While the function of spray foam insulationóto keep buildings warm during cold weather and cool during warm weatheróis the same as traditional pink fiberglass insulation, thatís where the similarities between the two materials end. Spray on insulation is, in fact, superior to fiberglass in a number of ways, which explains why it is rapidly becoming the insulator of choice for homes and business across the U.S. This buying guide explains the advantages of using spray foam insulation and provides general spray foam pricing.
The Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is typically whatís known as two-component foam (that is, itís made of two chemicals). These liquid chemicals are mixed together and sprayed on site from a truck through heated hoses. When the two components combine they create foam that expands and hardens.
Although polyurethane foam insulation costs 20% more than fiberglass insulation and can be quite messy to apply, there are still many reasons to consider it for your next building project, including:
Superior sealant: Spray insulation foam penetrates all of the spaces where itís applied, including in wall and ceiling cavities and around joists, joints, and beams. The airtight seal created by insulation foam is impervious to the elements and provides added benefits such as keeping pests out, improving indoor air quality, and blocking outdoor noise.
Safety: Due to its moisture-blocking properties, foam spray insulation prevents mold from growing in your home. It is also fire resistant and wonít shed loose, itchy fibers or emit toxic vapors. For added safety, some spray foams contain resins composed of all-natural ingredients like soy.
Value: Youíll pay more up front to install spray foam insulation. But, you could easily recoup the added expense over the years through energy savings. And as a result of the benefits described above, a home insulated with spray foam will have a higher resale value.
Types of Spray Foam Insulation
There are two basic types of spray insulation foam: open-cell and closed cell. They are described below.
Open-cell spray foam: Open-cell foam insulation typically has an R-value of around 3.5 per inch (R-value is a measure of heat flow resistance; the higher the R-value of an insulation, the better its thermal performance). They stop air but are moisture permeable.
Closed-cell spray foam: Closed-cell foam insulation usually has an R-value per inch of around 6.0 and is impermeable to both air and moisture. The rigidity of closed-cell foam also increases the structural strength of the wall, ceiling, or roof it is applied to.
Spray Foam Insulation Average Costs
Please note that the following spray foam prices are only estimates. To receive actual quotes from multiple, prescreened spray foam contractors in your area, donít forget to fill out the form below.
The cost of spray foam insulation is usually expressed per board foot, which is a measure of volume (not linear feet). 1 board foot is equal to 144 cubic inches, or a board that measures 1 foot long and 1 foot wide and 1 inch thick.
Open-cell spray foam costs $.40 to $.70 per board foot.
Closed-cell spray foam costs $.75 to $1 per board foot.
Expressed in terms of square feet, spray foam installation cost is $1.50 to $3.00 per square foot (for an average-sized home between 2,000 to 2,500 square feet, thatís a total cost of $3,000 to $7,500.