Why does spray foam perform better than traditional insulation?
Spray foam insulation’s air sealing properties are the primary reason for its superiority over traditional insulation, traditional insulation no matter how well installed, does not provide an air barrier and is designed to allow air to move through it. This allows the two climates (inside, conditioned air and outside, unconditioned air) to combine and create potential condensation inside walls and building assemblies. Air movement accounts for more than 98% of all water vapour movement in a building assembly.
Why don’t I have to ventilate the roof space with spray foam?
Ventilation is only necessary because of the shortcomings of fiberglass and other traditional insulation. These are fibrous insulators whose physical design literally lets air go right through them. If you don’t ventilate an attic that has traditional insulation, heat will build up in the attic space causing condensation (which leads to mold growth). When applied to the underside of the roof, ventilation with Ecotite spray foam insulation is completely useless. Because of foam insulation’s air seal and efficiency, the dew point (the temperature at which water vapor condenses) on the surface will never be reached.
Will spray foam make my roof waterproof?
Yes. Even though Spray foam insulation is hydrophobic and will cure leaks, we won’t promote it as a substitute for a hole in your roof. We will firstly check & if need be carry out all necessary roof repairs to make it weather tight first, before installing the foam insulation. The foam insulation will then bond the roof together (if sprayed directly to the back of the slate/tile). Eliminating any future running costs on the roof.
Closed cell foam or open cell foam?
Both spray foam categories provide excellent insulation & air seal. The closed cell foam structure makes it water resistant, even under pressure and is the only spray foam that should be used where contact with water is likely. (e.g. slate/tile roofs, basements, floors external walls or metal commercial/industrial buildings) Open cell foam is only suitable to be sprayed in between a dry wall construction or floor of the loft as it doesn’t work as a vapour barrier. Open cell foam is porous so absorbs water; this would then negate its thermal property as it loses its thermal resistance when wet. Closed cell foam is also best used in areas where space is limited as it has a better U value per inch with nearly 50% less spray foam needed.
Will closed cell spray foam entrap moisture?
No, closed cell spray foam is water vapor permeable (breathes). Any moisture in the building’s concrete or timbers easily escapes through the insulation as the building dries out or through solar radiation. — thus eliminating any risk of mildew or mold.
Will spray foam cause my timbers to rot?
No, spray foam insulation has the same ‘breathability’ properties as wood.
How does closed cell foam provide moisture protection yet still breathe?
Unlike cellulose and fiberglass materials, close cell foam insulation is impervious to water penetration and wicking yet, like Gortex® fabric, the closed-cell structure allows the diffusion of water vapor (high energy particles) to allow your building’s envelope to “breathe”. Water in liquid state has much larger particles and is unable to pass into or through a closed-cell foam barrier.
Does spray foam break down, sag or shrink?
No, spray foam doesn’t the reaction that creates the stability of Ecotite is irreversible.
How does Spray Foam Insulation control condensation?
The most damaging moisture within a building envelope is the result of warm moist inside air being exchanged with the cold air outside. As the moisture in the air condenses, it forms dew on the surface. Because foam insulation is seamless and airtight, condensation does not occur. Meaning that cold and warm air will never meet. There for impossible for them to reach a dew point and create condensation on your walls and roofs.
Can my house be to air tight?
No, but a house needs a certain amount of ventilation to maintain good quality indoor air. If installed in countries with extreme climates mechanical ventilation is needed. Whenever a door or window is opened to the outside of the home air exchange occurs. Our position is that you only get one chance to insulate a new home/refurb. If you under-insulate you will regret it for as long as you live in your home because you can’t fix it. The motto in the foam industry is “insulate tight and ventilate right.” whether natural, mechanical, or hybrid. You want controlled ventilation, not uncontrolled air infiltration.
Does closed cell foam absorb water?
No, closed cell spray foam is hydrophobic (water hating). In fact, if a small piece was to be placed in a bucket of water, it would either keep floating for as long as you want to watch it or until the water evaporates. Upon removal, it would dry rapidly, at no time losing any of its insulating properties
Does the spray foam move/push my slates or tiles when spraying directly onto them?
No, the spray foam will expand down into the path of least resistance.
How much spray foam is needed?
I know our suppliers & competitors don’t like to hear us say this. Unlike fiberglass, because spray foam is an air barrier as well as a thermal barrier its performance levels cannot be measured in U-values alone. With simply 1″ of spray foam you will gain over 70% of your insulating value, 2″ will give you 85% and 3″ 90% which then starts to hit a point of diminishing return.
Does spray foam pose a fire risk?
No, spray foam insulation provides far less fire risk than the wood in the roof. The Ecotite system has been tested and has a British Standards Class 1 fire rating, we can apply a coating to get it to a class 0 when needed for certain applications like car parks. We have been involved in two instances where a fire officers report has stated due to the airtightness of the spray foam it had starved the fire of oxygen resulting in the fire putting its self out.
Does the spray foam change physically over time?
No, spray foam is chemically inert — its physical and insulating properties are constant, as is its air seal. Ultraviolet rays from the sun will damage and break down the foam over time so the foam must be coated with a rubber membrane if outside & exposed to the sun’s rays.
What about mold?
Mold requires three things to grow, moisture, warm temperatures and a food source. Ecotite foam has no nutritional value and is not a food source for mold. The use of polyurethane as insulation eliminates condensing services & reduces the potential to accumulate moisture. It also eliminates air movement within the wall cavity. Alternative insulations are less successful at controlling air infiltration and providing adequate insulation to eliminate condensing surfaces, thus increasing the possibility of an environment susceptible to mold.
Can spray foam be removed once installed to fit a window say?
Yes, if the spray foam has been sprayed directly to the tile/slate, areas can quite easily be removed using a mechanical saw from the underside of the roof.
How much does it cost?
Upfront costs might not be the cheapest, but when you factor in speed of application, no storage needed, down grading of heating /cooling systems and remember that the spray foam will give you peak efficiency and massive savings for the life cycle of the building the overall cost makes it very competitive and an excellent investment. Before we can provide a quotation, we need to assess the suitability of your roof. The cost depends on the prep work needed, size of your roof, accessibility & depth of foam required. We will be able to give you a ball park figure over the phone after asking you a few questions.