Spray foam insulation has some disadvantages compared to other insulation methods. Despite having strings of benefits over other insulation materials, there are also some cons related to spray foam insulation.
Spray foam insulation is a relatively new technology compared to other conventional insulation materials such as fiberglass. For this reason, spray foam insulation is not fully mature and has lots of rooms for improvement.
One of the disadvantages of spray foam insulation is that its installation is a complicated task in existing homes. Let say you want to install a piece of new insulation on your existing home which already has some conventional insulations such as fiberglass batts/rolls, then installing spray foam insulation is a very tedious task. You have to basically remove the existing fiberglass insulation before installing the new spray foam insulation. Therefore, sprayed foam insulation is more adequate and suitable for new construction.
The other big disadvantage is the price. Sprayed foam insulation may cost double or triple of traditional fiberglass, cellulose and mineral wool insulation. The installed cost for sprayed foam insulation runs about two to three times more than traditional insulating materials – something around $1.25 to $2.25 per square foot (depending on wall thickness or type of foam).
Other than this, spray foam insulation is usually installed by a professional. The installation process requires special skills and knowledge or technical know-how. It’s rather difficult to be installed on your own. Therefore, it’s not suitable for DIY unless you know what you are doing. If not, installation should be done by an experienced installer. It demands special equipment and requires skill and knowing to spray the materials into cavities. For this reason, it adds extra labor costs to your house renovation and the price can be hefty if you were considering installing spray foam insulation on a lot of places in your house.
Nevertheless since spray foam insulation acts also as an air barrier, it provides air sealing besides insulation. And since most foam insulation products have a higher R-value per inch than traditional insulation materials, its higher initial cost becomes rather relative.
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