Support: Questions & Answers


What is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray Foam is an insulation material that is created on site by combining A and B component materials in a 1:1 ratio.  'A' component (isocyonate) and 'B' component (organic resin polyols) are brought to the work site separately and combined at precise temperature and pressure levels prior to application on your substrate.  As soon as the A and B component come into contact with each other a chemical reaction occurs resulting in the development of cellularized polyurethane that instantly expands 100 times its volume and is dimensionally stable within minutes.  The expanding and adhesive qualities of Spray Foam fill and seal every crack and crevice, producing a truly tight thermal envelope.  Ecologic Insulation, Inc. only uses the most technologically advanced spray foam that offers:

-Superior R-value per volume
-Lowest air and vapor permeability rating
-Tested and certified as Class I fire rated building material
-Meets and exceeds all building code requirements

Why does Spray Foam Insulation perform better then standard forms of insulation?

1.) The ability for spray foam insulation to effectively mitigate air and vapor permeability by completely forming to the space it is applied to.  40% of a buildings thermal energy is lost through air infiltration.
2.) High and low density products attain extremely high R-values per inch.
3.) Adhesion and expansion.
4.) Offers up to 50% savings in annual heating and cooling bills over standard (fiberglass) insulating materials.
5.) Our inert non R-value degrading insulation will not harbor or promote allergen, mold or bacteria growth.  

How can using Ecologic Insulation save you money?

In new construction there are numerous upfront cost savings achieved by using Spray Foam Insulation (SPF).  Utilizing Spray Foam Insulation can reduce or eliminate various building materials that are required with use of fiber glass insulation. This includes framing the walls with 2”x4” instead of 2”x6”, and reducing the size of your heating and air conditioning units by up to 30% and 50%. Additionally, the option of utilizing high density spray foam insulation can facilitate a sufficient air and vapor retardant making products such as housing wrap unnecessary with certain types of wall sheathing.
The greatest savings however will come from the decrease you will notice in your monthly heating and cooling costs. Consider the example below.  The average single-family home constructed in 2006 had approximately 2,400 square feet of living area. A typical home of this size would cost roughly $13,000 to insulate with spray foam, or approximately $8,000 more than the cost of fiberglass.  Assume that 80% of the additional $8,000 investment will be financed, with a $6,400 loan and a $1,600 down payment. If the interest rate was 6.5% APR the total monthly mortgage payment would increase by $34.67 before
taxes as a result of the addition of spray foam to the construction project.

Original Investment
Less 20% Down Payment
Portion of Investment Financed
Monthly Loan Payments for SPF @ 6.5% APR
$8,000
$1,600
$6,400
$34.67

Early payments of loan typically comprise of interest only which is tax deductible. Since most purchasers have a combined tax rate for federal, state and local taxes of at least 40%, the net cost after taxes for the spray foam insulation investment is only 60% of the $34.67 monthly payment, or $20.80 per month.

Cost of Borrowing $8,000     
Less 40% Tax Deductible Portion of Payment
Actual Cost per month Spray Foam with Tax Deduction
$34.67
(- $13.87)
$20.80

This monthly cost can then be compared to the savings on heating and cooling utility bills that will be achieved.  In 2007, the average home was forecasted to spend $5,300 on utilities, with 50%, or $2,650 of this spending related to heating and cooling costs. A house which has been insulated with spray foam in the walls and ceiling, and fitted with a properly sized HVAC system, can recognize average savings of 40% on monthly utility bills. This would result in a potential average savings per month of $88.00 in “after tax” dollars on a net $20.80 per month investment.
Average 2007 Utility Costs (single family home)

Estimated Utilities for Heating and Cooling (50%)  

Monthly Heating/Cooling Expenses with Standard Insulation
Avg estimated 40% Monthly Savings with Ecologic SPF
Monthly Heating and Cooling Payments with Ecologic SPF  
  

Avg. Estimated 40% Monthly Savings
Monthly cost of investing in Ecologic Insulation

Monthly Positive Cash Flow (savings)    

Monthly Profit Margin for a $20.80 Investment with an $88.00 Return (savings)      
$5,300.00

$2,650.00

$221.00
(-$88.00)
$133.00

$88.00
(-$ 20.80)

$65.20

74%

The savings experienced by  investing in Ecologic Insulation for this example is $65.20 a month.  Over the course of a typical 30 year mortgage the calculated savings are virtually immeasurable given the volatile cost of energy (ie. oil, coal, etc) as well as the countless other benefits of Ecologic SPF not related to heating and cooling bill savings.
How long does the application process take?
An average size home will take 2 or 3 days, while larger homes may take up to 4 or 5 days. Square foot dependent.
How long does the sprayed foam take to cure?
The foam will begin expanding to 100 times it's original volume within seconds and is completely cured after 3 to 4 hours, at which time sheet rock can be installed.
Can the foam be left exposed?
All class 1A insulation materials require a 15 minute thermal barrier covering in habitable spaces of a structure. For attics and crawl spaces, depending on the use of the space (used for storage or used for the service of utility) determines whether or an ignition barrier, thermal barrier or no covering is required. Ecologic offers spray applied ignition and thermal barriers.
Does Spray Foam Insulation Have Building Code Approvals?
Yes. Foam has approval of all four major building codes in the United States and the Canadian building code. In fact, it is one of the most extensively tested building materials, ever. Spray Foam meets fire, structure and insulation building code at ICC, federal and state building code levels.
Is there Glass Fibers Or Formaldehyde In Spray Foam?
No. Glass fibers have been listed as a suspected carcinogen by the EPA and most fiberglass batt manufacturers now print a warning label on their packaging. Formaldehyde was present in an early commercial foam system called urea formaldehyde which was also used in residential applications in the early 1970's. Spray Foam is free of both glass fibers and formaldehyde, making it a safe choice for insulating your new building. Spray foam has been used in many of the American Lung Association "Healthy Homes" being built around the U.S.
What are the advantages of spray foam over traditional fiberglass batts?
The major advantage of spray foam is that in addition, to insulating, it restricts the free flow of air in wall and ceiling cavities. A 3 1/2" sample of foam has proven to be about 24 times less permeable to air infiltration than a similar thickness of fiberglass batt. In addition, the insulating power of spray foam is not diminished by lower temperatures or by air movement. Its R-value performs as stated. By contrast, a study conducted by building material analysts discovered that an R-13 fiberglass batt in the presence of a 10 mile per hour breeze diminishes the insulating power of a batt to an R-5.
Does Open Cell (low density) Soft Foam Absorb Water?
No.  Open cell foam insulation is hydrophobic – which means it seaks to disperse water from itself.  If placed in water it will float, and on removal, it will dry rapidly with no loss of insulating properties.  If you ever have a roof leak or plumbing leak in your home which would soak the insulation, the water will ultimately settle out, leaving the foam undamaged.  These same attributes cannot be found in other forms of insulation. Water breaks down the glue in a fiberglass batt, adversely affecting physical properties and insulating effectiveness.  Fiberglass that gets wet, becomes unusable.  Cellulose is a hygroscopic building material which is ground newspaper.  If wet, cellulose turns into a pulp that can take weeks to dry out.  In poorly ventilated areas, this can result in mold and wood rot.
How Long Does Spray Foam Last?  Does It Change Physically?
Aging is not an issue with spray foam. It is inert, and its physical and insulating properties will remain constant for the life of the product. This statement is guaranteed in writing by virtually all foam manufacturers.
How does spray foam insulation achieve a sealed building envelope?
Spray foam’s ability to adhere to irregular shapes and slopes as well as its ability to easily be applied around penetrations for pipes, wires, doors and windows provides an insulation material with adhesion and expansion qualities unmatched by other insulation products.  The material composition and density of SPF offers high R-value with air and vapor retardance capabilities which ensures a tight thermal envelope.
What’s wrong with ventilating your attic?
Uncontrolled flow of air brings moisture, pollen, dust, and other problematic substances into the structure, while allowing the escape of conditioned (heated and cooled) air.  In a typical house, the HVAC systems and duct work are located in the attic. Exposing these components to the unfiltered exterior air can result in a loss of 10% of hot or cold air produced by these units. Additionally, if moisture and other particles are admitted into the ducts themselves, they will be dispersed throughout other areas of the dwelling, increasing potential for adverse health conditions to the building occupants.
Does SPF applied to the underside of a roof deck affect asphalt shingle life?
According to the building science corporation (www.buildingscience.com) the influential variables to shingle temperature are: 1.) Color of shingles, 2.) Geographic location and resultant average UV exposure, 3.) Pitch of the roof and solar pattern over the structure. With SPF applied to the underside of roof sheathing, studies conducted by the Building Science corporation yielded results of an increase in shingle temperature of 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit. The largest asphalt shingle manufacturers, Certainteed and GAF honor their asphalt shingle warranties when SPF is installed against roof sheathing. http://www.gaf.com/Documents/Under_Deck_Sprayed-In-Place_Foam_Insulation_-_Steep_Slope_Te-43-801-v2.pdf. It is important to note that Certainteed markets and sells their own proprietary formulas of spray foam insulation. As a result, Certainteed promotes un-vented attic assemblies through the use of SPF. Ecologic Insulation Inc. recommends consulting your shingle manufacturer for specific information for converting your attic into an un-vented attic assembly.
Will foam insulation make my home / building too tight?
The last few decades have revealed the importance of air infiltration in relation to energy efficiency. Many building scientists regard air infiltration as a larger contributor to thermal energy inefficiency than R-value. The building community has embraced the "build tight, ventilate right" mantra. The Building Performance Institute, Energy Star Homes, LEED and the NAHB Green Building Program are all in recognition of the benefits of air infiltration reduction. Rather than high wind speeds or changes in air pressure determining air exchange rates, modern construction practices aim to make our buildings as tight as possible and utilize low energy consumption fans (such as HRV's or ERV's) which filter incoming air and remove old stale air. The American Lung Association has recognized this building practice and as a result promotes the use of foam insulation and tight enveloped homes for people who suffer from allergies, chemical sensitivities or are suffering from lung disease.
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