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Spray Foam Vs. Blown-In Insulation: Which Is Right For Your Home?

by Harry Martin

Two of the most popular insulation products on the market today are spray foam and blown-in insulation. The reason that these products are so popular is that they can be easily used inside of finished walls, ceilings, and floors without causing damage to the finished surface. However, like all insulation products, both spray foam and blown-in insulation will have their pros as well as their cons. Taking the time to understand the pros and cons that come along with each of these options will ultimately allow you to choose which product is best suited to your home's insulation needs.

Option #1: Spray Foam Insulation

The Pros

Spray foam insulation expands on contact and cures to create an airtight, waterproof surface that is virtually impossible to penetrate. The ability of this insulation product to expand to several times its original volume makes it the perfect choice when insulating corners and small gaps that would be difficult to reach using other insulation products.

The fact that this insulation also adheres quickly to virtually any surface allows for versatility and makes it the perfect choice for the insulation of pipes and attic rafter.

The Cons

There are two primary disadvantages associated with the use of spray foam. The first of these disadvantages is the high cost that comes along with choosing spray foam. In many cases, this insulation product will cost as much as twice the amount of other insulation products.

The second of these disadvantages is the damage that can occur when too much insulation is added to a particular area. Since this foam expands considerably, adding too much insulation in any given area can result in significant pressure that can potentially damage walls and flooring materials.

Option #2: Blown-In Insulation

The Pros

Blown-in insulation offers a relatively low cost and impressive thermal ratings. The ability to easily add this insulation through small holes in the wall or floor makes this insulation option ideal for use in replacing depleted fiberglass insulation inside existing walls and ceiling rafters. The ability to easily control the high powered hose used to install this insulation has also resulted in this product becoming extremely popular among do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

The Cons

The only real disadvantage to choosing blown-in insulation is the accelerated rate at which this insulation settles. In many cases, the R-value associated with this insulation will drop significantly in the months following installation due to the fast rate at which the insulation settles. To avoid this problem, contractors will typically add several additional inches of insulation to compensate for the settling that will occur in the coming months.

In Conclusion

Both spray foam and blown-in insulation can prove extremely beneficial when used in the right situation. However, neither of these options will be right for every application. For instance, while spray foam insulation is ideal for use in hard to reach areas and open attic rafters thanks to its ability to expand and adhere to virtually any surface, blown-in insulation will be better suited for filling crawl spaces and interior walls where the ability to control application angles is limited. Talk to a contractor like Double R Value Insulation to see which would be most appropriate for your home