Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation is a miraculous invention. Even though we have installed countless gallons of SPF inside of barns, silos, outbuildings, and every imaginable place of business throughout the Midwest and the continental United States, we’re still amazed to watch the liquid expand up to 60 times in volume and then quickly harden.
But that’s just SPF’s first trick. Once it has cured, SPF proceeds to offer myriad benefits to the farm or business owner. Its tremendous value is especially apparent in silos – tall, exposed structures which are highly vulnerable to bitter winters.
The following are SPF’s specific benefits to silos, but they are far from exclusive to that type of structure. Ease of installation, superior insulation, protection from the elements and greater strength will benefit any building.
The amount of time required to install SPF depends greatly on the surface area of the structure which is being insulated. Even so, SPF’s ease of application can greatly reduce labor costs in contrast to hanging batting or rigid insulation material. A silo’s cylindrical wall and tall roof are both perfect candidates for SPF, as a small team operating a lift can coat even the most irregular and hard-to-reach surfaces in a matter of hours.
Depending on its type, SPF offers an R-value ranging from approximately 3.8 to 7 per square inch. That means if it’s applied in a thick enough layer, SPF can possess an R-value in excess of 100 – potentially reducing energy bills by up to 45 percent. NIJAC is qualified to determine the optimal R-value for a silo’s insulation, which will ensure your silo’s grain or other loose contents avoid freezing in place during the winter’s worst temperatures. The cost of one SPF application can easily equal that of a new heater, but unlike said heater SPF requires no fuel or maintenance to continue doing its job for up to one century.
A silo’s peaked roof does a good job preventing the accumulation of snow, but it’s not sufficient to lock out cold air which seeps in from every direction. SPF forms an airtight seal, preventing drafts, insects, pollen and humidity from accessing your silo’s contents to damage or contaminate them. (Bacterial growth is one of the greatest threats to the hygroscopic products which are commonly stored in silos.) A dehumidifier may still be necessary to protect a silo’s contents from moisture, but the machine works most efficiently in an airtight space. SPF therefore saves energy costs beyond those associated with heating.
SPF’s ability to contour to a silo’s walls provides an additional, often overlooked benefit: It strengthens any surface it is applied to. The substance essentially acts as a stong glue to make a silo rigid and more structurally sound. In an area like the Midwest where strong wind is so common, the value of SPF’s fortifying effect is self-evident.
You’ll find no greater fans of SPF than the members of the NIJAC team, although we recognize the utility of traditional batt insulation as well. When the project merits, we may even combine multiple products to create the optimal hybrid insulation solution for our clients.
We’re standing by to better explain how SPF offers the greatest value to your silo or any other structure that demands superior protection from the elements. Please reach out today so we can better understand your insulation needs!