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Foam or Cellullose?

Frequently Asked Questions

Spray Foam

Why is Spray Foam better than blown-in fiberglass or batt insulation?

In theory fiberglass is the perfect insulation; it is inexpensive, easy to install and readily available. Unfortunately the down side to fiberglass is it does not provide an air seal, when used alone fiberglass allows warm air to leak out of your home through the walls and ceiling. Spray Foam insulation is sprayed in as a liquid quickly expanding and sealing the homes building envelop, this prevents the warm air inside our homes from leaking through to the outside.

Can Spray Foam only be used in new construction?

Spray foam is a very versatile insulation and can be used in many applications in both new and old construction. If you have a project in mind feel free to contact DMT Foam with any questions.

How much does Spray Foam Insulation cost compared to other insulation?

Although the initial cost of Spray Foam Insulation can seem significant we cannot compare it to other traditional insulations. When using Spray Foam Insulation not only do you get a great R-value per inch but more significantly you are getting an air seal as well. Considering we lose more energy to air loss spray foam should be an obvious choice. Additionally the air leakage associated with other insulations can lead to problems with moisture, mold, mildew, and condensation problems inside your home. Another consideration in using spray foam is the added benefit associated with the possibility of downsizing HVAC systems needed to heat and cool your home.

How Long Does Spray Foam Last? Does It Change Physically?

As long as your spray foam is installed properly it should last as long as your home. There are certain considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure that your foam does stand the test of time, for example keeping foam covered from direct UV light.

What is the difference between open-cell and closed-cell foams?

Physically a cubic foot of closed cell foam or 2lb. foam weighs 2 lbs and a cubic foot of open cell or half pound foam weighs a half of a pound. Both open and closed cell foams prohibit the movement of air and slow down the transfer of heat/cold and energy. Closed cell foams, on the other hand, have low vapor permeance due to their cell structure and can be used as a vapor barrier. Closed-cell foams have a high compressive strength which allows them to be used for exterior and structural applications as well. Open cell foams certainly have strong points as well, for example being used to inject into open wall cavities and CMU block walls. Either way you look at it open or closed cell spray foams can be a useful tool in your energy saving arsenal.

Can a house be too tight?

This is probably one of the most asked questions I get as a foam contractor, though this is a complicated question at best. Personally I believe it is easier to build a tight home and mechanically control it with a HRV, at least this way you know what you are dealing with. If you go with the good old boy attitude of “if we don’t foam a couple walls the house will breathe naturally” you are bound to have troubles eventually. Our homes statistically have dirtier air than the outside so, a house with fiberglass will exchange air more naturally but it is usually uncontrolled. Maybe you don’t think this is a big deal but with this air comes moisture and pollutants and if this is happening in places you cannot control or see you usually end up with problems. Modern building materials alone (wall sheathings) can present a problem when used with fiberglass; even those two products combined can theoretically be too tight. We have to start looking at our homes as living breathing systems because they are. In the hay day we had no insulation and cheap fuel, so the heat and moisture could easily escape the building envelop actually causing little damage. It is only when we decided to try to hold on to our heat as long as we could with insulation that problems really occurred. Installing an air exchanger in your home is an added expense but actually being able to verify that your house is balanced and healthy in the long term out way the cost. Like I said this is a complicated subject but, if you have any further questions feel free to contact DMT Foam and we will be glad to help.

Cellulose

Why is Cellulose better than Fiberglass?

Cellulose is an effective insulation and has many benefits over fiberglass. When properly installed cellulose can be inexpensive way to achieve high R-value systems. When used for dense packing purposes cellulose can greatly reduce air infiltration to your home.

Where can Cellulose be used?

Cellulose is a versatile insulation product and has its place in both new and old construction. Traditionally it is used in retrofit applications in older homes but often we use it in hybrid attic systems in conjunction with closed cell foam.

What Is Cellulose Insulation Made Of?

Cellulose is produced from recycled paper materials and minerals. In particular DMT Foam uses only premium cellulose which not only has excellent fire and mold resistant qualities but naturally helps control pest intrusions.

How Long Does Cellulose Last? Does It Change Physically?

Typically aging is not an issue with cellulose. As long as the product is installed properly it should protect your home for its lifetime. When used in dense packing purposes DMT Foam use proven techniques to limit settling so your insulations stays in place and effective! Since cellulose is a natural product it has the ability to naturally hold and diffuse moisture; versus with fiberglass, water tends to slump and run through it.

Environmental advantage

If you are concerned with using an insulation product made with a petro chemical than cellulose should be your insulation of choice. Though at DMT Foam are completely comfortable with using spray foam we know it is not a fit for everyone, that is why we offer cellulose insulation. For the most part if we can insulate it with foam we can also do it with cellulose. Cellulose is made with natural products and has little environmental impact. If you have any further questions on how cellulose might be a fit for your project feel free to contact DMT Foam for an estimate today

Loose blown Cellulose vs. dense pack Cellulose.

Loose blown cellulose is typically done in attics where we are trying to achieve high R-value. Dense pack is typically used in walls using the cellulose itself and a high power insulation blower to force the air out of a void and compact it with the cellulose. When this is done properly very good air sealing measures can be achieved which makes Cellulose an obvious choice when it comes to tightening up old homes. Dense packing can be used in new construction in conjunction with a netting membrane stapled to the stud face prior to sheet rock being installed. The void behind the netting is filled with cellulose and since it is exposed you can actually see and achieve proper densities and make sure no area is left un-insulated. If you have any further questions on cellulose feel free to contact us at DMT Foam and we will be more than glad to help!

Why hire DMT Foam, when I can get a free blower rental from the store!

DMT Foam has made the investment in powerful cellulose equipment to make sure we do the job correctly. We know most lumber yards or home centers will let you use a machine for free if you buy their material but, these machines typically are not powerful enough to get the job done efficiently and correctly. DMT Foam buys direct from the producer so there is no middle man to increase the cost to the final end user. If you value your time and want to make sure the project is done correctly please give DMT Foam a call today and let’s get started on your project today!