Foam insulation

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  #1  
Old 07-02-06, 05:54 AM
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Foam insulation

i have been planning on reinsulating my attic. i want to remove all the old stuf and update some fixtures and add some storage space, my house was built in 1971, and before i purchased it no one had lived here for 6 years, and well the attic looks terrible. i think there may be mice in the attic, because i can see little tunnels in the loose fill. now we havn't seen any inside , but i want to clean it all out. i am wondering of i can use this foam insulation? it seems very simple to use, and the insulating properties are far superior to batts. is there any prolbems associated with this?
 
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Old 07-02-06, 07:15 AM
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Foam insulation

What kind of foam? There are many different types - some good, some bad, etc.

Foaming in place is not normally a DIY product. Even some of the "profeessionals" have problems since it can be touchy and depends on hemperature and humidity during and after foaming.

Make sure you provide proper air flow to make it work properly.

Dick
 
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Old 07-02-06, 07:17 AM
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Yous spray foam! It will airseal the attick so you will not have to ventalate!
 
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Old 07-02-06, 02:10 PM
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well, i don't know what type to use. i am wondering if it is a viable project, either DIY or prof ?
I would perfer DIY but i don't want a major Screw up either.
i have found a couple of products online and they seem to be a DIY but i'm not sure about how to go about getting the correct info, i don't really trust some of the contracters in the area, they will tell you ," yes this will work fine, and if you can get them to do the work , then 6 mths later when there is a prolbem they are no where to be found.
just like the project i'm doing now, siding replacement, i had 2 contractors take the job. i get a call , i can't get to you till mid september, so i drop him , find another, heck it was a week after he was supposed to start he called and said i had to wait 2 more weeks because he was going fishing in Fla. for a week, i dropped him and came to the conclusion that i am better off doing any project myself, if i screw it up i fix it , right then, not to mention i can set my own timeline .
i have had it with dealing with proffesionals!!
I live in the Midlands( central) part of South Carolina, so we do get our share of hot weather and some cold( nothing extreme) but occasionally we get ice.
 
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Old 07-02-06, 02:30 PM
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I am with Dick (Concretemasonry) on this one. The only type of foam I have seen used in large house areas was done by a pro. last I knew, you could not even rent the equipment for DIY. It also costs about 3 times what batt or fiberfill insulation costs. Saw it done on a home improvement show(by a pro) and the owners only had the roof joists filled and then used batts for the walls.
If you remove the loose fill insulation, and even THINK there was mice in it, be careful on the method of removal. You do not want mice droppings filling the air. Vacuums are not advisable or recommended for this task. Good luck.
 
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Old 07-02-06, 04:49 PM
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the product is tiger foam, i found it online. it isn't cheap, but it is claimed to be DIY. i will try some insulation companys and see if they do foam.
 
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Old 07-07-06, 08:58 AM
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What a nice coincidence. I am working on this right now, too! We have a vaulted ceiling which I will insulate and then close off with drywall. There is basically no insulation and our heating and cooling bill is VERY expensive. The insulation contractor told me the traditional insulation won't fit up there because the joists are larger than 2 feet apart and he is not doing spray foam yet. Another contractor offered the spray foam, but I can't afford it and thus will do it myself.

I am considering the Tiger Foam Product, too. My Alternative is the Dow Froth Pak which works basically the same, but is more expensive. Both carry DIY kits. I talked to a person who started to sell the Dow Froth Pak in his store and he used it on his own home. He said it is fun to work with and not too difficult. Definitely something for DIY. One of the main feedback in order to apply it is that it is extremely messy; the guy did not cover himself up enough and it took him two weeks to get the stuff off his arms. I guess I get me one of Tyvek Suits for that project.

Dow has a Manufacturers Certificate (http://www.dow.com/styrofoam/na/taxcredits/howex.htm) where you may get a 10% tax credit. I called Tiger Foam about it and they say they plan on having it by the end of the year.

What I could not figure out yet:

- Tiger Foam says you won't need a vapor barrier if you spray it inside on the ceiling since it is closing it off completely (there is no architectural possibility for me to put venting up there); Dow suggests a "15 minute vapor on the room side surface to protect the foam plastic insulation", I have no idea what they mean by it. Here is the SBCCI-ES Code for it where it is mentioned: http://www.dow.com/buildingproducts/frothpak/code_approvals.htm

- Another issue is the Fire Rating. In the same document as above Dow says: "When tested in accordance with ASTM E 84 at a nominal thickness of 2 inches and a density of 1.75 pcf, the flamespread rating was twenty-five (25), the fuel contribution was zero (0), and the smoke developed rating was three hundred and fifty (350)." Tiger Foam just says "ASTM E-84 Fire Rated" I have no idea if either one is up to code in GA

- I called the Dow Hotline; they don't advertise it for ceilings but they are not excluding it, so it should be fine. They told me to check codes. They DO advertise it for Crawl Spaces, so it should not be a problem. Tiger Foam said people use it for ceilings a lot.


The expensive point with Tigerfoam is Shipping. Anyone in GA, close to ATL who wants to split shipping costs with me? I'd need 1200 board feets and plan on ordering next week.
 
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Old 07-07-06, 03:07 PM
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Ben
definitly let me know how this turns out, right now i have a call into a pro, which he has yet to call back( 3 days and counting ). i am also thinking of using a raidient insulation barrier in the attic as well as under the floor.
 
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Old 07-11-06, 11:23 AM
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As mentioned earlier, there are a number of different kinds of foam, all with different properties. Some of the foams expand considerably, enough to do damage to the surrounding sheathing or sheetrock. I would go with a pro, or at least get a pro to consult and tell you what he would use.

Many of the spray foams left uncovered are very flammable. Covering with sheetrock, or sometimes even latex paint will reduce fire risks considerably. Call your local Fire Marshall. They would rather answer questions than respond when your house burns down.
 
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Old 07-11-06, 05:33 PM
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Talking

Be sure to understand how the tigerfoam works. I was looking into it and called the manufacturer with some questions. You will only be putting a 1 inch layer of the foam down. The board feet that the company is selling you is for a 1 inch layer. I had seen the rapid expanding foams on a DIY program and was assuming this was the same so I inquired about how thick the foam will rise after application. "R-7 per inch, expands 8 - 1" as the website says. I assumed that you spray a thin layer (say 1") and it would expand 8 times, thus giving you an 8 inch layer of foam and an R value of 56. Sounded too good to be true. What the representitive told me is that the Tigerfoam is meant to be used with batt insulation over it. It gives you the airtight seal and high R value of 7 but it will only be an inch thick and you will need to add the batt insulation over it (2x6 wall, 1 inch foam + 5 1/2" batt insulation). The 8 - 1 ratio refers to the product that is being used and it technically is expanding 8 times, to one inch. I was a bit dissappointed, expecting an unbelieveable R-value of 56. The rapid expanding foams that fill the whole cavity are an open cell material where the Tigerfoam is a denser, closed cell foam material. The R values on the open cell foams are only slightly higher than batt or loose fill insulation but they do provide the air tight seal. I guess you can put down as many inches of the Tigerfoam as you want but that will be a bit expensive.
 
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Old 07-11-06, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ben_atl
The expensive point with Tigerfoam is Shipping. Anyone in GA, close to ATL who wants to split shipping costs with me? I'd need 1200 board feets and plan on ordering next week.
I didn't think the shipping was that expensive. Only $33 for the 600bd ft. kit, ground shipping. I imagine the tanks weigh a bit. The LTL freight option is quite a bit at $200+. Put in your zip code to find out how much ground shipping will be.
 
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Old 07-12-06, 05:04 PM
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Our house is around 150 years old. Dad owned an insulation business and the walls were filled with ureaformaldahyde foam and the attic was insulated with cellouse insulation, with the roof rafters all exposed. I will say we have 10 foot ceilings, 2400 square feet and 42 windows, and it costs less for us to heat this than for my grandmother to heat her trailer. I think cellouse insulation in an attic floor is just fine, but it will settle therefore I dont promote the use of it for walls.
 
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Old 08-21-06, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by slukster
Be sure to understand how the tigerfoam works. I was looking into it and called the manufacturer with some questions. You will only be putting a 1 inch layer of the foam down. The board feet that the company is selling you is for a 1 inch layer. I had seen the rapid expanding foams on a DIY program and was assuming this was the same so I inquired about how thick the foam will rise after application. "R-7 per inch, expands 8 - 1" as the website says. I assumed that you spray a thin layer (say 1") and it would expand 8 times, thus giving you an 8 inch layer of foam and an R value of 56. Sounded too good to be true. What the representitive told me is that the Tigerfoam is meant to be used with batt insulation over it. It gives you the airtight seal and high R value of 7 but it will only be an inch thick and you will need to add the batt insulation over it (2x6 wall, 1 inch foam + 5 1/2" batt insulation). The 8 - 1 ratio refers to the product that is being used and it technically is expanding 8 times, to one inch. I was a bit dissappointed, expecting an unbelieveable R-value of 56. The rapid expanding foams that fill the whole cavity are an open cell material where the Tigerfoam is a denser, closed cell foam material. The R values on the open cell foams are only slightly higher than batt or loose fill insulation but they do provide the air tight seal. I guess you can put down as many inches of the Tigerfoam as you want but that will be a bit expensive.

Slukster,

I agree to that point. However; I learned that while the foam has a pretty low R-Value, it has a extreme high efficiency rate. The contractor I asked for a quote told me that the Foam has over 95% efficiency versus only 40-50% with traditional insulation. We still do both. About 1.5 inch of Tiger Foam and then the additional insulation.

We did not have a choice but doing the spray foam. We have a vaulted ceiling which we close off. Our Joists are over 2 feet apart and the traditional insulation won't fit very well.

I finished the spraying last weekend with Tiger Foam. I can highly recommend working with it.

Ben
 
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Old 08-29-06, 09:16 PM
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I've been looking at Tiger Foam, Froth-Pak, etc. Shipping does seem to be a major expense. I'm still hoping to find a Seattle area supplier. Just found that ABC (a national roofing supplier) carries the smaller Froth-Pak. May call and see if they have or can get the 600 board foot kits.

Because of the relative expense of the foams, the standard application is one inch to completely seal the area and then cover it with the much less expensive fiberglass batt. This allows the fiberglass insulation to actually approach its rated R-value. But that rule doesn't apply in every situation. When you're laying on your back in a crawl space or dodging roofing nails and cobwebs in the attic, do you really want to come back and staple on an R-13 fiberglass batt that you've dragged in there? Might be worth spending the extra $ to just shoot on two more inches of foam while you're there. If the rafters are 2x4, full foam is really the only way to go.

As to hiring a professional, it depends on your skill level and your needs. I hired a professional to spray paint my truck, but I've always painted my John Deere myself. Both look just fine.

Just framed my walls on my new shop and I'm looking forward to foaming them. Every page of my building permit has a red stamp that ways "unheated storage." I wonder what the inspector will think when he sees foam insulation?

Gnome Honey
 
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