When deciding to insulate your home or business premises, you can easily get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. The top two contenders are spray foam and batt insulation. Each has its pros and cons.
But which one should you choose? Here, we'll briefly compare spray foam and batt insulation to see which is better.
What are Spray Foam and Batt Insulation?
Spray-foam insulation is a type of insulation made from a chemical, mainly polyurethane. The chemical solution comes in two types; open-cell and closed-cell. This type of insulation requires specialized equipment and professionals.
Batt is an insulation made from fiberglass (glass wool), Rockwool, or polyester. The material comes pre-cut to the exact walls and ceiling fit. Batt works by trapping air via millions of tiny air pockets that slow heat flow.
Comparing Spray Foam and Batt: Which Is Better?
Thermal Insulation - R-Value
When you're out looking for an insulation material, watch out for terms such as R-Value. It indicates the material's effectiveness in resisting heat transfer. The higher, the better.
When comparing the two in terms of thermal properties, spray foam insulation wins. That's because it has a higher R-Value per inch (or cm). For example, the closed-cell foam variant has an impressive R-Value of up to 7 per inch, which is among the highest available today.
On the other hand, batt insulation provides up to 4.3 per inch in R-Values. This thermal insulation level can be enough for your home, but it drops over time, especially when not professionally installed.
The ease of installation is also a factor when choosing insulation for your home or office. Here, batt insulation comes on top. That's because it's available in standard, pre-cut sizes.
That makes it convenient to install in wall studs, ceiling cavities, and attic rafters. If there are irregular-sized spaces, it can allow custom cuts. Basically, batt insulation provides an easy-to-fit solution.
On the other hand, installing spray foam insulation is complex. First, it requires highly specialized and expensive equipment. Secondly, it needs professional handling to ensure quality.
While the installation process is complex, the final product requires minimal maintenance to non-existent. That's not the case with insulation batts.
Spray foam insulation provides an air-tight barrier against moisture. That's one of the reasons why it is preferable in basement insulation, where moist air is a big problem. However, not all types have this quality.
Some open-cell variants do not provide the same degree of moisture barrier as closed-cell foam. Ensure you work with a professional to help choose the right foam insulation type that provides a vapour barrier.
On the other hand, insulation batts can not provide a vapour barrier alone. It needs additional backing to achieve this. If you choose this as your preferred method, ensure your contractor knows you need a moisture barrier.
Value & Cost
Batt insulation is undoubtedly much more affordable than spray foam. The main reason being it's pre-cut and less labor-intensive. However, the price goes up if you wish to include the necessary add-ons.
While spray foam is expensive, it's much better. It has more value and last longer. It's also ideal for both commercial and residential properties.
At All Florida Insulation, we are your one-stop shop for everything insulation. We have decades of experience working on both residential and commercial insulation projects. Call us at (407) 410-FOAM (3626) to request a free quote. We are privileged to serve Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, and Daytona Beach Shores, as well as the nearby communities.
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Chris has been an insulation professional for more than two decades, and has experience with all types of residential and commercial insulation products. His passion is green energy and effective insulation applications.