Icynene Foam Insulation - How Does it Work? How Much Does it Cost?

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Icynene®Insulation - Questions and Answers

How Does Icynene® Insulation Work?  How Much Does It Cost? 

How Much Energy Can It Save?

Icynene® insulation is one of the most effective insulation products on the market today.  Icynene® is touted as saving homeowners 30-50% on energy costs - but also has a much higher price tag than standard fiberglass insulation.

We'll go over all the benefits and drawbacks of Icynene insulation, to help you decide whether you'd like to invest in this type of insulation in your next new home.

What, Exactly, is Icynene® Insulation?icynene foam insulation  how does it work and how much does it cost  raleigh custom home builders

Icynene® is a low-density, open-cell, semi-flexible foam insulation.  So what does that mean?

Low-Density:  Icynene® insulation is very light weight.  It is installed by spray, and expands up to 100 times it's original size before drying.

Open-Cell:  Icynene® foam insulation is described as having a consistency similar to angel food cake or meringue.  It is composed of many small "cells" that make it possible for the material to breathe.

Semi-Flexible:  Icynene® foam insulation will not lose it's seal with the natural small movements within a structure.  It is not rigid, and is designed to make small movements if necessary.

How is Icynene® Spray Foam Insulation Installed? 

Icynene® is installed only by trained and licensed dealers.  Liquid components are sprayed onto open walls, crawl spaces, or ceilings.  The components expand within seconds to fill in all building cavities while sealing any cracks or crevices. 

Icynene® is completely cured within just a few minutes.

Excess material is trimmed off so that drywall or other materials can be applied.

When Do I Need to Decide To Install Icynene® or Foam Insulation?

icynene foam insulation  how does it work and how much does it cost  raleigh custom home builders

Your builder will probably want to know whether or not you'd like to install Icynene before framing stage.  Because Icynene® offers a very tight seal, some additional venting systems will usually be required, and need to be installed before the foam insulation.

Icynene® or other foam insulation is applied just before drywall stage, after framing.  All plumbing, electrical, and HVAC rough ins should be complete, as well as all inspections. 

How Effective is Icynene® Spray Foam Insulation?

Foam insulations generally offer twice the R value per inch thickness as standard fiberglass batt insulation.  Manufacturers and installers say that installing Icynene will save 30-50% on energy costs.  Not only that, the tight seal may mean that a smaller or less expensive heating and cooling system can be used. 

Installing Icynene® insulation will also go very far towards getting Energy Star or Green Building LEED certification.Icynene Foam Insulation - How Does it Work?  How Much Does it Cost?

What About Sound and Water Barriers?

Icynene is touted as being an effective sound barrier, and noted as greatly reducing noises from outside the building while reducing echoes within it, particularly those of voices or stereo/tv.

Insulation is not normally installed in interior walls, but could be installed in a particular room for further sound reduction.  For instance, installing insulation in the interior walls of the master suite could allow better sleep for a spouse who works night shifts and sleeps during the day.

Icynene is not a vapor barrier, which means any water introduced around the insulation will either dry or continue through.  Normal fiberglass batt insulation is not a vapor barrier either - vapor barriers are usually installed between the exterior cladding and the solid sheathing on the exterior wall.  Icynene is not infiltrated by moisture laden air. 

Are there any harmful fumes or vapors?

Icynene® has been extensively tested in both Canada and the United States, and no VOCs were detected after 30 days.  It's safe for both the homeowner and the environment. Icynene® is water-based, and does not produce formaldehyde, CFCs or HCFCs.

Not only that, Icynene is recommended for use in homes for many environmentally concerned or sensitive people. The Icynene Insulation System® has been selected as a product for use in American Lung Association Health House projects.

How Much Does Icynene Spray Foam Insulation Cost?icynene foam insulation  how does it work and how much does it cost  raleigh custom home builders

The total dollar amount will vary greatly depending on the square footage and footprint of the home.  In general, this type of insulation costs 3-4 times a standard fiberglass batt insulation. 

Another option?   Some homeowners opt to install Icynene in just a few locations, like underneath the roof in the attic and around doors. 

Who Installs Icynene Insulation in the Raleigh Area?

If you're completing a remodel project and would like to install Icynene foam insulation, there are a variety of local insulation businesses that offer their services.  If you're building or buying a new home, talk to your builder directly about installing Icynene insulation.

Healthy Home Insulation, LLC.  Gene Toth 919-363-7756

Insulating Inc.  Alan Rollins 919-256-9600 1212 Home Court, Raleigh, NC 27603


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Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thanks for the information.

Aug 28, 2008 12:28 AM #1
Suzanne Champion
N.J. Realty - Westerville Ohio - Columbus, OH

Although I'm not a fan of creating more plastics that will be around forever ... I'd feel better if the polyethylene used in this product at least came from recycled sources. 

Hopefully these homes will be standing for the next few hundred years anyway right?  That should be interesting...

Aug 28, 2008 12:30 AM #2
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

More information about the icynene foam insulation and how it is used to ensure higher quality indoor air, less energy usage, and Green Building can be found here:



Aug 28, 2008 01:35 AM #3
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