IT’S ALL ABOUT THE COST: SPRAY FOAM INSULATION VS FIBERGLASS

Insulation is aimed at sealing off all unnecessary gaps that may exist on a certain surface like wood. Gaps often lead to air passing through and getting into the house. This can be annoying especially during the cold weathers when warmth is needed in plenty.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam is a product used to insulate homes during cold weather. It is a mixture of two chemicals that when combined form a thick layer by expanding 30–60 time its original volume on the surface. It is this expanding property that makes it efficient for insulation as it seals up gaps that are on the surface as it expands.

Using spray foam as an insulation is still new in the industry. It hasn’t picked up in the market, but its popularity is rising as more people are adopting it. It can be used to insulate a newly built house as well as an old house.

Types of Spray foam Insulation

Insulation from the spray foam come in two different forms. These are open-cell foam and closed-cell foam.

In open-cell foam, the cells are broken down, and the air is used to fill the gaps on the surface it is applied. The result of an open-cell foam is a less stiff and softer structure when it is used. This type is favorable when the budget is tight, and the surface will not have to deal with high pressures.

In closed-cell foam, the cells maintain their shape even after the gas is applied. Due to their nature, they are stronger and make a better insulation compared to open-cell foams. This type of insulation is well suited if the surface requires high water vapor and air insulation. If your budget is good, then you can use this product as it supports decorations and structural support for your project.

The main difference between the two types is the cost and installation process. Open-cell foam is less expensive compared to closed-cell insulation. The installation process for open-cell form is also simpler because it uses a low-cost water-based process. It also has an ability to occupy a larger surface compared to the closed-cell form. Therefore, you only need fewer materials.

Closed-cell foam is a heavier coating and its installation is complex. That makes it slightly expensive than the open-cell insulation. This is mainly because a proper R-value blowing agent is required for its application.

Cost of Spray Foam Insulation

The cost depends on various factors such as the size of your home, the type of form you want (closed or open-cell foam) as well as your location and the people you hire for the job. The cost is usually based on the size of the board you want to insulate. The unit of measure is usually a 12×12-inch board which is one inch thick.

For open-cell foam, the price ranges from $0.45 to $0.80 per board foot and for closed-cell foam, it ranges from $1 to $1.50 per board foot. You can measure your house or the surface you need to insulate and divide it by the 12×12-inch board to have a rough estimate of how much you will spend on insulation. The prices are usually inclusive of all materials and labor.

Pros of using spray foam as an insulation
-It is long lasting since it doesn’t break down easily.
-Improves energy efficiency: It insulates a surface fully and seals all the gaps efficiently. This is an advantage as it will save you on bills used to warm your house.
-It serves other purposes: When you insulate your home properly using this method, you also get the advantage of keeping pests outside. It keeps your home free of mold as well because the surface becomes almost water resistant.

Cons
• It is considered expensive.
• It can be messy before it dries
• It is complicated to install

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation, on the other hand, is more popular to people. It has been used widely by many people to insulate their home. Like spray foam, it also comes in two types namely blankets (rolls or batts) and loose-fill. Blankets rolls are more common and are usually used for new constructions.

The fiberglass has to be cut carefully to make sure it covers the spaces required to be insulated. However, this is hard to apply to already existing homes, which explains the need for loose-fills. Loose-Fills are used to insulate easy-to-access places such as attics where blankets cannot.

Cost of fiberglass insulation

Usually, traditional fiberglass costs around $0.50 to $1 per square foot of a wall. The price may vary depending on your geographical location. The density and the R-value of the fiberglass are also used to determine its price. The denser it is, the higher the price.

Advantages of using fiberglass as an insulation

-It is less expensive compared to spray foam insulation
-It gives a cleaner result: When it is installed, the result is a neat and clean touch. It is not as messy as the spray foam.
-Easy to install: The process of insulating your house using fiberglass is less complex. You can do it yourself if you want to. The process is simple and clear.
-Easy to work with: Because fiberglass has been around for many years, many people can work with it effortlessly. Using spray foam to insulate is a complicated process because the product only came to us recently. Many people have worked with fiberglass implying their skills and experience have improved. It is easier to find an experienced contractor to work with fiberglass than spray foam.

Cons
• Short lifespan: The fiberglass breaks down faster over time. This requires you to replace it often than you would if you chose foam insulation.
• Less energy efficient: The insulation does not block out air flow completely. You might still lose some heat in your home.

Whichever product you choose between spray foam and fiberglass insulation, you should first consider their pros against their cons. The cost and efficiency of using either should also help you make a decision.

Originally appeared at: https://www.frpshop.com/cost-spray-foam-insulation-vs-fiberglass/

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