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Frequently Asked Questions

How does spray foam work?

Spray foam is a two-part mixture of liquid components that expand rapidly on contact forming solid foam that completely fills all cracks and spaces leaving an airtight seal.

Why doesn’t the manufacturer market the foam?

There are hundreds of uses for polyurethane foam. It’s up to the end users to promote their own applications.

What is the difference between open and closed cell foams?

Open cell foam has cells that are open; they will absorb moisture quite like a sponge. Closed cell foam has a closed cell structure that does not absorb moisture.

What constitutes a vapor barrier?

A perm rating of 1.0 or less is a vapor barrier. High perm ratings mean that the material allows vapor to pass through it relatively easily.

What is a Perm Rating?

A perm (Permeance) measures the number of grains of water vapor that pass through a square foot of material per hour. Perm ratings are values assigned to materials that determine the effectiveness of a product to retard the diffusion of water vapor.

What is the perm rating of open and closed cell foam?

The perm rating of fiberglass is over 100 perms, open cell foam is around 16 perms, and closed cell foam has a perm rating of 1.0 at 2 inches, constituting a vapor barrier.

Does it lose R-value over time?

Closed cell foam was developed over 70 years ago in the 1930’s.

How long has closed cell been available?

Spray foam is a two-part mixture of liquid components that expand rapidly on contact forming solid foam that completely fills all cracks and spaces leaving an airtight seal.

How long has open cell been available?

Open cell foam has not been around nearly as long as closed cell foam.

  • Sealection 500 was developed in 1992
  • Icynene was first created in 1986

What can foam be applied too?

Foam can be applied to many things. If you can paint it with un-primed paint then the spray foam will stick to it.

How long does it take to cure?

It takes about six seconds to rise, but around 24 hours to fully finish curing.

What is off gassing?

Off gassing is the release of fumes during the reaction-taking place by the mixing of the two components.

How long does it off-gas?

Off gassing only last as long as it takes to fully rise, so it off gasses for about six seconds.

How long does spray foam last?

Spray foam should remain functioning properly for the duration of the structures’ existence.

Does the insulation promote rodent or insect growth?

Foam insulation offers no nutritional value. Therefore it does not promote a favorable environment for rodent or insect infestation.

What about bacteria or fungi?

Bacteria and fungi need a food source in order to survive. There is no nutritional value in polyurethane.

What does it do to my electric wiring?

Foam can be sprayed directly to electrical wiring. Recessed lights and other fixtures may require a certain separation from the foam to allow air circulation for cooling purposes.

Does Spray Foam contain Formaldehyde?

No, there used to be a foam insulation product that did use formaldehyde, but the foam used today is a completely different chemical product.

Does the foam shrink?

No, as long as it is manufactured by an experienced technician.

Will closed cell foam add strength to my structure?

Yes, it will increase racking strength of walls by 250%.

What effect does the foam have on sound travel?

Open cell foam can be used as a considerable soundproofing material. Closed cell on the other hand does not perform well as a soundproofing agent.

What is BPI?

Building Performance Institute – Organization established to measure the knowledge, skills and competency of individuals impacting building performance. While also updating technical requirements through an open development process.

What is NYSERDA?

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority – a public benefit corporation that strives to facilitate change through the widespread development and use of innovative technologies to improve the State’s energy, economic, and environmental wellbeing.

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