Tuesday, April 23, 2024
HomeBarndominiumInsulating your barndominium with spray foam

Insulating your barndominium with spray foam

Spray foam insulation has become a premium building material in today’s barndominium and shop house arena. Not only is it more efficient in keeping the heat in your home, but it’s also much more convenient to install over that traditional itchy & messy fiberglass insulation that you have to carefully unroll and install each roll by hand trying hard not to get the fiberglass all over you, because if you do it’s an extremely unpleasant experience and unfortunately just takes time to resolve the irritation. Spray-in foam, on the other hand, doesn’t have the itchy problem of traditional insulation. Yes, it’s still a messy job but seriously worth the effort when you understand the benefits. With 2 main types of spray in foam insulation open cell foam insulation is softer, fluffier, and provides an overall lighter material whereas closed-cell foam insulation takes on a stiffer consistency as it dries making the material more compacted together making it more difficult for any air to pass through creating a vapor barrier as well. When the liquid Polyurethane base is added with foaming agents and ultimately a chemical that allows the foamed up slurry to harden and set in place for permanent insulation that oozes into and seals shut every crack and crevice providing airtight insulation and efficiency that has remained unmatched to this day. It can be a messy installation process because of the nature of the slurry, but like with any job, there will be a healthy amount of clean-up involved.


Saving money is on every aspect of your build and anywhere you are able to be super important to most people when building, everyone wants the best deal they can get. Spray-in Foam insulation won’t let you down when it comes to savings, whether you’re trying to cool your house in the summer or heat it in the winter the big difference comes down to the foam as it’s drying and creating a sea of air bubbles trapped within the foam material that blocks drafts, air or anything from escaping through the walls, it creates a seal of its own. Most houses use fiberglass insulation and it works ok but you just can’t cover every crack crevice or gap with cotton candy-textured fiberglass rolls, and it’s absolutely not going to create an airtight seal of any kind, so you can put that idea to bed early. On the topic of saving money, you can also get a tax break for using energy-efficient materials. 


If a fire breaks out in a home, it only takes 2min for the smoke and fire to become fatal, and under 5min the whole house can be engulfed in smoke and flames. Some spray foam insulation can be combustible the same way the wood is combustible; however, other companies are using fire retardant materials like Icynene® spray foam insulation. Their foam gives you better odds of escaping your home safely in the instance of a fire. The fire retardant foam provides an important barrier between you and the smoke and even protects you from the flames because of the way the foam seals each room individually, saving you the time you desperately need to think clearly and escape the home.


Because of the way the insulation keeps moisture out of the home it cuts down on potential mold growth due to the lack of moisture, this cuts way down on indoor allergens like dust and mold spores, when traditional insulation gets wet it gets soggy and has to be replaced, no matter how wet your foam insulation gets it’s never going to soak up water like traditional fiberglass insulation will and it will always retain its structure even in the worst conditions. In case you need a few more reasons, foam insulation is amazing as well as keeping you dry. warm and comfortable. It’s environmentally friendly and foam insulation will never lose its effectiveness like fiberglass can over long periods of time.


Spray foam’s rise to popularity hasn’t always been easy the formulation of chemicals used in creating the foaming agents used in the insulation was changed up early on in the use of foam insulations when it was discovered that the production of spray foam insulations caused and created complex chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) that are harmful to the environment and aren’t easily broken down in nature. Other health concerns that if the smoke was inhaled from these chemicals they could have potential carcinogenic effects, this was never definitely confirmed; however, the potential for cancer is enough to scare many people away. Don’t let that scare you, there are many products in our homes that if burned or combusted, the smoke from those chemicals could be very harmful to our health but we don’t swear off those products just because of that potential. Let’s use a little common sense here. You’re not planning on inhaling any smoke from foam insulation and it was never intended to be combusted in the first place. I wanted to bring up the controversy involved with spray foam insulation, even though I see it as trivial myself but I also understand some people may have a different view of the situation, so I felt it important to include. I would recommend spray foam insulation for any barndominium built over traditional insulation options. Steel frame barndominiums need the spray-on insulation to attach to the steel beams and really insulate like nothing else can.  


There aren’t many products you can buy for your home that will improve the overall air quality, cut down on airborne contaminants and allergens, retain heat in the winter, and help insulate the AC in the summertime. Not to mention it’s going to last upwards of 80 years, so pretty much a lifetime product. With popularity still on the rise, the cost is going to be more than traditional insulation installs, but when you take a look at what you get for the extra money, it’s a no-brainer. Use your brain and spray in some foam insulation to your barndominium build.   

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Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott is a freelance writer and researcher that has written hundreds of articles for online companies in the area of construction, design, finance and automotive. He's a Southern boy that enjoys creek fishing, hunting and camping. He's rarely seen without his trusted beagle hound "Scooter"
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We are super excited with results and service. Tony offered really helpful suggestions. Our dream build was pretty complicated but he and his designer were able to meet our needs.

James B

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