Spray foam is a popular insulation choice for many homeowners because it offers high R-Value, is non-toxic, and environmentally friendly. Brent Gentling tests out the Great Stuff Smart Dispenser for Building Energy, demonstrating how to get the most out of each can and how to accurately measure out the right amount.
The term “spray foam” refers to various plastic foam materials used in new construction and existing homes to insulate walls, roofs and attics and reduce air infiltration. SPF is applied as a liquid and expands to several times its original volume when sprayed, filling cracks and crevices for a tight, airtight seal. The spray gun is a two component system that contains polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate and a resin blend (typically a combination of polyols, a catalyst, surfactants, and hydrofluorocarbon propellant) that react together to create the insulating foam upon application.
The Green Revolution: Exploring Eco-Friendly Aspects of Spray Foam Insulation
Most spray foam insulation today is formulated with blowing agents that contain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). While HFCs are effective in reducing heat transfer, they also contribute to climate change through their global warming potential (GWP) which is hundreds to thousands of times greater than CO2. Some green building certification programs have begun to require the use of low-GWP spray foam products.
A spray foam professional should explain to homeowners how the chemistry of the chemicals used in spray foam can affect their indoor air quality and health and that they can minimize exposure by following guidance about not occupying the home or space during the installation and for a short period afterward. In addition, they should discuss the importance of hiring a certified and licensed professional for their spray foam application.