Spray foam is one of the best insulation solutions available today. It offers tons of benefits, such as quality sealing and insulation to almost any parts of a home. It’s capable of blocking heat, air, pests, and minuscule contaminants and even sound among other unwanted elements. Hence, knowing some essential tips and DIY spray foam insulation cost gives installation leverage to any homeowners.
After all, despite of spray foam being a promising insulation, you still need to buy the right variant or type. Proper installation is necessary for best results as well. That would help in reaping the most benefits from this wonderful solution for your home.
How to Purchase Spray Foam Insulation for your Home
Spray foam insulation comes in kits available for purchase. When buying one, you must keep few considerations in mind for the best choice. That’s because spray foam has different brands, variants and output features which may overwhelm you while choosing. Choosing randomly isn’t a good idea as well, since you need one which perfectly suits your specific purpose.
Jot down these buying considerations to guide you:
The R-Value indicates the insulating power of a material. Higher R-Value means better protection against heat flow. So, if you need full insulating power especially for cold and hot days, go for spray foam with higher R-Value. But if you already have an insulation system and merely wants spray foam as a complement, lower R-Value is a more practical choice.
This factors tell the pound of spray foam material you’d get in a cubic feet. Quite similar to R-Value, density also indicates insulating power. Higher density means better insulating power. So, consider necessary density by gauging the elements you want to control, such as heat and sound.
- Fire Resistance Rating
This is an additional feature many spray foam insulation provide. They are actually capable of shielding you from fire incidents. Think of keeping an external fire out your home, or keeping a fire in one room from easily spreading to other areas in the home. Key is, look for a spray foam with higher fire rating for better protection against such mishaps.
- Installation Process
Generally, you have to choose between a DIY and a professional kit when buying spray foam. As their name tell, DIY kits are usable by homeowners, whereas the latter requires professional expertise for installation. Professional kits are suitable only if you plan to hire a spray foam installation service.
Now, if you opt for the DIY option, be sure to read its label. Identify how easy it is to use, as indicated by its manufacturer. Some are easy enough for a one-man job, while others require a bit of help from a friend.
Lastly, consider the available hardware components of a spray foam kit. You can’t proceed with the installation if you don’t have the right hoses and nozzles. Some even come with protective gloves and goggles for safety. A fully complete kit may appear more expensive, but you can practically save cash and effort when you don’t have to buy other necessities separately.
- Curing Time
Next, consider the indicated curing time of a spray foam. Most cure within 30 minutes, while others take less or more. Knowing the curing time helps you gauge the time you need to work on installing on a given area size.
There are different types of spray foam available too. Different types may indicate varying R-Value, density and fire rating among other essential factors. Generally, you have to choose from high, medium and low density, as well as between closed-cell and open-cell spray foams.
Lastly, feel free to choose among the different colors available. Although, most homeowners don’t worry about it. After all, spray foams are hidden beneath main coating. But if you still want to consider it, choose from brown, off white and white.
How to Properly Install Spray Foam Insulation
After buying a spray foam kit, be sure to have a good grasp on how to properly use it. This leads you to best results afterwards, as well as help you avoid unnecessary hassles. So, you’d finish faster, and avoid wasting too much foam solutions because of mistakes.
- Gather all needed Materials
Similar to other installation procedures, be sure you have all the materials needed for spray foam insulation. Of course, you need the spray foam insulation you need. However, be sure its kit is complete as well. Refer to the installation instruction of a specific spray foam you have for a list of materials, then take note of goggles and safety gloves.
- Put the Tank on Proper Temperature
The spray foam tank must have the right temperature before you begin. Generally, most spray foam requires 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to aim for such range, and try to manipulate the temperature when necessary.
When the tank is too hot, for example, put it in a chill environment and let it cool down for a while. If it’s too cold, consider a fan heater to raise its temperature.
- Prepare the Working Area
After setting the materials, prepare the area you want to insulate. Probably, you’ve already identified some areas and spots to work upon. However, it’s best to do a double check to avoid missing anything.
Then, clean the area. Free it from any obstacles, debris and moisture. Use a broom or vacuum cleaner just to make sure. Remove or cover all objects you don’t want the spray foam to stick upon, such as wall frames, power outlets and light switch.
- Protect yourself
Spray foam can harm your skin and cause problems to your respiratory tract. So, be sure to protect yourself against it while doing the job. Consider using a jumpsuit specifically for such purpose. If you don’t have one, use a long sleeve shirt and pants to fully cover your skin, then use goggles, elbow-length rubber gloves and a cap.
- Prepare the Equipment
Now, you’re ready to set the spraying equipment properly. Carefully, connect the spray hose to the tank. Next, open the tank valve for the process to begin. Once done, the spray foam will begin flowing through the hose.
- Begin Spraying
You can then start the spraying job. However, be sure to keep proper distance from the surface where you’d apply the insulation. Ideally, keep around 12 to 16 inches between the wall and the nozzle.
Only apply around ½ inch-layer of insulation. That would expand to around an inch of output after curing. It’s not recommended to put more than 2 inches of insulation to avoid problems.
After spraying, let it sit for at least 30 minutes to expand and dry. Be sure to check the area, so you won’t miss or skip some spots.
- Hire a Professional Instead
If you think you can’t do it by your own, consider hiring professional spray foam installer instead. That would lift a huge burden off your shoulder. Yes, it’s an additional cash issues, but you’d end up having professional outcome. Everything is worth it!
Now, you’re ready to insulate your home using spray foam, and begin enjoying its perks afterwards. If you still have doubts, contact an expert to help you.