Foam Insulation Q And A: Do You Really Want This Ooze Between Your Walls?

Insulating your home is a big deal that comes with big consequences. You want to reduce your utility bills, protect your investment and keep everyone comfortable, but is foam insulation your best option? Consider the following Q and A before making this very important decision.

Does Foam Insulation Reduce Noise?

Because this material has natural sound-absorbing properties, it does indeed act as a barrier for sound. For example, if someone in the home enjoys loud reggae, but another prefers classical, there should be a peaceful buffer between the two genres due to the foam.

Will It Cause Mold?

When installed properly, the foam blocks moisture and air, meaning bacteria never have the opportunity to form and grow. Mold can be extremely problematic, therefore precise handling of the spray foam is necessary to protect the home.

Can You Add Foam Insulation To Existing Walls?

By cutting openings in exterior walls, existing walls can be filled without the need for major construction. The openings will need to be sealed with wood filler, sanded and repainted or sided once the project is complete.

Is It Waterproof?

Closed-cell (the denser version) insulation isn't just waterproof, but it's especially effective in areas where moisture abounds, such as on the surface of pipes in and around a drain system. From the outside of a home inward, water is sealed away from entering through the basement, even ones made from old rocks that now have gaping holes between them.

Can It Be Painted?

Some exposed foam in garages or basements may look better with a coat of paint if you don't intend to cover the area up with drywall or other material. Primer would be your best bet, such as a coat of Gesso, and spray should be avoided, because it can eat away at the insulation.

Does Foam Insulation Need A Vapor Barrier?

When a vapor barrier combines with the best insulation for the home and climate, there should be no frosty windows, cold spots around the house and moisture is kept at a healthy balance. Depending on where you live and the type of foam used (highly dense closed-cell or not), vapor barriers may not be needed, however, since moisture can lead to such major headaches for homeowners, check with your local code and a construction professional.

Does It Form A Barrier Against Rodents?

While nothing can guarantee you'll never see a rat in your kitchen, because it oozes into every crack and corner, the expanding foam does serve as a good preventative measure against invading rodents. However, if you're facing a particularly overwhelming or persistent population, it will be necessary for you to take additional measures against them.

Will Your Pipes Ever Freeze With Foam Insulation?

They are very likely to never freeze, and in fact, this type of coating on your pipes should help to maintain thermal stability of the water inside the pipes. In places where the pipe meets the exterior of the home, the foam is particularly adept at sealing out cold air, protecting both you and the plumbing from the elements.

How Long Does It Last?

This special type of polymer should remain intact and functional, so long as the structure it's in is standing. As an inert polymer, it won't likely react with anything it comes in contact with, thus it doesn't come in contact with anything that will break it down.

How Long Until It Dries?

The foam is usually set within 24 hours or less, but factors such as humidity and temperature may slow the drying process down. Also, thickness will increase the wait time, but you can speed up drying time by adding a spray of water between layers.

Can You Get It Out Of Carpets And Fabrics?

Under certain circumstances, you can remove it from underfoot, provided it's not stepped in repeatedly. Immediately scrape it off, and dab the area with acetone or some other stain remover safe for your carpeting. A pumice stone or petroleum jelly may effectively take it out of clothing, but not in all cases.

Open or closed-cell insulation may very well be the best option for your home, however, with so many variables, you really have to do your homework. Since it solves so many problems, offers fewer complications and minimizes the work involved, it's most definitely worth looking into. You can click here for info on the topic.

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