Q. What does it cost per square foot?
A. Generally, we don’t price per square foot. The reasons behind that are mainly because our competitors like to give you a low square foot price then add in a trip charge, prep charge, clean up charge, fuel surcharge, etc. But we don’t want to do that to you, we want to give you a total completed price. You really want to know what the job is going to cost in total. A general idea per square foot starts around $1.25 and goes up from there depending on the foam, how thick, job size, location, etc. There are so many factors so we want to give you a free estimate so you know what the actual total cost is with no hidden cost added on at the end.
Q. How does it compare in R-Value to Fiberglass or cellulose?
A. The spray foam can range from R- 3.8 to 4.5 for the open cell foam and R- 6 to 7 per inch on closed cell foam, all depending on the manufacturers of course. The R-value is not always the way to go when judging the performance insulation. Air sealing is much more important. Both fiberglass and cellulose lose insulating value when air is passed over or through them. Up to 47% of their labeled R factor. These are numbers from Oak Ridge National Laboratories where scientists were installing them, not low paid labors.
Q. How clean does the surface have to be to make spray foam stick to it?
A. When you are preparing it you need to make sure the area is clean. There can be no oil, grease, water or excessive dirt on the surface. Most pole barns are clean enough unless they have had livestock in them.
Q. How do you trim the spray foam?
A. With the open cell foam we use a long serrated blade that looks like a reciprocating saw blade. For closed cell we have a specialized grinder to take it off. We try avoiding trimming closed cell foam as much as possible because it is labor intensive and expensive.
Q. Does foam add structural strength to the building?
A. Generally, closed cell foam will add some racking strength to the building. Remember that foam is not designed to be a structural building material though. If you are relying on spray foam insulation to hold your building together, you have other problems that need to be addressed that foam cannot fix.
Q. Will spray foam stick to the underside of the roof?
A. Yes, it will stick to the underside of the roof without any fasteners or supports.
Q. How much will spray foam save me?
A. This depends on a lot of different factors. It can vary on things such as building design, HVAC usage, etc. Industry experts will tell you up to 50%. What you can expect is to be more comfortable in your building.
Q. Which is better, closed cell or open cell spray foam?
A. The open and closed cell spray foam both work really well. It really depends on your application. Closed cell works better below grade or in harsh conditions like livestock buildings. Open cell is a better cost per R-Value and is the best choice for sound control. Give us a call and let our highly trained professionals help you make the best decision for your application.
Q. Do rodents eat spray foam?
A. There is no food value to spray foam. With that being said, rodents will eat just about anything. Spray foam stops air leakage and heat loss. If rodents can’t smell or feel the heat on the other side of the wall, they are less likely to want to get in.
Q. Can I install spray foam myself?
A. No, you should not install spray foam yourself. It takes expensive specialized equipment and highly trained professionals. This is really a process best left up to professionals.
Q. Do I still need a Vapor Barrier?
A. With open cell foam, it is required by code. Closed cell foam, depending on brand and thickness, no. Code has not kept up with modern building science.
Q. Do I still need house wrap?
A. Foam is an air seal. You don’t really need house wrap for an air seal. We do still recommend house wrap, it is a great drainage plane, when installed correctly.
Q. Won’t spray foam make my house to tight? Houses need to breath.
A. Remember the saying; build them tight, ventilate them right. Most houses are not too tight, windows and doors leak plenty of air. We do recommend installing Air to Air exchangers properly calculated by a professional. Rely on building science not “old wife’s tales” or “urban legends”. Remember, houses don’t have lungs!
Q. Why should I choose KC Spray Foam over another company whose price is much lower?
A. The best answer we can give is, you get what you pay for. Many contractors shoot a low price and then add on prep, clean up or trip charges not included in their estimates. They won’t have the proper liability or workman’s comp insurance leaving you exposed in an accident. KC Spray Foam invests heavily in training, safety and equipment in turn providing quality jobs for its employees. What this means to you is the job done right the first time by a professional.
Q. I have gotten several estimates, but the price is all over the board. How do I make sense of these?
A. When you get the estimate you should be looking for a detailed quote including estimated R- Values, total depth, type and brand of foam and a plain explanation of areas to be sprayed. If the “Lowest Price” is too good to be true, it is probably missing something.
Q. Doesn’t spraying foam on the underside of the roof void the warranty on the shingles?
A. Most shingle manufactures will not void the warranty. However, some, like Owens Corning who only make fiber glass insulation, roof vents and soft material void warranties in this case. Go figure on this one! The other thing I will ask you, have you ever know someone who collected on a roof warranty? Very few.
Q. Isn’t spray foam a fire hazard?
A. No. Most spray foams area a Class 1 Spray Foam. They have a better smoke development, flame spread numbers and auto ignition points than wood.
Q. Can I leave spray foam exposed?
A. In most cases, no. Code requires most insulation to be covered with an approved thermal barrier. Call for details on your project or consult your building inspector. Also check out our blog on thermal barriers. http://iowasprayfoam.com/thermal-and-ignition-barriers-where-and-when-to-use-with-spray-foam-insulation/