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Spray Foam & Climate Zones

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Spray Foam Insulation in Cold & Warm Climates

Depending on the climate zone, there are some recommendations to consider how spray foam insulation can work effectively in your residential projects.

Spray foam insulation in cold climate zones

In cold climates, air from the conditioned living space can make its way into the attic and vent to the outside, resulting in heat loss. In the winter, interior warm air from a poorly vented attic can cause snowmelt on the roof surface, leading to ice damming and roof leaks. Making the attic floor airtight is one remedy for this problem, but this is sometimes impractical if there are many penetrations through the attic floor, like recessed lights. Using spray foam to create an unvented attic will make the home airtight at its highest point and prevent ice damming.

Spray foam in warm climate zones

In warm climate zones, temperatures in vented attics can reach well in excess of 130°F. HVAC equipment located in this space would be under a considerable burden to maintain indoor comfort. Because of the extreme temperature and the infiltration of moisture-laden air and attic pressurization, your clients can be subject to problems including energy inefficiency and poor indoor air quality.

Using Icynene spray foam insulation to create an unvented attic can achieve the following results:

  • Duct leakage remains within the conditioned space, eliminating the loss of conditioned air.
  • HVAC equipment is brought into the conditioned space so it doesn’t have to work overtime to cool the home and remove excess humidity. This increased efficiency locks in energy savings.
  • With open-cell spray foam insulation, the source of a roof leak is easily detectable for repair and the material is unaffected by the wetting/drying process, maintaining original performance once dried.
  • Sealing soffit vents with Icynene spray foam insulation controls rain water and wind-driven moisture ingress for added durability.
  • The attic temperature stays within five to 10°F of the living environment below.