Frequently asked questions

Will spray foam make the timbers in the roof sweat ?

No, this is a common misconception.

Open cell sprayed foam is in fact the most "breathable" or more accurately "permeable" insulation product on the market. Most common roofing timber has a 60 to 70% closed cell density, while open cell spray foam is manufactured up to a 90% open cell structure.

When talking about a structure "breathing" it is not airflow that is important, but rather its ability to absorb and release moisture, this is vital to maintain strenght and stability in any structure and open cell spray foam insulation will actually assist this process.

Explain how spray foam works - the short version!

A liquid polyurethane is sprayed onto the relevant surface, it will then expand within three to five seconds to form an airtight thermal and vapour barrier. When applied the foam will expand at a ratio of 1 / 100 to create a perfect airtight fit and eliminate all heat loss.

Where can spray foam be used?

Sprayed foam insulation systems offer numerous solutions for roofing, sound absorption and heating cost reduction depending on individual needs and budget.

At “Irish Spray Foam Insulation”, we supply and install a series of foam insulation systems designed for residential, commercial and industrial applications. In addition to attics, or any timber frame structure, it is well suited to metal structures (commercial / agricultural buildings).

What are the benefits of spray foam?

Overall the benefits are lower running costs for both heating and cooling. The results are immediate and will remain in place for the life of the building.

With spray foam, there are a range of benefits. It will eliminate air gaps in any type of building which are unavoidable with conventional insulation.

This means eliminating condensation, drafts, noise and other external effects.

Sprayed foam insulation will reduce the amount of pollutants and allergens that enter a building structure.

Rain water is eliminated from entering, reducing the risk of fungal growth and damage to the buildings structure.

Is spray foam environmentally friendly?

Our insulation systems are manufactured using renewable energy sources, such as caster oil, sugar cane.

Using our products in your home or business will help reduce the emissions of greenhouse gasses ( your carbon footprint) into the environment such as carbon dioxide and methane.

Irish Spray Foam insulation products contain no H.C.F.C.'s, V,O.C.'s, or formaldehyde, they will not settle, sag or decay and there is no off gassing over time.

Does spray foam "settle" over time?

Sprayed foam will not sag, settle, or lose its U-Value over time unlike tradition glass fibre or loose fill insulation products.

Will spray foam cause the building to "weaken" in any way?

No. In fact, sprayed foam adds significant structural strength to any home or building to which it is applied. In many tests conducted, closed cell foam has doubled the racking load making any building more resistant to severe weather conditions.

Is spray foam breathable / permeable? And why is that important?

Non breathable / permeable insulation can cause a build up of condensation. Open cell foam is 90 to 96% open cell density and is the most popular foam insulation for residential properties due to its cost effectiveness and energy saving factors.

Where a vapour barrier is required, closed cell foam is specifically designed as damp proofing and a vapour barrier with excellent U values in a perfect air tight fit.

We've mentioned "U-Values” - what exactly are they?

A "U-Value" is a theoretical calculation of a structure's thermal resistance, or its ability to retain heat. In other words a "U-Value" will give an approximate measurement of how difficult the material will make it for heat to pass through it. This also applies in summer conditions when cooling is desired.

Sprayed foam insulation offers the best "U-value" of any breathable air-tight insulation material on the market.

Is the U-Value of an insulation all you need to know?

No. These U-Value calculations are achieved in laboratory conditions and have only a vague connection to real world situations, where poor installing methods and inaccurate measurements are common place and often shifting or sagging of materials occurs. These elements severely impact on the overall performance of an insulation system. In addition to these problems many materials have a propensity to retain moisture, given that they are neither breathable nor permeable such as rigid high density boards or glass fibre quilts.

In effect, the "U-Value" is only half the story.

Commonly, an insulation material can have a fantastic "U-Value" on paper but doesn't seem to be doing its job in practice, it is only then you realise that "U- Values" are only half of the picture and that without air tightness they just don't work. In the home, office or commercial building the only way to really impact on costs and comfort is make it air tight.

Air Tightness - the other piece of the puzzle!

The ideal system is one that not only has a low "U-Value" but is also forms an air tight seal while allowing the structure to breathe. Sprayed foam insulation is the only system available on the market today which performs all of these tasks in one simple step.

Don't we need air flow for ventilation?

Yes, but in a controlled fashion. Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the structure or fabric of a building (sometimes referred to as infiltration or drafts) which result in discomfort for occupiers and rising costs. This is not to be confused with ventilation, which is the controlled flow of air into and out of the building through purposed built ventilators for the comfort of the occupants.

Too much air leakage leads to unnecessary costs, heat loss and discomfort to the occupants from cold and drafts.

The increasing need for higher energy efficiency in buildings and the need in the future to demonstrate compliance with more stringent "Building Regulation" targets mean that air tightness has become a major performance issue. The aim should be to 'Build it right - make it airtight'.

How does spray foam make it air tight?

With spray foam, there is no cutting, no measuring and no waste, it is simply sprayed in place and expands at a ratio of 1/100 creating a perfect air tight fit. Even in those difficult places where it is physically impossible to gain full access.

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Page created : 15 | NOV | 2014