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Is Spray Foam Insulation Flammable?

Spray Foam Insulation

Regarding insulation, people are always concerned about saving energy, reducing their electricity bill, and providing better comfort inside their homes. The benefits of spray foam insulation are well-known in the market. It's an excellent solution for reducing heat loss, making your home more energy-efficient and reducing air leaks. However, one of the most crucial factors that homeowners often overlook is the flammability of spray foam insulation. There is always a question, "Is spray foam insulation flammable?" This blog post will answer your questions and provide you with all the knowledge you need to make a well-informed decision.

Spray foam insulation is not flammable but can be combustible under certain conditions. It's important to note that there are two types of spray foam insulation: open-cell and closed-cell. The main difference is that open-cell foam is softer and more flexible, while closed-cell foam is dense and rigid. The type of spray foam insulation you choose will determine its flammability properties.

Open-cell spray foam insulation is less dense and has a lower R-value, making it less suitable for exterior walls. It can catch fire and spread quickly, releasing toxic gases that are dangerous to humans and animals. On the other hand, closed-cell spray foam insulation is denser and has a higher R-value. It acts as a fire retardant and helps to stop the spread of fire.

However, just because closed-cell spray foam insulation is less flammable than open-cell foam doesn't mean it's entirely non-flammable. It can catch fire, but it's much less likely. Building codes require that closed-cell foam be covered with fire-rated materials to ensure safety.

Another factor that increases the flammability of spray foam insulation is the use of non-CFC blowing agents. Early formulations of spray foam insulation used chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a blowing agent. However, CFCs were found to have a detrimental effect on the ozone layer, and their use was banned. Consequently, manufacturers began using hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other non-CFC blowing agents. Unfortunately, some of these non-CFC blowing agents are flammable, making using them only in appropriate conditions even more critical.

In summary, spray foam insulation is not inherently flammable but can be combustible under certain conditions. The type of spray foam insulation you choose, the blowing agent used, and the application can all affect its flammability. Furthermore, you should always follow the building codes, which require appropriately rated materials to cover spray foam insulation to ensure safety. When installing new insulation in your home, it's essential to consult an experienced professional who can evaluate the best type of insulation for your needs and environment. Choosing the wrong insulation type and provider can have significant consequences. Always prioritize your safety, comfort, and energy when making insulation decisions. If you're ever unsure, contact MY Insulation LLC.

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