Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of myths and tales surrounding spray foam insulation, it’s application and benefits. Our aim is to dispel some of these myths and show people what an effective product spray foam insulation can be when used correctly. With that in mind we have aimed to answer a number of specific questions below. If you are unable find the answer you’re looking for we’d be more than happy to deal with any query you have. Please use the question form at the bottom of the page and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

How are polyurethane foams applied?

The polyurethane foam we use is spray-applied. There are two-component products that include a hardener and a resin. It is not a wet application – no water is used. During application, there is a chain reaction between the two components that creates a bond to the substrate as it reacts and expands. It dries, cures and hardens within 3-5 seconds.

What is the insulation U-value of your systems?

We will calculate the u value of any structure that uses insulation foam. All we need is the thickness of each layer through the structure and your target U-value.

What are the differences between roofing foams and wall foams?

Polyurethane foams are plural-component products engineered on the molecular level for a specific purpose and application. Externally applied roofing foams tend to offer higher compressive strengths and smoother surfaces, while foams for timber framed walls and between rafter roof insulation, tend to offer faster reaction rates, higher yield and superior insulation values. Our polyurethane technologies include closed and open cell foams.

What are the differences between closed-cell and open-cell foams?

There are a number of differences. Firstly, they achieve different u values for the same density of foam. Closed cell is able to achieve a greater insulation value per centimetre of thickness than open cell foam. However, while closed cell foam is virtually impermeable to air, open cell foam allows far more air and vapour into the building interior which can be very important depending on the application.

We would not recommend open cell foams for treatment of condensation to any substrate that is impermeable. This includes, profiled steel roof and wall cladding and non-breathable roofing felts. The poor vapour resistivity of open cell foams can lead to interstitial condensation and subsequent waterlogging of the insulation.

What is an insulating air barrier system?

A closed-cell, spray-applied polyurethane foam system that combines superior insulation values and near-zero air permeability in a single application to improve building durability, energy efficiency and occupant comfort, health and safety.

Does polyurethane technology control air leakage and drafts?

Our polyurethane foam roof and wall systems have been tested as an air barrier at an application of 50mm thickness. Once applied, our roof and wall systems are fully-adhered and do not allow air to flow around, behind or through the insulation system. Most open-cell foams have not been tested and therefore do not qualify as air barrier systems. Open-cell foam products require an application of up to 125mm to control air leakage.

Can an insulation system add structural strength?

Spray-applied closed-cell polyurethane foam is the only insulation material that adds structural integrity throughout the wall system. Testing shows spray-applied polyurethane foam insulation between wood- and steel-stud wall panels, increases rack and shear strength, two to three times compared with standard timber frame components with glass fibre insulation, when sprayed onto gypsum wallboard, and increases racking strength when sprayed onto oriented strandboard (OSB).

Closed cell foam injected into a cavity, has enough strength to bond two leaves of a masonry wall together, in situations where the existing wall ties have failed.

Can spray foam cure mould?

Mould requires three things to grow: moisture, warm temperatures and a food source. Polyurethane foam insulation has no nutritional value and is not considered a food source for mould. The use of polyurethane as insulation eliminates surface condensation and reduces the potential to accumulate moisture. It also eliminates air movement within the wall cavity. Other insulations are less successful at controlling air infiltration and providing adequate insulation to eliminate surface condensation, thus increasing the possibility of an environment susceptible to mould.

Is polyurethane good for the planet?

Our polyurethane technologies are formaldehyde-free formulas that emit no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and use zero ozone depleting blowing agent technology. Plastic building products, including polyurethane foam, use less energy from all sources than alternative products during production. Spray-applied polyurethane foam insulation saved 3.4 trillion BTUs in manufacturing energy over glass fibre in 1990. Our systems also increase building energy efficiency and reduce waste.

Are there any fire protection requirements?

Polyurethane insulation meets Class 1 surface spread of flame rating when tested to BS 476: Part 7. Once installed, if 30 minute fire resistance is required, it must be covered by plasterboard, or a similar thermal barrier. A class 0 fire rating can also be achieved by applying an intumescent coating to the foam.

 

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