While previous generations may have been content to live in drafty houses, most people now want comfortable warm houses. A healthy house today is well sealed, well insulated and properly ventilated.
A well-insulated house is a bit like dressing for the weather. A wool sweater will keep you warm if the wind is not blowing and it is not raining. On a windy, rainy day, wearing a nylon shell over your wool sweater helps keep you reasonably dry and warm. A house is similar. On the outside, underneath the brick or siding, there is an air barrier that does the same thing as the nylon — it keeps the wind from blowing through. Then there is the insulation (like your sweater) and a vapour barrier, which helps keep moisture away from the house structure where it can do damage.
Signs of Insulation Problems
In the winter
walls cold to touch
high heating costs
uneven heating levels within building
mold growing on walls
In the summer
uncomfortably hot inside air
ineffectiveness of air conditioning system
mold growing in basement
R values and their metric equivalent, RSI values, are a way of labelling the effectiveness of insulating materials. The higher the R value or RSI value, the more resistance the material has to the movement of heat. Insulation products sold in Canada are labelled with R and RSI values. Provincial building codes specify minimum R (or RSI) values for new construction, with different values for different applications. It is important to know what your local building code requires when planning new construction.
Note: The way the insulation is installed plays a large role in its effectiveness. Compressing the insulation, leaving air spaces around the insulation and allowing air movement in the insulation all reduce the actual R value of the insulation.
Some Benefits of SPF Insulation
Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation provides:
Energy Efficient Homes:
heating and cooling costs can be reduced as much as 50%.
A Reduction of Heating and Air Conditioning tonnage as much as 35% without the loss of efficiency and comfort
Draft Free Environment: sealing of cracks, joints, etc…, will prevent uncontrolled movement of air through the wall assemblies.
homes insulated with Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation show a remarkable reduction of dust accumulation
the open cells and the semi-rigid polyurethane mass wil absorb and reduce the sound transmission
Improved Air Quality
not subjected to structural deterioration or decomposition, will not settle
Strong Adhesion to the Surface
2 lb Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation:
The Canadian Urethane Foam Constractors Association’s (CUFCA’s)
- is continuous, seamless and has no joints
- can fill cracks, voids and holes
- adheres to wood, metal, concrete, masonry and almost all plastics
- is almost totally impermeable to air
- has a high insulation value: Closed cell R-6/inch vs. batt insulation R-3.4/inch
- is durable and has a long service life
- can be sprayed overhead and doesn't sag
- has a quick set installation that doesn’t settle
- it is the only thermal insulation that is tested for VOC's
- it can serve as a vapour/water barrier
- it can be used to connect other building materials together
- it is versatile and can be used in foundations, crawl spaces, walls, header spaces, roofs, ceilings, interior walls, decks and overhangs.
- Can be used as the primary air barrier material
- is airtight which eliminates all air infiltration or exfiltration
- is durable and odourless once it has cured (24 hours)
- will not settle or shrink, making it stable
CUFCA mission: To champion the Polyurethane Foam Industry as a whole while sustaining high industry standards and encouraging ongoing professional development; to make the Polyurethane Foam Industry both professional and profitable."
The Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association Inc. (CUFCA) promotes the use of spray polyurethane foam insulation (SPF) while providing the end user with a level of comfort that the installation will be done safely and properly. CUFCA works with all parties to have SPF used in every conceivable application. The SPF Quality Assurance Program used by CUFCA has been developed specifically to exceed the needs of building owners, architects, engineers and other professionals looking at using sprayed polyurethane foam for their projects. By providing such a high level of confidence in the product and installation, it has become the product and programs of choice, providing an example for all other building products to follow.
The SPF Quality Assurance Program used by CUFCA will:
- Provide customer satisfaction
- Ensure professionalism
- Give customers peace of mind
- Provide working and effective long term insulation / air barrier systems that will benefit the building owner and environment
The SPF Quality Assurance Program used by CUFCA has been developed using ISO 9000 principles. The SPF Quality Assurance Program requires the product meet the Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC) material standard and the ULC Installation standard (CAN/ULC-S705.1 and S705.2). These National Standards provide the backbone for the Quality Assurance Program for the sprayed polyurethane foam industry.
Key Components of CUFCA’s Quality Assurance Program
Standards & Specifications:
- Sprayed Polyurethane Foam has a product standard (CAN/ULC-S705.1) and installation standard (CAN/ULC-S705.2).
- Two specific products have received a Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC) Evaluation number and the requirements of the SPF Quality Assurance Program.
- Installers are required to be certified to apply the product.
- They are issued a photo identification, which is renewed yearly and may be revoked or suspended at any time.
- Contractors are required to meet the strict standards of the SPF Quality Assurance Program.
- They shall have at least one certified installer on each job site at all times.
- The license must be renewed yearly and may be revoked or suspended at any time.
- For every inspection conducted, inspection reports will be produced and data based.
- There are mandatory inspections for jobs in which the amount of material sprayed exceeds 9,999 kg.
- Design professionals or building owners can require a greater number of inspections than what is outlined in the SPF Quality Assurance Program.
- A central database is used to track each certified installer, registered apprentice, and licensed contractor.
- Training and inspection results are also tracked along with the daily work sheets.
- A committee is present to establish policy, hear appeals, initiate changes, and oversee the operation of the Quality Assurance Program.
Documentation & Reporting:
- Contractors, suppliers, installers and inspectors are required to sign agreements stating their requirements.
- Detailed daily work sheets providing a paper trail of testing results, site conditions, installers etc. are required to be completed with a copy being sent to the SPF Quality Assurance Program's office.
- Inspection reports are sent to the contractor, the supplier and the design professional.
COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL APPLICATIONS FOR SPF
- Cavity insulation in walls
- Interior insulation for buildings
- Ceiling insulation for buildings
- Pipes and ducts – including those underground
- Air Barrier Systems for buildings
- Under slab insulation for buildings
- Retrofit building insulation applications – both interior and exterior
- Display Coolers
- Water Heaters
- Walls - both interior and exterior applications
- Foundations - both exterior and interior applications
- Crawl Spaces – both exterior and interior applications
- Ceilings - including cathedral ceilings and flat ceilings
- Header spaces in basement and between floors
- Door and windows – can be used to seal between frames and wall openings
- Pipes and Ducts - including those underground
- Swimming pools
- Spas and hot tubs