What is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation, specifically polyurethane spray foam is a composite material used for insulating buildings. It combines separate chemicals through a spray gun, expanding and filling spaces within walls and floors. The foam contains cells that make it difficult for sound and heat to pass through, providing effective insulation and soundproofing. This expansion capability ensures complete coverage, eliminating gaps and inefficiencies in insulation​​.

How Strong is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation, particularly the closed-cell variety, offers remarkable structural strength to buildings. Research by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that walls installed with closed-cell spray foam exhibit a racking strength up to 300% greater than walls without it. This enhancement in structural integrity makes it an ideal choice for not only insulating but also fortifying buildings against various stresses​.

How can Spray Foam Insulation be Used?

Spray foam insulation is versatile, and suitable for residential, commercial, and industrial applications. It can be applied to walls, underfloors, and ceilings, effectively wrapping a building in a thermal blanket. Its expanding nature allows it to fill nooks and crannies, making it ideal for irregular spaces. It also adds structural integrity to the building​​.

How is it Different from Other Insulation Products?

Spray foam insulation stands out for its high R-value, meaning it’s more effective in preventing heat loss compared to most other insulation types. It also offers excellent sound-dampening properties and is resistant to chemicals and pests. Unlike traditional insulators, it provides a moisture barrier, reducing mould growth risks. Furthermore, its ability to improve a building’s structural stability is a unique benefit not commonly found in other insulation materials​​.

What is the R-Value of Spray Foam Insulation?

The R-value of spray foam insulation, which measures its resistance to heat flow, is notably higher than most other insulators. Closed-cell foam, in particular, offers superior R-value, enhancing its efficiency in retaining heat and reducing energy costs. Open-cell foam, while lower in R-value than closed-cell, still performs remarkably well​​​​.

Does Spray Foam Insulation Reduce Noise?

Yes, spray foam insulation is highly effective in reducing noise. Its cellular structure absorbs sound, making it an excellent choice for buildings where sound dampening is a priority. Open-cell spray foam is particularly effective for acoustic insulation due to its softer and more flexible nature after curing.

Is Spray Foam Insulation Safe?

Spray foam insulation is safe for both the environment and human health when properly installed. It is made with eco-friendly materials, including recycled content, and does not emit harmful gases or odours once installed. It is also non-allergenic and dust-free. In the event of a fire, it is classified as self-extinguishing, and while it can release gases when burned, it is no more hazardous in this respect than other common building materials​​.

Is it Safe to Spray Foam Around Electrical Outlets?

Yes, it is safe to use spray foam insulation around electrical outlets. Its application does not affect the integrity of electrical systems, and wiring can be added or modified post-installation without disturbing the insulation. This flexibility is a significant advantage over traditional insulation materials, which can be disrupted or degraded by such modifications

Spray foam insulation is a standout choice in New Zealand for building insulation, offering a high R-value for superior heat retention and energy efficiency. It excels in sound dampening, adds structural integrity, and provides moisture and pest resistance. Environmentally responsible and safe, it also allows for flexibility in electrical modifications post-installation. Its versatility and effectiveness make it an optimal solution for a range of insulation needs.