Spray foam insulation is good because it creates very good seals. You don’t have to worry about air leaks.
The one thing it has against it is that it is petroleum based. There is a company that sells itself as a green alternative because it uses soy based oils instead. Biobased is one such company.
I think that is great and even if it only used a small part soy and the rest petroleum it is better than nothing.
I did have a problem the other day with them. I was discussing with them the possibility of me being a distributor and installer for them. I was excited until I asked what % soy they used. For me this is a key point. THE key point. It is what sets them apart from the rest. It is what makes them greener than the rest.
But they refused to tell me and told me that it was “proprietary information”. ????? Your main selling point is proprietary information? And in the same sentence I was told that I shouldn’t worry about that since using their product can get you LEED points.
Then alarm bells went off for me. Their implication was that getting recognized as green via the LEED points were what mattered. The actual ecological benefit, if any, of the product was not important and a secret.
I protested and the sales rep said he’d get back to me. That was a long time ago. He’s not getting back to me.
Like I said, even if it was 1% soy based and 99% petroleum I would choose it over a 100% petrolieum based foam. 1% is better than nothing.
My problem here is the greenwashing they are doing. Green, if anything, is first and foremost about honesty. And maybe they will get back to me and all will be good. But so far my phone is not ringing.
Another thing is the product itself. I bought some cans of the stuff from home depot. I also bought some “Great Stuff” spray foam. I tested them side by side and the Biobased foam failed. It might have been the cold but it dried dry and crumbly. In comparison the Great Stuff dried like hard chewing gum.
This is very important because the foam is used to fill cracks. Cracks often expand and contract. The Great Stuff has an elasticity to it that the Biobased does not. Also, I forsee the Biobased foam deteriorating and becoming dust over time.
I emailed the same rep asking if the cans they sold at Home Depot contained the same ingredients that pros install but got no answer. We had a polite professional relationship so I’m baffled why he didn’t respond.
Here are the pics:
Great Stuff foam is like hard chewing gum when touched:
Biobased foam crumbled when touched. This could be because it was cold when we installed it. But Great Stuff was installed exactly at the same time in the same environment. Biobased foam: