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Your Top 10 Spray Foam Questions Answered


by Penta Staff

We’ve compiled a list of top 10 questions we get asked at trade shows!   


1. Is spray foam environmentally friendly?

Several spray foam insulation solutions are 100% water-blown meaning they don’t use any synthetic blowing agents or ozone-depleting substances. These water-blown spray foams have the lowest Global Warming Potential (GWP) allowing us to contribute to a brighter, greener and environmentally sensitive future.


2. Will it burn?

Just like wood, drywall and carpeting, spray foam will burn if it’s ignited. Spray polyurethane foam is an organic material and all organic materials burn. 


3. Can you spray those little areas in my basement at the top of the wall?  

Joist ENDS

Those little areas are called Joist Ends and yes, we spray those all the time.  Spray foam expands to fill all gaps, holes and joints that are susceptible to wood movement. Once the foam fully expands it insulates the cavity as well, and it doesn't allow air to move through it so it always performs to it's full rated r-value. It also adheres right to the rim joist thereby eliminating the condensing surface.  


4. Why is some spray foam purple?  

All spray foam is colored differently.  It’s the main method for determining which manufacturer produced the foam and it also a way for inspectors to check and see if the foam is CCMC (Canadian Construction Material Center) approved.


5.  Is this stuff mouse proof? 

Is Spray Foam Mouseproof

While mice aren't generally able to chew through the closed cell spray foam insulation and they don't like eating it, it's a good idea to inspect it yearly to make sure there are no holes. Remember that spray foam exposed to sunlight is subject to damage, so check any exposed areas more frequently. And if a mouse should somehow enter the attic space (even after installation), the spray foam envelope has no material content that mice would want to eat. The fact is, spray foam insulation is a high quality home insulating product. But because it's such an exceptional sealer, one of the advantages is that it keeps out mice. 


6. Why do the installers have to dress in the full white suits?

Proper Spray Foam PPE

Appropriate clothing and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is necessary whenever there is a possibility of direct contact with Spray foam chemicals. The installers wear full face respirators with fresh air, disposable coveralls and gloves to keep spray and mist from contacting skin and clothing. 


7. How soon will I start seeing a return on my investment?  

When Spray Foam Insulation is installed in a building correctly it forms a full Air barrier, as well as providing superior insulation (“R”) Value. The benefit to having a tighter sealed home is that all the air that you have paid to heat to a comfortable temperature is no longer escaping through the inevitable cracks and voids in your conventional air barrier.  So although the additional cost for spray foam is higher initially, in most cases it will have paid for itself in the first 2-4 years in home energy savings.

A 3,600 sq. ft. home in Georgia may see a 38% reduction in heating and cooling usage for an estimated annual ROI of $442 whereas a 3,850 sq. ft. home in Manitoba may see the same 38% reduction in heating and cooling for an estimated annual ROI of $840.  Again, there are variables which can impact the ROI, but overall, the return on investment for homeowners offers a good reason to consider spray foam insulation.


8. Do you come out of town and spray?

Spray foam Cottage

We definitely go out of town! We spend a huge part of the summer coming back and forth from cottage country. If you need spray foam at your cabin (or under your cabin) we can definitely help (and if your neighbors at the cabin want some too, you’ll save on mileage!)  If you are on an island it's not a problem either, we rent a barge and bring the equipment to you.


9. I have a cab over and the room over the garage is cold, can you help with that?

The rooms above garages require a lot of attention to the construction details. Using spray foam in the floor cavity is a superior choice. There is a lot of area that is exposed to the cold, and you also have to make sure that it is completely sealed so that car exhaust can’t leak into the living areas.  Many builders will insulate the floor similar to an exterior wall, with only R28 – R32 batt insulation and a sheet of poly separating the room from the cold.  If you’ve ever walked barefoot in one of these rooms, you’ll realize that this just doesn’t cut it.  A builder would typically install about 5 inches of spray foam, which provides R30 – R32 insulation and completely seals the floor from air leaks. 


10. What's the R-Value of spray foam?

An R-value is a rating which measures how well insulation can resist heat flow. ‘R’ stands for thermal resistance.

The R-value depends on:

  • type of material
  • density
  • thickness.

2lb Closed Cell Spray foam is the best at R6 per inch. 

1/2 open cell spray foam is R3.7 per inch.  

Different insulation products have different R-values. Some materials insulate better than others and some need to be thicker than others to get the R-value you need.


 Hopefully this answers some of your questions. 

Please download our ebook for even more information.

ABC's of Spray Foam eBook





39 Merit Cres.
West St.Paul, Manitoba R2P 2W5
Phone: 204-992-2603
Fax: 204-338-1194
Toll Free: 1-800-587-4711

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