All the data you’ll need on every spray foam insulation product used in Phoenix homes can be found below.
The spray foam insulation products are divided into three categories: PREMIUM, STANDARD, and BUILDER grade.
PREMIUM OPEN CELL SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Premium Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation Characteristics
Premium and standard open cell spray foam are 0.5 pounds per cubic foot. However, there is a significant difference between standard and premium products when it comes to fire code compliance.
Premium products meet the NFPA 286 Appendix X room corner test without an ignition barrier coating. However, standard products do not.
However, standard products are still fire code compliant when they are installed correctly. This means technicians must apply an ignition barrier coating to the surface your foam. Some standard products are fire code compliant without a coating if modifications are made to the ceiling between the living space and attic.
STANDARD OPEN CELL SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Characteristics Of Standard Open Cell Insulation
Standard open cell insulation products have been around for over three decades. Like premium open cell products, standard products are 0.5 pounds per cubic foot. However, unlike premium open cell products, standard open cell foam is not fire-code compliant on its own.
After installation, builders and technicians must take additional measures to ensure your foam is fire code compliant. Typically, an ignition barrier (spark resistant coating) must be spray applied to the surface of the foam. However, some products are compliant without an ignition barrier if all ceiling penetrations are sealed with fire-rated caulking and a fire rated attic access hatch is installed.
The preferred ignition barrier for nearly all spray foam insulation manufacturers is DC315. Since DC315 is the most popular ignition barrier, all the technical data for DC315 is included below.
BUILDER GRADE SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
Characteristics Of Builder Grade Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation
Builder grade open cell spray foam insulation is 20% less dense than standard spray foam insulation. Consequently, in order to install the same amount of foam in a Phoenix attic as standard foam, a spray foam insulation company should apply the foam 20% deeper.
For example, 5.5″ of standard foam in an attic is the same as 6.75″ of builder-grade foam insulation. While builder-grade foam has a similar R-Value to standard foam, it does not have the same area sealing properties. Since the true power of spray foam insulation is its ability to insulate and air seal, it is critical that your foam is deep enough to create an air seal.
If standard foam achieves an air seal at approximately 3.5″ of depth, at what depth does builder-grade foam achieve an air seal? Right now, there is no clear answer to this question. Is it worth it to risk losing your air seal with builder-grade foam?
Additionally, the lower the density of the foam, the more variation in density there is in the finished product. So, if builder-grade foam is 0.40 pounds per cubic foot, and the variations within the finished product are +/- 25%, how well insulated are the areas in your home that have 0.30 pounds per cubic foot of insualation?
Finally, builder-grade foam has only been around for a few years. It has not been on the market long enough to show that it is a reliable long-term insulation product.
However, if your budget leaves you with the option of builder-grade foam or traditional fiberglass or cellulose insulation, definitely go with the builder-grade foam. Despite its shortcomings when compared to standard foam, it is still much better than fiberglass and cellulose.
If you have any questions about the products on this page – or any other spray foam insulation product – call our office. Patrick will be happy to chat with you about spray foam!