Spray Foam Insulation vs Traditional Insulation

If you want to insulate a home or business location, you will quickly find you have a range of insulation options from which to choose. Some types of insulation products have different advantages and are better for your specific situation, but it may be difficult to determine which type of insulation product is better than the other. Therefore, you must recognise the distinction between traditional insulation and spray foam insulation. In this guide, we will review cellulose, fibreglass, and spray foam insulation to determine the peculiarities of each insulation method.

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Fibreglass insulation is considerably more affordable than spray foam isolation, but also less effective, particularly in cold weather. The most common form of home isolation is fiberglass isolation, as it is used in many homes in the UK. Spray foam insulation has a lower market share, but is increasingly popular. Spray foam insulation requires professional installation, but owners can install fibreglass insulation themselves.

How do Spray Foam and Fibreglass Work ?

With fibreglass insulation, the transfer of heat is slowed down because the air bubbles are covered by the glass fibres. An insulating effect is created by these bubbles as they slow the exchange of heat between surfaces and areas.

Spray foam comprises a solvent and a foaming agent, such as polyurethane. It expands to approximately a hundred times its actual volume after being sprayed, and hardens into a solid. This way, it can fill in empty air holes and will expand or contract with respect to the structure.

What are the Types of Spray Foam Insulation ?

The two kinds of spray foam are the open-cell and closed-cell spray foam insulation. Each type is beneficial, based on the needs and costs for insulation. Open-cell foam means the cells are broken, and the gaps within the material are filled with air. Thus, open-cell foam is smoother and less rigid in nature than closed-cell foams, where the cells form a cohesive structure.

As they are filled with gas, the closed-cells hold their shape, making them stronger and a better insulator. If external forces do not stress the foam, it does not necessarily have to adapt to a solid shape, and you’re working with a limited budget, then open-cell foam is better.

Although open-cell foam is limited in its length of insulation, closed-cell foam can vary considerably in density and isolation factors. Density is directly related to the strength of the insulation and is determined by measuring one cubic foot of the foam content.

The open-cell foam weighs 0.4 to 0.5 lbs/Cu. Ft, with an R-value factor of about 4 per inch. Closed-cell foam with high density of between 1.7 and 2.0 lbs./Cu may be made. Not only does the higher density allow it to be moulded for light structural or decorative uses, but it also offers R-values of over 5.8 per inch.

Cost differences are based not only on materials, but also on the application methods. Open-cell foam can be easily applied and set up using a water-based process which is low cost. Also, open-cell foam uses more room per weight (i.e., it is less dense), so it requires less material to fill a space.

Closed-cell foams require the proper application of R-value blowing agents, are heavier, and are therefore more costly and more difficult to install. Closed-cell insulation is often not affordable. This has to be considered when choosing between spray foam insulators.

What is the Energy Efficiency of Spray Foam vs. Fiberglass ?

The fibreglass insulation components do not prohibit air from passing through it. Where fibreglass insulation is built, more than 30% of air conditioning or heat escapes on the average. Fibreglass may also leave gaps around fixtures if improperly designed, thereby enabling even more cooling or heating to escape.

Insulation of the spray foam covers all gaps, stopping air from escaping. It serves as a barrier to the air. Spray foam insulation, like cellulose insulation, is much more effective than fibreglass and also has a higher R-value.

What is the Cost of Fiberglass vs. Spray Foam Insulation ?

Spray foam insulation in general costs two to three times as much as fibreglass insulation. Spray foam can be considerably more expensive, but may result in greater savings on cooling and heating costs. The cost of installing it is also considerably higher than fibreglass, owing to the difficulty of the construction process for spray foam insulation.

However, spray foam lasts a lifetime and can be used in nooks and crannies unsuitable for fibreglass. With its higher energy efficiency and lower utility bills, the payback period is expected to be between 5 and 7 years for colder climates to offset the higher cost of spray foam insulation.

Spray Foam Insulation vs. Cellulose

Cellulose has a fire retardant element that is usually boric acid. In some instances this is used where boric ammonium sulphate is not used. Spray foam insulation also is fire resistant, making it a fire retardant product. 

Both cellulose and spray foam is sprayed in but, because the substance is different, it also means that when spray foam is added, it begins as a liquid but in a matter of seconds it transforms rapidly into a foam. Another advantage of spray foam isolation is that it is not difficult to apply.

How Does Spray Foam Insulation Benefit Your Energy ?

Spray foam insulation produces an air barrier to prevent air from escaping and cold air from coming in. On the other hand, the distinction is that isolation from fibreglass is a traditional product and becomes obsolete.

Fibreglass insulation enables air to pass through the small gaps very slowly, which can cause heat loss in the property and increase your energy prices. On the other hand, the difference is that spray foam insulation stops all this from outdating all the traditional methods. Insulating spray foam maximises energy efficiency.

At IfSprayfoam UK, we sincerely believe that the use of spray foam insulation can effectively ensure a saving of up to 50%  on your energy bills with a positive result on your property. Fibreglass insulation, unlike spray foam insulation, would not be able to maximise the cost of energy, since the distinction between the traditional and modern insulation product is the fact that they are so wide apart that you can’t help but admit that spray foam insulation is the best insulation material on the market.

Installation of spray foam also has so many other benefits for your property. It minimises noise disturbance and reduces pollution from dust and air, which also makes a huge difference on your carbon footprint, making it much safer for the world. Another advantage of spray foam insulation is that it  makes your property more sustainable. From reading all these advantages, you now know that spray foam insulation is the best product to use.

Why Choose IfSpray foam Insulation ?

Do you experience problems with condensation or moulding in your home? Are you looking for a safe kind of insulation for your property? Spray foam is the solution to all those problems!

IfSprayfoam Insulation is a professional insulation company with a highly experienced team of applicators located in the heart of the UK. Each applicator has several years of experience in the spray foam insulation industry.

Our mission remains the same: providing our customers with the highest standards of quality and service. We serve the whole of the UK: from the coast of the North Sea down to the South Coast English Channel. We have spray foam installers in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff, Coventry, Southampton, Portsmouth, Kirklees, Stockport, Sandwell, Leicester, Plymouth, and every part of the United Kingdom.

IfSprayfoam has years of experience in supplying homes and commercial properties with insulation, including industrial buildings, agricultural areas, workplaces, and residential homes. We also provide incredibly high-performance insulation at a very competitive price which meets all current building regulations.

All the materials we use are manufactured by Icynene, Lapolla, and Walltite, all of which comply with current fire regulations. There are also spray foam insulating materials and coatings where additional fire protection is necessary.

Find out today if spray foam insulation is perfect for your home. Call us on 02380970979 for a free quote, or fill in our online quote form.


There’s no question that spray foam is the ultimate insulator, based purely on R-values. Finding the perfect insulation for your specific property is not as easy as getting the one with the highest R-value on the package. You will need to consider critical factors like your overall budget, potential safety risks, the environment in your city, and the amount of space in your attic.

If you want an effective, environmentally friendly and long-term solution to problems relating to condensation or insulation, then spray foam insulation is perfect for you. This is one of the best types of insulating material suited to nearly any property or building.

If incorrectly applied, the SPI can put pressure on your property’s structure and can cause damage to your home. The isocyanate and polyol resin reaction produces poisonous fumes. The installer will wear a face mask to stop the fumes from being inhaled and will make sure you and other people leave the area. If this is not achieved by your installer, it can be very harmful to your health.