Maine Foam Insulation Frequently Asked Questions

Maine Foam Insulation Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are building a new home or re-habbing an old one, one thing that is important for those of us who live in Maine is insulation. There are several different kinds of insulation available today and homeowners should be aware of what their options are and what the benefits to the different kinds of house insulation are. Good building insulation helps create an air envelope around the exterior of the home. This serves a handful of purposes. The most important, however, is for maintaining a stable thermal pocket. A house’s insulation should help keep the temperature at an even level throughout the year, keeping the heat out during the summer and the heat in during the winter. That air envelope is also helpful in keeping dust, pollen, and other allergens and pollutants outside of the house.

What about RetroFoam insulation in Maine, though? Why do so many people talk about? Is it just some new fad that is sure to pass? Hopefully, these answers from the premiere Maine foam insulation installers will help provide homeowners with the information they need when it comes time to make that vital decision as to how best to insulate their home.

Types of Insulation

As mentioned earlier, there are a few different types of insulation you can put into your home. This table will give you a breakdown of those different types, their applications, and potential benefits.

Type of Insulation

Insulation Materials

Applications

How to Install

Benefits

Blanket: batts and rolls

•Fiberglass

•Mineral (rock or slag) wool

•Plastic fibers

•Natural fibers

•Unfinished walls, including foundation walls

•Floors and ceilings

Fitted between studs, joists, and beams. Do-it-yourself.

Suited for standard stud and joist spacing that is relatively free from obstructions. Relatively inexpensive.

Concrete block insulation

and insulating concrete blocks

Foam board, to be placed on outside of wall (usually new construction) or inside of wall (existing homes):

Some manufacturers incorporate foam beads or air into the concrete mix to increase R-values

•Unfinished walls, including foundation walls,

for new construction or major renovations

•Walls (insulating concrete blocks)

Require specialized skills

 

Insulating concrete blocks are sometimes stacked without mortar (dry-stacked) and surface bonded.

Insulating cores increases wall R-value.

Insulating outside of concrete block wall places mass inside conditioned space, which can moderate indoor temperatures.

Autoclaved aerated concrete and autoclaved cellular concrete masonry units have 10 times the insulating value of conventional concrete.

Foam board or rigid foam

•Polystyrene

•Polyisocyanurate

•Polyurethane

•Unfinished walls, including foundation walls

•Floors and ceilings

•Unvented low-slope roofs

Interior applications: must be covered with 1/2-inch gypsum board or other building-code approved material for fire safety.

Exterior applications: must be covered with weatherproof facing.

High insulating value for relatively little thickness.

Can block thermal short circuits when installed continuously over frames or joists.

Insulating concrete forms (ICFs)

•Foam boards or foam blocks •Unfinished walls, including foundation walls for new construction Installed as part of the building structure. Insulation is literally built into the home’s walls, creating high thermal resistance.

Loose-fill and blown-in

•Cellulose

•Fiberglass

•Mineral (rock or slag) wool

 

•Enclosed existing wall or open new wall cavities

•Unfinished attic floors

•Other hard-to-reach places

Blown into place using special equipment, sometimes poured in. Good for adding insulation to existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions.

Reflective system

•Foil-faced kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, or cardboard •Unfinished walls, ceilings, and floors Foils, films, or papers fitted between wood-frame studs, joists, rafters, and beams. Do-it-yourself.

Suitable for framing at standard spacing.

Bubble-form suitable if framing is irregular or if obstructions are present.

Most effective at preventing downward heat flow, effectiveness depends on spacing.

Rigid fibrous or fiber insulation

•Fiberglass

•Mineral (rock or slag) wool

•Ducts in unconditioned spaces

•Other places requiring insulation that can withstand high temperatures

HVAC contractors fabricate the insulation into ducts either at their shops or at the job sites. Can withstand high temperatures.

Sprayed foam and foamed-in-place

•Cementitious

•Phenolic

•Polyisocyanurate

•Polyurethane

•Enclosed existing wall

•Open new wall cavities

•Unfinished attic floors

Applied using small spray containers or in larger quantities as a pressure sprayed (foamed-in-place) product. Good for adding insulation to existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions.

Structural insulated panels (SIPs)

•Foam board or liquid foam insulation core

•Straw core insulation

•Unfinished walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs for new construction Construction workers fit SIPs together to form walls and roof of a house. SIP-built houses provide superior and uniform insulation compared to more traditional construction methods; they also take less time to build.

What makes Spray Foam Insulation So Special?

There are a number of different types of spray foam insulation on the market today. Older mixes were volatile, even dangerous to apply. The newer chemical mixes are not as difficult, but still require special training and tools. There are a few key items that make spray foam insulation perfect for most homeowners:

Time to Install: Small holes are cut into the interior or exterior walls to inject the RetroFoam mixture. This means less time tear down drywall, ripping out siding, or replacing either.

Ease of Install: Foam insulation molds to the area it is injected into. That means it works around pipes, wiring conduits, air ducts, etc. It can also fit around other areas that may have a unique shape or otherwise be difficult to install other types of building insulation

Is Foam Insulation More Expensive? How Much Does Spray Foam Insulation Cost?

At first glance, spray foam insulation does seem more expensive than traditional forms of insulation such as fiberglass or even foam boards. However, a few things help to offset the cost. It takes less time to prep and stage the area for insulation installation. That means less labor, so a money savings right there. Furthermore, you end up with a higher R-Value than other types of insulation, so you have a product that works better. It also helps to form an air barrier, as mentioned earlier and RetroFoam is fire resistant. Finally, RetroFoam helps to act as a partial sound barrier, lessening the noise from outside which is important to those who live next to busy highways, airports, etc.?

For more information on RetroFoam spray foam insulation in Maine, please give us a call:

Home Snuggers, Inc. at (888) SNUG-ME2 or 888 762-4632

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