Closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation offers a unique set of benefits that can help owners of metal buildings or pole barns in a number of different ways. When deciding on the type of insulation material they should use, our Colorado clients have determined the following benefits as their top reasons to use spray foam:
1. Powerful Insulator
Thousands of fasteners and welds intersecting with hundreds of beams and metal panels conduct heat into and out of a metal building, causing most other insulations to be less effective. Spray foam not only insulates the structure well but because of its expansive nature, spray foam tightly seals all the nooks and crannies that otherwise would have been left exposed, and eliminates thermal bridging concerns.
2. Incredible Energy Savings
Research performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 1996 concluded that similar R-values of closed-cell spray polyurethane foam installed between metal studs in wall assemblies were 20% to 30% more energy efficient than fiberglass batts installed in similarly constructed wall assemblies. - This test did not even include factors such as air infiltration, but only heat transfer!
3. Air-tight Seal
Air sealing tops the list of the most cost effective ways to save energy. Gaps, cracks, and penetrations are where air leaks occur and are often the culprit of high energy bills and overall discomfort. Spray foam insulation fills in those crevices and voids, completely air-sealing around the through penetrations such as vents, pipes, stacks, structural supports, drains, and the like.
4. Moisture Barrier
With metal buildings, it can prove challenging and costly to identify and locate water leaks due to the irregular surfaces, angular corners and junctions. Flashings tend to move, increasing the potential for water leaks that may be hard to detect and to stop. Closed-cell spray foam conforms to the irregular surfaces, corners and junctions, forming a fully adhered, seamless waterproofing membrane that helps eliminate leaks.
5. Deters Mold
Spray foam is composed of an inert polymer that won't allow growth of mold or bacteria. This promotes better indoor air quality and a safer environment to work in.
6. Structural Strength
A topic of concern for many metal building owners is not having the ability to remove damaged wall panels after spray foam has been applied. Closed-cell spray foam has a high compressive strength. As a result, it will not only increase the structural integrity and rigidity of metal buildings, but protect the building, too. - In terms of cost, the replacement of wall panels on a metal building can cost $10 to $13 per square foot. In contrast, a closed-cell spray foam application only ranges from $3 to $5 per square foot; Less than half the cost.
Spray foam is considered "green" because it reduces energy consumption, protects against mold and is designed to last a very long time, producing fewer consumed materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill.