Allison--would be very interested in your take on the GHG issues of foams, which have received lots of smart commentary recently. 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.
“It’s been scientifically proven that the temp of the shingles rises only a couple of degrees when there is an unvented attic compared to a vented attic,” said Garry Barlow, estimator at RetroFoam of Michigan. “If we lived in a southern state it has been proven that the longevity of the shingle did diminish by only one year. In the northern states there was no difference in the life span of the shingles.” http://www.youtube.com/v/ggLAUsiuI_o
I am an Architect in Toronto. I am designing a new roof addition to a row house building. Because of existing conditions and the shape of the new roof. It may be easiest to use closed cell spray foam within the areas of the joists. My question is when spray foam is used in this situation do I need to worry about how the joist members may be thermal bridges? It is not common to provide a little bit of rigid insulation to protect the joist members? The additional layer of outboard insulation will require an extra layer of plywood above the insulation which will add to cost.
We live in middle TN and had our house foamed last year. We noticed recently that some of the foam was shrinking and seperating from the floor joists. We contacted the installer and he informed us that the manufacturer had a problem with a batch of foam during the time frame we had our house sprayed. The contractor wasn't sure if we had the recalled batch installed in our house or not. He said he would check the batch numbers and let us know. He seems like a nice guy promising to do whatever it takes to fix any problems. Do we trust him, however, to be truthful about the batch number? Do we have any options for finding out the information ourselves? I inspected the entire crawl space of the house and noticed approximately (5) areas that were seperating and a couple areas where the foam didn't adhere to the block. Do I assume by it being so infrequent that it is nothing to be concerned about? My concern is the walls that are not capable of being visually inspected because of sheetrock.
Spray polyurethan foam does effectly prevent all six of these heat transfer methods from occurring. These should be the mechanisms by which you judge insulation, in addition to their R-Value. If you're uncertain about installing spray foam insulation, Energy Star has a map that recommends levels of insulation by R-value and cost-effectiveness in the United States.
Although spray polyurethane foam has many advantages over other types of insulation, spray foam installation isn’t foolproof. Some builders have reported problems with sloppy foam insulation. For example, some installers have been known to begin spraying before the chemical components are up to temperature, which can affect component mixing and foam performance. When components are poorly mixed, or mixed in the wrong ratio or at the wrong temperature, cured foam has been known to shrink away from rafters or studs, leaving cracks. Some installers rush through their spraying, resulting in voids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o&feature=youtu.be
This stuff works GREAT ! I live in an older mobile home that had a lot of leaks when I moved-in. I worked for two years to locate and fix them all. Now I simply go over all of the repaired places once a year just to be sure everything is OK. NO LEAKS FOR 4 YEARS NOW!! Others here use "sno proof" or something that does not stop leaks. When I tell them about my success, they don't seem to want to pay the$ for this superior product. Too bad!. I used the tape in repairing the leaks. https://www.youtube.com/v/ggLAUsiuI_o&feature=youtube_gdata
Touch ‘n Foam Pro System 600 is a completely self-contained 2-component foam system that is portable and disposable. Complete with color-coded hoses, ergonomic foam applicator, and all the necessary tools to get started, the System 600 provides up to 600 board feet* (theoretical) of polyurethane spray foam. Designed for larger insulating (up to 2 inch fills), sealing, patching and filling applications, the System 600 provides a quick, consistent flow of foam with rapid curing (60 seconds) to insulate stud wall cavities, gaps, cracks, expansion joints, and other sources of air leakage.
Spray Foam Tanks
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. Spray foam isn't an inherently bad product, but it's pretty easy to botch if the hired company is inexperienced. Fiberglass may be foolproof to install, but then again it has a terrible R-Value compared to a good spray foam. People just need to get referrals and do their homework whenever they research a spray foam contractor.