In this comparative analysis we will be highlighting 5 major areas that distinguish strong areas of contrast between these two types of injectable insulations. The five areas that we will be comparing will be fire ratings and fire safety, how green and bio-friendly they are, insulation product safety, noise cancellation qualities, and pest control-ability.
First, lets start by stating that a home, business, or utility building that is insulated with Airkrete Insulation or Retrofoam Insulation is better off than a home that is not insulated at all. Major benefits are added to a building when it is properly insulated from the external elements, like lowering your monthly bill by creating energy efficiency.
This comparative article was put together in an effort to inform the general public that is interested in insulation services and products that are used to insulate homes. We hope that this information will be used to create product awareness for when you choose to insulate your home, office, or utility building. It is also worth pointing out that Airtight Insulation uses Airkrete products and believes in being environmentally safe and green conscious.
Numerous tests have been done to prove Airkrete Insulation's 100% fireproof rating, like literally setting two wood structures on fire. In the insulation fire test video you will notice that the structure on the left is fully engulfed by flames, but the structure on the right is not. That is because the structure on the right has been insulated with Airkrete Insulation and the structure on the left has not been. The fire safety that Airkrete Insulation provides to your building is incredible!
Retrofoam Insulation products do help to slow fires from spreading as quickly as they would in homes without Retrofoam and does meet the Class 1 standard for insulation non-flammability. However there is potentially toxic smoke that can be created by the fire from burning the Retrofoam Insulation in the walls. The level of inflammability and potential smoke issue are two factors to consider when evaluating Retrofoam for fire safety.
A lot of companies say they are making green products, sometimes just because they meet a few basic standards to be able to market themselves as 'green'. When comparing which of these two insulation products is more environmentally friendly, it was not a contest for those of us at Airtight.
Airkrete can literally scrub the CO2 emissions out of the air and create fresh oxygen! This is done through one of the primary ingredients of Airkrete Insulation, magnesium oxide, interacting with carbon dioxide gas. Magnesium oxide is also a natural mineral, not derived from plastics or chemicals.
Retrofoam Insulation does not scrub carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere and it is also not created from using basic natural minerals. Instead, Retrofoam Insulation is comprised of 3 different types of resins that actually ship as a powder. However, Retrofoam Insulation does meet the basic environmental safety standards and does market itself as a green insulation product.
One of the biggest benefits of Airkrete Insulation is that it is the only injection foam insulation on the entire market that does not contain any Formaldehyde. Airkrete is actually made of an ultra light weight cement foam that doesn't shrink over time and doesn't stink after installation. These are great features to provide the benefit of safety to anyone that is going to be using the insulated building, like your family, friends, and pets.
Retrofoam Insulation actually does contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde was proven to be harmful to people in certain quantities or exposure levels (which is determined on a case by case basis and each individual responds differently to different levels or degrees of exposure to formaldehyde). In 2009, home building expert Mike Holmes (he has a television show called Holmes on Homes on HGTV) wrote an article called The Rap on Retrofoam, which was about the negative side effects of formaldehyde insulations and how insulations containing formaldehyde were banned by the Canadian government from being used in family homes. Mike's article on Retrofoam Insulation also discusses some of the legal trouble Retrofoam got into, in Canada, for selling insulation that contained formaldehyde.
Since AirKrete Insulation is a light weight cement foam, it makes an excellent soundproofing material because of how stiff and rigid it is. Sound waves primarily depend on vibrations to be transmitted through matter, like air, making anything in its path vibrate. When AirKrete is dry it is simply too rigid to vibrate or transmit any vibrations beyond it's deadening sound barrier. There are stories about people who have used Airkrete, like Neil Young the famous musician, who was well-known to get loud during his recording sessions. He used Airkrete Insulation to completely soundproof his studio. The Musician’s Institute in Hollywood also uses AirKrete, as does the Saratoga Night Club in NY.
Retrofoam, as discussed earlier, is a resin based injectable insulation product. While Retrofoam can make your home a little bit quieter, their official website says that the average customer should expect a noise level reduction of around 41 dB. This level of sound difference is like comparing standing next an active garbage disposal to standing in a relatively busy library. With Retrofoam Insulation, not all sound or vibrations are completely deadened and so there will still be noises that penetrate and permeate your building's walls.
Many insulation products can be used to help control pests, by creating a barrier layer and filling voids and cracks in your walls, which bugs may be using to enter your home. But one very unique benefit of Airkrete, although it is 100% safe and organic to people, is that it acts as an irritant to pests such as rodents and insects, which would otherwise use the walls for a home or food supply. AirKrete has a drying and de-oiling effect, once in place, and deters any rodents or insects from penetrating the Airkrete Insulation barrier. Tests have also proven AirKrete is 100% mold proof.
RetroFoam foam insulation is not as effective, when you compare it to Airkrete's irritant pest barrier, because Retrofoam does not act as a deterrent or agitator for rodents and/or bugs. It does temporarily work against rodents and pests for a period of time, which is the duration of time that the Retrofoam is actively filling voids and crevices in wood and concrete block walls, which pests could otherwise use to enter the building. So while Retrofoam Insulation does provide a temporary solution to some pest problems, Retrofoam Insulation is not as comprehensive as Airkrete Insulation's ability to irritate and deter rodents and pests.
**** It is important to note that at the time this article was being written a representative for Airtight did reach out and did connect directly with the CEO of Retrofoam. He personally declined to provide any additional insight, information, or comment toward this comparative analysis / informative article in regards to his company's insulation product. All comparative information that has been used to evaluate Retrofoam Insulation was found on the Retrofoam website, as well as found in other credible on-line literature regarding product specs and news.
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