Insulation Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between open and closed cell foam?

Quick Answer: 2lb Closed cell R6.5 is better in almost all categories than .5lb open cell R3.8 but is also more expensive.
Details: Closed cell is a denser product at 2lbs per cubic foot which give a higher R-value, structural strength, and vapor barrier. Open cell is much softer at .5lbs per cubic foot. This makes it a much more economical where high R-values are needed. also it is better at sound absorptions and since it uses less material by weight per R and uses water as part of the blowing agent it is considered by most experts as a "greener" product.
Suggestions: We offer both and even a few other specialty varieties. We typically recommend closed cell for any area below grade such as crawl spaces or basement walls because of the vapor barrier properties. This also applies to the underside of flat roofs or other rubber or metal roofing systems. Open cell is typically o.k. for all other applications but the closed cell can still be used as upgraded product or to get a higher R-value in a tight space.

Q: Can we/How do we insulate a wall with existing drywall or plaster?

Quick Answer: Make access/Drill holes install insulation, patch hole and painting is up to homeowner.
Details: A wall without any existing insulation is the best case, removing or adding more insulation to a wall becomes problematic and costly, but can be done. We would normally prefer to do this type of work in the warmer weather and off peak times. We can remove siding and work from outside or with a brick or aluminum sided house we can drill holes from inside of the home. Working from the inside can be a less expensive for 2 story homes or with walk out basements.

Q: What is a typical/rough cost for spray foam insulation?

Quick Answer: For standard framing buildings spray insulation is the best performing option available and also the most expensive. Industry average is 3-4 times the cost of fiberglass.
Details: It is basically sqft pricing, but this varies based on size of job and many other factors. Since the equipment cost and overhead used for installing spray foam insulation is quite high we have a daily setup/transportation costs of $300. The closed cell foam is priced by the sqft per inch, so at 1" thick (the first inch) $1.30/sqft each additional inch is $.80/sqft The open cell foam is priced to start with 4" or a 2x4 cavity at $1.30/sqft, and $.15/sqft each additional inch. [+10% projects under 500sqft] [-10% projects over 2000sqft] these are rough numbers and many projects have other aspects requiring additional labor costs. We offer discounts to most nonprofit organizations.

Q: How long does the installation process take?

Quick Answer: 90% of our residential projects take less than 1 day to complete.
Details: With some large commercial projects or complete new construction projects will be up to 2 weeks long, but most other projects are only 1 day. Depending on the area of the home and air circulation it may be best to allow for 24hr ventilation period to remove any harmful odors.

Q: What about venting for my roof or crawl space?

Quick Answer: Not necessary due to the air tight and vapor restriction properties of foam.
Details: This is a debatable subject and there are many documents available online that discuss this in great detail, but in the end the customers informed choice is what we work to achieve. It may include additional baffles or other material costs, but venting can usually be accomplished with spray foam insulation.