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Insulation Discussion Forum • View topic - Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

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Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby Jackofalltrades » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:37 pm

I found this on the web site. Would like to hear from some of you foam sprayers if you agree or disagree with these claims.

Ten Things You Should Know About Sprayed Foam Insulations

1. Sprayed foam insulations are petroleum products, manufactured from petrochemicals, which means they have a large carbon footprint.
2. ‘Soy based’ (and other bio-based) foam sounds green, right? But ‘soy based’ foam isn’t really soy based. Unfortunately, soy based foam only contains up to 17% soy content. The other 83% is petroleum based. So while soy foams contain small amounts of soy, they’re still primarily oil and petrochemical based.
3. Sprayed foam insulations are flammable. If the foam insulation in a building is exposed to an ignition source, it melts and burns. Not only does it burn, it also produces huge volumes of toxic smoke.
4. Sprayed foam insulations can outgas isocyanates as they cure, and isocyanates are not something you should breathe.
5. Sprayed Foam insulation doesn’t protect the building assembly against moisture. Foam insulation is hydrophobic, i.e., it repels water, and while that sounds like a good thing, it isn’t. By redirecting moisture and water, foam increases the likelihood of mold and rot or corrosion in the adjacent wood and metal building components. Cellulose disperses moisture and helps to protect the surrounding building components.
6. It takes a lot of energy to make foam insulation, up to 30,000 Btu’s to make just one lb. of it. It only takes 750 Btu’s to produce a pound of cellulose insulation.
7. Foam insulation has a lower R-Value than cellulose. Cellulose has an R-Value of 3.8 per inch vs. foam’s 3.6, but that isn’t the whole story. Sprayed foam installers sometimes do not fill an entire building cavity, due to the large amount of waste and expense associated with trimming the foam flush with the framing. A partially filled building cavity doesn’t perform as well and increases thermal bridging. Cellulose fills the cavity fully, providing superior R-value, better performance and greater comfort.
8. Foam insulation creates voids and large air bubbles as it expands. Cellulose is dense packed without gaps and voids.
9. Foam insulations, like Icynene, have zero recycled content. Cellulose has an 82%+ recycled content.
10. Foam doesn’t deter mold and pests. Cellulose has borates, naturally occurring minerals, to deter mold and pests.
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Re: Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby rascal » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:41 pm

I just read that some foams have an R-value around 7. Is this article accurate?
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Re: Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby envirotech » Fri May 15, 2009 7:35 am

I agree with alot of what is posted. But there are 2 types of spray foam, open cell and closed cell. Closed cell has an r value of approx 6.5 - 7, while open cell is alot lower.

On another note, not all spray foam contains petrochemicals, and off gases. Airkrete is 100% non toxic, 100% fireproof, mouldproof, rodent proof, and allows vapour flow as its an air barrier but not a moisture barrier. Its Magnesium oxide based cementious insulation that can be injected as opposed to tearing out walls.
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Re: Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby Jason Stoller » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:48 pm

Any videos available using this Airkrete product? How about cost - is it cost effective?
Jason Stoller - Home Energy Consultant
Detroit, Michigan
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Re: Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby Craig25 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:03 pm

See here for two videos I posted about Air Krete installation and qualities: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=147
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Re: Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby dlarrivee » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:29 pm

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Re: Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby envirotech » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:00 pm

Umm. airkrete is a foam. Just not as you have been told a spray foam should be. Its a Magnesium oxide based cement mixture injected in to a foaming agent. Which in turn comes out the consistency of a thick shaving cream. Which is foam.

Urethane based foams are made of recycled plastic bottles. How are they foam?

Open cell foams are generally under R4. This is not unusually. Closed cell are higher.

Airkrete contains Magnesium Oxide which is a type of cement.

I think you need a bit more info before you go ripping into a product you know nothing about.
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Re: Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby danderson » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:16 pm

Spray foam insulation expands to fill up crevices, and it can be applied to places other types of insulation can’t reach. The foam prevents not only the entry of hot and cold air, but also insects, rodents and other vermin, and water. Spray insulation is used in new houses as they are being built, but it can also be used in existing buildings to insulate places the old fiberglass insulation cannot reach, or in crevices that have developed as the structure settled.
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Re: Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby dlarrivee » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:31 am

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Re: Spray Foam Insulation - 10 Facts?

Postby envirotech » Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:23 pm

So using that same theory, airkrete would be a FOAM because it traps air inside a solid. Pretty good, eh!!

Where you are being misled, is I don't classify airkrete as a "spray foam". That would lump it in with every other type of urethane based foam, which its not. Its an injection foam, different class, different category, and different procedures, and applications. It does something that spray foam doesn't which is injection into closed wall cavityies without damage.

But on the other hand it doesn't stick so it can't be sprayed onto a foundation wall or such to insulate.

Formal definition is trapped gas or air BTW.
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