Apr 20, 2023 / by Smart Sites
Spray foam and blown-in insulation are two of the most popular options for insulating metal buildings. While both types of insulation offer benefits, they differ in several key ways. In this post, we'll explore the differences between spray foam vs. blown-in insulation, so you can determine which option is best for your metal building.
One of the most significant differences between spray foam and blown-in insulation is the application method. Spray foam insulation is applied using a spray gun, which allows the insulation to be applied in a precise, controlled manner. Blown-in insulation, on the other hand, is blown into the wall cavities or attic space using a special machine that breaks up the insulation material and propels it through a hose.
Spray foam insulation can be installed relatively quickly, with a typical installation taking only a few hours. Blown-in insulation, however, can take longer to install, depending on the size of the space being insulated and the type of insulation material being used. In addition, the installation of blown-in insulation can create a mess, as the insulation material can scatter and settle outside of the designated areas. This can result in clean-up time and additional labor costs. Spray foam insulation, on the other hand, creates less mess during installation as the foam adheres directly to the surfaces it is sprayed onto.
R-value is a measure of an insulation material's ability to resist heat transfer. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation will be at keeping the heat in or out of a building. Spray foam insulation typically has a higher R-value than blown-in insulation, making it more effective at insulating a building. Moreover, the R-value of spray foam insulation is more consistent across the entire application as it expands and fills all the nooks and crannies, providing a complete seal. Blown-in insulation, on the other hand, can settle or shift over time, reducing the insulation's overall R-value. Overall, the R-value of blown-in insulation can also vary depending on the material being used, while spray foam insulation is consistently high regardless of the material.
One of the significant advantages of spray foam insulation is that it creates an airtight seal, which helps prevent air leakage and drafts. Blown-in insulation, however, can leave gaps and spaces where air can seep in or out of a building, reducing its effectiveness as an insulator.
Spray foam insulation can help control moisture in a building by creating an airtight seal that prevents moisture from seeping in. Blown-in insulation, however, can absorb moisture and may not be as effective at preventing moisture from entering a building.
Spray foam insulation can help reduce sound transmission, making it an excellent choice for buildings that require soundproofing, such as recording studios or music venues. Blown-in insulation, however, is not as effective at soundproofing.
The cost of spray foam insulation is typically higher than blown-in insulation due to the materials used and the application method. However, spray foam insulation may offer cost savings in the long run, as it can provide better energy efficiency and lower utility bills.
Blown-in insulation is typically made from recycled materials and can be an eco-friendly option for insulating a building. Spray foam insulation, however, can release harmful chemicals during installation, and some types of spray foam insulation can be difficult to recycle.
Spray foam insulation is known for its durability, as it can last for decades without needing to be replaced or repaired. Blown-in insulation, on the other hand, can settle over time, which can reduce its effectiveness and require additional insulation to be added.
When insulating a metal building, access to the wall cavities or attic space can be a challenge. Blown-in insulation can be easier to install in hard-to-reach areas, as the insulation material can be blown in through small holes or gaps. Spray foam insulation, however, requires direct access to the wall cavities or attic space, which may require cutting holes or removing portions of the building's interior.
Spray foam and blown-in insulation are both effective options for insulating metal buildings. Spray foam insulation offers a higher R-value, better air sealing, and improved soundproofing but is typically more expensive and can have a larger environmental impact. Blown-in insulation is more affordable and eco-friendly but may not offer the same level of insulation or air sealing. Ultimately, the best insulation option for your metal building will depend on your specific needs and budget. Be sure to consult with a professional contractor to determine the most appropriate insulation type and installation method for your building.