Natural Insulation Products

September/October 2003
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2003 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 01, 2003
Soft on the environment - and sometimes even soft to the touch - natural insulation products are filling a growing market niche.
        Matt Zambarano, of Applied Foam in Jericho,Vermont, had been working in the insulation industry for six years when he first heard about soy-based polyurethane foam insulation from a prospective client. In the early days of his career, Zambarano had lined many a wall with fiberglass but as he became more familiar with the air sealing properties of spray-on foam insulations, his allegiances shifted.A product that simultaneously slows heat transfer and blocks air movement makes sense given Vermont’s long, cold winters, according to Zambarano. Tired of subbing out foam jobs to other subcontractors, Zambarano took the financial plunge in May of 2002 and bought the application equipment for himself.When a customer with an 80-yearold house that needed major renovation work approached him and asked him about soy-based polyurethane foams, Zambarano started researching the product.         In many ways, foam insulation products are similar to one another:They expand to fill all spaces within structural cavities; they are not affected by moisture; they do not settle as loose-fill products do; they are mold and mildew resistant; and they provide no food or nesting places for rodents or ...

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