for joe public good article on foam insulation

energy_rater_laAugust 3, 2012

http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-building-science-HERS-BPI/bid/25546/4-Pitfalls-of-Spray-Foam-Insulation

this is why the installer and his/her

experience is so very important.

not so much what the salesman tells you

or the co. owner..the installer

is the key.

best of luck.

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worthy

Poor thermal results from unskilled spf application is only half the story.

Putting a chemical factory on your driveway run by a semi-skilled operative who may have started yesterday, then having him pump your house full of outgassing materials is taking a leap of faith. Add outgassing to the effects of sealing your home and you may have a recipe for problems, especially for the chemically sensitive.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 8:34PM
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energy_rater_la

outgassing comes from adhesives,
carpets and many other things.
I've had chemically sensitive clients who
got sick after buying a new laptop...
to hang it all on foam is kind of a leap of its own.

this is well explained in the post of worthy's.
reading the whole link answers several questions
not addressed in my link, which dealt only with
application issues.

thanks for the link worthy.

don't think that foam is a cure all or miracle
product. it has its own pros and cons, as does
every material.

personally I think there should be a site
to counterbalance the bs of foam salesmen.
this article is the first I've seen that
presented problems with applications
that I see in the field.

have a good weekend everyone.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:20PM
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lzerarc

I have seen most of those instances. I think one of the biggest BS arguments installers push is that you do not need as much thickness/ r value that energy code states because SP is better and eliminates air leaks. While this is true, r value is r value. It does not matter how much better it reduces air flow, not shooting the required value is still a code violation. With the 2012 IECC coming out, it now greatly increases air sealing requirements for homes, which will require people not using spray foam to focus more on air sealing, which will even the playing field.

Besides, something most people do not consider is codes are the minimum a building should be built too. The lowest acceptable. So why not go above them anyway?

Good little article.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 12:48PM
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energy_rater_la

I have that R-value discussion with my clients.
and sometimes have the R-value argument with foam
companies.
just because foam stops air infiltration when
properly installed does not mean that 2-3" average
meets code.
foam companies can't just make up a quanitive value
for their product, and expect code to except it.
if that happened..every product would have a k or q
value.

for the public to realize that the builder
meeting code isn't something to brag about, but
the legal minimum he/she can build to, goes a long
way in public understanding of what code actually
does. legal safe minimum that is allowable by law.

so lzerarc, you also see foam pulling away from
roof decking, shrinking away from framing members
and the dips and bellies between studs/rafters?
foam that doesn't quite meet from roof to seal
top plates? I use a can of spray paint in conjunction
with the blower door, and spray leakage sites for
company to come back and seal.
I would think that as a builder you have a certain
foam company that you work with?
I see everyone's work. have the 3 companies that
I recommend..but sometimes low bid gets the job.

I've looked at so many foam jobs that I can tell
which installer for what company did the install.
its kind of funny.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 9:13PM
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lzerarc

I am not a builder, but an architect, so unfortunately I do not get to pick the foam company typically. Also do mostly commercial projects too, with some residential. However there is one go to company that will always do a good job at foam, sends all of their guys to training every year, etc. I do not see a lot of foam on my jobs bc I typically do not spec it, rather go with blown products instead. But I have seen foam on other projects where we were called to check it out. Most of the time it was a bad mix or something, so I usually have it removed and reshot. Most cases the 2nd time its fine...imagine that!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:56AM
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shw001

Related Question: If in the future someone needs to snake wires or plumbing through wall, ceiling, or floor cavities, can you do it with foam insulation? or do you have to remove a lot of wall board? Also, is it difficult to remove old sprayed-in insulation?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 5:32PM
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