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5 Things You Can’t Insulate with Foam

Did you know that spray foam insulation has been in use since 1986? Many homeowners with new construction projects are going for this product due to its energy efficiency and comfort benefits. It helps to reduce utility expenses, fix inadequate insulation and can even retrofit attics or crawl spaces.

Simply put, spray foam products are air- and insulation- barrier materials that work by limiting the movement of air within a structure. This then reduces the energy loss your home experiences during seasonal changes.

The best thing with spray foam insulation products is that they don’t take long to settle and never lose their shape.

So, are there any scenarios where using spray foam isn’t advisable? Yes, there are. Here’s a checklist:

1. Exterior walls with glue cellulose

Like spray foam, glue cellulose is a type of insulation that gets blown into place via special equipment. You can use it for unfinished attic floors, wall cavities, enclosed existing walls, and other hard-to-reach areas. Without a doubt, glue cellulose products are excellent at insulating irregularly shaped areas, around obstructions, and in existing finished areas. Nonetheless, glued cellulose on existing exterior walls creates problems for contractors because they can’t successfully spray foam without tearing out the walls.

2. Exterior walls without sheathing

Sheathing are panels that get installed into the walls of a building to prevent buckling. These panels get installed in such a way that the walls will resist seismic and wind loads, as well as in-plane lateral forces. If your exterior walls don’t have sheathing, installing spray foam will bow out the siding because there is no protective material to stop it from pushing out.

3. The space is too small

In as much as insulation contractors can tackle any kind of obstacle thrown at them, there’s nothing much they can do in a space with no access. An installer requires about eighteen inches of a workspace (from the floor to the ground) to successfully complete a project in crawl spaces. Also, if you have a hip roof, your attic will be difficult to insulate. This is because a hip roof has extremely sloping sides that can make it difficult to spray the deck.

4. Flotation devices

One myth about spray foams is that they are excellent products for adding buoyancy to flotation devices. But the truth is that these products aren’t ideal for things like tanks, coolers, homemade rafts or wooden kegs. This is because most construction foams are too dense to adequately cover a floatation device from sinking. Still, there are smaller cans you can use to create the buoyancy you need.

5. Boats

Just like with flotation devices, spray foams aren’t a good fit for boats. Yes, repairing boat cracks with spray foam will only increase the boat’s weight in addition to consuming a lot of space. However, avid boaters can use mix and pour foam – a closed cell product that comes with sixty pounds of float (per cubic foot) and two pounds of density.

Clearly, there are many foam products out there with different applications. To ensure that you get the right one for your home repairs, reach out to our Bernardi Building Supplies experts for professional advice.