Applications we have insulated with Spray Foam
Below are listed a number of projects or applications where spray foam was used. Any place that varying conditions must be separated from one another, a type of foam insulation can be used. Whether temperature, moisture or sound are needing to be controlled, foam can be used as a solution.
These pictures are from a new construction job. Notice that foam was sprayed directly on the underside of the roof sheeting along with the gable end walls. This process was used to create a conditioned attic space. This process is counter intuative at first glance, although after having inspecting this attic during both temperature extremes for a few year I am completely sold on this practice. During my inspections the temperature variation in this attic never exceeded 10 degrees warmer in summer months or 10 degrees colder in winter months than below the un-insulated drywall lid. Plus the relative humidity followed that of the home so I could take a nap at 3pm on the hotest day of the year in the attic without any discomfort. Code approval to spray 6 inches thick, (R-24) is acceptable because of the higher performance of foam. The 2x4 framed walls are also sprayed with foam along with the caulking of top plate, bottom plate, headers and buck studs.
This home owner could not believe how clean the home stayed. No loose fill insulation sifting through can lights or ceiling fixtures. Add mechanical ventilation and the air in your home will be cleaner than out of doors. We have had customers with pet allergies reduce or eliminate medication due to this combination.
Existing Homes with Heat Loss Problem
These photos are of a log home built in the early 2000's. The home owner had been plagued with high energy bills because of heat lose and a big ice build up on the roof for many years. The temperature throughout the home varied significantly, and for the last few years during the winter months and they noticed water running down the interior walls staining the logs. A roofing contractor was called in to investigate why the steet roof was leaking. After opening up the ridge vent and a few valleys he noticed a significant amount of moisture in all of these areas. It was determined that the roof was not leaking but the ventilation was not working properly causing condensation. Keep in mind that this house was insulated to the standards of the Michigan Uniform Energy Code, (R-38 fiberglass batts with styrofoam ventilation shoots from the soffit up to the ridge). After a significant effort to get the ventilation to work properly the problems continued. Thermal Imaging diagnostics confirmed that a significant heat lose scenario existed and the only remedy was to remove the rough and groove ceiling and replace the fiberglass batts and styrofoam vents with spray foam insulation sprayed directly against ther roof deck, (approved by the MUEC). The pictures listed below show this process and the resulting conditions were very successful. 6 inches of soft foam, (R-24) was sprayed directly on the underside of the roof decking after the surface mold was treated. This process was very expensive. Can you afford this misapplication of insulation in your home?
Under Slab and Foundation Wall Insulation
Installing insulation under poured concrete is not a new practice. To date this has been completed with rigid foam board. This method has a number of inherent problems. Air pockets between the board and sand, keeping the seams tight and fitting the board into odd shaped space is difficult. What is often forgotten is the 40 mil. plastic,(vapor barrier). We have replaced this process with spray foam with great success. Foam adheres directly to the sand or pea stone and forms to any shape creating a monolithic seal which is a thermal and vapor barrier in a single step.
In addition to spraying foam under the slab, we spray the outside of foundation walls. This process satisfies the basement insulation code requirement and can eliminate the need for damp proofing. When you use this process on projects that have finished basements there isn't a need for insulation on the inside. Both of these applications create thermal mass which sigificantly reduces the energy required to heat this space. Call us to discuss how you can benefit from this process.
Is Dense Pack Fiberglass Good For You?
Exterior wall insulation has changed significantly over the years. The beginning of wall insulation dates back to the 1950's. From pressed paper board, (celitex) being nailed on the exterior of studs under the siding to almost anything handy was used for insulation. The next major product development was fiberglass batts. A number of years later cellulose,(treated shredded paper) insulation was developed.
With the introduction of spray foam, fiberglass and cellulose became suspect in real value. For fiberglass batt insulation to perform, proper installation became critical. With the water content percentage varying issues with moist cellulose, both of these products application methods needed to change. Instead of using water to glue the product into place, cellulose is installed behind a netting material installed to the inside surface of the wall studs. The improved fiberglass process followed with a similar net-n-blow method. When either net-n-blow installation is reviewed it has a neat look and when you press on the netting an increased firmness is noted. These two factors give you a false sense of security.
Both of these products are designed and tested to specific thermal capacity based on density. When the density varies the performance changes also. The pictures below show a fiberglass net-n-blow application. The home was originally built in the early 2000's. It is built with 2x6 framing and the OSB has house wrap installed around it. A major remodel started the first quarter of 2012. This wall is no longer going to be an exterior wall so the netting was removed. After opening this up the fiberglass was damp from the inside all the way through to the outside. When the insulation was removed it wanted to stick to the OSB. After scrapping the fiberglass off the sheeting not only was the OSB stained, but signs of mold growth was evident.
Do not compromise your health, comfort or energy efficiency by using the latest cellulose of fiberglass installation methods. Niether of these products are classified as "Air Barriers" like spray foam. Both fiberglass and cellulose increase gradually in efficeincy as you install a thicker layer of them. The spray foam efficiency graph spikes up very fast and flattens out within a few inches of depth. Foam is the cheapest insulation you can afford to put into your home and will return your added investment in just a few years.