Homeowners have a number of insulation options to choose from. Two of the more popular choices are fiberglass and spray insulation. Sometimes deciding between the options can be confusing and daunting (especially since a lot of money can be on the line). Spray insulation, while frequently more expensive, has a large number of benefits to consider. Fiberglass insulation is generally sold in rolls based on R-Value. The higher a product’s R-Value, the more insulation it provides.
When fiberglass insulation is installed the rolls are generally placed between wall studs. This process leaves a number of gaps and wholes. Spray insulation on the other hand is installed as the name suggests: by spraying the foam on the area. As the foam sits, a chemical reaction causes it to expand and fill every space. Because all spaces and gaps are filled, spray insulation generally has a higher R-Value than standard fiberglass.
Because spray insulation has a higher R-Value, homeowners will see a lower utility bill. A large amount of air can escape between the gaps left by fiberglass insulation. Sealing the gaps up will prevent heat transfer. As mentioned earlier, spray insulation closes off small holes and gaps. Sealing these holes and gaps will greatly improve a home’s air quality, prevents pests, and protects against mold. Keeping pollen, pests, and water vapor outside can make a big difference for allergy suffers or those with weakened immune systems.
Spray insulation generally does cost more than fiberglass to install. However, besides saving homeowners money on utility bills, spray insulation will also raise a home’s value. The increase in value is due to all the benefits of spray insulation over other insulation options. It’s important to note that there are two types of spray insulation: open cell and closed cell. Open cell spray insulation is generally lighter weight and cheaper, but doesn’t provide as much of a barrier for water vapor. Closed cell spray insulation is significantly denser and does thoroughly protect against water vapor. Because closed cell is more expensive, it’s frequently used only on the outside of a home or on a roof.
Some homeowners try to save money by purchasing kits to do their own spray insulation, but this is generally discouraged. Spray insulation needs to be applied with an even coat, or some areas will have too much insulation while others won’t have enough. An uneven coat will lower the overall R-Value of the spray insulation. Additionally, too much spray insulation can place too much weight on a structure. Professionals can apply an even coat of spray insulation and will understand exactly which chemicals will be best for each application.
Spray insulation is a great option for many homeowners. It provides a higher R-Value, lowers utility bills, and increases a home’s value. Additionally, spray insulation seals off a home to protect it from moisture, pests, and pollen. Before making any decision, homeowners should speak with a professional in their area to see which insulation option works best for them.