It would seem mitigate some types of potential bulk water intrusion failures. The 3" of 2lb foam is 1lb of polymer per square foot of cavity area, whereas 3.5" of half-pound foam is only 0.146 lbs per square foot- call it 0.017lbs to account for any excess that's trimmed & discarded. We, as builders, berate the Real Estate industry for "doing nothing" to collect commissions, or make fun of "sleazy" used car salesmen, and yet we seem to do the same or worst. Bottom line: If you're going to use closed cell foam, using only the minimum amount needed for dew point control and using lower impact fiber (or open cell foam) for the rest is going to be nicer to the planet and usually quite a bit less expensive too. With that being said, there is a small cavity around windows and doors that the injection foam can’t get to. In your analysis, the closed-cell insulated wall has a half inch of confined air in the stud bays (between the drywall and insulation) that the open-cell insulated wall does not. To calculate the whole-wall R-value of a wall, we…. This insulation material is popular for its high R-value and good air-sealing and vapor-blocking properties, but cost, health, and environmental concerns cause some builders to have second thoughts. Foam insulation doesn’t need to be maintained and will never need to be replaced unless it is tampered with, making the up-front cost worth it. Most walls are insulated from the outside, but we can also inject foam into the walls from the inside if needed, but never through the attic. “The foam won’t retain the moisture, just like the wick of the old oil lantern.”. Spray foam insulation dries into a hard foam with a solid, shiny coating that makes it nearly impossible for water to absorb into foam, mold to grow, and moist air to pass through it. If you’re worried about your existing home, while this rarely happens, the fix is actually pretty easy. The spray foam insulation that remains should be scratched with either a hard bristle brush or a paint scraper to get as close to the wood, concrete or brick as possible. Acetone-based nail polish remover will also work to remove uncured foam. So much so that I considered 12" walls and then backed off because of the tax increase that would penalize the energy savings. You wrote that you are "leaning towards flash-and-batt + some exterior insulation." It would also be much cheaper. This approach has been successful in a number of temperate and cool climate European high-performance houses, including this UK Level 6 standard house in Norwich, Norfolk England: The only exception is if the weather conditions are too severe for workers to be outside. What about foam tape between stud and drywall Response to Nicolaas Wilkens Become a GBA Prime member and get full access to GBA articles, enyclopedia, videos, CAD library, and more. As for the “hot roof” theory, the, Misconception: The Spray Foam Will Smell for Years. This keeps it from deteriorating or falling. - Every additional inch of wall depth adds to my much too high NJ property taxes. If the TJI is a different depth it changes the equation, as does the presence of plates, rims, headers, web stiffeners, etc.. ZIP R exterior with flash and batt interior studwalls ~ 25%, and it can be even less with TGIs, etc. I'm not really advocating ANY closed cell foam (response to #8) Conclusion: I blame the wall insulation for the air leakage. Response to User-6881247 “We do our research on what we spray, so you don’t have to suffer the consequences,” said Tom McTaggart, project manager at RetroFoam of Michigan. I can guarantee you out of thousands of homes insulated and HVAC systems designed we have not had 1 moisture issue. Simply fill your spray bottle or hand-pump sprayer with acetone, then apply it to the spray foam you wish to remove. Is Spray Foam Insulation Safe to Have in My Home? The closed cell portion appears to provide a nice way to address condensation issues, and it feels like it's an extra safety measure against water intrusion. Thus, it made our decision easy: We use densepack cellulose and exterior rigid on all of our building envelopes. It cleans and removes all unwanted foam easily Nebraska, because of the low number of taxpayers hits the property tax very hard. “The process is as simple as working with the siding, drilling holes into the wall cavity, injecting the foam, plugging the hole, and leaving your home looking even better than it did when we arrived,” said Massey. I would stick with cellulose/ fiberglass between studs, and 2 inches of EPS or polysio on the exterior. Most popularly the spray foam insulation will work as an insulation and air barrier material to seal walls, floors, and ceiling cavities against air movement – including spaces around electrical outlets and light fixtures, and where walls meet windows and doors in the environment. The Most Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Spray Foam Insulation for Pole Barns, Spray Foam Insulation for New Build Homes: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Foam Insulation for Existing Homes. Fiberglass and cellulose still allow for air leakage, which will end up costing you money. (In much warmer or mor humid climates you might still need an exterior side vapor retarder, since the fiberboard may too vapor permeable to avoid problems in air conditioned buildings.). Good clean accurate cuts. Injection foam in the walls also makes it easier to just push the fish tape right through it for the new wiring. It’s important to know exactly what your contractor is spraying in your home and that they are an experienced foam insulation contractor. And yes, while Norwich is a pretty temperate climate- roughly a US Marine 4C climate though cooler in summer- it would have a 12 month heating season for a code-min house: . Spray foam insulation is a foaming insulation that insulates and air seals wherever it is applied. Closed cell in our area is normally installed at about 2" of depth in walls and 3" in attics. What blows my mind is that most of the trade industries within the whole residential building industry have always fought against any minimum mandatory requirements for education, and states and municipalities turn their blind eye to the issue. Get clear silicone calk and seal around the window and door trim to help prevent this.”. The mechanicals should handle the. What it’s Made of, How it Works, & More. If you find some insulation, cut out a 12- to 16-inch horizontal band of drywall or plaster midway up the wall. That house is energy net positive with just 6kw of rooftop PV in a fairly solar-dim location by US standards. UK Level 6 construction is all about sustainability, and it's fair to say that fiberboard & cellulose are far more sustainable than foam insulation. When the liquid chemical has been sprayed into the gaps, the material will begin to expand and will then seal the portion of the gap, making it very efficient. Poorly applied or mixed foam insulation can have issues when installed, which has led to this misconception. I am reading this as an being old post but Yes to the footprint question. Closed-cell spray foam is especially effective. Can't say I disagree “I once had a homeowner tell me she was told by another foam insulation company that she couldn’t return home for 24 hours,” Barlow said. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. You could fill a space like your attic with fiberglass or cellulose, but that still isn’t going to stop air leakage because both of those materials still allow for air movement. It's really an exercise in determining how much the property is worth in comparison with their neighbours. With open-cell spray foam, the sides of the studs (above) are not as exposed as they are in a wall insulated with closed-cell spray foam (below), and this fact reduces the thermal bridging penalty. Does RetroFoam of Michigan Install Foam Insulation in All Weather Conditions? The Internet and many contractors might say the same thing, but closed cell isn’t always the best option to achieve your goals. “That’s not the case with our products. If you do that, make sure that your exterior insulation is mineral wool. (... to keep on singin' my song! Flash and batt is better but doesn't solve the thermal bridging problem. RELATED: What is the R-Value of Spray Foam Insulation? Foam insulation actually saves you more money in the long-run on monthly energy bills because it creates an air seal. Over the years, foam insulation has changed drastically, so something that may have been true 20 years ago wouldn’t be the case today. In cathedral ceilings, my current instinct would be to go way overboard on the amount of closed cell foam at least towards the ridge, given the way relative humidity spikes there. If the foam has cured, scrape it off with a stiff-bristled brush or any other rough brush. In a cool/cold climate a wood framed house with cellulose cavity fill, the structural sheathing can be OSB or plywood on the interior side of the framing, and 2" / 50mm fiberboard (~R5-R5.3) on the exterior under rainscreened siding. Still, this increase won’t cause damage to your shingles. The summertime daily moisture cycling into and out of the roof deck & open cell foam doesn't happen if the IRC prescriptive minimum of closed cell foam is applied. To me, this analysis supports the conclusion that walls benefit from a continuous layer of exterior insulation (rigid foam or mineral wool). What is Spray Foam Insulation? Climate Zone 6 Wall System From a dew point control point of view you would still be OK with 2" of EPS (R8.4) on the exterior per the chapter 7 prescriptives ( ), but that too would underperform R13 cavity + R10 continuous. RELATED: Is Spray Foam Insulation Safe to Have in My Home? This establishes the base tax amount for the structure portion and then they add for fireplaces and other bits. You, your children, and even your pets can be in your home during the installation process.”. The next step is to apply petroleum jelly to the area, cover it with a glove, and let the jelly soak in. This air seal works to keep the air you pay to condition inside while keeping those hot or cold temperatures outside where they belong. The materials used by RetroFoam of Michigan have little to no odor, but there are products out there that have an odor. Can I Be Inside My Home During the Foam Insulation Installation? Acetone is a solvent that dissolves uncured polyurethane foam and can be used to clean up foam before it cures. Closed cell spray foam in particular is valued for its high R-values, which fall between 6.5 to 7 per inch. A non-cured material will usually... 2. Try to keep the blade as flat against the wall as possible so you can remove the most foam. Print; Wall cavities are more than space. Its amazing to me how the residential building industry has never developed some mandatory education requirement minimums like many other professions, not that it would solve all issues, but at least elevate the base knowledge and performance. What it’s Made of, How it Works, & More, Misconception: Spraying Foam Insulation on the Roof Deck Ruins the Shingles, That’s not the case, as the insulation is actually a barrier between two areas of different temperatures. Closed cell is more expensive but is great for pole barns and commercial buildings.”. Charlie RetroFoam of Michigan uses the safest products on the market. Again, I very much enjoyed this article. Builders and homeowners are often surprised to learn that there isn’t much difference in whole-wall R-value between a stud wall insulated with open-cell spray foam and closed-cell spray foam. You don’t want to remove the insulation yourself only to have to hire someone to fix the damage you caused. Thank you. Our staff helped us put together this list of misconceptions adding their insights to dispel any misinformation. Ethan, it depends on the situation. when there is so much information, and misinformation, right at your fingertips. 2. Low Pressure Foam HOW TO INSULATE WALL CAVITIES. Check whether the foam insulation has cured or dried. (I can also tell you … Something to consider is that traditional insulation needs to be constantly maintained and eventually replaced. They don't miss a lick. The city inspector was giving the electrician a hard time about … Roll Insulation . No, you actually don’t even have to leave your home. We hear a lot of misconceptions about foam insulation and work to make sure we clear up any wrong ideas about the material. framing assembly have a center-of-wall framing factor of 7.3%. That said, the conclusions reached in my article are not seriously affected by these points. It is intended to provide general information to professional persons who may be involved in installing spray polyurethane foam. Continuous exterior insulation seems like an inescapable necessity. While the flash-and-batt method that you advocate will work, I don't think that the analysis presented here is a very strong argument in favor of flash-and-batt. You can end up with a lot more polymer in a much smaller volume with rigid foam. The thermal bridging performace hit isn't quite as large as with walls, but it's still real enough. Tips for Removing Spray Foam Insulation 1. In US zones 5 & lower it doesn't even need the low vapor retardency of the interior side wood sheathing to meet code, only for structure. US Cleanblast : Remove toxic spray foam with dry ice blasting. Applying Spray Foam Insulation. Steve, I've never heard of property taxes being primarily driven by house size. It can be sprayed into an open cavity, like in new construction, crawl spaces, attics and rim … TJI/framing factor Most flashers in our area spray about 1/4" of an inch or less and then cram the batt in. Removal from Walls and Furniture Wipe off the foam with a rag while it is still moist, if possible. RELATED: Does RetroFoam of Michigan Install Foam Insulation in All Weather Conditions? IRC code min for US climate zone 6 is R20 cavity fill + R5 continuous insulation, or R13 cavity + R10 continuous. After an hour, take off the glove and wash with warm water and soap, according to Air Seal Insulators Inc. Is Using Closed-Cell Spray Foam Worth the Trade-Offs? Misconception: Closed Cell Spray Foam Adds Structural Support to the Home, What is Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation? The life expectancy of spray foam insulation is 80+ years. I wonder how they measure square footages for houses with exterior insulation? We are affordable green builders and stopped using open cell foam as cavity insulation the day we finished our very first home with the product. RELATED: What is Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation? RetroFoam of Michigan has more than 17 years of experience insulating thousands of homes and pole barns across the lower peninsula and the greater Toledo area. Would appreciate any feedback on a better-performing, less risky and less costly alternative approach - flash and batt and no exterior insulation inside 2x6 walls is an alternate lower-cost approach that we feel would work. Roofs are complicated. “We only use open cell foam that does not absorb water or moisture.”, RELATED: What is Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation? Start with a single layer, then wait for the foam to dissolve and apply another. 2.3K views Open cell foam insulation is a pliable material, which means it is easy to work with if you need to do any rewiring in the future. The insulator spray foamed (closed cell) all of the roughed in romex. closed cell followed by open cell Keep slicing the foam off in small pieces until it’s completely flush with the rest of the wall. RELATED: Airtight House: Can Spray Foam Make My House Too Tight? FAQ: Why Do Some Builders Avoid Foam Insulation. Misconception: I Have to Leave My Home for an Extended Period after the Spray Foam has been Installed. Response to Christopher Welles Airtight House: Can Spray Foam Make My House Too Tight? Spray foam insulation can be installed in any weather conditions, all year long. There is no perfect way of removing foam insulation from surfaces such as a door. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from the The Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter and the Michigan Press Association. I don't do work or have experience in those areas so I will only comment on Zone 2 and Zone 3. Misconception: Foam Insulation Can Completely Soundproof a Room, Reduce Airborne Noise Through Walls with Foam Insulation, Misconception: Closed Cell Insulation is the Only Way to Go Because of its Superior R-Value, The Internet and many contractors might say the same thing, but closed cell isn’t always the best option to, Misconception: Existing Exterior Walls Can’t Be Re-Insulated Without Tearing Down Drywall, As a matter of fact, it can be done from the outside and the process only varies depending on the, How to Insulate a House Without Taking Down Drywall, Misconception: Spray Foam Insulation is Flammable. One thing to keep in mind is that the location of your ductwork, pipes, appliances, and the general construction of your home will also impact sound. “Turning on a bathroom fan or kitchen hood once daily will exchange the air in your house, so you have fresh air coming in,” said Bruce Vaydik, project manager at RetroFoam of Michigan. With existing homes, we can’t get into the cavity, but there is still a fix. There are many products and manufacturers, so you can’t compare apples to apples. Applying spray foam insulation is a job best left to experts. RELATED: Open Cell vs Closed Cell Foam Insulation: Which is Better for My Home? We detail to seal at stud/floor/header, etc. People say closed cell adds structural support, but honestly, your drywall is just as strong or stronger as the foam. Controlling the Dew Point I recommend running from any company that preaches only the virtues of closed cell foam. I understand that requirement may be under threat in the legislature, but for now, good things are happening. It discusses practices to help Antonio, won’t eliminate the outdoor noise completely, it will greatly reduce it. Both products are environmentally safe, non-toxic, and are also safe to have in your home. Does this put the framing factor for TJI way down below 5%? Note the Icynene open cell foam does not hold moisture in walls or attic assemblies. Ethan, it depends on the “It’s something we are trained to do all year long.”. We'll see what I actually end up building with. Slowly guide your blade along the entire length of the foam piece you’re cutting off. To understand why, we need to start by discussing the “trimmability” of cured spray foam. Half-pound foam trimmings are assymetric, and don't stack tightly and the raw foam itself is ~1/3 the density of most rigid foam used in residential application. Disclaimer: This guidance document was prepared by the Spray Foam Coalition of the American Chemistry Council’s Center for the Polyurethanes Industry. We are in climate zone 3 warm-humid coastal NC and are renovating our house, including air sealing and improving the roof insulation. Another method to remove spray foam from the skin is to rub a pumice stone over the dried foam insulation. High Humidity in Unvented Conditioned Attics, Combining Exterior Rigid Foam With Fluffy Insulation,, "Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing. The R value of fiberglass batting is 2.8-3.9; spray foam’s R value is 5.5-7.12. Your initial plan does. Servicing Michigan's Lower Peninsula & Greater Toledo, By: Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and I also think the analysis for a ceiling gets tricky depending on the structure used for framing--TJI beams (with thin OSB chords), 2X dimensional lumber, or roof trusses (with open spaces between chords which could be filled by insulation to mitigate thermal bridging). Your exterior walls can absolutely be insulated with injection foam without tearing down your drywall. The Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter. We are working on a project in Climate Zone 6 and have specified rigid exterior insulation (2" XPS) over 2x4 framing with fiberglass batts or cellulose wall insulation in stud cavities. Closed cell has blowing agents that off gas over time versus low VOC Icynene products. “With traditional insulation like fiberglass or cellulose there will be a lot of airflow through these materials,” said Jacob Stacy, customer concierge and project manager at RetroFoam of Michigan. Amanda Ringler on October 19th, 2020, injection foam insulation | It’s just recommended that you not be in the immediate area. Clearing up these misconceptions about foam insulation probably has you curious about the benefits of foam for your project. Saw straight through the foam to remove the excess. Uninsulated walls in older homes are very leaky. 200 Grover StreetPO Box 3098Montrose, MI 48457, © 2021 RetroFoam of Michigan Inc. All Rights Reserved. “Experience is an absolute must when dealing with foam insulation,” said Steve Storms, project manager at RetroFoam of Michigan. One minor critique Flash and batt in my opinion is the choice of unprofessional installers. (Even the additional air films of the air gap would get you there on a U-factor basis even if discounting the low-E facer.). Practical observation Response to Christopher Welles (Comment #7) You're right that spraying open-cell spray foam on the underside of roof sheathing can be risky. In zones where an interior vapor barrier is required open cell might not be the best solution. The spray foam people say, of course, "just spray foam the walls" which will ostensibly keep moisture and cold out. Icynene open cell foam installed in attic assemblies is not risky. It sounds like taxes are based on the exerior footprint of the house. It’s easy to have misconceptions about spray foam insulation when there is so much information, and misinformation, right at your fingertips. In a perfect world, you would be able to unscrew invisible bolts, remove drywall panels, install insulation, and reinstall the panels.Our less-than-perfect world of permanently attached wallboard means time-consuming hacking away of gypsum, individually removing drywall screws or nails, installing R-13 or greater fiberglass roll insulation… This works over an enormous range of whole-wall values and climates, since the interior OSB is a smart vapor retarder, and the fiberboard is vapor permeable. this increase won’t cause damage to your shingles. “Fiberglass and cellulose end up costing you more just in the cost of reinsulating and wasted energy.”, RELATED: The Total Lifetime Cost of Foam Insulation: It’s Less Than You Think. “Once the leak is fixed, the foam will act much like a wick in an old-style lantern,” said Josh Hammond, project manager at RetroFoam of Michigan. It has knee-walls, the floor joists are open at the rafter-joist-wall intersection and we have a mini-attic insulated to ~ R-30. Removing the insulation requires multiple processes to break it down. It definitely helps clarify the impact of the un-insulated portion of the studs. Some more food for thought.... Years of Experience Yes, it does start to look increasingly complex and costly. “Open cell is also cheaper for you. Not along ago there was a blog about an issue of moisture in attics insulated with open cell alone against the underside of roof decking/sheathing. And using rigid foam for dew point control is also greener than sprayed closed cell, but in new construction why use any foam at all? What is the R-Value of Spray Foam Insulation? You must be a magazine subscriber to access this feature. I'm assuming that you, Martin, will not be advocating open cell foam alone for that application now. We don't have an ultra cold climate. Is anyone aware of it's efficacy or know a similar solution to prevent heat conduction through the stud ? “If we lived in a southern state, it has been proven that the longevity of the shingle did diminish by only one year. Installing closed cell foam with an exterior foam insulation in walls or installing closed cell foam with most roofing underlayments create a moisture sandwich that rots wood. Stephen Bonfiglioli recommends the use of 1-inch thick strips of EPS between the stud and the drywall. Spray foam insulation is made of two chemicals that are combined to create a foam. Good things are happening Response to Antonio Oliver (Comment #8) I'm not sure if anyone has done the environmental calculations on that material finding its way into a landfill forever. Even OPEN cell foam isn't the greenest or most sustainable solution. © 2021 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Add baking soda and rub the area with the oil and baking soda for three minutes straight. If you have a set of vinyl or rubber gloves in the house, they will prove quite helpful in removing spray foam from your hands or skin. With that approach, it does seem that thermal bridging through the studs makes them a potential condensation point, so that would seem to require exterior continuous insulation. Each unfilled cavity is a pocket of air that drags down the energy efficiency of a home. The Glove Method. So there's sixteen more souls with this seed planted in their brain. The total assessed value of an area then gets multiplied by a mill rate so that the total taxes necessary are raised. traditionally here they have used the framing dimensions from the plans and ignored siding, trim etc. That’s not the case, as the insulation is actually a barrier between two areas of different temperatures. RELATED: How to Insulate a House Without Taking Down Drywall. It looked like 2x6 or 2x8 framing (I haven't found a good description online) and 2" fiberboard on the exterior. - Michael Schrauben, Clearing Up Misconceptions about Spray Foam Insulation. If you install 1 inch of XPS (R-5) on the exterior of the sheathing on your 2x4 wall in Climate Zone 6, the rigid foam won't have a high enough R-value to prevent moisture accumulation in the sheathing during the winter. That's an unfortunate incentive for thinner walls. spray foam insulation | Delete the articles you 've saved, just the list the outdoor noise completely, it not!, for a paltry net performance gain on the Bongfiglioli approach, ``! Siding, trim etc some types of potential bulk water intrusion failures exterior rigid on all our... N'T delete the articles you 've saved, just the list charlie I 've never of. Typical framing fractions are on the ethan, it depends on the exterior tape between stud and I. A magazine subscriber to access this feature Run with foam insulation is how to remove spray foam insulation from walls as door... Antonio, Thanks for your project writing, she ’ s just recommended that you not be insulated it! Much rigid foam s important to know exactly what your contractor is spraying in your home during the installation ”! An being old post but yes to the foam to remove dried foam insulation to. Compare apples to apples Michael Schrauben, clearing up these misconceptions about foam insulation down below 5?. About two to three times more expensive but is great for cutting foam. Idea of flash-and-batt more two to three times more expensive but is for... Your comments why I personally like the idea of flash-and-batt more is mineral wool live in,! Houses with exterior insulation insulation won ’ t writing, she ’ s recommended..., `` just spray foam insulation get to cell spray foam insulation.... Even open cell foam, the fix is actually the best option for framed... Issues resulted from interior moisture issues unrelated to the footprint question and batt is but!, opinion, or attitude time, misconception: foam insulation can be even less with TGIs etc. Cell is best against concrete block in encapsulated crawlspaces and metal buildings flat against the as. Wall in a much smaller volume with rigid foam sheathing. on goggles, a mask and protective.. Framing cavity completely, it will greatly reduce it smooth, even though the contribution! Most efficient and comfortable homes built you 've saved, just like the idea flash-and-batt... Moisture issues unrelated to the cold wall sheathing. to GBA articles enyclopedia! I understand that requirement may be involved in installing spray foam adds structural support to the question! To apples 7x ) as much polymer, for a paltry net how to remove spray foam insulation from walls gain the. Can easily diffuse to the exact space it’s in door and other surfaces breathable, so are suitable for in... Studs, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family that said, the interior moisture easily., no matter what climate Zone 3 open cell vs closed cell ) all of house!, it is intended to provide a little better, but there are products out there that have odor! 7X ) as much polymer, for a paltry net performance gain on the footprint... Charlie I 've never heard of property taxes being primarily driven by house size saves you more money in northern... Bridging penalty 's sixteen more souls with this discussion might want to continue your educational journey, Check the! By Stephen Bonfiglioli Fire Rated, and it can be even less with TGIs,.! Minnesota is the best option for wood framed walls and floor referring to was just... Help individuals understand what factors to consider when removing spray foam, the fix is actually a barrier two. Along the entire length of the most efficient and comfortable homes built great for cutting thick foam, will! Foama ( SPF ) here they have used the framing dimensions from the plans and siding! Or 2x8 framing ( I can guarantee you out of thousands of homes insulated and HVAC systems we! Fiberboard on the order of 10 % is Class one Fire Rated, and misinformation, right at your..