Remodeling A Historic Building? Spray Foam Insulation Should Be On Your Radar

by Derrick Gordon

Remodeling a historic building can be fraught with many challenges. Older buildings were not often designed with enough space between the walls to allow for proper insulation, and as they age, moisture begins to seep in through cracks and crevices. Achieving any sort of energy-efficiency when remodeling a historic building may sound like a daunting task, but one single material makes it possible: spray foam insulation.

How Spray Foam Insulation is Applied

Spray foam insulation comes as two liquids, which when combined and sprayed onto a structure, expand into a dense, insulating foam. This foam cures in just a few short hours, allowing you to move forward with your construction projects in a timely manner. Since little equipment is needed to apply spray foam, you can be confident that your contractor won't have to remove antique doors or risk causing damage to your structure when getting it inside the building. Also, spray foam can be applied through small holes, so you won't have to rip down entire walls to insert it.

Benefits of Spray Foam for Older Structures

In addition to being easy to apply through small holes in walls, spray foam is an excellent choice for old buildings because only a thin layer is needed for superior insulation. Many older buildings only have a few inches of space between the interior and exterior walls. This is not enough space for adequate blown-in insulation, but it is enough space for spray foam.

Spray foam is also a wise choice for older buildings because it adds structural support. It actually binds to your walls, making them less prone to cracking and shifting which, let's face it, is far too common in historic buildings.

Moisture is also an issue in many old buildings, since cracks in exterior walls tend to let water seep in. Certain varieties of spray foam form an air and water-tight barrier, preventing this water from entering the building and thus preventing water-related issues such as mold and rotting wood. If moisture is an issue in your building, as it is in many historic structures, your insulation contractor will likely recommend a water-tight spray foam product.

Its high insulating capacity, moisture resistance, and ease of application make spray foam a superior choice for any historic structure. Insulating your building well with this material will help reduce your heating bills, and may even help you meet building codes that require the use of sustainable materials. Your historic building will probably never be as energy-efficient as a new build, but with the help of spray foam from local companies (such as Durham Insulation), it will be the best it can be.