Jennifer, I'm not an expert on the health effects of closed cell foam. A lot of people live in houses with closed cell foam and have no health problems from it, at least not short-term, acute problems. I do know of one person who had it removed from her crawl space because she was convinced it caused her dog to get sick, but I know only what she told me.
Was hesitant to buy this product because of some of the reviews but glad I did. It does just what it says and we even got the square footage out of it. You just need to read ALL the directions first and it wouldn't hurt to read some of the helpful hints in some of the reviews. It does only cover 1 inch at 600 square feet and is extremely easy to apply. Very satisfied customer!
Simple – we’ve seen experienced contractors work with the separate nitrogen tanks and spray foam rigs and have one heck of a time. These spray foam insulation kits are quick to learn and simple to use. They’re designed to be easy so you get results the very first time you spray. Thorough Instructions, 24/7 Product Support, and videos make it easy to install.
If you’re not familiar, spray foam is a type of insulation that expands after you spray. The foam expands and seals, avoiding any type of unnecessary moisture (which can create mold) or encouraging pests to eat through your walls. It protects the lining of your house, and even can protect the heating and cooling of your house during those unbearably cold or hot days.
Spray Foam Under Mobile Home
The complete line of JM open- and closed-cell spray foam insulation solutions provide superior thermal and energy performance, as well as advanced air, moisture and sound control in any climate. These products can be used in interior and exterior walls, unvented and vented attics, floors, ceilings and crawl spaces. Plus, using spray foam can reduce air leaks and create a more comfortable, energy-efficient home – meaning you could see more energy savings every month.
I've seen this only once, and it was with closed cell foam, but I've heard of it happening with open cell foam, too. I don't know the details, but I've heard it could result from a bad batch of chemicals, improper mixing, or too high a temperature. Whatever the cause, it's not a good thing. The photo below shows how the spray foam pulled away from the studs. A little bit of uninsulated area like that adds up to a lot of heat loss/gain when the whole house has that problem, as it did here.
How Much For Spray Foam
JM Corbond® Open-Cell Appendix X Spray Foam is a lower-density, nonstructural foam that offers most of the thermal performance and installation benefits of closed-cell spray foam at a lower cost. It provides an exceptional air and sound barrier as well as R-value, and meets AC 377 NFPA 286 Appendix X requirements for application without an ignition barrier in attics and crawl spaces.
The insulation at eaves level will leave your loft area comfortable for use and free from condensation. By installing the insulation at rafter level, it keeps the loft void warmer and prevents condensation build-up, which can otherwise occur when increasing insulation at ceiling level. The warmer, drier, cleaner roof space eliminates the risk of pipes and tanks freezing.
If you don't have the patience to slowly fill the void with spray foam through holes drilled in one of the studs, you could (if you were an experienced carpenter) use a Sawzall to remove one of the studs and re-frame the corner as a two-stud corner. Then you could either insulate the void with a fiberglass batt or simply present the two-stud corner to the spray-foam contractor as an accessible corner.
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.
My other question was gonna be this. We ripped all the drywall out after Hurricane Harvey and we found some latent termite damage from some time back. One of the common studs in one corner is pretty well eaten to shreds. I was gonna brace it but then I read about more modern framing practices and I read how each stud is a thermal bridge. So now I'm thinking that I won't bother with it because the house hasn't fallen down and the foam might help a little. Unless you say to brace the stud. Then I'll do it, Martin! :)
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.
I used this product to seal and insulate my rim joists as I am finishing the basement. The builder used R13 batt insulation when we built the house 3 years ago. I use a dehumidifier to control moisture in the basement which is below grade. The setting I use is 55%. The dehumidifier kicks on periodically and requires emptying every few days. Since using the foam all around the house on the rim joists and sill plate, the dehumidifier has stayed at 50% for over two weeks since spraying and rarely turns on anymore. I also put the original R13 batt insulation back up after the foam cured.
c) Make sure that the over expanded access is properly removed from the walls. We had a junior cutter taking too much off by bending his saw into the cavity. Look closely at the inside wall corners, and ceiling/wall corners to make sure that the foam is properly removed flush with the studs. If it has not been cut back flush it may lead to uneven drywall finishes . https://youtube.com/e/ggLAUsiuI_o
I am building a house in Central Texas (Caldwell). Several builders are cautious about using foam insulation and/or a closed attic. I would like to use both. Here in Texas, heat and humidity (except for the past few years of drought) are a continuing problem. Which type of foam would be the best to use in our home, where should the vapor barrier be or should be use one at all, if we are using fans in the exterior walls to supply fresh air to the house, do we need a vented attic or will it cause more problems than it solve? I have printed out your article and the blogs to give to my contractors and architect, but I would really appreciate your comments on the products being used in my part of the US.
I recently did a remodel project for my basement using spray foam insulation. The original builder has used fiberglass, but I wanted the best insulation i could find. We chose closed cell foam because it blocks moisture from getting into the house. It took one day to install and was fumey for about 3 hours. It was pretty cool watching it being done. It comes out as a liquid and then expands rapidly into a foam. It's quick! Then they took a types of saw to shave it flat with the wall studs so we could then go ahead and drywall.
Sean, thanks for jumping in and answering John's questions. About choosing the right foam, I intentionally avoided the open cell vs. closed cell foam debate. I did this partly because it's worthy of an article all by itself, but mainly I didn't include it because, despite all the warnings the two sides issue about the other, I've never personally seen a problem caused by using open cell where they should've used closed cell or vice versa. I'm sure things like that happen; I just haven't seen it yet.