As a new homeowner, you are probably very excited to start some DIY projects. While that is all fine and good, there are going to be some trial-and-error mistakes along the way as you do not have sufficient working knowledge about some things. Take insulation, for example. Sure, you are familiar with the roll-out fiberglass insulation typically used to insulate your home, but do you know anything about spray foam insulation? Probably not. Here are the two types of spray foam insulation and what they are specifically used for.
Insulation in a Can
When you think of "spray foam," the first thing that probably comes to mind is that silly string in a can for parties. This type of spray foam insulation is very much like that, except it does not have a very pleasant smell and you do not want to be spraying this stuff everywhere. Each can of this stuff comes with an application nozzle that you attach to the spray head of the can. When squirted out, the substance is very wet and somewhat tacky (i.e., sticky).
After some time, the substance dries into a hardened yellow foam. This happens shortly after the insulation foam has already expanded up to five times its original stream size. The purpose, and typical use for this kind of insulation, is to fill all of the cracks in your home so that there are no air leaks. Nothing gets in or out with this type of insulation stuck in the cracks.
Additionally, you would never use this to fill the spaces in your walls. For one reason, it would take dozens of cans to accomplish this, and the second reason is that it would expand so much that it would make the walls bulge and crack. Use this type of spray foam insulation as "crack filler" only.
The Fluffy Stuff, Blown
The second type of spray foam insulation is big clumps of ultra fluffy insulation that looks like lamb's wool. It is loaded into a type of machine that operates like a reverse-vacuum. It blows this insulation into, not out of, the spaces in your walls and in your attic. It piles up and even compresses well to block drafts and keep heat inside.
You would want to use this in place of traditional rolls of insulation. It is quicker and easier to install. Oddly enough, despite its appearance, it is also made of fiberglass, but you cannot really tell.