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.
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:

One of the key differentiators between traditional insulation materials and spray foam insulation is the latter’s ability to insulate and air seal. Foam insulation provides an air barrier to wherever it is applied to help mitigate air leakage from the building. Air sealing the building envelope with sprayed-in foam insulation also helps address moisture ingress to reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth as well as the formation of ice dams in colder climate zones during the winter months.  When you compare foam insulation with traditional fiberglass insulation and cellulose insulation, sprayed insulation minimizes air infiltration, it assists in limiting moisture vapor from entering and escaping the home, which in turn reduces the load on heating and cooling systems. Below is a video that compares fiberglass, cellulose and open-cell spray foam in terms of insulating and air sealing value.

If you haven’t considered spray foam insulation, now may be the time to start looking into it. As you know, having proper insulation will help reduce your heat and air conditioning bills. In specific, spray foam insulation can be particularly helpful during renovations. It can provide a barrier between outside walls, and even a sound barrier for the inside.

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a spray-applied plastic that is widely used to insulate buildings and seal cracks and gaps, making the building more energy-efficient and comfortable. SPF insulation is known to resist heat transfer extremely well, and it offers a highly effective solution in reducing unwanted air infiltration through cracks, seams, and joints. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o&app=m
Water-based acrylic coatings have more than 30 years of proven performance over a wide range of substrates. It is the coating of choice for metal roofs since it is highly reflective, can be easily tinted and is not extremely slippery when damp. When used with our rust primer, even rusted roofs can be saved. TIP: If you have a metal roof or a low slope roof that doesn't pond water, consider acrylic coatings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggLAUsiuI_o&feature=share

This is in great contrast to my friend's experience. Her attic spaces were sprayed and the foam is actually pretty, and I was in her attic 6-7 days after it was sprayed and could hardly smell anything when I stuck my face up to the foam. And she did not have to clean up one speck of dust during or after the spraying. I got the name/number of the guy from her who managed her attic project, but between the time he did my house and the time he did her house, he was let go from the company who did her attic and hired by another company. He assured me everything would be the same, etc., etc., and I had no reason to believe anything had changed, but the sprayers who did my house later admitted they had never sprayed an attic before and I also found out that the foam used in my attic was from a different manufacturer. Neither my friend nor I had any idea this guy was with different company then, until the week after they filled my attic with off ratio foam, and my home with toxic vapors.  
Closed-cell spray insulation, a rigid medium-density material, can be used in exterior applications such as continuous insulation applications, as well as interior applications. This type of foam insulation has a higher R-value per inch making it also suitable for small areas that require the highest possible R-value to meet building code requirements. Closed-cell spray foam’s rigidity help reject bulk water making it a recognized flood-resistant material by FEMA.

Roof coatings made with acrylics, urethanes or asphalt soften under the stress of ponding water or snowpack. Eventually, these roof coatings will bubble and peel away from the substrate, leaving your roof vulnerable to leaks, rot, and decay. However, GacoRoof’s 100% silicone formulation is designed to stand up to whatever the elements dish out. Silicone will withstand areas of ponding water without softening, bubbling or peeling from the substrate. Acrylic, urethane and asphalt roof coatings decompose and wear away from the stress of harsh sunlight, UV rays, and freeze-thaw cycles.
United Coatings™ Roof Coat Elastomeric Coating is an effective coating for providing long-term reflectivity over a wide range of roofing substrates. The high reflectivity of Roof Coat Elastomeric Coating keeps the roof substrate cool, which not only helps prolong its longevity but also helps save on energy costs. Roof Coat Elastomeric Coating’s rich consistency uniformly covers the textured profile of various substrates, forming a flexible monolithic membrane that provides protection from normal weathering, aging, and ultraviolet exposure.
When it comes to weatherproofing your RV roof, the Flex Seal liquid roof is one of those we’re proud to recommend because it can be applied in all temperatures. It can also protect your camper roof from even the harshest weathers, including rain, snow and wind. With it, you can keep your roof protected from changing temperatures, eventually prolonging its lifespan.

Fill and seal expanding foam sealant is urethane Fill and seal expanding foam sealant is urethane foam designed to fill large areas quickly and permanently. Uses include filling holes cracks or gaps that require a complete airtight and waterproof seal but are too large to be filled with ordinary caulk. The foam expands approximately 3 times its original ...  More + Product Details Close http://youtube.com/watch?feature=youtube_gdata&v=ggLAUsiuI_o

Porch urns are an excellent way to add seasonal curbside flair. However, tall items such as twigs, birch stems or even pumpkins can sway in the breeze and make a mess of your carefully planned decor. To prevent things from shifting, place your items in the container and spray around them with expanding foam to create a comfy nest that will keep your urns looking great. Place a layer of moss, hay or greenery on top to finish the look. http://youtube.com/e/ggLAUsiuI_o
What more is that we also think it is one of the most durable among liquid roof coatings on the market. It can last for several years, working continuously in protecting your roof from outside elements, such as dust, leaves, twigs and debris that would otherwise damage your roof. When it happens, your roof might have leaks and cause discomfort inside your RV.
RetroFoam of Michigan has more than 15 years of experience insulating thousands of homes and pole barns across the lower peninsula. We hear a lot of misconceptions about foam insulation and work to make sure we clear up any wrong ideas about foam insulation. Our staff helped us put together this list of misconceptions adding their insights to dispel any misinformation.
Whether you’re sending something fragile in the mail or keeping valuables safe during a move, secure packing is everything. To protect a delicate item, simply fill a spare shopping bag half-full with spray insulation foam and place in the bottom of a box, pressing the item gently into the bag as it hardens to cushion the item. Repeat for the top and you have a DIY custom packaging solution that can handle the rigors of delivery.
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.

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.
Product innovation over the years has seen the introduction of several different types of spray foam insulation. Primarily in residential and commercial construction, open-cell and closed-cell spray foam is used while high-density spray insulation is used as roofing foam in commercial or industrial construction. Open-cell sprayed-in foam insulation, a soft low-density material, is typically used for interior applications such as wall cavities, underside of roof decks, attics, basement walls and crawlspaces. The open cell structure of low density foamed insulation allows for moisture permeability to help contribute to moisture management and bi-directional drying of the wall assembly.
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.

How Much Better Is Spray Foam Insulation


Porch urns are an excellent way to add seasonal curbside flair. However, tall items such as twigs, birch stems or even pumpkins can sway in the breeze and make a mess of your carefully planned decor. To prevent things from shifting, place your items in the container and spray around them with expanding foam to create a comfy nest that will keep your urns looking great. Place a layer of moss, hay or greenery on top to finish the look.
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! :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=ggLAUsiuI_o
I have been looking to have closed cell insulation added through out my attic space. I cant seam to find a installed that wants to install no more than 2 inches, and thats not near my R-valve for South Carolina (Lake Greenwood)please send any advice that will help me to see what installer will perform the correct job. This is a expense that i can only afford to do once. Sandi
We are turning our roof into an unvented roof assembly by raising the roof and blowing in SPF. We are planning to leave the existing vapor barrier down but remove the fiberglass batting and then adding 6" of SPF in all the cavities, to completely seal and insulate the house. Should we have any concerns about doing it "upside down" and not spraying the foam directly to the underside/sheathing of the roof?

These coatings are emulsified asphalt and consist of asphalt particles dispersed in water; they utilize clay as the emulsifying component. These coatings also contain many types of organic and/or inorganic fibers and fillers to provide extra strength to the coating. These coatings are available in black, brown, or as a reflective coating when titanium dioxide or aluminum pigments are added. http://youtu.be/ggLAUsiuI_o


Sta-Kool 780 Siliconized Acrylic White Elastomeric Roof Coating Sta-Kool 780 Siliconized Acrylic White Elastomeric Roof Coating is a high quality flexible white acrylic roof coating. Product is enhanced with silicone for improved water resistance adhesion and life expectancy. Product resists cracking peeling while offering tremendous durability and long term life. The coating forms a durable protective barrier which ...  More + Product Details Close https://www.youtube.com/v/ggLAUsiuI_o&feature=youtu.be
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.

How Much Better Is Spray Foam Insulation


Roof coatings are easy to install. Smaller roofs in good, serviceable condition can be a weekend do-it-yourself (DIY) project. Larger roofs with leaks and ponding water issues should be coated by a qualified professional. Additional roof coating products, such as foam or coatings designed for seams, may be required underneath the main coating layers. Supplement coating products are used to reinforce damaged or leak-prone problem areas.[3]
R-value, the thermal resistance measure of insulation, varies between all insulation products whether they are fiberglass, cellulose, open-cell spray foam insulation or closed-cell sprayed-in foam insulation. Generally speaking the rule of thumb is the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.  Focusing on spray foam insulation materials, there is a difference between the two main types. According to industry publication, Fine Home Building, the R-value for open-cell spray foam is between R-3.5 – R-3.6 per inch. However, there are open-cell spray foam insulation products actually offer R-3.7 per inch such as Icynene Classic and Icynene Classic Max. The open cell structure of low density foam insulation means the R-value is lower than its closed-cell counterpart. Nevertheless, open-cell spray foam does offer superior and consistent thermal insulation and air sealing properties.

There are several types of reflective roof coatings that impart varied reflectance rates/ values. Typically, the reflective coatings are what are commonly referred to as white coatings and there are also aluminum coatings typically used with asphalt. Highly reflective white roof coatings are typically comprised of acrylics, urethanes, silicones, SBS, SEBS, and other types.
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. 
In general, cantilevered steel beams are a nightmare. If part of the steel beam is in contact with exterior temperatures, then it's best if the interior portion of the steel beam is covered on all sides with insulation. This is generally impossible (because the interior portion of the cantilevered beam generally supports a load, meaning that you can't wrap the steel beam in insulation on all sides).
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is a spray-applied plastic that is widely used to insulate buildings and seal cracks and gaps, making the building more energy-efficient and comfortable. SPF insulation is known to resist heat transfer extremely well, and it offers a highly effective solution in reducing unwanted air infiltration through cracks, seams, and joints.
These coatings are emulsified asphalt and consist of asphalt particles dispersed in water; they utilize clay as the emulsifying component. These coatings also contain many types of organic and/or inorganic fibers and fillers to provide extra strength to the coating. These coatings are available in black, brown, or as a reflective coating when titanium dioxide or aluminum pigments are added.

Repair and seal roof penetrations, tears, open seams, etc. using Elastek 103 Crack & Joint Sealant and reinforce with polyester roof fabric as necessary. In larger or deep ponding areas, apply Elastek 500 Puddle Plaster to fill in areas that hold water. Avoid using plastic roof cement. Serious ponding should be referred to a roofing contractor. Blisters in previous coatings may be opened but these areas must be allowed to dry-out completely. Blisters in the roofing ply should be left alone unless likely to break. Caulk and reinforce open seams, roof penetrations, cracks, and tears. These are potential leak points so work carefully and thoroughly. Use fabric to build flashings around roof edges or roof penetrations, and to reinforce various coating repairs. A polyester fabric is used because it will stretch with the coatings. (Fiberglas fabric is not recommended.) Fabric is normally cut to extend three inches beyond the repaired area in all directions. The coating is applied to the roof surface and the fabric is immediately pushed into the wet surface. An additional coat is applied over the fabric and the patch is allowed to dry. If your roof has stucco parapets, examine them for cracks along the sides and top. These areas often permit water to enter the wall and can cause blisters and wrinkles in the roof surface. Repair with Elastek 103 Crack & Joint Sealant. If you do not have parapets, examine the metal drip edge for a tight seal with the roof membrane. Use 4″ or 6″ roofing fabric covered under and over with Crack & Joint Sealant to seal cracks along drip edges, penetrations, and open seams.

I started using Gaco years ago primarily to solve ponding water Problem. It has work well, solved my problems with other roofing options and repairs as well as many other Flat roof issues.  My only problems were experienced when I did not clean the surface well enough for good adhesion.  Follow the Instructions.  Great product and highly recommended. .

How Much Does Spray Foam Insulation Cost

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