Batting or spray foam insulation – what to use?
Winters in the GTA mean that many homeowners are concerned with cold drafts in their homes due to poor insulation, and our of control heating bills which again are due to poor insulation. Insulation is a topic that Canadians are all to familiar with as we do have extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year (our roads are a testament to this exact phenomena). Over the years, we’ve been seeing the rise of spray foam insulation, where most people growing up know the fibreglass batting as the most common insulating material. The question is, which one is better? And which one do you choose?
Both spray foam and batting insulation come with their pros and their cons. Here is a brief run-through of what to look for.
COST – the major difference between batting and spray foam insulation, is the price and complexity of installation. Spray foam insulation to be installed properly will require a professional, whereas batting can be a DIY project. Because of this added labour/expertise, spray foam insulation can be up to two or three time more expensive than batting.
STRUCTURAL AND AIR QUALITY CONSIDERATIONS – a major benefit to spray foam is that it’s ability to create such a good air tight seal comes with more benefits to your home other than just insulation. Once cured, the foam acts as another level of structural reinforcement. to add to this, it significantly improves air quality inside as it blocks any pollutants from entering as it blocks heat from escaping, in the same manner allergens are also blocked from entering your home.
ENVIRONMENTAL- Low in volatile organic compounds or VOC’s, spray foam is a green product that has massive growth for our ever renewable/greener future. Batting can have some environmentally friendly variations, it isn’t as versatile and there isn’t as much room for growth in the area spray foam does.
LENGTH OF LIFE- batting as we all know does begin to break down and become less and less effective as an insulating material over time. Spray foam however is literally everlasting and will probably outlive the home! Unlike batting, spray foam will maintain it’s insulation properties throughout it’s life. Batting starts to sag and air pockets form, if it gets wet, it is rendered useless as an insulator. Spray foam insulation has water repelling properties and would maintain its integrity even if wet.
QUALITY OF INSULATION- spray foam has multiple benefits, but it’s ability to insulate is unsurpassed. It creates a thermal envelope in your home which is very hard for any conditioned air to be displaced through it. The quality of the material coupled with the installation from a professional will ensure that your insulation is the best possible insulation out there, and can not be replicated with any other material.
It’s seen a surge in the construction world and with good reason. Spray foam insulation has multiple applications and it is going to continue to grow in the field of construction for years to come. The quality of insulation and water/fire resistant character means that it is a multifunctional material that does not only it’s job, but other requirements without the need to use other materials. Spray foam insulation is the insulation of the future.