Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the price per square foot to install spray foam insulation?

This question is one we hear often. Our answer is always the same. We don’t do price per square foot quotes. Why not? Let us explain! No project is the same. Every home is unique in its need and every customer wants something different. There are so many factors that go into quoting a job, it's necessary to do a home inspection to get an accurate quote. That’s why we offer complimentary consultations. It’s a chance for the customer to meet an actual person from R Factor, Inc., who will take measurements and discuss with the homeowner what they are hoping to get out of the project. Examples are, noise control, air sealing, insulation, moisture barrier, etc. We have different types of foam for different projects and the inspector will explain which one will work best for the given job.

Is there a wand or an extension for application?

The answer is no. A wand or extension like a paint sprayer is not possible as the foam expands too rapidly.

What is the difference between open cell and closed cell spray foam?

Open cell foam is typically R-3.5-R-4.0 per inch as opposed to R-6.0-R-6.5 (aged) for closed cell foam. Open cell foam lends itself to applications where space is not limited, like in an attic or crawl space. On the other hand, closed cell foam is a great option for getting very high R-values in shallow spaces.

Closed cell foam is always more expensive per “R”. So, you could expect an R-13 of closed cell to be more expensive than R-13 of open cell. This is simply due to the fact that plastic costs more than air. There is much more plastic in closed cell than in open cell. It takes three times the amount of chemicals to make a board foot of closed cell foam as it does to make open cell foam. The Enovate 245fa blowing agent in closed cell foam is also much more expensive than the water used as the blowing agent in open cell foam.

For more information, check out this Open Cell vs Closed Cell PDF Adobe Acrobat Document (34.0 KB)

What are the benefits of using spray foam insulation?

Reduced air infiltration, quieter home, fewer rodents, less allergens coming into the house and huge energy savings

Is there a warranty on the product?

The warranty is lifetime on the foam.

Why should I get a home energy audit?

Who wouldn't like to make their home healthier and more comfortable while also winning major savings on electricity and heating fuel? That's right: You can eliminate the places in your home that are too hot or too cold at different times of the year. You can improve indoor air quality to make your house healthier. And (last but not least) you can reduce your monthly utility and energy expenses!

How can I get an energy audit for FREE?

R Factor, Inc., can provide you with the application. It is a one page form, easy to complete and just asks for a few supporting documents. Once completed, the form and documents are sent to NYSERDA for review. If approved, the customer receives a reservation number and can set up an appointment for a FREE Home Energy Audit.

Do I need a vapor barrier?

In this climate zone the code only asks for a vapor retarder not a vapor barrier. A retarder on sheetrock is two coats of paint. If it is tongue and grove it is not required. Most houses are built with a vapor barrier on the outside so there is already one there.

In what temperatures can foam be applied?

The substrate temperature needs to be above 20 degrees for application in cold months of the special winter-grade foam we purchase. This allows for winter application.

What is the R value?

The R value of closed cell foam is 7.4 per inch and the open cell foam is 4.5 per inch. The code calls for an R19 in the walls and an R38 in the roof deck or ceiling as long as the insulation is over top of the wall. If it can’t be over top of the wall it has to be an R49 in the ceilings. The R Value is not as important as the air sealing quality of the product.

Can we spray in a basement?

We can do the rim joist in the basement but if we spray the walls of the basement we have to put an intumescent paint. The paint would be a thermal barrier.

Can I spray a crawlspace?

Yes, we can spray a crawlspace, a rim joist and walls without the use of any thermal or emission barrier or paint.

Does the foam off gas?

During the installation of the product there is off gassing, it is mostly CO2 and water vapor and there is a slight odor. As we are installing, we ventilate the house to mitigate any odors. Once the foam has cured (approx. 24 hours) the off gassing stops.

Does the foam burn and is the smoke toxic?

The foam has to reach 850 degrees for it to burn but because it is class A fire rated it is self -extinguishing. In other words, if you take the flame away, the foam stops burning. The fact is that the flame has to get to the foam first. Contents fires rarely effect foam as there are fire blocks built into the home via the use of sheet rock and other materials. Wood burns at 450 degrees which is far less than the foam. Anything that burns makes a toxic smoke.

Does the foam have formaldehyde?

Spray foam is almost formaldehyde-free. The amount is very small, in fact; there is more formaldehyde in a fruit cocktail than there is in 1,000lbs of spray foam.

What is the price difference between spray foam insulation and fiberglass insulation?

The upfront cost for the foam is higher than the initial cost of fiberglass insulation. However, the cost of operation pays off for the foam after.

How long does it take to “payback” the cost of spray foam?

It takes 4-5 years or less and after that it is about 20% return on investment!

Can you make a home too tight?

Yes, you can make a house too tight. Homes need to breathe too. However, we have a solution for that too! Houses should be “really, really tight.” But they also need mechanical ventilation. With a ventilation system—which can be as simple as the continuous or intermittent operation of quiet bathroom fans with intentional air inlets, to a whole-house ventilation system—you will be sure of getting the fresh air you need. The old way of thinking was to build the home and it leak uncontrollably. The new way of thinking is to ventilate the home to the occupants needs through an ASHRAE 62.2.10 standard which ensures that that home will not be a “sick home”.

Can this stop bats from coming in?

We have do several jobs that have had great success with keeping bats out of attics. The typical insatll of foam seals the spots that bats enter. While it is not a guarantee, it has worked in the past.

Call us today at 315-783-6978 if you have other questions or concerns!