Answers to Your Insulation Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Quite simply, it is “insulation plus sealant”. As a rigid cellular plastic with over 95% closed cell content, Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation acts as insulation, an air barrier and, in some cases, also a vapour barrier. Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation will cut energy costs and improve comfort levels in any building.
  • Continuous, seamless, no joints
  • Can fill cracks, voids and holes
  • Adheres to wood, metal, concrete, masonry, almost all plastics
  • Almost totally impermeable to air
  • High insulation value
  • Durability and long service life
  • Can be sprayed overhead, doesn’t sag
  • Speedy, quick set, installation
  • Doesn’t settle
  • Only thermal insulation which is tested for VOC’s
  • Foundations
  • Crawl spaces
  • Walls
  • Header spaces
  • Roofs
  • Ceilings
  • Interior walls
  • Can be used as the primary air barrier material
  • Can be used to connect other building materials together
  • Is a solution to many building insulation design problems

The process of applying spray foam insulation creates an odor and requires venting. As soon as the foam “cures” (or sets), which occurs within seconds, it no longer produces the odor. It usually takes about 24 hours for the odor to completely dissipate.

Spray Foam Insulation is an inert substance and provides no food value for rodents and insects. Although it would not provide a barrier if they decided to gnaw through it.

Blown insulation may be applied over existing batting in attics of already built structures to increase R-value and improve thermal resistance and reduce heat loss. Adding 6 or more inches of loose insulation seals all the spaces between batts acting as an energy saving blanket in your attic.

25% to 60% energy saving that will depend on your situation and the type of insulation you choose.

As a guide, owners generally take three or less years to recapture there investment.

Building scientists and engineers advise to build a tight home so that the occupants can control the indoor air quality and are not influenced by outdoor pollution and allergens. Mechanical and ventilation equipment are a much better way to ensure the best indoor air quality is achieved. 

R-value measures resistance to heat flow, and is determined by the thickness and density of the insulation. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.

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Common insulation materials

Insulation Material R/in. (RSI/m) Appearance Advantages / Disadvantages
Fibreglass 3.0 – 3.7
(21 – 26)
All batts come in plastic-wrapped bales. The products are like fibrous blankets, about 1.2 m (48 in.) long and wide enough to fit snugly between wall studs. Readily available.
Blown Mineral Wool Insulation 40 - 14.25
60 - 21.37
Loose fibrous mineral material. Provides good even coverage in attic spaces. All loose-fill insulations typically require a professional installer.

Resistant to settling , especially in comparison to other loose full insulations such as cellulose.
Closed cell medium density polyurethane (38 – 42) A rigid spray foam that expands into the cavity and sets up fairly rigid. All spray-applied insulations fill cavities very well. They must be applied by a specialized contractor.

Can act as the air barrier and vapour retarder. HFC used in production. Must be covered.

Note: All values are approximate and for general comparison only. Some insulations may be irritants or hazardous during installation. Consult manufacturers’ recommendations and insulation packaging for proper respiratory, eye and skin protection.

Source: Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Looking for something else?

Whether you’re building a new home, garage or cottage, or making adjustments to an existing one to help it be more energy efficient, we’ll work with you to decide on the best insulation solutions for your specific needs.