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How to Choose the Right Insulation Foam for Commercial Buildings

The right insulation, along with proper air sealing and thermostat settings, can cut a commercial building’s energy costs by up to 50%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This is a significant amount that a company may allocate to more productive initiatives. Moreover, the right level of insulation reduces your energy consumption, which in turn reduces your carbon footprint.

It’s essential, therefore, to choose the right insulation material for your commercial building. Lange Spray Foam explains three considerations in choosing a material that saves you money and provides adequate insulation.

Recommended R-Values

The R-value measures the insulation’s thermal resistance, or the ability to resist the heat that flows through it. The higher the R-value, the better it is in preventing heat transfer from one side to the other. The R-value depends on the material, thickness, and density.

Although a higher R-value provides better thermal resistance, it doesn’t mean that your commercial building should choose the material with the highest rating. Each region has a recommended R-value, so people won’t spend more than they need to.

Recommended R-Values for Minnesota Properties

The entire United States is divided into 7 Zones with different recommended home insulation R-values. The Twin Cities of Minnesota belong to Zone 6, which recommends an R-value of R49 to R60 for uninsulated home attics. For homes with existing 3-4 inches of insulation, Zone 6 recommends additional insulation of R38 to R49.

To determine the right R-value for your commercial building, you may consult one of our specialists.

R-Values of Common Materials

Here are the R-values per square inch of common types of insulation:

  • Fiberglass (loose) – 2.2 to 2.9
  • Fiberglass (batts) – 2.9 to 3.8
  • Cementitious (foam) – 2.0 to 3.9
  • Polyurethane (foam) – 5.6 to 8.0

Take note that the performance or R-value of the insulation is still dependent on proper installation. So if you’ve settled on spray foam, choose professional and licensed commercial spray foam installers in M.N.


People use different types of insulation for different applications. Take batting and spray foam, for instance:

  • Batting insulation (made of fiberglass or mineral wool) is typically installed on walls, floors, and ceilings. The materials are designed to fit into the standard width between attic rafters, floor joists, and wall studs.
  • Spray foam insulation is usually installed in irregularly shaped and hard-to-reach spaces. When it expands, it fills the gaps and cracks in the area, making it an ideal material for places with pipes and wires.

Acoustic Control

Thermal performance aside, insulation also helps absorb sounds and reduces the noise in the building. Occupants of a well-insulated building enjoy a quieter and calmer space, which allows them to focus.

If noise is a significant concern in your workplace, consider a material’s Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC), the measure of how much sound it can absorb. Ratings range from 0.00 (absorbs no sound) to 1.00 (absorbs all sounds).

  • Spray foam insulation has an NRC rating between 0.70 and 0.75
  • Fiberglass insulation has an NRC rating between 0.90 and 0.95
  • Mineral wool insulation has an NRC rating between 0.95 and 1.00

With an abundance of options, it can be difficult for property managers to select the right insulation.

When in doubt, consult an expert. The technicians at Lange Spray Foam can help you determine if spray foam is the best for your commercial property. Committed to client satisfaction, we deliver solutions that will increase your energy efficiency, improve acoustics, and, more importantly, save you money in the long run.

Contact us today to find out what insulation material will be best for your commercial property.

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