The construction stage of a building is the perfect time to think about indoor comfort and energy efficiency. Since the building hasn't been plastered yet, you can apply insulation into the cavities for maximum efficiency. Spray foam insulation is one of the best products for home insulation, especially at the construction stage. Here is how to improve the efficiency of spray foam insulation in your new home.

Choose the Best Type of Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation can either be in the form of open-cell foam or closed-cell foam. Open-cell foam insulation is made up of cells with tiny air bubbles that make it soft and flexible but permeable to moisture. Closed-cell spray foam has cells pressed close together with no air pockets. This cell structure makes closed-cell foam sturdy and highly resistant to moisture.

When choosing between the two insulating products, consider the following factors:

Insulation R-value

Closed-cell foam has a higher R-value than open-cell foam due to its sturdy and closely-packed cells. Therefore, it is an excellent insulating choice for areas that experience extreme temperature changes. You can use closed-cell foam to insulate the roof, attic, and wall cavities for maximum thermal resistance and energy savings.

Expansion during application

Both open-cell and closed-cell foam products expand during application. However, they do so at different rates. Closed-cell foam is firm and sturdy; therefore, it doesn't expand much. Conversely, open-cell foam has a flexible cell structure that gives it a high expansion rate. Open-cell foam is great for tight spaces such as crawl spaces and hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, as it can expand into the space once applied. On the other hand, closed-cell foam is ideal for open areas such as a wall cavity.

Water resistance

Closed-cell foam is rigid and highly resistant to water and moisture. Thus, if you need to create a complete moisture barrier, closed-cell foam is an excellent choice. However, note that open-cell or permeable insulation can be great for areas that experience leaks. The insulation allows moisture to pass through, which reveals leaks instead of concealing them.

Locate All Air Leakage Sites

The primary purpose of insulation is to create a thermal barrier and prevent air transfer between the interior and exterior spaces. Thus, to maximize the efficiency of the insulation, locate all the air leakage sites in the home. The most common ones are:

  • Around door and window frames
  • The spaces between shingles and roof sheathing
  • The spaces between the siding and exterior walls
  • The shared wall between the garage and the home

If the insulation isn't applied correctly, air leaks will occur, leading to heat loss and condensation. 

Consider these tips when installing spray foam insulation in your home. For more information, contact your construction contractor.