Custom built homes are a relatively new phenomenon. In the past decade or so homebuyers have really started to see the benefit of building their dream home through a custom home builder. This type of approach means you have knowledge and control of some of the structural and fundamental aspects of the home. From the frame to the coat of wall paint, the homeowner is engaged in the process. Last month we wrote a brief overview of some of our main energy efficient features. We thought we’d look at our newest addition a little closer.
Spray Foam Insulation as a Signature Feature
At ICON Homes we use 100% spray foam insulation. You may have heard the term, but what does it mean to you as a homeowner? There are plenty of short-term and long-term benefits. Spray foam, also known as polyurethane foam (SPF), is a highly versatile and effective insulation method used in residential and commercial buildings. Air leakage can account for a significant portion of lost energy, and the right barrier will prevent this and cut down on energy bills and keep your home at a comfortable level.
There are two types of spray foam insulation. There is the less dense and spongy-textured open-cell. Then there is the more rigid closed-cell foam that has high-density cells that are closed. Spray foam insulation is usually designated with an R-value. This refers to a material’s ability to resist heat flow. A higher number means a higher R-value. This can also depend on whether you are using closed-cell or open-cell. The R-value is a type of metric with which you can measure the efficiency of the insulation and how well it is protecting your home.
There is a myriad of benefits when it comes to using polyurethane spray foam in homes. Let’s take a quick look at how it benefits homeowners and why it is the fastest growing insulation method in North America.
- Airtight. Once it is applied, spray foam hardens, expands, and becomes an airtight surface that is highly effective in blocking the passage of air and moisture.
- Versatile. Because it can be sprayed on any surface and small space, it is an incredibly versatile material.
- Keeps out moisture. This type of insulation is great to keep moisture out. It protects the structural integrity of your home and means there is less maintenance required.
- Soundproof. Polyurethane insulation is also a great barrier against sound coming from the outside or from other rooms in the house.
- Relatively easy installation. The installation of this type of insulation does not present any added complications to the building process and is, in effect, simple to install, even in those hard to reach places.
The Background of Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation came about in the days of World War II. The preliminary technology was developed by a German industrial chemist named Otto Bayer, who had been working with polyurethane in the late thirties. Polyurethane was typically used for military and aviation purposes related to the war. The concept was brought to the U.S not long after by David Enyon of Mobay, a company working with the American war effort.
It was not until the next decade that polyurethane began to be experimented with as home insulation. Proceeding inventions made the application of the material easier, which increased its popularity. New approaches like the “blendometer”— a small apparatus that blended the components needed to make the material and produced the foam—propelled it into the mainstream. Advances in other industries, like the automobile industry, indirectly helped the advancement of this particular technology. It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that the spray foam was more widely used for home insulation. It was around this time that the spray nozzle was invented for its application and heightened the popularity with home builders.
Go Custom with the Best Home Builders in El Paso
Many people today are choosing to go custom and building their new homes from the ground up. It is through this process that people have a say on some of the fundamental decisions of their home structure that will affect the way their house performs for years to come. What goes behind the walls is just as important as what you see in front of them. We use spray foam insulation because it provides the client with more value. It enhances the integrity of the home. It makes for a better performing and more comfortable house. If you’re looking to buy a home, make your home an ICON. El Paso’s best custom home builders and designers are ready to build your vision!