STRICTLY BUSINESS: More Than Just Inspections

866-366-3700 | strictly-business@sb-energy.org
New York Office: (718) 877-8735 | New Jersey Office: (908) 202-2208 or (732) 497-2674

FAQ Contracting Services

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

1. What about rebates and tax breaks?
 How do I get them?

Please see our page on rebates. All existing homes in New Jersey, qualify for up
to $5000 in incentives for installation of energy efficiency upgrades. New
construction homes have other rules governing their rebates, so please visit the
rebates page for more information and links.

2. Doesn’t my house need to “breathe”?

Yes, and no…. Attics and crawlspaces are ventilated to achieve moisture
control, so you don’t start growing mold in those areas. Because Spray Foam
eliminates condensation problems, there is no moisture, and therefore no longer
a need for ventilation. Spray Foam is the only insulation approved for use in
unvented attics. Attics have been traditionally vented to reduce moisture
condensation against the cold underside of the roof sheathing from warm, moist
air that gets into the attic from inside the home. This has been a proven
system for a long time, and makes the “old” system of vented attics with insulated
floors of the attic (the ceiling joists of the upper floor of the house) obsolete.

3. OK, so what does it cost ?

Spray Foam Insulation (SPF) is more costly to install than many other insulation
types. What many people don’t think of is that while Spray Foam costs more to
install, it seals and insulates so well and saves you money year after year, it pays
for itself in just a few years. It is actually more cost effective than other forms of
insulation.

4. Is “spray foam insulation” the same as “blown in insulation”?
                                                                                                                                                                                    No, “spray foam insulation” is actually 2 liquid chemicals that are mixed in exact proportions as
they are sprayed onto the surface to be insulated. What results is a
polyurethane foam that quickly expands to form a semi-rigid structure which
actually strengthens the surface it is sprayed on. It most closely resembles the
Styrofoam panels you often see used as packing materials.
“Blown in insulation” is usually cellulose insulation that comes in big bales, and
has to be blown into place using a machine and a hose. Cellulose insulation is
recycled shredded newspaper with a chemical treatment to make it fire resistant
and resistant to insects. Blown in insulation has a lower R value per inch, and
does not air-seal the way spray foam does.

5. Will rodents and pests nest in or eat the insulation?

SPF provides no food value for rodents and pests, so they don’t eat it. Unlike
fiberglass, animals cannot nesting in it, however it is still important to build a
house to keep them out to begin with. With spray foam, only the inside of your
house is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, so any pests you may find in
your house come from the inside to begin with. We’d suggest you call an
exterminator if that happens.

6. Does spray foam produce any VOC’s or leave odors?                                                                                                                                                                                                     
No, Spray Foam goes from liquid to foam in a few seconds. It is dry to the touch within seconds, and is
completely cured in 24 hours, and produces no VOC’s or odors. Any left-over
odors are harmless, and dissipate within a couple of days. The more
ventilation we have during installation, the more quickly odors will be undetectable.

7. What about injecting foam in the walls?
 Is this the same kind of foam?

Yes, we can inject a different kind of foam in your walls, but only about 20% of
heat losses in the typical home come through walls.
Besides, injecting foam in the walls requires drilling lots of holes in your interior or
exterior walls, so we prefer to put insulation in attics, crawlspaces, and
basements, where its more effective, and we don’t have to get into drilling holes
in your walls.

8. What is the R-values for spray foam?

R-values are a measure (per inch of thickness) of the resistance of a material to
conduction of heat. Higher R numbers are better at insulating against the
spread of heat. “R value” is only half the story though… Most insulation
materials (cellulose, fiberglass) only SLOW DOWN the movement of heat. The
higher the R value, the slower the heat is lost, but air can filter through most
insulation materials. Closed cell spray foam not only has the highest R-value
of any commonly used insulation, but it air-seals as well, so it also stops air
infiltration. Because of this, Spray Foam (with an R value of 7 per inch) will keep
you warmer than Fiberglass batts (R is only 3.5 per inch) with twice the number
of inches of insulation.

9. Is Spray Foam code approved?
 Will my town buildings department inspector
approve the job if I use Spray Foam?


Yes, spray foam is approved by both the International Code Council and NJ
Uniform Construction Code for unvented attics and all insulation applications,
both above and below grade. The only issue that occasionally comes up is
ignition barriers, but if that is the case, we will let you know what else is required.
Closed cell spray foam is approved for areas of the house subject to flooding.
Closed cell foam is also on the FEMA approved list for flood prone structures.

10. If it’s safe, what’s the need for a respirator and Tyvek suit?

Spray foam expands to around 100 times it’s size in the first few seconds as it is
being sprayed. If you inhaled the unexpanded foam and it expanded inside your
lungs, it could cause serious problems, so we wear a mask. The Tyvek suit
keeps the foam from sticking to our clothes, and body, making clean-up much
easier.

11. What’s the difference between Open and Closed Cell Foam?

"Open Cell", or "low density" spray foam cures soft. The R-Value of Open Cell
foam is around 3.8 per inch. Open Cell foam is not a Code Approved Vapor
Barrier, which means it is not as good at blocking the flow of air. It is, however
much better at sound insulation, and for uses where you don’t want to “trap”
moisture, but allow it to flow through the insulation without damaging the
insulation. It also does not expand as much as closed cell foam.
"Closed Cell"," spray foam cures rigid. The R-Value of Closed Cell foam is
between 7 and 7.7 per inch. The Closed Cell structure is very strong, and adds to
the structural strength of the structure it is sprayed onto. Closed Cell foam is a
Code Approved Vapor Barrier, and is functionally air-tight and waterproof. It is
not damaged by exposure to water.

12. Are the chemicals that the foam is made from safe?

The chemicals that make up Spray Foam are not something you’d want to put in
your mouth or get in your eyes, however when the 2 chemicals mix (that happens
inside the spray tip), the foam cures in less than a minute, and it is then safe to
touch. We work with it on a regular basis and know all of the necessary safety
precautions.

13. How do I get started?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Give us a call at (877)NRG-FOAM, or email at
info@FOAMpeople.com and we’ll be happy to discuss with you the many
benefits of Spray Foam Insulation, as well as the applicable state and federal
rebates. If you so choose, please take the time to read our article on “What are
the steps to insulating my home with Spray Foam Insulation”

14. What else besides insulation can you do with Spray foam?

Air sealing, duct insulation & sealing, insulation for commercial refrigeration,
foundation waterproofing, marine flotation, noise/sound proofing, structural
reinforcement, movie set construction, and many other uses. Other uses include
the exterior of flat roofs, basement floors, underground footings and foundation
walls, and pools.

15. How Does Spray Foam help indoor air quality and Improve comfort?

Moisture, mold spores, pollutants, and insects move on air currents, which can
travel through fiberglass insulation. Spray Foam creates an air-tight sealed
thermal envelope. Within a minute of being sprayed on, the foam rapidly expands
100-130 times it’s original size, and fills in every single nook, cranny, crevice,
hole, crack, and gap in the surface it is sprayed on, creating an air-tight,
waterproof, envelope that prevents moisture, mold, contaminants, insects, and
vermin from entering the building envelope or traveling through it. Unlike
fiberglass, Spray Foam has no fibers or loose materials to be blown around and
contaminate the interior air. Spray Foam offers no food value, and is inert.
Because of this, it does not support bacteria or fungal growth.
As a Code Approved Vapor Barrier Spray Foam stops air movement in the
basement, crawlspace, attic, and within the wall cavity, which eliminates moisture
problems such as mold and mildew. Once Spray Foam cures, it does not or
emit any harmful VOCs or CFCs. A building sprayed with Foam is also much
quieter. It lowers the noise level from outside, and inside too. The result is
improved indoor air quality, and a healthier more comfortable building.

16. How Does Spray Foam Control Moisture and Condensation?

Moisture, mold spores, pollutants, and insects move on air currents, which can
travel through fiberglass insulation. Most of the damaging moisture within a
building envelope is the result of convection currents through and inside the wall
cavity. Warm moist inside air circulates and exchanges with cold dry outside air
when the cavity is insulated with Fiberglass or Cellulose. As the moisture in the
air condenses, it forms dew within the insulation. This decreases the
effectiveness of the insulation, and if it is there long enough, grows mold and can
even rot the wall framing. Spray foam fills up the wall cavity and stops the air
movement within the wall. No air movement means no convection, resulting in no
condensation, and elimination of moisture problems.

17. What about flooding?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             FEMA guidelines consider closed cell spray foam a class 5 rated (most flood resistant) material. It is the ONLY acceptable
insulation material listed by FEMA under flood resistant building material
guidelines.

18. I am putting up a new construction building. When would I install Spray
Foam Insulation?


Spray Foam is installed after all windows, doors and roof components (rafters,
roof decking, collar ties, trusses) are in, after exterior wall framing(studs,
sheathing, building wrap) are done. Electrical, and plumbing inspections must
also be completed first. Anything else located behind the drywall must be
installed and inspected first, as the foam will encapsulate everything inside the
walls. It is the last installation to take place before drywall is put in place.

19. How Long Does Spray Foam Last?

It will last as long as the building lasts. In fact, it strengthens the building, and
makes the building last longer as well.

20. Does Spray Foam Cause any Overheating with Electrical Wiring?

No, If the electrical wiring is of the right size so it doesn’t overheat on its own,
Spray Foam will not cause it to overheat.

21. Is Spray Foam Corrosive to Metal or any other construction material?

No, Spray Foam is inert, and non-corrosive.

22. How is spray foam insulation priced?

It is priced by the Board Foot, which is a measure of volume. We carefully
measure your exterior walls and/or roof and/or basement/crawlspace to get the
total area needing spray foam. This area, times the thickness of spray foam is
the number of board feet of foam required. A 100-foot by 8-foot area with foam
one inch thick is 800 board foot. Two inches thick would be 1,600 board feet,
etc.,
Spray foam is R7 per inch, so the thickness determines the total R value. As an
example, if your wall studs are 2X6, fiberglass insulation can offer a maximum R
value of 19. Spray foam at the same thickness can offer an R value of 40. The
additional cost of installing spray foam will be more than made up by the savings
you’ll get on your utility costs because of the added R value of the insulation.
Volume discounts apply for larger jobs

23. What other services does Strictly Business offer besides Spray Foam?

We can offer you everything from a Home Energy Audit, to tips on improving your
home’s energy efficiency to providing a full service solution to all your energy
efficiency and sustainability needs.
We believe strongly that you can, with a little help, both save energy and money,
and make your home a more comfortable and enjoyable place to live.