The advantages of spray foam insulation.
Icynene is a form of spray foam insulation. The thermal conductivity of the insulation is about the same as mineral wool. It has the advantage of making the building very air tight. Because of its rapid expansion it has a tendency to fill any gaps. It is a lot more waterproof than fibreglass or mineral wool, which absorb water very easily. Some of the closed cell foams made by Icynene for insulating cavity walls don’t absorb water at all. This is useful as one of the main drawbacks of putting cavity wall insulation in any wall more than 50 years old is dampness.
What do I think of Icynene foam insulation?
Its main advantage is its ease of installation. Kingspan and Celotex produce superior products in terms of their thermal conductivity but installing them to a standard that is actually going to give you superior air permeability and superior insulation is a slow patient job even when done by a professional installer. The proper use of plasterboard and tape shown in Kingspan books would produce air tightness at least as good as Icynene but at an enormous labour cost. Icynene can make a building very air tight without much effort, and there aren’t many products that can do that. The lower thermal resistance is an issue but this is made less so if the Icynene is applied over and between joists in thick layers. Icynene is perfectly good if you want reasonable quality insulation that is easy to install at a reasonable cost with good air tightness. There are better products but they cost more and take more time to install. Icynene is probably better for refurbishing existing buildings than trying to produce new buildings with a very high spec.
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