Insulation Products & Services of Greater Chicago Why Spray Foam? Guaranteed Services Free Estimates

FAQs

A. What are the advantages of spray foam?

Polyurethane spray foam insulation adheres to most surfaces. That means it seals air leaks while providing insulation. Since spray foam sticks to framing surfaces, it is also good for following vertical and angled surfaces. That makes it a versatile and effective tool in creating a comfortable, energy-efficient home. Last, open-cell foam is an excellent sound-deadening material, and makes buildings quieter.

B. What is R-Value?

R-value measures the resistance to heat flow through a material. Metal and concrete transfer heat easily, hence their R-value is very low. Foams and other fibrous insulation materials create dead air pockets, and thus have a higher R-value. R-value is measured in a laboratory, however, and does not simulate real-world conditions. “Effective R-Value” combines standard R-value, plus the ability to seal out air leaks, and can be a better real-world indicator of an insulation system’s performance.

C. What is spray foam?

Spray foam insulation, also known as “SPF” or Spray Polyurethane Foam, is a premium, spray applied foam insulation product that can reduce energy losses by 30-40% through airsealing.

D. What is the difference between open and closed call foam?

Open cell foam is a low density (0.8lb), “fluffier” foam that has an open cell structure to it. This product expands 120 times its liquid volume and is the best option for insulating wood framed walls and attic roof decks. The R-value of our open-cell foam is 3.9/inch. It can also used for sound proofing.

Closed cell foam is a high density (2.0lb), rigid foam that has a closed cell structure to it. This product expands 40 times its liquid volume and is the best option for insulating crawlspaces, basement walls or retro-fit applications where you want to achieve a high R-value in a small amount of space. The R-value of our closed-cell foam is 6.3/inch. It is also a Class 1 vapor retarder.

Please contact us for guidance as to the best product for your particular application.

E. What’s wrong with fiberglass and cellulose insulation?

Nothing – with proper air-sealing! Fibrous insulation does not stop air leaks and can lose effectiveness unless thorough air-sealing is also performed. Cellulose can also settle over time if not installed correctly. Cellulose and fiberglass can be part of a cost-effective strategy for good insulation performance – but only if done by trained professionals who care about the end product.

F. Why use spray foam as opposed to other insulation?

Spray foam can increase the energy efficiency of your home by 30-40% because of its air sealing properties. No other insulation can do this as effectively as spray foam can. The Department of Energy states that 40% of the losses in an average residential home is attributable to air infiltration and poor air sealing. Spray foam eliminates moisture and condensation problems and inhibits mold growth as well as improves indoor air quality.

G. Are estimates free?

YES! Give us a call or fill out the “contact us” form and a representative will give you a call shortly to answer any other questions you may have and set up an on-site evaluation.

H. Are There tax credits?

YES! You are eligible to receive a tax credit for insulating your home. If you have not claimed the Energy Tax Credit on form 5695, then you may be eligible to receive a 10% tax credit up to $500. Give us a call to see if you can claim it for your home.

I. Can we stay home during insulation process?

It is best to make other plans for the day of the application if you have any chemical sensitivities or asthma/lung issues due to the chance of irritation from the amine byproduct. However, once the installation is complete and the area is well ventilated it is safe to return to the home immediately.

J. Is there harmful off gassing?

No. Our products have been extensively and rigorously tested to ensure that there are no toxic gases or VOCs emitted. All of our foams are GREENGUARD certified and are considered “green” products. The foam reaction creates a byproduct of carbon dioxide and a tertiary amine (in the ammonia family) that has an odor to it and can be a temporary mild irritant to eyes and lungs in high amounts and in close proximity. Because of this, our applicators are in full-body, fresh air respirators while applying the foam. During the application we ventilate the area with a high powered exhaust fans and ducts to ensure that all byproducts of the reaction are removed from your home and there is no odor after we are completed. The foam does not continue to off-gas over time.

K. Is a good insulation job more expensive?

On the front end, yes. Installing insulation, particularly in an existing building, is a physically demanding and difficult job. By paying for the best products and skilled technicians who understand building science and care about performance, you can greatly reduce operating costs over time and get the best return on investment. It is one of the few items when building where increased quality will pay the owner back with interest over time.

L. Is a tight house good for air quality?

We use a blower door test and calculation on your home to determine how tight is too tight. We prefer to go as tight as possible and have our clients install a mechanical ventilation system for best results. If the house is not mechanically vented, however, we will tighten it just enough to keep the air from becoming unhealthy.

M. What is the best way to effectively insulate existing buildings?

There are many different products and methods that work well under different circumstances and in many cases the best results come from a combination of methods. There are also products and methods that should NOT be installed under any circumstances for particular applications. A great insulation package should be designed for the individual building.

N. How does diagnostic testing improve the insulation job?

Testing the building for air leaks during the insulation process improves quality control. Using a blower-door kit and a thermal camera, we can exaggerate the effects of pressure on the house, which also helps us quickly find leakage points. Simply stated, you can’t get a better insulation job than one that is done with the assist of the latest diagnostic tools.

O. What is foam insulation safe?

Polyurethane foam insulation, properly applied by trained professionals, is safe and effective. The foam cures quickly, within 24 hours, and we do ask our clients to leave while it cures. After that period, no more gases or odors are released, and the foam is safe enough to eat (but it tastes terrible!).

P. Why is air-sealing so important to a good insulation job?

Air moving through a building carries energy with it, and that energy will have to be replaced with energy from inside the house. Air movement, or convection, is worth up to 40% of total energy losses in a given building. It is easy to see why it is important to defeat this type of energy loss.

Q. How much does Spray Foam Insulation cost compared to traditional insulation?

Spray foam cost about 2-1/2 times the cost of traditional fiberglass and about twice the amount of cellulose. The payback energy savings can be realized in 3-4 years in an average Chicago, IL house. Can you think of anything that can be installed in your home that can pay for itself in 3-4 years?

While traditional insulation has a cheap upfront cost it does not provide the comfort and long term savings that Spray Foam is renowned for. When planning new construction, Spray Foam Insulation and a properly sized HVAC system can save a home owner up to 60% on heating and cooling cost in Chicago, IL.

R. How long does it take to install and cure spray foam in the Chicago, IL area?

Installation times vary. Most remodels, additions, attics, basements and crawl spaces can be insulated in as little as two hours to one day. Spray Foam expands in seconds and cures 90% with in minutes.