Can Spray Foam Be Used in Existing Walls?
We’ve written before about why a DIY approach might not work for installing spray foam insulation. One of the most common mistakes homeowners make with these projects is failing to remove old insulation from the wall before adding the new material.
Although the existing insulation needs to be removed, you do not have to build a brand new wall to add spray foam. This is one of the many reasons that make spray foam an energy-efficient and cost-effective option for reducing your energy consumption and improving the comfort of your home.
This handy guide will walk you through the process of how spray foam insulation can be installed in the existing walls of your home. If you have questions about upgrading your home with spray foam insulation, contact REenergizeCO in Denver or Fort Collins today!
1. Evaluating Your Energy Needs
Before you invest in spray foam insulation, it is important to consider what you are trying to achieve with the upgrade. If you have air leaks and drafts in certain rooms or areas of your house, you may need to improve your home insulation.
Another factor to consider is how much you pay each month for heating and cooling your home. If your monthly energy bills are consistently high, degraded insulation may be the culprit.
Prior to hiring an insulation company, you need to know the nature and extent of the problem. A home energy audit will provide crucial insights on where you’re losing money and what can be done to make your home more efficient.
2. Making Your Budget
In our experience, spray foam insulation is the best option for insulating homes. Though the price tag tends to be higher for spray foam than other types of insulation, the money you spend upfront is repaid many times over by your energy savings.
Most homeowners focus on upgrading the insulation in parts of the house with significant air leakage, rather than re-insulating every room. Ultimately, the home energy audit allows you to make informed decisions about how and where to invest in energy-efficient home improvements. This can help you zero in on the areas that need new insulation and determine how much spray foam insulation will cost.
3. Assessing Where You Need Insulation
Most drafts in the home stem from cracks and holes in exterior walls. Some parts of the house are more prone to damage than others.
Areas of the house where insulation upgrades are commonly needed (and where spray foam insulation is often advantageous) include:
- The attic
- Walls separating living areas from the outside world
- Walls with ductwork
- Walls that separate living areas from the garage
- The basement
- The crawl space
Spray foam insulation is extremely effective at closing up gaps that let outside air into the home and allow internal air to escape. Once you determine the best places to insulate, you will need to assess the current insulation in each wall.
4. Removing Insulation
Spray foam insulation loses its efficiency if it is installed over the top of existing fiberglass or other types of insulation. Combining new and old insulation also seals in problems that caused the current insulation to fail in the first place, such as moisture buildup, animal activity, etc.
With this in mind, it is vital to remove insulation before you install spray foam. Reputable insulation companies will always treat this as a two-part process in existing homes.
By hiring a professional, you can have confidence that old insulation will be thoroughly and safely removed from the walls. Insulation contractors will also dispose of old insulation properly
5. Installing New Insulation
After all of the old insulation is removed from existing walls, the spray foam insulation can be applied. To do this, the interior of the wall must be fully exposed. Spray foam expands rapidly, which can damage drywall if it is left in place.
Many homeowners have limited experience working with drywall, and they can encounter additional headaches and expense if they don’t take the proper steps. Another benefit of working with professional installers is that insulation professionals will know how to get the job done with a minimum of mess and without damaging your walls.
Spray foam insulation is not just for brand new houses. When existing insulation is removed and new material is installed properly, the benefits are immense for homes of any age.
Get Help with Spray Foam Insulation
The decision to upgrade your insulation is a smart move for a more comfortable, energy-efficient home. With all of the options for home insulation materials – and deciding whether to hire a company or do the job yourself – it can be difficult to know where to start.
At REenergizeCO, our passion is to empower homeowners to make the best decisions for improving their energy use.
Our certified energy auditors provide you with actionable insights for improving the performance of your home. With transparent pricing, you will be able to make sure that the project fits your budget. And, if you decide that our team is the right choice for installing spray foam in your home, we pledge to provide courteous and professional service.
Please contact REenergizeCO today to schedule your home energy audit and start planning your spray foam insulation project. Our team proudly serves homeowners in Denver, Fort Collins, and throughout the Colorado Front Range.