Spray Foam Vs Blown-in Insulation: What to Buy and How they Work

Spray Foam Vs Blown-in Insulation: What to Buy and How they Work

If you’re looking for the ideal insulation method for your building, you’ll be spoilt for choice seeing that there are numerous types of insulation in the market today. To make your search easy, here is a spray foam vs. blow in insulation comparison. In the end, you’ll be able to know what to buy and how they work. 


Blow-in Insulation


Blow-in insulation, also known as loose-fill insulation involves filling joist or stud cavities or filling in attic floors using any of the available loose material with a great insulating R-value. There’s a wide range of materials that you can use such as loose fiberglass fibers and Styrofoam pellets. However, one of the popularly used materials in blow-in insulation is cellulose material. 


The cellulose material is made of recycled cardboard, newspaper, or any wood-based materials. It’s then treated using boric acid and other components to make it resistant to flame and mold. The next step involves packaging it in tightly closed bags or bales. 


The installation process involves using a mechanical chopper or blower which swirls up the cellulose component with paddles in order to loosen it, mix it with air, and then blow the contents in form of fluffy insulation towards your intended area. 


The machines used in this process can be too expensive for individuals to afford. Fortunately, you can easily rent them. The most exciting news for homeowners is that they can get the machines free of charge from home improvement centers when they buy insulation in large quantities. 


Many times, you can hire a professional to install blown-in insulation in your home. Blow-in insulation is among the popularly used insulation methods with many homeowners saying that you can choose it if you want to insulate an existing building. 


Blown-in insulation is similar to batts insulation regarding price. By using this method, you’ll be able to evenly distribute materials all through to achieve better coverage and even access hard to reach areas. 




Even though you’ll get better coverage with the blown-in insulation, you may be unable to air seal both the interior and exterior parts of your attic or crawl space. It’s hard to tell the magnitude of energy efficiency this insulation offers more so when it comes to restricted spaces. This means that it hardly gives full coverage and protection from heat and cold during extreme temperatures. 

If you’ve just had your blown-in insulation done, it’ll have a functional and attractive appearance compared to old insulation. However, mistakes during the insulation process can result in massive energy costs. 

Spray Foam Vs Blown-in Insulation



  • The insulating component is blown in small bits using a machine and a huge hose that penetrates through the attic or crawl space.
  • Unlike batt insulation, blown-in insulation won’t leave any gaps
  • The blown-in ingredients(cellulose and fiberglass) come with almost similar R-values of approximately 3 to 4 per inch
  • Cellulose is eco-friendly seeing that it’s obtained from recycled paper. What’s more, it’s cost-effective compared to other components such as cotton. Further, installing it is safer compared to other insulation methods
  • Unlike spray foam insulation, cellulose and fiberglass have a poor R-value
  • If you choose the blown-in insulation method, you’ll need to get the services of a professional since installing it is a complex task.
  • The blow-in insulation will last for approximately 10 to 25 years after which you’ll have to replace it. 


Spray Foam Insulation


  • The main ingredient in this type of insulation is polyurethane. This material is sprayed to cover gaps and cracks in your crawl space or even attic
  • Spray foam insulation is specially designed to expand up to 10 times its original size. This means that it can fill all crannies and nooks in your building
  • Spray foam comes with a high R-value of almost 6 to 7 inches. 
  • Unlike blown-in insulation which can allow water in the crawl space in the form of vapor, spray foam insulation offers a robust barrier preventing moisture from penetrating through. What this means is that you’ll not have to struggle with mold or mildew infestation. However, you should ensure that an experienced professional has appropriately installed your spray foam. Failure to do so may expose you and your loved ones to health hazards such as bad odor and breathing problems. 
  • You shouldn’t attempt to install spray foam insulation on your own unless you’re an expert.
  • The best thing about spray foam insulation is the fact that it can last up to 80 years when properly installed. What’s more, it allows you to transfer the envelope of your home from one floor to the other and allows you to add air vents and ducts between the envelope without necessarily changing the system or scheme of your home.


Pros of Spray Foam Insulation


Spray foam insulation may be expensive, but it comes with numerous benefits. For starters, it’s customizable and of excellent quality. It fills up all the spaces in your home to prevent any air leakage or moisture and rodent damage. Since it contains a certain percentage of chemicals, mold and mildew can’t thrive. Using spray foam will make a huge difference in your energy bills and its durable material requires fewer maintenance practices. 


Which is the Best Choice for Your Home?


Before choosing an insulation method for your home, you want to consider your needs. If you have problems choosing appropriate insulation, you can always consult a reliable insulation expert. Evaluate the pros and cons of each insulation method, conduct research, and read reviews online just to understand the experiences of people who’ve used different insulation methods before. 




If you’re searching for the right insulation type for your home, take time to research extensively. Don’t settle for an insulation type just because some dealer has recommended it. The choice of insulation lies with you. Consider all the factors such as efficiency, durability, and price. Remember, insulating your home can be an expensive affair. However, a well-insulated home is an energy-efficient home which means that you’ll save on your energy expenses in the long term. Contact us for more info.



We've been serving the Puget Sound area for Attic & Crawl Space Cleaning for years. We would love to help you make your home healthy again.
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