We’ve covered hiring a green contractor—but what if you’re doing it yourself? No matter the size of your project, you must consider the environmental impact of your new build or renovation. How can you reduce your carbon footprint and increase your green building footprint?
Before you start gathering materials, the answer is clear: green products are the way of the future. Versi-Foam® has got environmentally friendly insulation covered for you, but here are the best green products for all of your other project needs.
There are eco-friendly options to consider for every element of your upcoming project—from the materials used to craft the structure itself to the products you cover it with and put inside of it. In order to select the best green products for your next project, the following are some materials to consider.
Using reclaimed wood is a fantastic way to save trees from being cut down and keep lumber out of landfills. According to Dumpsters.com, reclaimed wood is most often found from or through:
Other good options for sustainable flooring include bamboo, cork, mycelium, and ferrock. Bamboo works well as a replacement for traditional hardwood, though, cork is a desirable option, too, as it’s “highly renewable, but cork also has hypoallergenic properties, fire retardant qualities, and is resistant to liquids.”
Particularly in areas where natural disasters or inclement weather, such as high winds and earthquakes, are prevalent, steel is the smarter material to use for a home or building’s beams. Steel construction materials are 100% recyclable, giving steel beams an infinite shelf life that drastically reduces your carbon footprint when you purchase them pre-owned.
Moreover, “steel is the material of choice by engineers and architects because of its inherent strong performance characteristics such as durability, reliability, versatility in design and consistency,” according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
The windows and doors you choose can greatly affect the overall sustainability of your home and its effect on the environment—and your wallet. Energy efficient windows are the smart choice, specifically windows made with Low-E, or low-emissivity, glass.
Low-E windows have a special coating that allows them to reflect both short- and long-wave infrared rays. This prevents heat transfer and ensures that only visible light is able to pass through the glass from either direction. You get all of the light and none of the increase in temperature, as well as lower energy bills and less fading of furniture, rugs, and carpet.
Versi-Foam® spray foam insulation kits offer an energy efficient and LEED-certified option that will also save you time and money. This easy-to-use product boasts SPF insulation technology that helps you reduce your use of fossil fuels, which means less greenhouse gases emitted. Much like cork’s hypoallergenic properties, Versi-Foam® insulation also enhances interior air quality—eliminating nearly all bacteria, toxins, mold, and asthma-threatening elements.
Solar panels are a well-known piece of sustainable technology and a great source of renewable, or clean, energy, but have you heard of solar roof tiles? Designed to look like standard asphalt shingles, solar roof tiles can be installed as part of the roof itself or mounted on brackets on top of pre-existing shingles.
While both have their advantages, installing solar technology of any kind will save you money, improve the value of your home and your environmental impact, require little to no maintenance, and provide energy independence. You will also be eligible for the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in the U.S.—a 26% tax credit applicable for both residential and commercial structures.
Let us help you choose the right insulation for your next project. Contact us today!
As a manufacturer of spray polyurethane foam (SPF), Versi-Foam® must adhere to the regulations put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We make sure all of our customers are aware of what using spray foam insulation entails and how to do so safely, and we promise to always keep you up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations, such as the newly implemented state phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons.
Before you use any kind of spray foam insulation product, it’s important to understand the potential risks of using this type of material. On the Versi-Foam® website, you can find an SDS on each product, which is available in both English and Spanish. You’ll find a list of warnings to avoid inhalation and any contact with your skin or eyes.
When you are spraying foam insulation, you must have respiratory protection to prevent exposure to any potential hazards. There are different types of respiratory protection, often simply referred to as respirators, available depending on the type of product being used or airborne concern at hand.
Respiratory protection is only one type of personal protective equipment (PPE). Most often, PPE is used to prevent injuries or illnesses that can occur in the workplace. If PPE is required, such as when working with spray insulation, you must always be provided with the following information:
You can find all of this information in the aforementioned SDS for each product.
While less applicable for residential use, OSHA will provide a free consultation for both small and large businesses across the U.S. so employees can easily find out whether there are any workplace hazards they should be aware of. These on-site consultations also allow businesses, like worksites for commercial projects, to learn and improve without the risk of receiving a citation.
As stated on the OSHA website, “consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs,” performing “over 26,000 visits to small business worksites covering approximately 1 million workers across the nation.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in May 2021 that it is “proposing its first rule under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020 to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and many other applications.”
Some states—California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington—have already ruled to stop the manufacturing and use of products containing HFCs, including spray foam insulation. As such, Versi-Foam® has created a new formula that uses hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), a blowing agent that has a lower global warming potential (GWP).
While the cost to manufacture this material is higher, its price should come down over time as more states put into place this new regulation and more companies begin to produce HFOs. Be sure to check your local regulations to make sure you find and order the correct product for you. No matter where you live, however, Versi-Foam®’s environmentally-friendly products are energy efficient, LEED-certified, and readily available to you.
Ready to start your next insulation project? Let us help you choose the right product for your needs. Contact us today!
While “green building” is by no means a new concept, it is one that has continuously increased in popularity. Green building refers to “the planning, design, construction, and operations of buildings with several central, foremost considerations: energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, material section, and the building’s effects on its site,” according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
Central to respecting the environmental impact of both new builds and renovations to pre-existing ones is finding a green general contractor to oversee and manage your project. So, how do you find the right contractor? Discover what makes a contractor green and how to pick the right professional to go green for your next project.
Green contractors specialize in sustainability, both in terms of design and construction. There are some formal certifications that contractors can obtain, including the:
These certifications, however, are not a mandatory requirement, so how do you determine if the contractor you’re talking to is a green contractor?
There may not be a resource in your area for you to easily find a professional in this area, so the following are some questions, written by Ecohome, on what to ask to ensure your contractor understands green principles, including energy efficiency and sustainability:
Their answers to the above questions will give you a strong indication of whether or not the contractor you’re speaking to has experience in green building. Moreover, contractors with experience in green building typically take pride in showing off past projects and will have references for you to contact.
An important element of a contractor’s process is choosing the right materials to complete the project at hand. Versi-Foam® provides a unique solution for green contractors, as all of the different spray foam insulation kits we offer are energy efficient and LEED-certified.
Due to unique SPF insulation technology, you’re able to save energy and reduce the use of fossil fuels, which, in turn, helps reduce greenhouse gases. Versi-Foam® spray insulation also improves air quality by preventing nearly all bacteria, toxins, mold, and asthma-threatening elements from getting into your building or home.
With our product, there is a significant reduction in wasted materials, too, thanks to our easy-to-use applicator and long-lasting strength. Versi-Foam®’s applicator, the patented U-Control dispensing gun, allows you to get into every nook and cranny and prevent moisture and mold from eating away at your house or commercial building.
With home renovation at an all-time high, there’s no better product to recommend to your clients than Versi-Foam’s residential insulation spray foam kit. These spray foam kits are both low pressure and easy to use—making them a highly marketable choice for distributors. (And let’s not forget about our industry-leading commercial spray for larger projects, too!) Keep reading to learn what The Versi-Foam Promise really means.
When you choose Versi-Foam for your insulation needs, you’re getting The Versi-Foam Promise along with it, but what does this include? Your customers will love how much they’ll save—both in time and money—with our high-quality, easy-to-use product. As a distributor, there are savings in it for you, too, when it comes down to ordering and shipping our product to you. We’ll work together to get you the best total price guaranteed.
Moreover, we know spray foam, and we know it well. Versi-Foam Founder Richard Heitzer understood spray foam like the back of his hand, thanks to his background in the cold storage construction industry, that he patented a one-of-a-kind gun for distributing spray foam. The U-Control gun lets you regulate the “quantity of foam being dispensed […] down to a rate that you can write your name with it.”
Got questions? We’ll never keep you waiting. With a small, yet mighty, team of highly trained employees, the relatively small size of our company allows us to provide uniquely personalized customer service and a quick turnaround time. Whether you’re looking for more product information, need help determining how much product to order, or anywhere between, you can count on Versi-Foam to find the perfect solution. Our goal is to provide you with a high-quality versatile product that fits all your needs—and customer service to match.
Once you’re ready to start your next insulation project—and before you pick up your Versi-Foam U-Control gun—it’s important to understand each type of insulation and what’s included in your Versi-Foam kit for each one. Inside each kit, you’ll have everything you need to successfully complete the spray foam insulation process. Find out more about all of the different spray foam options we have to offer, and let us help you determine which Versi-Foam kit is right for you.
The type of Versi-Foam insulation you choose will determine what you’ll find in your Versi-Foam kit. We offer four main types of spray foam to fit all of your project needs: closed cell, open cell, high density, and slow rise.
Closed cell spray foam insulation is recommended for most commercial and industrial projects and comes in two different formulations: Standard formula and Class I formula, the latter of which is flame-retardant. The Class I formula is best suited for residential applications or other applications where flammability is of concern.
There are six different closed cell options, and each kit is slightly different:
Open cell spray foam insulation is appealing to many for its high expansion rate, which means less foam is necessary when applying, making it more cost-effective. These kits, however, are dependent on temperature—their yield will be significantly less in cooler weather. This is because open cell foam relies on an exothermic chemical reaction, i.e., building off of its own heat, to reach its full potential.
For those who need a higher density spray foam option, Versi-Foam has you covered with this closed cell product with a free-rise density of 2.8 pounds per cubic foot, or 3 pounds per cubic foot in place. Its low moisture absorption rate and excellent compressive strength make it the ideal option for projects where a stronger and harder material is needed. Moreover, it has an expansion rate six times its original liquid volume and is tack-free in approximately 30 to 45 seconds.
If slower reactivity is what you need, we also offer spray foam insulation with a density of two (2) pounds per cubic foot that takes approximately three (3) minutes to dry. Our Slow Rise formula is just the thing for projects where you need the insulation to flow to a specific area before drying.
It’s important to note that this option does expand to approximately six times its original liquid volume. As such, it’s not recommended for use in wall cavities where one or more sides of the wall are gypsum wallboard or other material that would not withstand the pressure of the expansion.
Our goal is that this guide helps to give you an idea of what to expect from each kit and how to choose which one is best for your needs. No matter what kit you buy, you’ll always have our Versi-Foam Promise—high-quality, easy-to-use products coupled with expert customer support, guaranteed.
Spray foam insulation is one of the most popular insulating materials available. Consequently, there has been a lot written about its pros and cons, including plenty of stories of spray foam insulation gone wrong. It’s important to remember that not everyone who chooses and uses spray foam insulation takes the time to learn how to use it properly, leading to mistakes and rework.
From lack of preparation to ignoring thickness limitations, we’ve seen it all. When used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, spray foam insulation can be installed without problems and without drama. Here is our quick-start guide to preventing common spray foam installation problems and what to do if something doesn’t go as planned.
First, pick the best insulation for your project. If you’re unsure which formula you need, read this blog post on the Differences Between Spray Foam Insulation Products. Next, read the rest of this article to learn what to keep top of mind as you complete your project.
Spray foam insulation mistakes generally fall into five categories.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Management of overspray is an important part of pre-application preparation. Overspray happens when the product becomes airborne after the chemicals have been mixed. It lands on surfaces in the surrounding area, expands, and dries. It’s important to seal off the area with plastic sheeting and cover anything that can’t be moved. It’s also important to extinguish ignition sources in the area and make sure that people don’t smoke where the spray is being applied.
If you spray foam on a surface with a moisture level of more than 20%, the foam won’t stick. The surface has to be paintable for the foam to adhere. “When a surface is wet or damp, the moisture acts as a blowing agent that reacts with the “A” side of the SPF system, resulting in off-ratio foam with poor physical properties and poor adhesion.” (source) So make sure to test the moisture level before you spray.
If the foam is sprayed thicker than recommended for its type, excessive heat can result causing odors, cracks, shrinkage, or charring. To prevent this, never spray more than a 2” thickness at a time. To spray more than 2”, apply in layers allowing the foam to cure for at least 15 minutes between layers.
The ideal temperature for both the foam and the surface is between 65° F and 90° F. Surfaces that are colder will result in reduced yield because the cold surface extracts heat from the exothermic reaction resulting in a reduced rise. If the surface is 40° or colder, the exotherm may also cause condensation, which would be like spraying foam onto a wet surface (see above).
Surfaces that are too warm may result in the foam curing too fast. This would also result in a reduced yield because the foam would not have enough time to reach the full rise before a tack free state. In addition, extreme cases may result in loss of adhesion because the foam would cure so fast it could not develop a bond to the surface before it hardened. If you’re unsure if the temperature is right, do a test patch first.
Good quality foam is dependent on one-to-one ratio dispensing. Incorrectly mixed chemicals result in foam pulling away from the surface and lingering odors. The easiest way to determine that you have a good ratio is to observe the stream of chemicals coming out of the gun before they pass through the mixing nozzle. If the two chemical streams aren’t flowing at equal velocity, check the dispensing gun for proper function and the temperature strips to make sure the chemicals are in the mid-green section.
Sometimes you’ll know immediately if something has gone wrong. But other times mistakes in application may not show up for a while. If you see any of the following signs, it means you need to take a closer look at your insulation.
If you want to know more about preparing for and executing a successful spray foam installation, check out our FAQ page check or our Video Library. Or give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss the details of your project with you. 1.800.657.0702
Value engineering sometimes gets a bad rap, especially when it comes to building custom homes. Many people equate it with less features or cheaper materials.
In construction however, value engineering ideally means weighing cost/benefit ratios and coming up with an optimal solution for the budget. “It’s important to note that improving the value of your project does not mean cutting costs. It means optimizing the elements of the project through an analysis of all factors–cost, upkeep, wear-and-tear, aesthetic value, etc.”
Knowledgeable general contractors are in the best position to figure out how to add value to new construction. They can educate their clients during each step of the home build, including whether or not a product will last for the life of the house or need to be replaced in a few years. Home upgrade conversations usually center around five elements: kitchen improvements, additional living space, outdoor amenities, flooring, and energy efficiency.
About half of the average household’s energy budget goes to heating and cooling. The EPA estimates that homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs (or an average of 11% on total energy costs) with proper insulation. Buyers factor this in when making purchasing decisions.
Energy efficient home upgrades can include premier windows and doors, zoned conditioning, smart thermostats, and upgraded insulation. Houses with high-end insulation are more desirable than houses without it, both for cost and comfort considerations. Upgraded insulation can take many forms, but the end goal is high R-value, because higher R-value equals higher resistance to heat transfer.
At about R-7 per inch of thickness, closed cell spray foam insulation offers the highest R-value per inch compared to cellulose, fiberglass, and foam board.
In addition to the comfort that a higher R-value brings, spray foam insulation offers three additional value-adds to home insulation.
Deciding which type of insulation to install is often described as a balance of cost and performance. Spray foam insulation may initially have a higher cost, but it is justified by the longevity and higher quality of the product. It provides more energy efficiency and overall value than lower cost insulation does. When you consider the positive impact an insulation upgrade can have on the well-being of new homeowners, it merits serious consideration.
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) was one of the greatest advancements in building insulation during the 20th century.
SPF is created when isocyanate and polyol resin are mixed with each other. The chemical reaction causes the compound to expand up to 30-60 times its liquid volume after spraying. Once it hardens and cures, it creates an air, moisture, and vapor barrier, making it one of the most effective insulation products available today. It has an interesting story.
The formula was originally developed by Otto Bayer in 1939 and quickly put to use by the military as a replacement for rubber. Like many things, the effectiveness of spray polyurethane foam as an insulator was stumbled upon accidentally. In 1957, it was used on a rail car with a leaky roof and ended up lasting for many years, which caught the attention of scientists.
In the early days it was applied by mixing it in a container, which was messy and inefficient, and which limited its widespread use. In 1953, Charles Baughman invented the “Blendometer”, the first machine to mix the two components together on-site.
In the 1960s, a machine to both mix and spray the foam was developed by Fred Gusmer and Fred Werner. “Known as the FF, it was the first dedicated foam machine on the market. Gusmer also developed the model-C gun, which in turn became the model-D gun, and dual heated hose assemblies that could be adjusted via thermostat.”
In the 1980s, spray polyurethane foam started to be used extensively in the roofing industry. During this time, while working on metal building roofing applications, Richard Heitzer realized that a better dispensing tool was needed. He designed and patented the U-control gun that allowed users to control the rate that the foam was dispensed, and founded RHH Systems in 1981.
Today, there is a wide range of how much SPF will be needed for any particular project — as small as sealing a single attic or as large as insulating an entire subdivision of new homes. No matter how large the project, the method of dispensing is still the same. The two chemicals are delivered to the jobsite separately and are mixed at the moment of application.
Methods of application vary depending on the size of the project. Very large projects required rigs which have enormous tanks and long, heated hoses. They pull up next to a building and heat the chemicals to the right temperature before beginning the application.
The disadvantage of rigs is that they can’t get into tight places. Contractors find that they often can’t get the hoses up into the attic or move around easily in tight quarters. Smaller areas require a different solution and that’s where spray foam kits come in. They can even be used on forklift as the technician moves around filling in gaps and crevices.
At RHH Foam Systems we partner with contractors to supply the spray foam kits they need to ensure that their buildings are completely insulated.
Spray foam kits are delivered to job sites on pallets of 12 for larger kits such as the System 50. System 15s are delivered 30 to a pallet. The product is purchased through our distributors. Sometimes distributors will deliver pallets directly from their warehouse and sometimes they will ask us to deliver the product to the jobsite for them.
We work hand-in-hand with our distributors and their customers to ensure that they have the spray foam insulation they need when they need it. If you aren’t currently working with one of our distributors, visit our dealer directory to find the distributor closest to you or call us directly at 1 (800) 657-0702.
Versi-Foam® spray foam insulation comes in four different product formulas: closed cell, open cell, slow rise, and high density. Each formula has been developed for certain specific applications and has its own unique uses. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Which spray foam insulation should I use in my situation?”, this blog was written for you.
Closed cell spray foam is uniquely designed for times when a water, vapor, or air barrier is needed. It’s also the best choice when energy efficiency is high priority because of its greater r-value.
In addition, it adds strength to walls. However, it should not be sprayed into the enclosed cavity between the exterior wall and drywall. Rather, it can be sprayed between the exterior wall and the drywall if it’s done before the drywall is put up.
Closed cell spray foam is the right insulation choice in the following circumstances:
Open cell spray foam is best used in residential applications because of its cost effectiveness and sound dampening capabilities. It is a thicker, softer material and can completely fill the area between the studs, inhibiting the transfer of sound between rooms.
It’s especially well suited for unvented attic applications and sealing the underside of roof decks. It doesn’t provide a water barrier and so is not a good choice in places where dampness is a problem, such as basements and locations with high humidity. Consider open cell spray foam insulation for the following projects:
Slow rise spray foam is a closed cell foam that becomes tack-free in about three minutes, instead of the 30-45 seconds for standard spray foam. This makes it perfect for insulating closed cavities, blind cavities and difficult to reach voids where the foam needs extra time to completely fill the area. Choose slow rise spray foam to insulate:
High density spray foam is a closed cell foam with a density of 2.8 lbs. per cubic foot, compared to 2 lbs per cubic foot in standard closed cell spray foam. It’s used in projects where a higher r-value is needed to lower energy costs for the lifetime of the building. It also provides extra strength and load support to a structure. In fact, it’s often called “roofing foam” because it’s used on the exterior of flat roof buildings and can reduce wind damage to the roof. Choose high density spray foam for:
Spray foam insulation is incredibly versatile and is recommended by construction professionals for its energy efficiency and long life. If your project isn’t on this list, please call us to talk more about your specific needs. (800) 657-0702