be taking into account when pricing. The actual insulation install is not complete unless the attic is properly vented meaning proper air coming in and exhausting. Call on an Insta Insulation sales consultant to help in identifying what steps need to be taking to ensure your attic is properly ventilated.
Q. How much will I save by upgrading my attic insulation to R50?
A. Savings are greatly dependant on how much insulation is in the attic to start with. Another item that helps save on energy is air sealing. Air leakage accounts for 40% of a home's energy loss. Using self sealing products like spray foam help eliminate drafts and mass air exodus. Increasing an attic from R12 to R50 typically saves 20-25%. Air sealing with spray foam can help increase overall savings.
Q. What's the difference between R40 and R50 and R60?
A. "R" is referring to R-Value. An R-Value is given to a product to indicate the ability for the insulation to resist heat flow. The higher the R the better the resistance to heat flow in most cases. When assessing your insulation needs it is always best to think of heat transfer. Example heat leaves your home in the winter and heat comes in from outside in the summer, or we insulate a freezer so heat does not get in rather than cold getting out. R-Value is not the only thing to consider when choosing the insulation you use in your home. Air tightness is as important if not more important. Air leakage accounts for 40% of a home's energy loss. By tightening your home the insulation will be much more effective, this is why spray foam is so superior to fiberglass batts. Other examples of foam being superior to batt insulation would be freezers, water heaters and refrigerators. If fiberglass batt is so effective why are all high performance products moving to closed cell insulation?
Q. Is air sealing my attic more important than adding more insulation?
A. The answer is quite simple "NO". Although air leakage accounts for 40% of a home's energy loss, when you insulate your home with anything the home will get tighter and have less air flowing through it. This is exactly what happens when adding additional insulation to your attic. Cellulose by itself is a good product to upgrade your attic for air tightness and insulation. A layer of spray foam and then blown cellulose is the best but there is also an associated cost. A fiberous insulation will always work better when the airflow is slowed down or minimized around it. Connect with an Insta insulation representative and what options is right for you.
Q. Is ventilation in my attic as important as the insulation?
A. Yes ventilation is as important as the insulation in a typical ventilated attic. Ventilation is important for a number of reasons;
- Ventilation will allow for fresh air to come in and help exhaust moisture
- Getting rid of excessive moisture reduces chances of mold growth and the cost associated
- Healthier home no mold growth and less airborne pollutants entering home
- As R-Value increases in the middle of your attic the heat loss at soffit area/roof wall junction increases and along with this comes moisture, ventilation stops moisture building up under the sheathing at the soffit area.
Q. What happens if I don't ventilate my attic properly?
A. Not ventilating your attic properly could mean that moisture could build up in your attic. Moisture leads to premature material degradation, mold and needless associated costs. Have an Insta Insulation representative check to see if you have the proper amount of ventilation to ensure moisture does not build up in your attic area.
Q. Who installs attic ventilation in Ontario?
A. Insta Insulation ensures your traditional attic is properly ventilated in Ontario. We check for air intake and exhaust. Build up of moisture can lead to premature mold and premature building degradation. Insta Insulation can install soffit vents, baffles, bathroom exhaust fans, insulated hoses for bathroom exhaust fans and roof vents.
Q. Who opens soffits to make sure I have proper attic ventilation?
A. Insta Insulation's trained technical sales staff can recommend what is required to make sure you have the proper attic ventilation. Although roof vents are normally in place, they are not effective if they have no fresh air source to draw from. Many homes that are pre 1980 and even some in the early 80's have aluminum soffit that has perforations so you'd think the soffit are venting. Unfortunately when the aluminum was installed the plywood in the existing soffit was not removed or the holes were not cut big enough to allow for proper air intake.
Q. Is a layer of spray foam a good idea before installing blown attic insulation?
A. A layer of 2lbs spray foam is a great idea before installing blown insulation into an attic. Spray foam to the attic deck provides the following;
- A seamless blanket of air barrier protection
- Seals all cracks and gaps that potentially leak moisture into the attic
- Provides a vapour barrier
- Stiffens and hold plaster ceiling together; more durable
Q. Where is the closest insulation contractor?
A. The closest insulation contractor may not be the best choice for you. Ensure the insulation contractor you choose is reputable, is insured, has a track record and you feel comfortable with. Have confidence that they will be there if something goes off track or is not to your satisfaction. Price can be a consideration as well but don't let it be the only factor, compare apples to apples, and get everything in writing.
Q. How do I choose a good attic insulation contractor?
A. Do your homework when you are searching for any contractor not just insulation. Seek a contractor that has a good reputation, has done good work for people you trust or know very well. Know the contractor hire will be there to assist or fix if the job goes sideways or if you're not happy with the work. Ask for referrals or look online to find reviews and comments posted by other customers of there. Ensure they have been in business for a prolonged period of time.
Q. What is cellulose and why use it instead of fibreglass?
Q. What is a morvent?
A. A mo-vent is the term given to the air chute/ baffle that is stapled to the underside of the roof line to ensure air can be drawn in from the soffit once the attic has been insulated. The mor-vent or baffle vent as some people call them are installed prior to the install of blown cellulose or fiberglass. The mor-vent requires a batt of insulation be stuffed underneath as an insulation stop. The mor-vent used in both new and retro fit insulation installations. Insta- Insulation installers are trained to install mor-vents/ baffles to ensure proper attic ventilation is maintained after the attic insulation has been blown.
Q. What is a soffitt prep?
A. Soffit prep is the term given to installing mor-ents baffles to the underside of the roof line and into the soffit plus installing an insulation stop under the mor-vent and to the spaces that may not receive a mor-vent/baffle. Proper soffit prep and ventilation is as important as the attic insulation itself. Proper ventilation ensures your attic breaths and does not build up moisture.
Q. Why don't you use spray foam to insulate the entire attic?
A. Although spray foam is a great product it is also more expensive then blown cellulose or fiberglass. Space is not as limited as in a wall and there for we can install a lot of a lower r-value and still end up with high R-Values. To get the best of both products a thin layer of spray foam helps air seal the attic deck, deters moisture from entering the attic and topping that layer of spray up with blown cellulose makes a hybrid approach of foam and cellulose more cost effective.
Q. What material do you use for the attic?
A. The attic insulation of choice for Insta Insulation is cellulose. It has a higher R-Value, higher density gives it an ability to deal with air flow better than fiberglass. The fact that cellulose wicks and can deal with moisture makes it the product we recommend. Very rarely will you find an attic with mold that has cellulose in it. Cellulose in most cases is a bit more expensive than fiberglass to install but well worth it.
Q. Which is better blown fiberglass or cellulose?
A. Insta-Insulation recommends using blown cellulose as opposed to blown fiberglass. Cellulose's ability to deal with moisture and wick (dry out), its higher density, ability to resist mass air flow, and higher air value contributes to its overall better performance then blown fiberglass. The fact that it is tighter and allows less air flow contributes to fire safety and occupant's safety. Cellulose deters rodents more readily than fiberglass as well. Speak to an Insta Insulation technical consultant to show you how blown cellulose can give your home comfort and energy savings.
Q. How long does an attic insulation upgrade take?
A. The length of time an attic install take depends on many variables. The variable include; how large the attic is; typically quantity is square footage, thickness or R-Value being installed, amount of venting being installed, is air sealing required, amount of access or how tight is the attic and what other things need to be done before the attic is actually blown in. A 1000ft2 attic takes approx 2.5 hours to complete which includes soffit prep, insulating the access door, weather stripping the attic hatch, and blowing in the cellulose.
Q. Why do you need to vent the attic?
A. Attic ventilation is extremely important as the combination of roof vents and soffit ventilation helps keep the attic dry by having the roof vents draw fresh air from the soffit and exhaust this air. When the fresh air is picked up it mixes with potential air with moisture in it from the house that has escaped into the attic and rids it out the roof vents. Venting will stop excess moisture build up and premature building material degradation in your attic. It could also prevent mold from forming.
Q. How long does the insulation last for before you need to top it up again or does it last forever?
A. A typical blown attic installation last upwards of 20 years. All blown insulation settles and most contractors add a correction factor to account for a bit of settling that occurs in the first few months. Blown attic insulation is often upgraded as our building codes call for higher R-Values as well. Have an Insta Insulation technical sales rep visit your home and see what the level of insulation is in your attic today.
Q. Why can't you vent the washroom exhaust fans into the attic or the soffit?
A. Venting the washroom exhaust fan into the attic allows warmer moisture filled air to be dumped into the attic. The attic most likely will not be able to deal with the volume of moisture by traditional ventilation and mold could form and make a mess of the attic and home. Similarly when exhausting out the soffit the moisture filled air get drawn back in the soffit (fresh air intake) and put back in the attic which creates the same circumstance as exhausting it directly into the attic. Best practices for bathroom exhaust fans include venting out the roof with a roof jack or really low on an outside wall a ways away from the soffit so the wet air has time to dissipate.
Q. What type of foam does Insta Insulation use?
A. Insta Insulation typically only uses Walltite Eco 2lbs spray foam. BASF Walltite Eco polyurethane is arguably the most tested building product in Canada. It is a vapour barrier material, air barrier, and insulation system all in one. Walltite Eco meets the Can ULC standards S705.1 for material and is installed by certified Insta Insulation installers to Can ULC S705.2 standard. Backed by the "Raising Performance to New Heights" quality assurance program, peace of mind is gained knowing your install is done by a competent certified installer with backing from the largest chemical manufacturer in the world, BASF
Q. How long does a typical spray foam insulation job take?
A. Spray foaming a large basement usually takes ½ to ¾ of a day whereas a small will take 2-3 hours. Duration of a spray foam job is dependent on many variable; amount of prep work/ masking, amount of area to spray, thickness being sprayed, and amount of clean up. Remember you need to be out of a lived in home 24 hours after install. Check with your Insta Insulation representative to see how long your spray foam insulation install will take.
Q. Why do I need to be out of the home for 24hrs?
A. When you have spray foam installed in an existing home the occupants need to be out of the home for 24 hours after install. The spray foam process atomizes isocynates which is a lung irritant. The making or the manufacturing of the foam is on site much like a factory process without the exact ventilation requirements, so therefore 24 hours is needed to be sure all irritants have dissipated.
Q. How come no one else has asked to leave the premises for 24 hours?
A. Spray foam is manufactured on site. The actual install process has two chemicals mixing on site, the one being isocynate. This is a lung irritant and due to the fact its not a controlled environment like a factory Can ULC S707.2 mandates that the space is not to be occupied for 24 hrs for safety purposes. Once installed and cured sprayed polyurethane of gases less then plywood or OSB. Spray foam has become so popular as insulation because the fact that it is sprayed/manufactured on site means it gets into small knoks and spaces making the building tight and efficient.
Q. What is the difference between half lb and two lb foam?
A. The difference between half pond foam and two pound foam is the two pound is 4 times denser than the half pound. The density gives it a lower perm rating or a greater ability to resist moisture. In most jurisdictions CCMC certified two pound is accepted as a vapor barrier and can eliminate the need for an independent poly sheet (6 mil poly). Half pound foam does not provide vapor barrier requirements and should have an independent poly sheet or other vapour barrier installed over it. Although half pound has better sound characteristics it is not as good as two pound spray foam insulation when used on the outside walls of your home. Call an Insta Insulation Representative to identify what spray foam product is right for you.
Q. Do my pets need to be out of the home for 24 hours?
A. There is no requirement for pets to be out of the home for 24 hours as part of the spray foam install process. That being said, since the home cannot be occupied for 24 hrs post install you probably will need to remove your pets so they can be taken care of over that time.
Q. Is the spray foam foam mouse/insect proof?
A. Spray foam is not mouse or insect proof. But the fact that it is dense make it more difficult for mice and insects to get through it thus meaning you will find less mice and insects in spray foamed homes. Secondly the fact that mice and rodents done sense the heat as readily in the winter means they don't know its warm on the other side and really don't know where is warm. Termites and ants both like the insulating qualities of spray foam. If you have termite or ant problems they should be taken care of first prior to any spray foam install as it is difficult to treat once the home is spray foamed. If the home has been spray foamed termites and ants are less likely to come in the same as another insect.
Q. How long does spray foam last for?
A. Spray foam is a cellular plastic insulation. Essentially it is plastic with bubbles of heat resistant gas (like a low E- argon window). If spray foam is keep out of the elements it will last forever. The fact it does not sag or settle and maintains its R-Value makes spray foam the best investment you can make into your home or building. Old technology fiberglass batt insulation is affected by moisture, air movement, mechanical ventilation and settles leaving gaps, all off these factors contributes to reduced efficiency and higher operating costs of your building or home.
Q. Are we going to find out down the road that it is toxic and need to have it removed?
A. Always hire a contractor who will install CCMC evaluated products (Canadian Construction Materials Centre). When a product has a CCMC number it means it has been tested by our gov't. There has never been a recall on products with a CCMC number. No UFI product or asbestos product has ever had a CCMC number. Spray foam or polyurethane foam have been around for almost 70 years. We find it in everything from mattresses to vehicles, it is all around us. Spray foam in your home must be covered by a thermal barrier like drywall as spray foam is plastic and when it burns it lets of black smoke similar to carpet and drapes.
Q. Is the foam fireproof?
A. Spray foam insulation is not fireproof. All spray foam in a home or occupied building must be covered by an approved thermal barrier like drywall. Spray foam is a cellular plastic insulation and produces a black smoke similar to burning carpet, drapes, blinds, mattresses the smoke can be toxic.
Q. Why do builders install 1/2lbs foam in garage ceilings and not 2lbs foam if it doesn't work?
A. The term spray foam is used very loosely by general contractors. The term spray foam is usually associated with being good. Generals will use spray foam because it is better then batts or municipalities or city inspectors like it. The problem with cheaper 1/2lbs spray foam is that it doesn't stick as well as 2lbs and therefore doesn't perform as well. Ask an Insta Insulation technical representative how we insulate garage ceilings for better results. Always keep in mind that the garage ceiling or floor above may be cold for a multitude of reasons not just poor insulation on the floor.
Q. Why do I need to remove the drywall, can't you just drill holes add more insulation?
Insta Insulation does not inject foam behind walls foam many reasons;
- Too much pressure blows out walls
- Too many voids left creating new issues
- Installer cannot tell if foam mixture is correct
- Because mixing is not in the open, off gasing and set up is too slow
- The is not product with a CCMC certified process (gov't approval)
Q. Is spray foam building code compliant?
A. Most spray foam insulations are building code compliant. Be thorough and check to make sure you're your contractor is using a CCMC evaluated product. 2lbs CCMC evaluated products must have a distinct colour and cannot be yellow or cream colour. Insta Insulation uses BASF Walltite Eco 2lbs sprayed polyurethane foam insulation. CCMC evaluated and arguably the most tested building material in Canada.
Q. Does any new spray foam insulation contain formaldehyde?
A. CCMC evaluated spray foam products like BASF Walltite Eco do not contain formaldehyde. Insta Insulation has never installed products that contain formaldehyde. Insta Insulation prides itself on installing only CCMC evaluated products that meet all government regulations.
Q. How do I prepare my home for a spray foam install?
A. Walls need to be framed; electrical and all other wiring should be installed prior to spray foam installation. All wall areas need to be clear so access can be granted for the spray foam installation. All valuables should be masked and or covered with plastic. Know where you and other occupants will be staying the night of the day the spray foam has been installed. You need to be out of the home for 24 hours after install of spray foam insulation.
Q. What is the best way to insulate my basement?
A. The best way to insulate and existing basement is by spray foaming it. Spray foam adheres tenaciously to walls and joist ends eliminating the air space where condensation can build up and mold may form. Sealing off joist ends in your basement help reduce air leakage and stack effect in your home. An independent poly sheet should not be required. Remember to keep the studs away from the wall a minimum of an inch so that foam can get in behind the studding. Call Insta Insulation today and ask our technical representatives show how insulating your basement with spray foam insulation can save your upwards of 25-30% on your energy bills, expand your living space and create a healthier home.
Q. What insulation is best to insulate basement in Ontario?
A. Spray foam is the best insulation in Ontario for retrofitting or insulation an existing basement. Spray foam will decreasing a home's heating bill by 25-30% by insulation the basement. Not only will you create a healthier home but your will also expand your living space by being able to use the old musty basement as a livable space. It's always best to stud the space first if its large enough to use. If its small you may want us to quote on installing a liquid applied thermal barrier (liquid drywall) so it meets Ontario Building Code.
Q. Is spray foam the best insulation for my basement?
A. Spray foam provides and mold resistant barrier of settle free insulation that will maintain its installed efficiency for as long as your own your home. Spray foam adheres to the wall and joist ends eliminating drafts and air movement resulting in needless heat loss. Spray foam will make your basement drier and get rid of any musty smells and expand your living space. Call Insta Insulation today and have our technical reps show you how 2lbs spray foam is the best insulation for your basement insulation project.
Q. How much insulation should I have on the walls of my basement?
A. Current codes in southern Ontario for basements are R12-R20 depending on what SB12 package you are using for a new home. If it's a retro fit we typically recommend R20 of BASF Walltite Eco spray foam insulation. Remember when building a new home to use Insta-Panels (www.instapanels.com) to insulate the area below your concrete slab. Insulating the ground stops heat loss into the ground and leaves the heat in your basement working its way up making the house warmer.
Q. Where can I find spray foam insulation for my basement in Ontario?
A. Call Insta Insulation for all your basement insulation requirements. Insta can help insulate stud walls, concrete walls, basement floors with Insta-Panels (www.instapanels.com). Insulating your basement properly is one of the most important thing your can do to achieve whole home comfort. Insta Insulation has been in business for over 20 years and have worked for over 10,000 customers read our reviews at http://homestars.com/companies/211115-insta-insulation?service_area=1816353
Q. What is the difference between fiberglass batt insulation and spray polyurethane foam insulation for basement insulation purposes?
A. Although fiberglass batt insulation is cheaper than all other insulation materials it is also the least effective. Being that it is made up of glass and a bunch of air, it allows air and moisture to move through it freely. When moisture reaches the colder concrete walls it condenses and water runs down the wall. When it reaches the bottom it rots out the bottom plate. The increased moisture content will also contribute to the drywall getting wet and mold growing on the drywall. Spray foam insulation on the other hand does not allow air to travel through it and does not have an air space that will allow condensation to occur and contribute to mold growth and rot. Spray foam is more efficient, will never need to be replace and is a healthier choice then old traditional non effective fiberglass batt insulation.
Q. Why is spray foam better then fiberglass batt insulation for basements?
A. Spray foam is far superior to fiberglass batt insulation because it does not allow warm moist air to pass thorough it leaving it to condensate on cold surfaces. Stopping air movement is as important as providing insulation qualities and even more important as when warm air passes through fiberglass it may get wet and even be less effective. Properly installed spray foam insulation is not affected by air movement; moisture mechanical ventilation does not sag or settle thus maintaining its installed efficiency.
Q. How should I insulate my basement in Ontario?
A. The best way to insulate your basement in Ontario is with 2lbs spray foam like Walltie Eco. It is installed by professionals like Insta Insulation. Walltite resists moisture and air movement thus allowing it to maintain its superior properties compared to tradition non effective batt insulation. Fiberglass is cheaper but the benefits of a quality job far out way the price of an inferior product down the road. Your whole home comfort will increase by using spray foam insulation as opposed to batt insulation.
Q. How much should I expect to save on my heating bills when I use spray foam to insulate my basement?
A. One can expect to save up to 30% by installing 2lbs spray foam to their basement walls and joist ends. W e have see n houses that have saved more but 30% is a fair and all the reason your need to use this superior product. As the cost of energy increases so will your savings with BASF Walltite Eco 2lbs spray foam insulation. Investing in proper insulation pays interest free dividends. What is meant by that is money you don't spend on heating bills is in your pocket…invest it and make it grow rather than pay the utility company.
Q. What is more important to insulate basement walls or basement joist ends?
A. Both basement walls and basement joist ends are important to insulate. The difference between the two is simple. Joist ends leak air and concrete to does not except at windows. Insulating your joist ends with two pound spray foam will stop air leakage and reduce stack affect (hot air moving upwards through your home). Spray foam adheres to the concrete wall eliminating any potential air space where condensation will occur; maintaining is thermal efficiency over time. Spray foam is the best investment you can make in your basement and home.
Q. What are the most important areas to insulate in a new basement with spray foam?
A. The most important areas to insulate in the basement of your new home with spray foam is the joist ends. Stopping air leakage helps reduce needless stack affect in your home. As hot air rises and escapes out of your home it is replaced by cold air which commonly comes from the joist ends of the home. Spray foam adheres tenaciously to joist end cavities virtually eliminating any chance of unwanted air of entering your home. Walltite Eco spray foam also does a good job insulating concrete walls; spray foam does not sag and settle thus maintaining its effective R-Value. Spray foam is a great investment into your home; it has an ROI better than most other insulations and other building materials. Don't for get to use Insta-Panels under slab insulation for under your radiant floors and not radiant floors. It is always wise to insulate under the concrete slab. You only have one chance to get this right. Check out www.instapanels.com and see how easy, and affordable Insta Panels are.
Q. What type of chemicals are used to make spray foam for basement insulation?
A. Spray foam insulation is comprised of tow components. The first is the hardener; isocynate. This is a lung irritant and the reason you need to leave the home for 24 hours after install and during install. The second component is the resin; this makes it froth and creates the gas in the cells. The reason spray foam is so effective is because it is manufacturer on site and it seals right to the surface it is sprayed on. When properly installed it reduces air flow completely which is the first defense against high energy bills. Installation is government regulated. Companies must be licensed, installers must be certified and meet installation standard Can ULC S705.2. Spray foam is one of the only products installed in your home that has an installation standard.
Q. Is sprayed polyurethane foam insulation a safe product to use in my basement?
A. Spray foam insulation that is used in your home must have meet gov't standards and in almost all cases this product has a CCMC number. Always demand to see documentation as to what spray foam product the contractor is going to use. Know what colour it is and make sure it matches when installed. Making sure the spray foam has a CCMC number ensure peace of mind as the product is approved. Spray foam off gases less then plywood and OSB.
Q. Does spray foam stop mold when used as basement insulation?
A. Yes spray foam will stop mold growth in your basement. Insta Insulation will guarantee no mold growth on a whole basement spray foam installation for 10 years. The reason why 2lbs spray foam does not contribute to mold growth;
- Not an organic material/ mold doesn't feed on it like wood or drywall
- Stops air flow
- Stops moisture
- No air pockets on outside wall where moisture could accumulate
- no food, no air and no moisture = no mold
Q. What insulation saves the most in terms of energy savings for basements?
A. Spray foam insulation will give you the best return on investment as far as basement insulation goes for the following reasons;
- Maintains R-Value, doesn't settle or sag
- Not affected by moisture
- Will not contribute to mold growth
- Better performing insulation produces better returns
Q. Does spray foam insulation kill mold?
A. Although spraying over mold with foam does kill mold it is not the best practice. Spray foaming over mold will suffocate the mold but if the foam delaminates there could be a chance moisture could collect in the pocket. A mold infested wall or ceiling does not provide the best adhesion for spray foam so therefore it should be cleaned and then the 2lbs spray foam installed. This approach should yield the best results.
Q. Why is spray foam so effective in reducing the potential of mold growth?
A. Eliminating the potential of mold is simple. Mold needs 3 things to survive. A food source; wood, paper, air borne particle. Mold needs moisture ; warm air contains more than cold air. Mold also needs air. Spray foam is not an organic material and thus not a food source. It stops air from moving through it, combined with the fact it is in intimate contact with the substrate there is no air pocket for the air to condensate. All these factors make it difficult to grow mold in the presence of 2lbs spray foam spray foam insulation.
Q. What is better 2lbs spray foam or 1/2lbs spray foam for basements?
A. 1/2 lbs foam insulation is open cell and allows moisture and heat to travel through it. If and when the heat flows through it the moisture that's held by the heat condenses on the concrete walls making water. The 1/2lbs foam is a sponge and holds the water rotting the studs. 1/2 lbs is an open cell insulation that has no vapour barrier qualities, air readily moves through the material and moisture can be trapped. For this reason 2lbs spray foam is far superior, it does not allow air and moisture to flow through it. 2lbs spray foam will maintain its R-Value for ever giving you the energy saving and overall product performance.
Q. Is two pound better than half pound or is half pound better then two pound as basement insulation?
A. Two pound foam is far superior to half pound as far as insulation, air barrier and vapour barrier qualities go. Because two pound is not affected by air and moisture the R-value and overall effectiveness is maintained. Half pound is open cell and make for a good sound insulation. The fact that it cannot deal with moisture makes it an inferior product when dealing with exterior basement walls.
Q. How do I know if I need spray foam insulation?
A. The following are reasons you may need insulation;
- High heating and cooling bills
- Uneven heat and cooling in your home
- Furnace does shut off
- Air conditioner keeps running and doesn't shut off
- Mold growth ins basement or on walls
- Lots of insect or rodents
- Feel a lot of drafts
- Areas that show condensation