To understand how insulation works
it helps to understand heat flow, which involves three basic mechanisms:
Conduction: is the way heat moves through materials, such as when a spoon placed in a hot cup of coffee conducts heat through its handle to your hand.
Convection: Is the way heat circulates through liquids and gases, and is why lighter, warmer air rises, and cooler, denser air sinks in your home.
Radiant: Heat travels in a straight line and heats anything solid in its path that absorbs its energy.
Regardless of the mechanism, heat flows from warmer to cooler until there is no longer a temperature difference. Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior ceilings, walls, and floors--wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the cooling season, heat flows from the outdoors to the interior.
To maintain comfort, the heat lost in the winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in the summer must be removed by your cooling system. Properly insulating will decrease this heat flow by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.
An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value -- the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density. The R-value of some insulations also depends on temperature, aging, and moisture accumulation. When calculating the R-value of a multilayered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers.
In general, increased insulation thickness will proportionally increase the R-value. However, as the installed thickness increases for loose-fill insulation, the settled density of the product increases due to compression of the insulation under its own weight. Because of this compression, loose-fill insulation R-value does not change proportionately with thickness. To determine how much insulation you need for your climate, consult a local insulation contractor.
The effectiveness of an insulation material’s resistance to heat flow also depends on how and where the insulation is installed. For example, insulation that is compressed will not provide its full rated R-value. The overall R-value of a wall or ceiling will be somewhat different from the R-value of the insulation itself because heat flows more readily through studs, joists, and other building materials, in a phenomenon known as thermal bridging. In addition, insulation that fills building cavities densely enough to reduce airflow can also reduce convective heat loss.
Unlike traditional insulation materials, radiant barriers are highly reflective materials that re-emit radiant heat rather than absorbing it, reducing cooling loads. As such, a radiant barrier has no inherent R-value.
Although it is possible to calculate an R-value for a specific radiant barrier or reflective insulation installation, the effectiveness of these systems lies in their ability to reduce heat gain by reflecting heat away from the living space.
The amount of insulation or R-value you'll need depends on your climate, type of heating and cooling system, and the part of the house you plan to insulate. To learn more, see our information on adding insulation to an existing house or insulating a new house. Also, remember that air sealing and moisture control are important to home energy efficiency, health, and comfort.
Spray Foam Insulation:
Spray Foam Insulation is developed from two types of composite materials: polyurethane and isocyanate. When combined, these two materials chemically react to each other and cause their combined substance to expand and harden. During the installation process, both materials are simultaneously sprayed from the tip of a spray foam gun. allowing them to expand and form a protective layer of spray foam insulation over the desired area.
Open Cell Foam Insulation:
Open cell is a type of foam where the tiny cells are not completely closed. open cell is less expensive because it uses fewer chemicals. It is a very good air barrier but does not to provide any type of water vapor barrier. It is much more sponge-like in apparence. It is ofen used for interior walls becaude it provides sound reduction by damping the movement of existing insulation. It is not recomended for outdoors applications.
Closed Cell Foam Insulation:
Closed cell foam insulation is a much more dense type of foam than open cell. It has a smaller, more compact cell structure. It is a very good barrier as well as water vapor barrier. It is ofen used in roofing projects or outdoors applications, but can be used anywhere in the home.
Graco TexSpray 7900 HD
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Thermal and Ignition Barrier for Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)
DC315 is fully tested and approved intumescent coating to meet 15 minutes Thermal Barrier and Ignition Barrier protection over Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)
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