Spray foam insulation or spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is an alternative to traditional building insulation such as fiberglass. A two-component mixture composed of isocyanate and polyol resin comes together at the tip of a gun, and forms an expanding foam that is sprayed onto roof tiles, concrete slabs, into wall cavities, or through holes drilled in into a cavity of a finished wall. http://youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o
What do you mean by "our AC units require fresh air ventilation"? Fresh air doesn't come from the attic. If there's an atmospheric combustion appliance in the attic, such as an 80 AFUE furnace, then you shouldn't be encapsulating the attic anyway. If that's the case, you don't want spray foam on the roofline at all. You can either change out the furnace to a sealed combustion unit or do your insulating and air-sealing at the flat-ceiling level.
Note: A board foot is defined as a 12" x 12" square at 1" thick. Actual output can be affected by a number of factors including temperature and humidity. The theoretical yield has become an industry standard for identifying certain sizes of two component kits. Theoretical yield calculations are performed in perfect laboratory conditions, without taking into account the loss of blowing agent or the variations in application methods and types.
For large jobs, professionals such as Dr. Energy Saver use two-part foam, which comes in larger containers. With 2-part spray foam, it's necessary to mix separate resin and catalyst compounds at the application nozzle. Combining these ingredients starts a chemical reaction that creates expanding foam. Contractors use small 2-part foam "kits" to air-seal an attic or to seal and insulate ductwork. To insulate an entire attic or wood-framed wall with spray foam, the resin and catalyst compounds are pumped to the application nozzle from 50-gallon drums in a specially equipped truck.
How Much Is Spray Foam Per Sq Ft
I contacted Ken, at NOVA Spray Foam for a remodeling job I was working on in Upper NW DC. He came out the very next day, spoke to me about what the goal was for the insulation, gave us some great recommendations. Within two days we had a very competitive quote, and a starting date that fit our schedule. Ken and his team at NOVA Spray Foam, are simply the BEST! Very thorough, very professional, and know their job. Our attic and house clients are extremely happy with the way that their house is already feeling cooler(work was done in early Aug 2014), and are excited to know they will be saving money every month on their heating/cooling bill, as well as extending their HVAC systems life, as it is more efficient now. I highly recommend Ken and NOVA Spray Foam.
Spray foam insulation, when properly installed is both an air barrier and when closed cell foam is used at the proper depth a vapor barrier! Before hiring any contractor you should establish the brand of foam being used and verify that with the named manufacture. Please ask for ESR reports and MSDS sheets on any foam being installed in your home. A couple areas where you might consider spray foam insulation include:
OK, Peter, I finally went back and read Alex Wilson's article on what he perceives as a serious problem. I haven't seen the full report, but based on the summary he wrote on the Green Building Advisor website, I question the science. It seems to me that he's chosen the wrong metric and he's basing his conclusion on too many assumptions because he doesn't have enough data. You can see my comments at the end of his article.
You've got no argument from me there, Dennis. Getting a good installer if you're going with spray foam is crucial. Many builders or homeowners don't know how to find one, however, and that's where third party inspections come in. Also, even good installers have bad days, but if someone comes in behind them with a measuring probe and a Blower Door, there will be fewer sub-par foam jobs.
NOVA Spray foam did just as they promised and, more importantly, for the price they quoted. The two employees who ultimately installed the product were very nice, pleasant, and respectful. Bottom line: We are delighted with the install. Our house now holds a more stable temperature and no longer has hot spots. It used to be very difficult to cool our upstairs bedrooms; those days are gone! Pocketbook issues: For the last three billing cycles we have used approximately one third less electricity as the AC does not come on as often. Would we do this again? Yup! Do we recommend this installer? Yup! Do the neighbors think it’s cool? Yup!
I have used the Froth-Pak 200 to air-seal rim joists--the area above the foundation wall in a basement. The first time I used it I did not shake the canisters well enough and the foam did not cure properly. Don't just shake the box for a few seconds. I take the tanks out of the box so I can shake/invert each tank for a minute or two. You will be able to hear the chemical sloshing around in the tanks. Also, don't ignore the recommended temperature for application--around 75 degrees F.