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Spray Foam Insulation vs. Traditional Insulation: Which Is Right for You?

insulation of the ceiling in the garage

Have you ever wondered why some apartments have very good soundproofing between rooms while others feel like the walls are paper-thin? How well your walls, ceiling, and flooring prevent sound transfer is due to the quality of your insulation

Modern homes are built with insulation to provide extra protection from the outside world. They keep out sound, prevent heat transfer, and make your walls more durable. However, not all types of insulation work with every part of your home. 

Here's what you need to know about spray foam insulation vs. traditional insulation in your next project. 

What Is Spray Insulation?

Spray foam insulation comes in two varieties: open-cell and closed-cell. Open-cell foam primarily acts as an air barrier, while closed-cell works on air, moisture, and vapour. On the plus side, open-cell spray foam is more flexible and less rigid. 

Generally speaking, a contractor will utilize spray insulation on areas of your home that are more difficult to access. They will also use it on areas that traditional insulation won't work with, such as narrow areas. 

You can expect spray foam to last upwards of 80 years. 

What Is Traditional Insulation?

Most types of insulation are not sprayed inside of your walls. Instead, they're applied as either sheets or blown in as insulation fill

Your more traditional options include sheets of fibreglass insulation and blow-in attic insulation. Both types consist of tiny glass fibres that trap air inside of them and slow down the transfer of heat. 

The sheets are great for walls and other flat surfaces. Meanwhile, you can use blown-in insulation to fill hard-to-reach areas and around obstructions. 

You can expect fibreglass insulation to cost you less to install, but it's less energy efficient and will need to be replaced in up to 25 years. 

Spray Foam Insulation vs. Traditional Insulation

The best way to determine the difference between spray foam insulation and traditional insulation is their R-value. The R-value refers to how well insulation can limit the flow of heat. Higher numbers are better in this case. 

Fiberglass insulation has a lower R-value of 2.2 per inch and loses this value over time. Spray foam insulation can have up to 7 R-value per inch if it's closed-cell. Open-cell only has 3.5 per inch.

While this number doesn't necessarily improve your home's fireproofing, it can help by limiting how quickly your surfaces heat up. Furthermore, some closed-cell spray foams have fire retardant included. 

Meanwhile, fibreglass isn't flammable but may be adhered to your walls with flammable kraft paper. Please note all spray foam is toxic, and home occupants need to be out of the house for at least 24 hours.

Find Effective Insulation for Your Home

When deciding between spray foam insulation vs. traditional insulation, consider both your budget and what areas need them. Spray foam insulation works best on smaller or more complex areas of your house. Meanwhile, traditional insulation is more affordable and more versatile. 

With our specialized high-level training, Foametix can help homeowners figure out what kind of insulation their homes need. Our services include spray foam, blown-in attic insulation, insulation removal, and more. Contact us to talk to our representative and request a quote on your next project. 

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