Insulation is key to improving your home’s energy efficiency, as it helps regulate temperature in both heated and cooled spaces. When considering professional insulation options for your home, you might wonder: which is superior, blown-in insulation or spray foam?
You want an insulating material that is long-lasting, high-quality, and sustainable if you intend to insulate your home. Which is superior, blown-in insulation vs spray foam?
Both blown-in cellulose insulation and spray foam offer benefits. Spray foam is a more effective insulator since it has a greater R-value. But cellulose is more effective at blocking out street sounds.
Read also: What Is Blown-in Insulation Made of
This post will go in-depth on spray foam and blown-in cellulose insulation. We will compare the two insulating materials so you may choose which is best for your home. Not anything you want to miss!
Blown-In Insulation or S Spray Foam
- Blown-In Insulation
Products made of blown-in insulation compete to offer the insulation market the best performance per square inch and the least amount of settling over time. Insulation “blown in” refers to material sprayed or blown into spaces such as wall cavities, attics, and floors. There are several techniques employed, depending on the type of insulation used.
- Spray-In Foam Insulation
Polyol resin and isocyanate are the ingredients in spray foam. In contrast to isocyanate, frequently employed in surface treatment to create rigid foams like spray foam, a polyol is a form of hydroxyl compound.
When it comes to blown-in insulation or spray foam, spray foam may not seem like much when you initially apply it, but it soon starts to grow. Between 30 and 60 times more liquid can be present than when the foam was first sprayed.
One of spray foam insulation’s most distinguishing qualities and the reason so many homeowners like it is its heat resistance.
Which Is Better Spray Foam Vs Blown-In Insulation
Blown-in insulation is just one of the numerous product controversies you may have encountered while looking at insulation solutions for your house.
We’ll examine each type, explain its components, and discuss its benefits and drawbacks. We’ll also compare spray foam and cellulose insulation in a quick overview and mention some more attic insulation choices to take into account for your project.
Now that we have discussed spray foam insulation in detail, let’s move on to blown-in insulation. Similar to its rival, it comes in various materials and has a unique combination of advantages and disadvantages.
Blown-In Insulation Materials
Like spray foam, blown-in insulation (sometimes called loose-fill insulation) has to use specific insulation technology. A full-coverage coating of uniformly thick insulation is applied to an area by an insulation contractor using cutting-edge blower technology.
For blown-in insulation applications, three distinct materials are available, each offering unique pros and cons. These include fiberglass, mineral wool, and cellulose, with fiberglass being the most popular due to its fire retardant properties, and each one has some degree of eco-friendliness:
- Fiberglass, the most popular insulating product on the market, is frequently made from 40–60% recycled glass.
- The usage of mineral wool in insulation is declining, and it is no longer as popular as it once was. Repurposed rock or slag from industrial processes is usually used to make it.
- Tiny paper fibers, generally recycled newspaper, are used to make cellulose. Although cellulose insulation performs similarly to fiberglass insulation in terms of efficiency, installing it is messy.
Disadvantages of Blown-In
- Blown-in insulation requires specialized blower equipment and personnel trained to operate it. It can occasionally result in higher labor expenses or impede do-it-yourself insulation installation projects.
- Blowing-in insulation settles with time, just like many other insulation materials do. The size of the air pockets between particles shrinks when a product settles, which can also lower its R-value. More materials will settle drastically than others; cellulose is one of these materials.
- Comparable to settling, compression is more easily averted. You may compress your insulation by stepping on it or by putting boxes on top of it, reducing the air spaces (and, therefore, the R-value). It can be more difficult to avoid tripping joists through your attic since blown-in insulation can be installed directly on top (as opposed to between them, like batts).
Spray Foam Insulation
They have several different materials for spray foam, each with advantages and disadvantages.
Spray Foam Insulation Materials
Foam insulation can be applied in a few different ways—it can be:
We’ll concentrate on spray applications in this part. In the realm of spray foam insulation, two primary types are used: closed cell spray foams and open cell spray foam. Closed-cell foam is denser and provides a higher R-value, while open-cell foam, being less dense, is better for certain applications. :
- High-density cells make up closed-cell foam, which is also gas-filled to assist the cells in expanding, filling in gaps, and solidifying into a rigid layer.
- The expansion and hardening gases in closed-cell foam are absent from open-cell foam, which is less dense and lacks both properties. Instead, the air fills the expanding cells, giving the insulation a sponge-like feel.
Spray foams with open and closed cells are commonly formed of polyurethane, although less often used substances include tripolymer foams.
Disadvantages Of Spray Foam Insulation
There isn’t a perfect insulation product, and spray foam insulation is no exception:
- Applications – Open-cell foam isn’t necessarily suitable for humid areas or applications below ground level, but closed-cell foam may be utilized in various settings. The air-filled chambers readily collect water, which significantly reduces the efficiency of the insulation.
- Cost – The spray foam insulation cost alternatives on the market right now include both closed- and open-cell varieties. Installation calls for specialized tools and, occasionally, specialist credentials (depending on the specific product).
- Building code recognition – Although spray foam insulation will recognize as an insulating product by most US building codes, it is not always identified as a vapor or fire barrier. In these jurisdictions, extra vapor and/or flame retardant barriers must be installed on the builders for them to pass inspection.
Deciding between blown-in insulation vs spray foam for your home insulation project depends on various factors including budget, intended use, and local building requirements, depending on your spending limit, anticipated uses, and regional building requirements.