Insulation is a necessity if you do not want to freeze in winter or bake in summer. There are all kinds of insulation now, including three different types of spray foam insulation that you spray into spaces In walls, cracks, and attics. If you are considering adding new or more insulation to your home, here are some of the types of spray foam insulation and where to best use them for maximum insulating benefits.
Expanding in a Can
You have probably seen contractors use this stuff. For under fifteen dollars a can, this stuff comes out of the can in a sort of "mousse" consistency, quickly expands to almost four or five times its mass, and then hardens into an almost angel-food candy consistency. It is ideal for filling in cracks and crevices, and for filling small spaces where other types of insulation would not be a good idea.
This is compressed spray foam insulation. It is a ton of "shredded" insulation fluff squeezed into a small bale-sized package. Upon opening the package, the insulation immediately begins to expand and fall everywhere. You can either open "bales" in your attic and shake and fluff the insulation loose, or you can load it into a special insulation blowing machine where the plastic is removed and the machine allows you to blow even layers into a space. Most people prefer the latter approach because they do not have to touch, pick up, or accidentally inhale some of the fibers from the insulation. They also like the fact that the machine creates uniform and level layers of insulation, an ideal delivery system for adding insulation in attics.
The last type of spray foam insulation comes in large bags. The bags are dumped right into the hopper another type of insulation blowing machine. One person continues to open and pour the bags in while the other person takes the long hose and wand system and blows the insulation into an area. This is the best option for filling walls because the hose and wand can enter the tops of the walls with adequate openings, be threaded downward toward the floors inside the walls, and as the blower blows in the insulation, the hose and wand are retracted from inside the wall to create fluffy columns of insulation. The person controlling the hose and wand just keeps moving along the wall, threading, filling, and moving to the next section to be filled.