Foam Insulation


  #1  
Old 06-29-09, 05:17 PM
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Foam Insulation

I am seriously considering removing the fiberglass insulation from my attic and a few other areas in the house and getting someone to come out and spray the foam insulation in my house.

Does anyone have any experience with this? what should I be looking for in a service? what type should I get?

Are there any known federal or state rebates out there (maybe a website I can look at)?

My main issue now is the cost, I am not sure how much it will be for all the work I need done but I know it will be pricy but it will pay for itself in a couple of years. I'd also like to take advantage of any type of rebates I can get.

Any advice would be appreciateted.

Thanks

RIKIL
 
  #2  
Old 06-29-09, 06:25 PM
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Hi rikil, My recommendation would be to start with a good energy audit. Yes, spray foams sound nice, but as you noted, they can be expensive. Add in any cost to remove your old fiberglass and there may be better ways to apply your money.

What you are looking for is the best results for your money. $400 plus or minus will quickly pay for itself by identifying the most productive projects.

Also, where are you?

Bud
 
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Old 06-30-09, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051
Hi rikil, My recommendation would be to start with a good energy audit. Yes, spray foams sound nice, but as you noted, they can be expensive. Add in any cost to remove your old fiberglass and there may be better ways to apply your money.

What you are looking for is the best results for your money. $400 plus or minus will quickly pay for itself by identifying the most productive projects.

Also, where are you?

Bud
I am located in southern Colorado, in the winter things can get cold and then pretty warm in the summer. My basement is studded but not finished so with the walls being open I thought I would take advantage of having the foam insulation sprayed in there. I also have another part of my basement, which is a 4 foot high crawl space, that is in bad need of having its insulation replaced. A lot of it has fallen down and is no longer effective. I also have the attic for the whole house where the fiberglass insulation needs to be replaced because it has been walked on too much over the years, and it is only doing minimal good.

I also have two layers of roofing tiles on my house, when the last roof was put on, they didn't remove the one underneath. This also adds to the amount of heat that is trapped in the attic.

RIKIL
 
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Old 06-30-09, 07:14 AM
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As mentioned, you are a good candidate for an energy audit. For example, it is frequently easier to add a layer of blown in cellulose over your existing fiberglass, rather than removing the old. But before that is done, you need to locate and seal all penetrations from below that are leaking energy into the attic. To save on foam costs, the exposed walls extending to one foot below grade are the most important and the least likely to have a moisture problem.

A good auditor can really line the projects up for you and the results will be much better than the obvious fixes that most people charge in and do. As the old saying goes, it is a lot easier to do a job right the first time.

Bud
 
  #5  
Old 06-30-09, 07:52 AM
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Insulation

RIKIL -

You would be smart to start by insulating your basement walls. Anything you put there would be better than what you have. I would suggest foam in that location - either a spray in place or sheet material. Just be aware that most products of that type require a thermal barrier be installed over them - usually 1/2" gypsum board - consult the manufacturer's literature for specifics. Your next step should be an energy audit as Bud9051 suggested. This is something you can do yourself and at no cost. Simply navigate to DOE: Building Energy Codes - Home and you'll find several applications with which you can run an energy code audit. You'll need to know the total ceiling area of the conditioned space, total wall area, total window & door area, U-values of windows and doors (to be conservative you can just enter .35 for windows and .3 for doors). The rest is fairly self explanatory. Once you have input all of your building characteristics you will get a result of whether the building passes or fails (I'm 100% certain it will fail initially). You can then adjust the R-values of the various insulation areas and see where you can gain the most improvement. Your windows and doors are typically some of the largest contributors to heat loss, as well as the area at the top of the walls where the roof bears and the attic insulation may not be as thick. Air infiltration is also a HUGE contributor to heat loss.
 
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Old 06-30-09, 12:25 PM
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You should start from the fact that warm air rises and that the passing wind will pull the heat from your home via the holes in your ceilings and walls.
This heat is replaced by cold outside air coming in through the floor and lower walls.

Sprayed in foam is expensive if you have it done for you, but if you are OK at DIY then why not do it yourself?

The perfect thing about foam in the roof space is it does not compress so, you can lay things on top of it, without it losing it insulation properties.
It also, more important fills all the holes and will make your home so much cooler in summer and warmer in winter = it will save you money.
 
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Old 06-30-09, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Perry525
You should start from the fact that warm air rises and that the passing wind will pull the heat from your home via the holes in your ceilings and walls.
This heat is replaced by cold outside air coming in through the floor and lower walls.

Sprayed in foam is expensive if you have it done for you, but if you are OK at DIY then why not do it yourself?

The perfect thing about foam in the roof space is it does not compress so, you can lay things on top of it, without it losing it insulation properties.
It also, more important fills all the holes and will make your home so much cooler in summer and warmer in winter = it will save you money.
I haven't looked into doing it myself but I don't see why I couldn't do it myself if I can get the materials, didn't know I was able to do this.

I currently have a solar powered fan on my gable vent and it works all day. I am sure it helps but it is still hot up there. My intent is to remove the fiberglass insulation from the floor of the attic and spray the foam insulation on the inside of the roof in the attic, on the sloped part. This will help to seal the cracks and I am hoping that with the foam insulation on the part closest to the sun, it will prevent the empty space from heating up as much as with the insulation on the floor. Maybe I should put the insulation in both places...not sure yet.

Once I get this done in the attic I would really like to install a whole house fan to replace the stale, warm air that gets trapped in the house during the summer.
 
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Old 06-30-09, 01:43 PM
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I'm not sure that you can get the equipment to do an icynene-type insulation project yourself, but if you can there are a couple of considerations:

If you apply the insulation to the bottom side of the roof deck keep in mind that you will now be paying to heat unused space. You also need to make sure that whatever system you choose is approved for such an application. You can find this information by checking at ICC Evaluation Service, Inc. (ICC-ES). On this site you'll find all of the test results and approvals for any of the code-approved systems.

The other issue you'll want to investigate is the affect applying the insulation to the underside of the roof deck will have on your shingle warranty. Most shingle manufacturers will only warrant their products for application on a roof deck that is fully ventilated directly below.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 07-01-09, 04:25 AM
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The cost effective way to help cool a attic is to have a white roof that reflects the sun.
An alternative is:
The perfect way is to cover the roof in five inches of sheet polystyrene, covered with two inches of white concrete, reinforced with steel mesh to prevent cracking.

Your proposal will be a great help, and make the attic much nicer to use.
Then consider the inside of the rest of your home.
The inside of your home is hot due to radiation, convection and conduction., through the roof and walls.

The white roof helps by reflecting some of the heat.
The sprayed foam between the rafters, helps by reducing the radiant and convected heat. This leaves the conducted heat through the fabric of the home. (But = warning, if you get a leak in your roof and the space between the rafters is covered in foam, you will have the devils own job in finding that leak, as water can find its way in many directions and show itself yards from the hole.)

The polystyrene covered roof helps by reflection and eliminating conduction and convection, coming through the roof. (That leaves the heat coming through the walls.)

If you change the way you think?

And concentrate on making the inside, of your home, your comfort zone, cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
And consider it from a maximum return for your dollar = the process is, pull the ceilings down fix two inch thick sheets of polystyrene, tightly butted, under the joists to eliminated the conducted heat and refinish the ceiling with drywall. Then spray foam between the joists in the roof space.

A room lined with two inch thick polystyrene covering the ceiling and walls, is cheaper to keep cool in the summer and is warmer in the winter. Not the least because in doing this, you will eliminate all holes (and holes cost money) and you will have less fabric to cool and heat.
 
 

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