What is Barrier Spray?

Dana DeCecco

Barrier spray is a coating applied to structures for insulation and related purposes. The most widely used barrier spray is spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which provides a sealed thermal barrier for residential and commercial applications. SPF products are engineered for a variety of uses including roofing and fire control. Radiant barrier spray is a product used to block radiant heat from the sun.

Batt insulation has only half the insulating value as SPF.
Batt insulation has only half the insulating value as SPF.

Insulating barrier spray products exhibit superior performance when compared with conventional insulating techniques. The insulating value of SPF is almost twice that of fiberglass batt insulation. SPF seals the structure from drafts and provides additional strength. Preventing air and moisture penetration can lower utility bills. Energy savings of 30% or more have been indicated, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint.

Spray foam keeps in heat, making it a good insulator.
Spray foam keeps in heat, making it a good insulator.

Closed cell high density foam can be applied to roofs to form a waterproof barrier that also adds insulation value. Modified barrier sprays result in a seamless, flexible, and lightweight roofing system that can withstand the forces of nature. These products can also be used as a foundation coating and have many industrial uses. Modified SPF is one of the strongest and most durable products available for commercial and industrial protective coatings.

Fire retardant barrier spray will control the transmission of fire, heat, and smoke before, during, and after exposure to fire. These elastomeric products exhibit superior adhesion to building products and produce a uniform seal. Thermal control products are available for commercial use that will reduce the ignition or burning of combustible materials. Residential building codes supply specifications for thermal and insulation applications.

Barrier sprays are also used for acoustic applications that help to control sound in commercial buildings and churches. These products offer sound control and a pleasant aesthetic appearance. Acoustic sprays are a textured product that exhibit additional insulation properties.

Radiant barrier paint products contain ingredients that reflect up to 98% of harmful UV rays. These products are typically sprayed on attic rafters, plywood, and the underside of the roof. Radiant heat that penetrates the roofing material is reflected. This process results in cooler interior temperatures. Foil products are also available that have better performance characteristics than the spray on paints.

The wide range of barrier spray products offer solutions to energy, safety, and exposure to the elements. Spray polyurethane foam and modified versions provide high performance foam products that are versatile and durable. All products should be applied by a certified professional. SPF products are supported by people from varying industries including building scientists, engineers, architects, and insulation experts.

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