Icynene Insulation Pros And Cons

Introduction – Icynene Inc

Icynene is a company in the area of industrial chemicals with headquarters in Ontario, Mississauga, Canada. They were founded in 1986 and one of their products is Icynene insulation. Their Icynene insulation is a spray foam made from water, renewable plant oils (specifically castor oil).

It expands to fill in any gaps or cracks in your home’s walls, creating an effective barrier against heat transfer. What sets Icynene apart from other insulations is its ability to prevent heat loss in the winter and keep cool air inside during the summer. Its unique open-cell structure allows it to act as a vapor barrier, preventing moisture buildup in your walls.

Icynene spray foam being applied to walls

Icynene insulation is low-VOC and environmentally friendly, making it a smart choice for homeowners looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency without sacrificing their environmental values. Overall, Icynene insulation provides reliable temperature regulation and moisture control for homes year-round.

Factors In Deciding Whether To Use It

When considering insulation options like Icynene, a type of spray foam insulation, it’s important for a homeowner to take several factors into account. Here are some elements to consider:

Climate: Spray foam insulation like Icynene can be highly effective at insulating and air sealing your home from external temperatures. However, if you live in a mild climate, the higher cost of spray foam may not be worth the energy savings.

Home structure and insulation needs: Different types of buildings can require different types of insulation. For instance, older homes with irregular shapes or hard-to-reach areas may benefit more from spray foam insulation due to its expanding properties. Spray foam also helps in reducing air leakage, which could be beneficial in draughty homes.

Cost: Icynene and other spray foam insulations can be significantly more expensive than traditional insulation methods like fiberglass batts. It’s important to calculate the long-term energy savings versus the initial investment cost to see if the insulation is worth it.

Energy efficiency goals: If a homeowner has specific energy efficiency or green home goals, then Icynene might be a good choice because it can significantly reduce energy loss compared to traditional insulation.

How Does Icynene Insulation Work?

Icynene insulation works by utilizing an expanding foam. This foam is composed of a blend of water, renewable plant oils, and gas and is applied in liquid form to roofs and walls. As it expands, the foam fills cracks and crevices to create a complete seal within the building’s structure. This helps to control temperature and keeps out moisture that can cause mold or mildew growth.

In addition, Icynene insulation has unique properties that make it more effective than traditional fiberglass insulation. It does not settle or lose its shape over time, making for a durable and long-lasting solution. Plus, it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals or irritants, making it safe for use in homes and businesses alike.

Why Do People Like Icynene?

Spray foam installation process generates a lot of air particulate matter so protective gear is needed

One advantage may be the material composition and its perceived safety. Icynene writes:

Many spray foams (such as Icynene LD-C-50) don’t contain formaldehyde, HCFCs, HFAs, or HFCs, and doesn’t give off harmful emissions once installed. Most fiberglass contains formaldehyde, and may emit formaldehyde fumes into your home.


Formaldehyde is a common chemical found in many insulation materials, including some types of fiberglass, cellulose, and foam insulation. It is a known human carcinogen, which means that it can increase the risk of developing cancer.

Furthermore, exposure to formaldehyde can cause skin and eye irritation, coughing, and other respiratory issues. Therefore, many people would like to use insulation materials that do not contain formaldehyde or to use formaldehyde-free insulation.

It does not help that microscopic fibers can become airborne and inhaled, leading to respiratory irritation and discomfort. These fibers can also become embedded in the skin, leading to itching and irritation.

Prolonged exposure can lead to more serious health issues such as lung irritation, asthma, and even cancer. Therefore, it is important to take proper safety precautions when handling fiberglass insulation.

R-Value Of Icynene

Icynene reports an R-value of 3.6 to 4 per inch depending on the product. R-value is a measure of a material’s thermal resistance, or ability to resist heat transfer. The higher the R-value, the more effective the material is at insulating.

Closed cell spray foam has a higher R-value than open cell spray foam, meaning it is more effective at preventing heat loss. Closed cell spray foam is also denser, making it better at blocking air and moisture from entering the home. Closed cell spray foam R-values range from 5.0 to 7.0 per inch. The exact R-value depends on the specific product being used.

How To Install Icynene Insulation In Your Home? 

When installing Icynene insulation in your home, it is important to seek professional help. A trained installer will have the expertise and equipment necessary to properly install the material, ensuring maximum efficiency and safety. How does the installation process work? Here are the steps to follow:

1. Location: Determine the best location for your insulation. This will typically be on the inside walls of your home, but it may vary depending on your specific building and climate needs.

2. Preparation: Prepare and clean the surface where you plan to install Icynene by scraping away any peeling paint or lose materials and then cleaning the surface with a soap solution.

3. Measurement: Measure to know how much material you will need. Consider the area of the walls and ceiling. Icynene is available in different sizes, depending on the scope of your project and the specific needs of your home’s design.

4. Spray: Use a spray gun to apply the foam insulation as directed by your installer, ensuring that all cracks, crevices, and other gaps are filled. Allow time for the foam to expand and set before moving forward with additional work on your building’s interior.

5. Repeat: Repeat these steps as needed until you have completed the installation process for each wall or ceiling in your home.

So if you’re ready to take on this project, call a qualified technician for assistance. With their help, you can ensure that your Icynene insulation is installed properly and performs optimally for years to come.

Icynene Insulation Pros And Cons

Icynene is the market-leading and USA patent-protected spray foam insulation product. It is known for its exceptional energy efficiency, moisture control, and durability. Here are a few of its top pros and cons:


1. Icynene insulation forms a complete air barrier from the inside out, making it highly effective at regulating temperature throughout your home.

2. Its unique open-cell structure allows it to absorb vibrations caused by sound waves, effectively blocking out unwanted noise from the outside world.

3. Icynene does not contain harmful chemicals or irritants, making it safe for use in sensitive living spaces such as homes with young children or elderly residents.

4. Because it expands to fill in gaps and cracks in your building’s structure, it provides an airtight seal against moisture, helping to prevent mold or mildew growth.

5. You can install Icynene insulation in various materials, including wood, brick, concrete, and metal. This makes it a suitable option for many types of buildings and homes.


1. Installation of Icynene insulation requires specialized equipment and training, making it more costly than other insulation options.

2. It can take several days for the foam to fully expand and set in place, which may require extra planning if you are renovating your home on a tight schedule.

3. The open-cell structure of Icynene allows for some air penetration, which may make it less effective at reducing energy costs in extreme weather conditions.

4. There have been some concerns about Icynene’s impact on indoor air quality, as the material can off-gas harmful chemicals or irritants into your living space over time.

What Are The Other Types Of Insulations Available In The Market?

While some may not have heard of Icynene insulation, several other options are on the market for insulating your home.

A first option is fiberglass insulation, which is made from small glass fibers and manufactured into batts or loose fill. This type of insulation is effective and widely available, but it can also irritate if accidentally inhaled during installation.

A second option is cellulose insulation, made from recycled newspaper and treated with fire-retardant chemicals. This option is environmentally friendly and has soundproofing capabilities, but it can also be prone to moisture damage if not properly installed.

A third option is foam board insulation, made of rigid panels of plastic foam that provide a high level of insulation for smaller spaces like attics or crawl spaces. Each type of insulation has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to research and compare options before deciding on your home.

icynene insulation pros and cons

Is Icynene Insulation A Good Choice For Your Home? 

It depends on a variety of factors. Is it important to have a “green” and environmentally friendly insulation option? Icynene is made from Castor oil  a plant-based mineral, making it a more sustainable option versus fossil-fuel based polyurethanes.

Are you concerned about air quality and allergies in your home? Icynene seals off tiny cracks and gaps, reducing the risk of allergens and pollutants entering your home.

Is energy efficiency a priority for you? Icynene’s unique properties allow it to expand and fill crevices, helping to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Is cost a factor for you? While Icynene may have a higher initial cost than traditional insulation options, its improved energy efficiency can lead to long-term savings.

Ultimately, only you can decide if Icynene insulation is the right choice for your home. Consider your priorities and research to determine if this insulating option fits you best.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, while there are some downsides to using Icynene insulation in your home, most homeowners agree that its many benefits far outweigh the costs. If you’re considering installing spray foam insulation in your building, research and work with a reputable professional to help ensure a successful outcome.

Staff Writer
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