We’ve gathered several different research reports, case studies, and 3rd party tests and listed them for you in order to demonstrate the economic and structural advantages of using spray foam versus using traditional insulation products like fiberglass or cellulose.
We would like to show you some real-life, practical examples of how spray foam compares to traditional insulation materials by looking at 5 case studies performed on various construction projects in different climates.
2: Case Study for Roanoke, VA
3: Case Study for residential construction in Richmond, VA
4: Case Study for Amherst College.pdf
5: Case Study for Texas A&M.pdf
Now you know that spray foam is economically sound, but spray foam offers additional benefits beyond energy savings. What follows shows why spray foam outperforms all other insulation materials and also explains the many additional benefits of spray foam.
According to the US Department of Energy, 40%-50% of the average home’s energy losses are from air leaks in the walls and ceilings. Why is so much energy lost in this way? Because most homes are insulated with fiberglass and cellulose products that cannot stop air flow through and within the wall assembly. This air flow significantly reduces the performance of both of these traditional insulation products by allowing conditioned air to escape and also allowing hot/cold convection loops to form within the wall cavities. All this interchange of air movement through the wall cavity has a tremendous impact on the performance of these insulation mediums.
Convection loops can reduce the efficiency of an insulation system 25%-38%, –Building Science Corp. pg. 43-48 -and air blowing through a wall represents a complete insulation failure.
In addition, a 1%-2% void along the edges of an insulated cavity reduces the effectiveness of the insulation another 25%-40%. – Kansas State University
Engineering Extension pg. 2
In contrast, closed cell foam offers an air barrier at 1” and a seamless class II vapor barrier at 1.25”. Open cell foam provides an air barrier at 3.5” and neither open cell nor closed cell provides a food source for mold.
Open and closed cell foams do not allow air to move in convection loops within the insulation system. Properly applied, spray foam fully adheres to the wall cavity and allows no gaps or voids for air travel within the insulation medium.
Installed fiberglass performs at a much lower R-value than the fiberglass companies advertise. Oak Ridge National Laboratories tested wall structures insulated with fiberglass and found that normally installed fiberglass looses 28% of its advertised R-value. ORNL Testing of installed fiberglass
Foam will perform the same both in the laboratory and in the field because it glues itself in place, does not settle or sag over time, does not allow air to travel through itself, and closed cell foam is a class 2 vapor barrier. Closed cell foam also strengthens a wall 200% to 300%. NAHB Racking Test Results.
Fiberglass is vulnerable to damage from moisture.
Closed cell foam is FEMA approved for submersion in water for 72 hours without any damage. FEMA
Fiberglass cannot completely conform to wall penetrations and oddly shaped wall cavities.
Foam expands 30 to 150 times its original volume, filling every nook and cranny without any difficulty or loss of R-value.
Fiberglass performs at significantly reduced efficiencies in extreme weather conditions.
Foam is affected by temperature differences much less than fiberglass. DOE Test Results
Spray Foam offers improved Indoor Air Quality compared to traditional insulation materials. Honeywell (pg. 15)
Spray foam offers a complete air seal, consistent long term performance, stronger buildings, quieter walls, flood resistance, improved indoor air quality, and an average return on investment of 3-5 years.
Don’t build tomorrow’s buildings with yesterday’s products. Insulate with spray foam and enjoy the benefits for a lifetime.