All spray foam insulations install as a liquid that instantly expands to fill between the studs in a wall cavity or ceiling joists. Most of these expanding foam insulations, like DuraTite™ or BioBased Insulation® by Rhino Linings must be installed in an open cavity. Because of that, you can’t re-insulate existing walls with these products unless you are doing a complete renovation and opening the walls or ceilings.
But you can still retrofit your home with spray foam insulation in a couple of different ways:
Insulate your crawlspace
Create a conditioned or closed crawlspace by adding spray foam insulation to the walls and adding mechanical ventilation. This seals and insulates the crawlspace, which helps keep the temperatures more moderate in the area. Many times this can help reduce drafts and cold floors in the interior of the home because the living space is now on top of a semi-conditioned space.
Seal off a vented crawlspace by adding spray foam insulation to the crawlspace ceiling. The insulation is applied in direct contact with the underside of the sub floor, not to the walls. This essentially seals the crawlspace from home which can reduce drafts and cold floors in the interior of the home.
Insulate your attic
Create a conditioned or closed attic by adding spray foam insulation to the underside of the roof deck and the rafters and removing vents in the attic. This seals and insulates the attic, which helps keep the temperatures more moderate, usually only about a 10-15 degree temperature difference from the inside of the home. Having a semi-conditioned space over your conditioned space will improve the overall comfort in your living spaces, and if your ducts run through the attic, it will increase the efficiency of your HVAC unit.
Seal off an unconditioned or vented attic by adding spray foam insulation between the joists in the attic floors and an ignition or thermal barrier to meet your local building codes. This also would involve removing the existing insulation in the attic. As with a vented crawlspace, this seals the attic off from the rest of the home to help prevent air leaks and increase the comfort of your home.
Seal your HVAC ducts
You can seal your HVAC ducts with spray foam insulation to prevent unconditioned air from the attic or crawlspace from leaking into the ducts and conditioned air from escaping through holes in your ducts. This can improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit and increase the comfort of your home.
Download a summary of the retrofit case study from Oak Ridge National Labs and the Rhino Linings tax credit flier for more information. Contact a local Rhino Linings insulation contractor to discuss which option would be right for your home.
Jennifer Wilson is brand manager for Rhino Linings Corporation, a privately-held corporation and world leader in protective sprayed and/or rolled polyurethane, polyaspartic, epoxy coatings and linings and polyurethane foam systems for vehicle, industrial, municipal, commercial and residential applications.