Spray Foam Vs Blow-In Insulation

Struggling to decide if blown-in insulation or spray foam attic insulation is better for your home? We'll look at the pros and cons of each to help you make the right choice.

Blow-in insulation vs. spray foam: is there any competition when both types of insulation keep your indoor temperatures cool on hot days and warm on cold days? Is there any debate when both stop your heated and cooled air from leaking out? Both spray foam insulation and blown-in insulation are crucial to your home's energy efficiency. Let's look at their descriptions and pros and cons to set them apart.

What Is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray foam insulation or spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a liquid chemical that certified attic specialists apply with either a spray foam gun or a spray can. As the name and application suggest, it is a kind of spray-in insulation or sprayed insulation that expands up to an inch thick to form an airtight seal over holes and cracks that air and moisture could pass through.

Spray foam comes in two types: closed cell spray and open cell spray. Closed cell spray foam has cells that are fully closed off. These closed cells compress against each other to prevent moisture and air from flowing through, making closed cell spray foam dense and rigid when applied.

Open cell spray foam is comprised of cells that aren't entirely enclosed and pressed against one another, making the foam soft and flexible when sprayed. 

Pros Of Spray Foam

Cons Of Spray Foam

What Is Blown-In Insulation?

What is blown-in insulation? Spray foam insulation utilizes spray cans and spray foam guns whereas certified attic specialists use insulation blowers or blowing machines for this style of insulation installation. 

What is blown-in insulation made of? The two most widely used blown-in insulating materials are cellulose and fiberglass. Manufacturers make both blown-in cellulose insulation and blown-in fiberglass insulation (or loose-fill fiberglass) with recycled materials.  

Pros Of Blown-In Insulation

Cons Of Blown-In Insulation

Picking Between The Two

In this match-up, spray foam might initially look superior to blown-in insulation in terms of R-values and longevity. But choosing home insulation shouldn't be based on R-values alone. It is still best to discuss with a certified attic specialist your overall budget, all health & safety hazards, the climate of your location, and the area in your home you will be insulating. Based on these factors, they will be able to recommend whether blown-in or foam insulation is right for you and your home in the long term. 

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