Properly used and installed, all insulation will help reduce the use of energy for heating and cooling in buildings, which will help with sustainable and efficient building performance. When comparing spray foam and board insulation however, there are several notable differences.
- First, spray foam can more completely and fully insulate and seal a building without joints, gaps, or other interruptions in the continuous insulation. The fact that it adheres to surfaces helps ensure thermal performance.
- Second, there is normally no waste associated with spray foam compared to board insulation since only the amount of material needed is used. Rigid XPS boards often need to be cut to fit producing scraps and waste.
- Third, since spray foam is delivered in liquid form, a tractor trailer load of it can hold a significantly greater amount of board feet of insulation than a truck load of rigid foam insulation boards.
- Fourth, the process for producing spray foam insulation compared to board insulation is different not only in the base material used but also in the type of blowing agents used. Those blowing agents have been independently rated and range widely in terms of Global Warming Potential (GWP). Icynene ProSeal Eco with 100 percent water blown technology offers the lowest rated GWP of 1. By contrast, XPS chemical blowing agents carry a dramatically higher GWP of over 1,000. It is easy to see which one is more environmentally appropriate based on those numbers.
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