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Does spray foam insulation reduce noise? While designed for thermal insulation purposes, spray foam insulation offers some soundproofing potentials.
Soundproof spray foam is a closed or open polyurethane material made of two components. These components mix when sprayed on walls or cavities, and they expand to fill or cover the cavities before hardening.
The two components that make up soundproof spray foam are polymeric MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate), and the other component is a blend of fire-retardants, catalysts, polyol resins, and surfactants. Fire retardants are useful for decreasing combustibility and smoke generation. (Source) now that you have a basic overview of spray foam insulation, let’s answer the question, does spray foam insulation reduce noise?
Does Spray Foam Insulation Reduce Noise?
The answer is YES. Soundproof Spray foam does contribute to sound dampening and plays a crucial role in minimizing the amount of noise traveling throughout your home.
The properties of spray foam insulation help minimize flanking and airborne noise. As a result, sounds from barking dogs, street traffic, and aircraft engines can be reduced.
When optioned for structural soundproofing, insulation can address two noise types:
- Flanking noise
- Airborne noise
Fortunately, most spray foam insulations can reduce these two types of sounds. Some of our most recommended products in this case are:
- DOW FROTH-PAK 620 Spray Foam Sealant Kit
- Froth-PAK 200 (1.75 PCF) Sealant
- Touch N Seal 1000 Kit Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation
Gaming systems, talking, television, stereos, and smartphones all contribute to airborne noise. By filling and sealing all the cracks and gaps these sounds can travel through, soundproof spray foam can reduce the transmission of such airborne noises.
Flanking noise originates from within the walls. Plumbing runs are termed as flanking noise. Spray foam insulations are great in muffling such sounds by sealing all around the source. By sealing any available air gaps, airborne transmission of flanking noises is significantly reduced. This process creates quieter spaces free from sounds from running showers or flushing toilets.
Why Is Spray Foam Insulation Good in Soundproofing?
Spray foam insulation is regarded as one of the effective types of insulation for noise reduction.
One of the reasons is because it not only blocks out unwanted noise but also keeps in good noise. For example, when watching television or listening to the stereo, you want the sounds to stay within the room.
Spray foam will block noise from other rooms or outside and keep tv/stereo sounds within the rooms. Unlike other soundproofing products such as fiberglass insulation, spray foam expands into crevices found on the walls hence blocking out all unwanted noises.
Types of Soundproof Spray Foam Insulation
There are two types of spray foam insulation materials. They include open cell and closed cell spray foam insulation. Below is a detailed description of the respective material.
a) Closed-cell spray foam insulation
This type of insulation expands up to 35 to 50 times its original volume and can weigh up to 2 lb./ft³ when hardened. An ozone friendly hydrofluorocarbon is often used to deliver the foam to the cavity or surface where it expands and hardens.
Over 90% of the cells in this spray foam insulation are closed, making it impermeable to water, moisture, or vapor. This makes it good in thermal insulation.
The product has an R-Value of 6.1 per inch of thickness. It has a tensile strength of 28psi and much less flexible.
This greater strength offers some advantages during earthquakes, hurricanes prone areas.
b) Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation
This type of insulation expands up to 150 times the original volume and weighs approximately about 1/2 lb./ft³.
Unlike the closed-cell insulation, where ozone is used, this material uses water to drive the blended materials to wall cavities, where it expands to foam open-celled insulation that remains flexible.
The open cells trap airflow, making this material an excellent thermal barrier. It has a thermal R-value of 3.6 per inch and its semi-permeable to moisture and water vapor. Its tensile strength is about 4.0psi.
Benefits of Soundproof Spray Foam Insulation
Besides soundproofing, there are other benefits you get when you apply spray foam insulation in your home. They include:
- Improved humidity control
- Get rid of drafts and air leakages
- Improved air quality
- No colder and hotter rooms
When appropriately applied, the insulation foam will expand to fill the tiniest cracks or crevices. This firm seal alongside a well-maintained Air conditioner will give you the upper hand in maintaining ideal humidity levels in your home.
This has never been achieved with traditional insulations. Spray foam creates a seal such that hot air never meets cold air.
Get Rid of Drafts and Air Leakages
Whether you live in hot or cold climates, drafty home can be uncomfortable to live in. A drafty home is also one of the major causes of higher energy costs in the modern world.
Spray foam can encapsulate your entire home by sealing all the gaps and can even make the attic conditioned space. This, in turn, helps capture all the cooling and heating lost through exterior walls and vented attics creating a more comfortable home and saving you some bucks.
Improved Air Quality
If you are or anyone in your home prone to allergies or other respiratory conditions, spray foam insulations can help ease their symptoms.
The seal created by soundproof spray foam insulation will prevent dust, pollen, and other particles from outside from entering your home.
No colder or hotter rooms
Have you ever experienced situations where some rooms in your home are hotter and others colder?
If that’s the case, you’ll be excited to know that this condition can be eliminated with spray foam insulation. There are two reasons why spray foam achieves this: first, its highly resistant to heat gain hence prevents radiant heat from spreading through walls.
In addition, it has a monolithic air barrier that helps create steady temperatures throughout your home.
Spray Foam Insulation Alternatives
Some of the best alternatives spray foam insulation materials include fiberglass and stone wool.
Hollow sealed cavities are prone to resonance noise. While closed or open-cell foam is a good option for soundproofing, fiberglass is best preferred for damping resonance noise through the air cavity.
They are more effective in soundproofing than foam insulation. Unfortunately, they aren’t good at thermal insulation.
One of the most recommended materials, in this case, is the Owens Corning 703 Fiberglass Panels.
They have an STC rating of 52 and NRC rating of 1.10. Fiberglass can be used on the inside the cavities or on the wall. They are good in reducing echo, sound absorption, and eliminating reverberations.
This material is available in different sizes and is good at controlling noises. A good example is Rockwool Acoustic Mineral Wool Insulation with an NR and STC ratings of 1.10 and 52, respectively. Like fiberglass, it’s effective in controlling reverberations, reducing echoes, and sound absorption.
Final thoughts on Soundproof Spray Foam Insulation
In conclusion, spray foam is an effective material in both thermal insulation and soundproofing. Unfortunately, the features that make it trap soundwaves also contribute to creating resonating chambers that amplify mid-range sound frequencies.
To answer your question, does spray foam insulation reduce noise? The answer is Yes. It’s effective in reducing unwanted sounds. If you want a material that has excellent thermal insulation and soundproofing benefits, Spray foam is the way to go. Also read: Does Does Soundproof Paint Work? Everything On Sound Absorbing Paint