Thanks for your comment, Dennis. Sean, thanks for jumping in and answering John's questions. We are considering using 2 pound foam, however it will be very difficult to remove the old foam. (I'm not going to dive into the energy code here, but these numbers apply to many climate zones, the latter being allowed under the UA tradeoffs rule. The good news, though, is that spray foam's problems are generally less frequent and easier to overcome with proper planning and follow through. Thanks for your help. Do we have any options for finding out the information ourselves? Also installers have to be aware that as the sun rises and the temp in attics rises the subtrates get hotter as well. Thank you, Allison. Fiberglass may be foolproof to install, but then again it has a terrible R-Value compared to a good spray foam. Developed 31 years ago, Icynene has been the No.1 insulation in North America and has now taken the UK by storm. I got the name/number of the guy from her who managed her attic project, but between the time he did my house and the time he did her house, he was let go from the company who did her attic and hired by another company. justin: See also Martin Holladay's article on cut-and-cobble insulation. I did this partly because it's worthy of an article all by itself, but mainly I didn't include it because, despite all the warnings the two sides issue about the other, I've never personally seen a problem caused by using open cell where they should've used closed cell or vice versa. Tim. Unit 35, Capital Business Centre, South Croydon, CR2 0BS 0800 689 1894 info@evergreenpoweruk.com. If the installer you've chosen doesn't understand this, you may want to choose someone else. So spray foam is NOT the answer.. Nancy: I'm sorry to hear about your sister's home. He will be cutting into that wall with the foam insulation. the other thing is it is pier and beam. They went back after they were done to any spots that pulled away too much and filled them with the touch up kit; they were looking for the top edge to roll just a little bit. They started Insulating it in August of 2011...They said it would be a 3-4 day job. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: Homeowners are concerned about the lingering spray foam … I have a damp crawspace with infloor heating on ceiling of crawspace. A well-known website for home handypeople recently ran a post … What is Spray Foam? Evergreen Power, Evergreen Power UK, Evergreen Power Solar and Evergreen Power Scotland are all trading styles of Evergreen Power UK Ltd. Reg No. Good article, but it seems like you can chalk up almost all of those problems to the experience level of whomever is spraying the foam. John, I would suggest you bring in an Energy Auditor or Consultant before and after the work is completed. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation, both open cell and closed cell, is made from diisocyanates (50% of the formulation), polyol oils, amine catalysts, flame retardants and blowing agents (the other … Evergreen Power UK uses cookies. Poor application of the spray foam insulation – The poor application of spray foam insulation by an untrained or unlicensed contractor can lead to several problems, according to Fine Home Building. I've seen this only once, and it was with closed cell foam, but I've heard of it happening with open cell foam, too. This place has no insulation at all, and by no insulation I don't mean hit or miss insulation. I've been in plenty of these homes and can tell you that when spray foam is installed properly, they outperform 99% of fiberglass batt-insulated, stick-built homes. I do know of one person who had it removed from her crawl space because she was convinced it caused her dog to get sick, but I know only what she told me. Don't ever touch it. Are there any Icynene hazards or dangers presented from spraying over electrical wiring? Also, as Sean said, the home energy rater who inspects and tests your house will make sure that the builder and insulator deal with it properly. It is made by mixing and reacting unique liquid components at the job site to create foam… Reducing drafts as every crack and cranny is sealed. As of October 2012, 1 year and 2 months of dealing with the contractor I told them I want proof that what has been installed carries a warranty or I want my money back and I will fix the problems myself. The company kept telling me that it was a good job and I had nothing to worry about, even after I'd had 2 other experienced sprayers from 2 different companies visually examine the foam and confirm that large areas appeared to be off ratio. The envelope is generally all the exterior walls, roofs, and occasionally the floor if you do not have an sealed or insulated basement / crawl space. I employed a company to insulate my three story house in 2011. I am going to reside the whole place with a rigid foam board and stucco it but I am thinking about spray foam as I will have the whole thing exposed. When spray foam goes bad … It is not providing any insulation as drafts come up through the flooring, and the insulation is being eaten by critters. Want to install foam insulation on ceiling and walls of craw space. Combustion Safety 101: Three Types of Problems, How to Make a High-MERV DIY Portable Air Cleaner, How to Make a Good High-MERV Filter Even Better, 10 Consequences of Keeping Your Home Really Cold in Summer, Ten Years of Building Science Summer Camp. The majority I've worked with here in Bay Area have all held up to the highest scrutiny. It can ruin your whole home investment..    Go natural. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a spray-applied plastic that can form a continuous insulation and air sealing barrier on walls, roofs, around corners, and on all contoured surfaces. Thanks for answering. In the crawl space it looks like baby powder. Is that something the architect should articulate for me? Be assured that Icynene meets all the prerequisites of fire safety, and its insulation is a fire-resistant spray foam insulation. The Big Question: Is Spray Foam Insulation Dangerous? As you can see in the floor photo and both roofs shown in this article, spraying foam over the joists/rafters isn't common practice with a lot of spray foam contractors. In this case, permanency cuts both ways. Spray foam comes in two flavors, open cell and closed cell, and provides both parts of the building envelope - the insulation and the air barrier. Has a measure of safety around high-pressure spray equipment. This is mainly based on older insulation methods, such as Polyurethane, and modern insulation alternatives, such as Icynene, offer an economical and air quality improving alternative. In fact, that was my first line in the article. I'm having my attic sprayed next week, and the installer is concerned about completely sealing the attic, since our AC units require fresh air ventilation. Is that correct? Moisture generated indoors or that infiltrates into the home is responsible for the bulk of the moisture in an attic insulated with spray foam on the underside of the roof sheathing. He should of stopped and turned down the heat on his hose temp. Although spray foam insulation has been in use since the 1940s, primarily for aircraft, for the past 30 years, continual product innovation has seen the increased adoption of spray foam insulation in residential and commercial construction. Even adding just 1 inch of Tiger Foam to your home's insulation … Not only is Icynene safe, with home energy bills soaring over the last few years, installing Icynene spray foam insulation has got benefits all year round, and can also save you up to* 50% on your energy bills. Many builders or homeowners don't know how to find one, however, and that's where third party inspections come in. Unfortunately, good average thickness doesn't cut it. Spray foam isn't an inherently bad product, but it's pretty easy to botch if the hired company is inexperienced. Tina, encapsulation is better than spraying foam under the floor if you can do it. The builder now says this is not a problem, but I can see gaps at the bottom edge of the cardboard (i.e. It was actually curing out and making foam before it could adhere to the wood. Temps and conditions are constantly changing thru out the day. Issues of overheating were at first seen as a reason for concern; however, because of its open cell and adaptable nature, analysts worldwide have discovered that overheating of wires doesn't present a threat. that would be 4" spray foam and 2" foam board as a thermal break. I agree with you that foam is a great product. A lot of homeowners and builders are looking the best price and end up with someone who doesn't know what they are doing. Don't assume that just because a home is insulated with spray foam that it's automatically a winner. We just bought our first house. This will require you to route out for electric, plumbing & other obstructions. 'That is nasty stuff' they say. It was a 2 day job for 1 days pay, then we had to take it all out bagged. I forgot to paste the link into the code. Theses baffles were supposed to be removed, but, alas were not and the foam has been sprayed over the cardboard. Do you think it was the foam popping loose from the studs? Excellent point, Ted. I would like to know how I can get proof that the product carries the manufacturers lifetime warranty, or has it been installed improperly throughout the entire house. With open cell if it draws away it means it is to hot as well,you can dial the temp back and you are making good foam again. I'm sitting in a hotel, 2 of my cats are in boarding, and we've all been exposed to off ratio foam vapors as well as the old celluose insulation dust that was spread through out my whole house when I let the same people come in to remove the off ratio foam (upon the advice of the manufacturer's rep). One of spray foam's biggest selling points is its air-sealing ability, but it can't seal places where it's not sprayed. It is all water vapor. I'm not condemning spray foam at all, and, in fact, I've defended the use of closed cell spray foam and extruded polystyrene foam board insulation in this blog. I billed the firm for the electrician plus an extra night we had to stay in the hotel and they paid, no questions asked. They've also installed an outside air ventilation that runs for 20 minutes every single hour, but my inside humidity is >40% all the time regardless what temperature it is in the house. Use spray foam insulation … Would ventilation during installation help any or woud the retardant seal off the foam and help that way? I knew immediately when I walked into the attic that something was wrong because it was hot up there. Around ten years ago, individuals related Polyurethane Spray Foam Insulation as an obscure, untested type of home insulation, which could be a risk to mortgage holders of the property. It is a fixer upper. My sister used spray foam, and her house house is ruined. We are debating between the "encapulation" method or the spray foam method to repair this issue. It's not foolproof to install, and its R-value per inch is pretty much the same as open cell spray foam - when it's installed correctly, which is almost never. Several builders are cautious about using foam insulation and/or a closed attic. Why Do Icynene spray foam contractors wear personal protective clothing? Since spray foam is both insulation and air barrier, proper alignment of insulation and air barrier is guaranteed. The spray foam industry should be controlled and regulated by the same standards, testing and inspections that framing ,electrical and plumbing are. So I hired an electrician to come out, pull down the cans, pull out what he thought was an appropriate amount of foam to create a big enough air space and then re-install the cans. I would like to use both. We are a credit broker and not a lender and we offer facilities from a panel of lenders. I've just mentioned a couple of the multitude of screwups these folks committed but what's frustrating to me is that they were the top-rated firm on Angie's List for foam installation in this area. Our registered office can be found at Unit 35 Capital Business Centre, Carlton Road, South Croydon, CR2 0BS. Since I currently have radiant barrier decking and roofline soffits set up for conventional insulation, are there specific areas that need to be retrofitted or altered to make a spray foam insulation project work? (See my article on flat or lumpy insulation performance.). We have 1/2 pound insulation on the exterior walls of the cottage crawl space. The building envelope should completely surround the conditioned space, and the insulation needs to be in contact with the air barrier. He covers this technique, and there's a lot more info in the comments. Icynene is the No.1 spray foam insulation in North America and has taken the UK by storm with its leading water-based technology. Is that true? Where as with Icynene spray foam insulation … There are some wonderful things about spray foam insulation, but the price in health and embodied carbon is just too high. Looking for advice please! Regarding time of separation, I don't recall how long it took on the house where I saw it, but I think it happens fairly quickly, as in hours. Any poly spray foam birth defects or other issues to be concerned with during pregnancy? Icynene is the only foam on the market to achieve BBA, ETA, IAB certifications. Cans the 2 pound foam be sprayed on top of the existing foam, or should the existing foam be removed. I would have to agree with you on all your points. Check out this article Chemicals in spray polyurethane foam: How can something so toxic be considered green? I've seen a number of houses with problems even though they're insulated with spray foam. We noticed recently that some of the foam was shrinking and seperating from the floor joists. Closed cell-spray foam used as insulation, has been on the market since about 1979, and has gone through a number of evolutionary steps. Off-gassing spray foam and spray foam dust can be very dangerous. Following the corona-virus outbreak in the UK, Evergreen Power UK Ltd have been closely monitoring the UK government advice. As with any product, though, spray foam insulation can be done correctly and it can be done poorly. Bad Spray Foam Insulation. Open cell foam usually fills the framing cavity completely, so it's easy to tell if the installer has sprayed enough. Which would you recommend? But don’t use TigerFoam, HandiFoam, and all other 2-part builder-applied foams. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 756392 for the purposes of credit broking. My concern is the walls that are not capable of being visually inspected because of sheetrock. What is Spray Foam Insulation. We are turning our roof into an unvented roof assembly by raising the roof and blowing in SPF. They also offered to spray a fire-retardant on for >$600. When I arrived, they took me to the master suite, where two towels were on the floor - to catch the rain falling off of the supply registers in the ceiling! For example, when encapsulating an attic by foaming along roof rafters and decking, the entire attic must be sealed to bring the attic inside the thermal boundary. How Safe Is Spray Foam Insulation? Thanks again  J, I have a cape cod home built in 2004 in which I used closed cell foam in the walls and antic Last year 2013 We had a huge condensation problem after investigating the attic there were 3 large cracks in the envelope.Have you ever heard of this happening and do you think it will continue to happen? Spray foam installers didn't understand the building envelope and sprayed either too little or too much. Even 1/2 inch of foam stops a lot of thermal bridging. Do we trust him, however, to be truthful about the batch number? Spray foam insulation is a great product. He assured me everything would be the same, etc., etc., and I had no reason to believe anything had changed, but the sprayers who did my house later admitted they had never sprayed an attic before and I also found out that the foam used in my attic was from a different manufacturer. They then installed it for a 3rd time. The guys who sprayed my attic were trained and certified, but I later found out, too late, that they had no experience and my attic was the first they'd ever sprayed. Hope you and Parker are doing well. I am mostly interested in the accoustc deading property of the foam I am considering as thick as three foot wall to wall spacing being filled with foam. © 2021, Energy Vanguard | 533 West Howard Avenue, Suite E, Decatur, GA 30030. http://www.energycircle.com/blog/2010/06/28/saving-energy-bad-or-good-an... very thorough piece by Alex Wilson on Green Building Advisor, Michael Anschel's cautionary diatribe on Remodeling, I've defended the use of closed cell spray foam and extruded polystyrene foam board insulation, prescribing & preparing a crawl space for encapsulation, Martin Holladay's article on cut-and-cobble insulation. Sandi. But the truth is that Icynene is a 100% water blown product, and doesn’t contain the BL19 Catalyst which gives off a fishy smell once installed, it is a eco-friendly insulation material which has the added benefit of helping in reducing your carbon footprint. I'm sure things like that happen; I just haven't seen it yet. Air sealing your home using Icynene spray foam roof insulation cost creates a cocoon effect, increasing the comfort of your home. If you're chemically sensitive, it's probably not a good idea to get it installed, but it's also not a good idea to breathe musty air from the crawl space either. I bought a home that was built in 1975 in Chico, CA. Originally broadcast October 25, 2013Canadians are installing spray foam insulation in their homes in ever-expanding numbers. Hi all. We've been writing about foaming & air sealing this week, too. Your comment about fiberglass is incorrect, on both counts. So the off gases is water vapor. Just like car spray painters, your licensed Icynene spray foam contractor wears a protective Tyvek suit, gloves and air mask to protect their regular clothing and skin. It's not like you can open the wall and see. Do I assume by it being so infrequent that it is nothing to be concerned about? Evergreen Power is a licensed and accredited Icynene contractor in the UK. Well we are here to alleviate all the misconceptions. I think maybe the contractor came back and sprayed cellulose on top of the foam. As with any product, though, spray foam insulation can be done correctly and it can be done poorly. I currently have a blown in insulation that I would like to remove due to debris and rodent infestation. We were asked to remove foam from a number of attic spaces, I went down price the job and was surprised at how thick and thin it was in parts, some parts pulled away with no problem, others parts were stubborn and in all areas left crumbs of it stuck to the rafters. There are also homes that have been ruined by bad drywall, synthetic stucco, and water leaks. Properly trained and certified installers avoid every one of the situations you have covered. And one that stands behind it's service with a guarantee should help homeowners avoid these problems. Either he wasn't properly trained or if he was,he wasn't doing his job! Whatever the cause, it's not a good thing. No, there are no Icynene hazards or dangers presented from spraying over electrical wiring. When spray foam goes bad, it’s hard not to feel a bit sick. But anyway, you probably won't want to publish my comment but people really should be aware of what can go wrong. Where government advice is adjusted over the coming weeks, we will continue to follow best practices in our work and maintain a duty of care to our customers. The foam was such a mess the houses were unsellable. The bad news is that spray foam is a permanent insulation solution. Allison--would be very interested in your take on the GHG issues of foams, which have received lots of smart commentary recently. Our home stays toasty warm in winter without burning through the propane so fast and cool in the summer. Great post; very thorough. Poor application of the spray foam insulation. We are cold! We reckoned say 2 hours tops, and it was harder and longer than we surmised. My house is not breathing and my 3 ton air conditioner is running all the time. There are many area's that Open Cell foam should not be used without a vapor barrier or other methods being employed. The outside wall's foam is very uneven. I'm getting so much condensation on frames that it seeping into the sheet rock around the edges and it pooling on the window sill, dripping onto the carpet. Brenda: That was true of the old foam in the '70s and '80s. The problem was that the installer was doing his first spray foam job ever, and the thickness of the insulation varied from zero (visible roof deck) to about 9". On those super cold nights we heard "popping" sounds coming from the wall. Different materials expand and contract at different rates when the temperature changes, and the more it changes, the more they change. 2) If my spray company refuses to rectify the problem, will getting a building inspector help? Great questions, John! I think it is a bad idea. … the foam is absolutely a health risk in its raw forms before it is mixed and cured. The wife wants to fill the crawl space with foam, and yes I mean FILL. We never took the job. About choosing the right foam, I intentionally avoided the open cell vs. closed cell foam debate. Every product has its pitfalls, and spray foam is no exception. Additionally, I had heard that BASF is proactive in tracking installations daily to ensure performance metrics are being met. I have spent many hours in the house looking at what is bad and they need to fix. Allison, the link to Martin's article was incomplete.. So, while the bottom line is indeed that foam is only as good as it is installed, the caveat is that installers, quality installers, make all the difference in the world. Should I put on an outside wrap which is typical of fg/vapour barrier construction, I hope also to be putting a layer of 1 inch foam on the outside to help insulate the studs. No Surveyor would have granted a pass mark to it. Borrowing from a window construction concept, Suppose I use two 1 or 1.5 inch thick foamboards sandwiched with a small airgap in btwn, with sprayfoam around the perimeter, would that sandwiched airgap have any insulating value in itself assuming my perimeter is sealed perfectly? They must be trained to do that as they spray. Great article and thread here. Here's the clickable link:    Martin Holladay's article on cut-and-cobble insulation    . The installation … Like this article? Points well taken, however I must dissect 'but in the end you can't separate spray foam insulation from its installation' to some degree. Hi, the foam company here in Ga said that we should vacuum out the bottom of the Attic floor insulation. All rights reserved. You've got no argument from me there, Dennis. I had open cell foam sprayed on the back side of my garage door because is was very hot in summer, it worked great stays cool even when sun beats down on the door,done about 3yrs ago. I'm already a big fan of open cell foam and think it's better for most applications in our mixed-humid climate than closed cell, but next time I'm in the Bay Area, I'll certainly let you know and would love to see your work. Does my home qualify for Icynene Spray Foam Insulation? Homes insulated with it can be some of the most efficient and comfortable homes built. This insulation product expands quickly into the various cracks and holes that are in your crawl spaces, attic and walls. Anything we need to know about? The key is finding a contractor who knows how to do things right, which is admittedly a difficult thing to do because there are so many bad ones out there. After researching this, Im curious about a method called poor mans sprayfoam where foamboard is cut to size between studs and sprayfoamed around the perimeter. We are building a house with a sealed spray foam attic. Air Barrier - Leaks cost you a bundle. If your foam pulled away just a little bit, Jamie, and they were able to fix it with just a little bit of touching up, then it wasn't as bad as the house where I saw this problem. I don't know how this one ended up getting resolved. I got your email and was reading the down falls of foam. It was applied to a masonary wall. The foam guy said that it needed ventilation, so completely sealing the attic wouldn't be a good idea. The video below is from a house near Charleston, South Carolina that I visited recently, and you'll see that the homeowner in this case didn't get his money's worth. – The Truth Revealed (2019). Last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new action plan for a key … In the wall that I have open the sheet fall out as soon as they are uncovered. I have open cell foam and it pulled away a little, and did so immediately (within minutes). My attached garage roof was sprayed also. (Instead of just pasting in the URL, you can actually link to the article using the appropriate html.). This method is proven to be Eco friendly, less expensive, keep your house out of danger! It's supposed to be to be free of off gases after its cured. You will be spending a lot of money on a product that likely won't perform as it should. Unfortunately, your sister's home is not one of them. If you're really concerned about this, hire a company to test your air and tell you what you can do about it. Yes, Chris will make clear where the building envelope is in the plans he's developing for you. There are also homes that have been ruined by bad … The problem was that the installers missed some areas at the soffit in the attic above the master bedroom, and gaps around the tray ceiling allowed the humid air into the room, where it naturally found the cold surface to condense on. My point here is that that's not true. Use blown in cellulose. They removed what they told me was the bad insulation and in the process cut many electrical wires. We just had our foam rep. up last week training some of our installers. We are Icynene accredited contractors, and you can take advantage of our free site survey service to get an experienced surveyor to come and inspect your site. In complex houses, seeing exactly where the building envelope is can be a challenge. Neither my friend nor I had any idea this guy was with different company then, until the week after they filled my attic with off ratio foam, and my home with toxic vapors. The local foam installer that I used here in Hilton Head told me he looked for some peeling back of the foam. His plan is to not cover the soffet vents, but I want to know if that will decrease the efficiency of the foam. Should I just figure it out on my own? I just had closed-cell insulation foam installed in my bathroom. Spray foam contracts and pulls away from framing. For this I recommend you precut the pieces & have them all ready to go & use some nails to help hold the sheets in place as you go - I prefer the specialty foam ones with plastic washers (one or two should do it)  As for the spray foam perimeter, the quality depends on how you install is  Yes you can easily fully fill a stud cavity, as long as you get it placed in there tight. To highlight a few: architect Jesse Thompson's comments on Tom's Good vs Bad post on Energy Circle, the very thorough piece by Alex Wilson on Green Building Advisor and Michael Anschel's cautionary diatribe on Remodeling. Best,  Jamie. We have a 1950's ranch in Atlanta and are interviewing foam contractors to spray open cell under the roof, with an "ankle wall" out towards the eaves to seal the attic. Good article Allison. Foam insulation is a great product. People just need to get referrals and do their homework whenever they research a spray foam contractor. For filling around these I prefer low-expanding. I am a Insulating contractor and spray both foams. If you are going to spend the extra money for this great product and service, you deserve a great job done right! Corona-Virus outbreak in the plans he 's developing for you indeed i did n't understand building. To its performance. ) indeed i did n't have to say Putting that foam is a great job right! Avoid these problems is better than spraying foam under the floor joists the back side of garage doors, and..., CR2 0BS early contractors installed cardboard roof baffles to protect the soffit vents from insulation... 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Power UK Ltd have been looking to have closed cell spray insulation, Icynene has been sprayed over the line. Months of additional rent due to debris and rodent infestation they then reinstalled too thick in.