How Does Spray Foam Insulation Work? Back to Blog

How Does Spray Foam Insulation Work?

Welcome! In this article, we’re going look in particular at closed cell Icynene spray foam insulation, the method we believe to be the best on the market for both commercial and residential properties. In other articles, we’ve discussed the countless benefits of spray foam for commercial application, but we haven’t yet explored the science behind how and why it actually works. Without further delay, let’s answer the question: “How does spray foam insulation work?”.


Chemical free and water blown

It all starts with the composition and design of Icynene in the laboratory. Whilst we can’t give you the exact ingredients (that’s our secret recipe!), we can say that there are no environmentally harmful chemicals inside, like HFCs, HCFCs, or HFAs. There are also no toxic flame retardants in the composition, like PBDEs (poly-brominated diphenyl ethers). Icynene is made from organic chemical compounds found in petroleum extract.


Icynene is also water blown, meaning many of the dangerous foaming and blowing agents that other insulations use are completely avoided, again helping the environment.


Applied by a trained professional

Icynene spray foam expands to around 100 times the size of its liquid form, and for this reason must be handled with extreme care. On a construction project, the spray foam is applied directly to studded walls, ceilings, floors, electrical and plumbing, but on a renovation project, it’s quite different. If the sites that need insulating are already built, holes are drilled into cavities and the liquid is sprayed inside, then expanding to fill the entire cavity, providing insulation and stopping heat loss. This posthumus insulation application works for both the interior and exterior of a building, depending on whichever grants easiest access to the site. However, Icynene spray foam is generally installed just before the drywall installation. Everything, including the framing, windows, doors and electrical, plumbing and inspections should have been constructed prior to the application of Icynene spray foam.


No food value or water retention

Icynene spray foam works wonders in many ways, but not just for insulation or heat and stopping the airflow. It also rejects water and doesn’t allow it to formulate and collect on it, meaning it cannot contribute to mould or fungal growth. To complement this fact, Icynene itself does not offer any food value to bacteria or spores, meaning they do not settle on it. When compared to other insulation types, Icynene was found to be the most anti-bacterial solution. It must be noted that rodents may be able to gnaw through the material, though not for food, so Icynene should not be considered as a barrier to entry for the most persistent critter!


Spray foam insulation is a one way road

Once the composition has made the transition from liquid to foam form, there is no going back. This is great news for those worried about sagging or settling. The irreversible nature of Icynene works in your favour, as one it is applied and dried (taking around 24 hours), it cannot break down into constituent parts and it will not change shape. This means cold bridgescannot form, and energy retention is maximised.


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