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Spray Foam Insulation in a Metal Home: Benefits and Challenges

Updated: May 24

Why is spray foam the best for your metal home?

When embarking on a new metal home construction journey is filled with a million decisions. Today we’re looking at the choice of insulation, which plays a pivotal role not just in aesthetics but also in long-term investments. One insulation option that stands out for general contractor Jason Strange at Ace’s Custom Builds is spray foam, particularly for its contribution to enhanced structural integrity. Unlike traditional insulation methods, spray foam has unique properties that significantly impact a new metal home's ability to withstand various challenges.

WATCH: Ace's Custom Builds co-owner Jason Strange explaining spray foam in a custom metal home.

Spray foam's standout feature is its expansive nature, filling gaps and cracks seamlessly. This expansion fortifies the walls, floors, and ceilings, providing a massive advantage in terms of structural stability in a metal home. Not only does spray foam combat heat and cold, but also water and air. This added structural integrity becomes a valuable asset when facing storms, strong winds and Huntsville heat, making a barndominium, or any home, more resilient to external forces. The comprehensive barrier created by spray foam is unmatched in traditional insulation methods, offering a level of protection that goes beyond mere temperature control.

Is spray foam energy efficient?

Heat is always an issue here in Huntsville, Texas, getting upwards of one hundred degrees in August. Proper insulation in metal homes is incredibly important for keeping the temperature down inside the barndominium. Co-founder of Ace's Custom Builds, Jason Strange, discovered that adding a thicker layer of spray foam in the attic is key. Strange has found that spraying roughly four and a half to five inches of foam on the perimeter walls and five and a half to six inches on the roof maintains an attic temperature of seventy eight degrees, even while it's over a hundred outside. This lessens the strain on your cooling system, thus being significantly more energy efficient than other formats of insulation. The thicker layering of spray foam comes standard in Ace's metal homes, separating them from the rest.

Is spray foam insulation expensive? 

Understanding the financial aspects of spray foam insulation is essential when considering it for new metal home construction. While the upfront cost may be higher compared to traditional insulation methods like fiberglass, the long-term benefits often outweigh the initial investment. Spray foam's air-sealing properties contribute to lower monthly energy costs, a very desirable outcome during the harsh Huntsville summers. A direct result of thicker layering of spray foam in the attic according to general contractor, is the lower energy bills, thus saving you money in the long run. The durability of spray foam eliminates the need for frequent replacements, making it a cost-effective choice over the life of the metal home.

Spray foam insulation for a custom metal home in Huntsville, Texas by Ace's Custom Builds
Spray foam insulation applied to an Ace's Custom Builds home

What are the benefits to using spray foam?

Not only is spray foam insulation cost effective and energy efficient, blocking out not just heat and cold but air and water, it prevents against other things you don't want in your metal home. Spray foam creates a barrier against water therefore preventing mold and mildew growth, which no one wants in their home. This also helps to improve the air quality in your barndominium, not only reducing mold, but as spray foam gets into the cracks and crevices, it prevents allergens in the air from getting inside your metal home. Due to its expansive nature, it also acts as a barricade against small rodents, insects and bugs. One last thing spray foam works to keep out? Noise. Open cell spray foam works harder than any other insulation at keeping out unwanted noises from neighbors.

Structurally spray foam contains a plethora of benefits. Spray foam last longer than fiberglass and styrofoam. These options need to be replaced over time, while spray foam is extremely durable. This also makes it a more eco friendly choice as, not only do you use less energy in heating and cooling your metal home, you also use less materials. Due to its density and hardness, spray foam acts like a glue, actually increasing the sturdiness of your walls. Mother Nature is a force, and spray foam can assist in holding your home together against some of her nastiest elements. Therefore, it can also increase your metal home's value.

What are common issues with spray foam in attics? 

While spray foam insulation presents a number of benefits, it's essential to navigate potential challenges, particularly when applied in attics. One common issue arises when the spray foam isn't thick enough to prevent airflow effectively. Proper insulation dictates that the foam should be around two to three inches thick, ensuring optimal energy efficiency. As mentioned earlier, in a metal home, particularly catering to the Huntsville heat, Jason Strange at Ace's Custom Builds will make this layer of spray foam even thicker to combat the intense heat.

Installation challenges may lead to installers overlooking air leakage sites, necessitating additional sealant. Understanding the building envelope is crucial, as improper density application can result in drafts. Additionally, spray foam contracts and pulls away from framing in some instances, leaving gaps in insulation. Issues related to roof damage, bad smells, and mold growth can occur if the installation process or chemical balance is not carefully managed. This is something construction company Ace’s Custom Builds keeps an eye out for during installation, as insulation is critical for any home, but especially in a barndo.

Spray foam insulation on a custom metal home by Ace's Custom Builds in Huntsville, Texas
The careful insulation process on custom built metal home.

How is spray foam versatile in a barndominium? 

The versatility of spray foam insulation extends to various areas within a new metal home, making it a comprehensive solution for different construction needs. From attics to basements, interior walls to hard-to-reach spaces, spray foam proves its adaptability. The ability to cover such a wide range of areas makes it a preferred choice for the custom home builders Ace’s Custom Builds, aiming to create a well-insulated and energy-efficient metal home.

In the attic, where traditional insulation might fall short, spray foam excels in sealing and insulating. Its expansive nature ensures that even the smallest cracks or gaps are filled, creating an effective moisture and air barrier. Basements, often prone to dampness and mold, benefit from the moisture-resistant properties of spray foam, safeguarding against leaks and potential mold growth. The adaptability of spray foam allows it to be seamlessly applied to both interior and exterior walls, offering a consistent level of insulation throughout the barndominium.

Is spray foam insulation code compliant?

In terms of code compliance, spray foam insulation passes code requirements by focusing on performance rather than just meeting prescriptive R-value standards. The choice between open cell and closed cell foam depends on the home's structure, with open cell foam offering pliability suitable for new barndominiums that may shift and settle over time.

Exploring customer-reported energy bill savings, factors influencing costs, and the duration of the installation process provides valuable insights for those considering spray foam insulation for their new construction metal homes.

Empowering your new barndominium journey with spray foam insulation.

The choice of insulation for a new metal home is a decision that extends beyond immediate considerations. Spray foam insulation emerges as a comprehensive solution, offering benefits such as enhanced structural integrity, versatility in application, and long-term cost-effectiveness. While challenges exist, understanding and addressing issues related to thickness, air leakage, and proper installation can mitigate potential drawbacks.

As prospective homeowners navigate the intricate process of constructing a new metal home, the comprehensive insights into spray foam insulation provide a foundation for informed decision-making. Emphasizing the importance of hiring experienced contractors such as Jason Strange at Ace’s Custom Builds ensures that the installation process aligns with the unique requirements of each new construction project. By weighing the advantages against the challenges, individuals can empower their new metal home journey with the many benefits that spray foam insulation brings to the table.

To Recap.

  • While the upfront cost of spray foam can be more than other insulation options, the long term benefits really pay off, especially in Texas summers.

  • Ace's Custom Builds has found that thicker application of spray foam in the attic can significantly lower your monthly energy bills making it a brilliant energy efficient option.

  • Other benefits of spray foam include being environmentally friendly, preventing mold growth, improving air quality, and reducing noise to name a few.

  • Spray foam enhances the structural integrity of your metal home.

  • Spray foam is the more durable, long-term, cost effective insulation choice.

  • Spray foam surpasses code compliance regulations.

When Ace's Custom Builds constructs the metal home of your dreams, these benefits come in the package deal. One of the biggest challenges of spray foam is application in the attic, but here at Ace's, we have that covered.

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