Monday, December 28, 2020

3 Problems You Will Run Into With Spray Foam


There are five things that this wall behind me is doing right now. It's keeping the roof off my head. It is keeping out moisture, it is keeping out air, it is controlling heat, and it is controlling vapor drive.



Today, I'm going to talk about spray foam and its amazing ability to keep out heat and air. Everybody knows that spray foam is a good insulator, it has a high r-value if installed correctly, and it can also be a good air barrier. It would help if you looked for a few things to make sure that both of those are done as well as they could be on a Spray insulation job, so first, you want to make sure that your required thickness for your insulation value is there. 

The spray foam doesn't have to be full cavity depth, meaning you don't have to overfill the cavity and then come shave it back off, especially if your thicker stud R values are lower. 



You only need four inches of insulation, and you've got a two by six. You'll have some insulation that is just bubbly texture on the front if it's not shaved off, even if it's to the right thickness. The problem with an under-filled cavity is it's hard to tell if any spots are underfilled if you went all the way to full cavity thickness and then shaved it. 

The second thing that this spray foam insulation should do is keep air from infiltrating into the house. At least that was the case in their original design. This is a house that we have taken over mid-construction. They were putting cabinets on the wall, but we've ripped off all the exterior cladding and interior and are redoing it. We found several places where this spray foam is underfilled and pulling away from the studs. 



So if that spray foam is pulling away from the studs in the same place that you have a seam in your sheathing and the exterior sheathing is not taped or doesn't have a fully applied membrane of some sort keeping out the air, then your air will leak right through that hole in the gap in the sheathing and then right through the gap between your stud and your spray foam.


There's a ton of variables that the operator has to be aware of when he's applying this to make sure that he is doing the best possible job. Even if you get a really good operator and they put it in really well and your whole wall is airtight, you could still have this issue. 




Spray foam is prone to air leakage. I recommend you don't depend on spray foam for complete air sealing. Spray foam will get you where you're going, but if you're trying to get low, let's say passive, which is 0.6 ACH, then you've got to do a different strategy. I'm going show you what we're doing on this house for both our moisture and our air control.


So if spray foam is not the panacea of air sealing that we might have thought it was, what do we do in this case? 

We're getting our air sealing from the outside of the wall with luma. This is Polly walls Illuma flash, and it's a fully adhered WRB stuck to our OSB and seals all of the seams in between the different panels, so we don't get air infiltration through there now. Some different products applied with, say, cap head staples will do okay on infiltration because they will get sucked in tight between those when the airs are leaking in between those seams. The fabric will get pulled in tight and will stop that air leak somewhat. Still, on exfiltration, you'll create a balloon you're blowing that WRB away from your wall, so I like the fully adhered membranes for air sealing. 


Now, remember the wall coming down to the foundation is another very weak spot for air infiltration. On the inside, remember I said I didn't like the spray foam between the bottom plate and the foundation? It chips away. If that chips way, then air can leak right through that scene. What we do is we use blue barriers joint filler, and this is an adhesive as well as a filler, so it fills the gap. Still, it also sticks tenaciously to both the concrete and the bottom plate, preventing any air from coming up in there we did that before we put on the poly wall Illuma flesh. Then we illumine underneath that seam so any water that gets back here runs and can drain away on the foundation.



If you would like to know more about spray foam insulation, feel free to send us your questions. Also if you are looking for a distributor, we recommend the company ArmorThane. With over 30 years in the industry, they are the go to company when it comes to spray foam.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Basics




Whether retro-fitting a house or choosing insulation when constructing a new one, spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation is among the most reliable methods to increase energy efficiency and improve comfort.


What is SPF & How Does it Work?

SPF, a spray-applied cellular synthetic, is made by mixing chemicals to create foam. Those chemicals react very swiftly, expanding on contact to create a foam that insulates, air seals, and provides a moisture block. When properly installed, SPF forms a continuous block on walls, around corners, and on contoured surfaces. It resists heat transfer very well and is an effective resolution for reducing unwanted air infiltration through cracks, seams, and joints.

SPF insulation utilized by professionals is usually described as either a high- or low-pressure foam and is available as either open- or closed-cell. Each type has benefits and drawbacks, depending on the application conditions. The comparison chart below can help explain or understand which type of SPF insulation is best suited to a particular application.




More about the Chemicals and How They React

Two liquids combine during a chemical response to form SPF. The two liquids come in different drums or containers, and professionals generally refer to one container as the “A” side and the other container as the “B” side.

The “A” side of a spray polyurethane system is commonly composed of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (pMDI). The “B” side is typically a mixture of polyols, catalysts, blowing agents, flame retardants, and surfactants. Note that the “A” and “B” sides may be reversed outside the U.S.

The polyols are part of the chemical response to make foam. The remaining ingredients in the “B” side serve various purposes to help control the creation of the foam bubbles (the “cells”) optimally and to provide the various characteristics of the finished foam chemical (flame retardancy, for example).

After the chemicals are mixed and reacted, the foam hardens very quickly. The time to complete the reaction depends on the type of SPF insulation and other variables.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are available for both “A” and “B” side chemicals. As an SPF professional, you must understand the data on safety sheets and share your customers' features.



SPF Installation: Educating the customer

Experts will want and need to give their customers direction about the process for installation and time when they can reenter their home after an interior, two-component foam insulation utilization.

Part of that guidance will be explaining that interior, two-component foam is applied with the professional using specific personal protective accessories (high-pressure foam is installed while using a respirator, for example). It is encouraged that professionals explain articulately to customers that this equipment, coupled with certain work and engineering practices, including ventilation, is used to minimize exposures to the elements used to make SPF during the job.

Further, experts will want to share how homeowners can minimize or eliminate their exposure to the chemicals used to create spray foam by carefully following directions about not occupying the home or space during the installation, job completion, and cleanup and for an appropriate period afterward.


Want to learn more or become a spray foam insulation applicator? We recommend you give ArmorThane a call. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

DISCOVER THE BENEFITS OF SPRAY FOAM INSULATION

 


While nearly every home today plays host to an array of electronic devices, it is not the widescreen TVs, sound systems, lights, tablets, or the PC that account for the bulk of a home's energy expenses. 

It's heating and cooling!

The average expenses for heating a home with oil in the US for the heating season of 2018, for instance, was estimated to be $2,278. With oil continuing to rise in price, it looks like it's going to be even more costly. 


High R-Value

Spray foam has/an average aged R-value of 6.0 per 1-inch thickness (depending on the particular formulation and application), enabling it to produce more thermal resistance with less material than any other commercial insulation. Spray Foam systems are often used to insulate and preserve various residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.


Consumers have declared monthly energy and utility savings of more than 50%.



Prevents Air, Moisture, and Gas Leaking and Infiltration

As much as 40% of a building's total energy loss is due to air infiltration. Fiberglass insulation is stapled or placed into the wall cavities and does not seal the stud and wall cavities. Air infiltration can cross through these gaps, making it far less effective than Spray Foam. 


Spray Foam not only adheres to but forms to the walls and floors to create a secure seal and insulating boundary that stops this air leakage. SPF also boasts the highest R-value per inch than any other commercial material (upwards of R 7.0, compared to Fiberglass at R 3.5), making your home more comfortable and less costly to heat in the winter and cool in the summer.




Since Spray Foam acts as an air barrier, it also reduces moisture infiltration, which is a source of hazardous mold and mildew growth in the home, causing critical health difficulties. So save your family and save money at the same time with Spray Foam home insulation systems. Moisture infiltration can also cause structural destruction to your home or building. 


Call ArmorThane and ask about their new ArmorFoam 2.0. They have been the industry leader in Foam and protective coatings for over 30 years.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Here’s How Spray Foam Regulates Your home Temperature

IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO KEEP YOUR HOME AT A PLEASANT TEMPERATURE, IT MAY BE TIME TO CONSIDER SPRAY FOAM INSULATION. 

Here's why. 

When it comes to insulating the home, fiberglass tends to be a common form of insulation. However, after comparing fiberglass and spray foam insulation, it's shocking how fiberglass tends to be the more inferior of the two. Although it is known to be quite reliable over the years, there are tremendously more benefits to insulating your home with spray foam. 



One of those benefits entails regulating the temperature of your home. If you're not familiar, spray foam is a type of insulation that expands after being sprayed. The foam expands and seals, bypassing any unnecessary moisture (which can create the 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. Insulation serves to regulate the heat in your home. 

The U.S Department of Energy reveals that insulation will help heat sources and places of your home that typical heating patterns wouldn't. 


Since more heated air is lighter, it tends to rise, leaving your home's lower areas in a cooler climate. Having spray foam lining will help resist heat transfer and block any unwanted air infiltration through cracks. Catching the heat will naturally make your house warmer compared to using insulation to leak out heat. Spray foam is reliable for air sealing and moisture control, which are two common problems when it comes to insulating and house temperature regulation. There are three different types of spray foam meant for different types of walls in your house. 

High-density spray foam is meant for exterior walls and roofing. Medium-density is used for continuous insulation, interior cavity fill, and unvented attic treatments. Low-density also is used for interior cavity fill and unvented attic treatments. Understanding the various types of spray foams is crucial for controlling the temperature of your house. 



Let's look at a hot day first. Since the sun is shining down on the top of your house, it only makes sense that the most effective insulation should be at the top. Using a high-density spray on top will prevent the extra heat and keep your house cool. Attic insulation is also vital for colder days. With proper insulation at the roof, it will catch the heat rising from your heater, and it won't leak outside through cracks (high-density spray foam is usually closed cell for this reason). 


Spray foam's strong air sealing and moisture control are key in regulating the temperature of your home. 

Convinced? 

ArmorThane is the best place to start, as they have been around for over 30 years and can answer any additional questions you might have.





Spray foam furniture is the new trend!


It looks bubbly, rugged, fluffy, and quite interesting but what is it?



Well, it's spray foam furniture, and you might have seen it go viral on social media platforms such as TikTok & Instagram. Artists and DIYers have been spraying foam on various household items, such as benches, couches, mirrors, shelves, and tables for quite some time. Interior designers have begun showing foam furniture in their work as demand for the stunning look rises.

The foam mirror, also known as the "popcorn mirror," has become one of the most popular foam items.

But the textured look of foam furniture has attracted differing opinions, ranging from disgust and curiosity to awe and admiration.


Some DIYers say they first learned of the trend from Westman's "popcorn" furniture series, prompting them to create their own. "I get a lot of questions about people copying me. But I don't have a problem with that since it's impossible for me to produce foam items for all those people anyway. And I think people do their own design with me as inspiration, which is cool!"


Interior designer Amanda Beaubien, 25, who recently started her own special design business in the Los Angeles area, had just moved into a new home when she discovered spray foam furniture.

"I was looking for a very large mirror that had a funky and different look. The one I really wanted was over budget," she recalled. "I saw something on Instagram in March or February of an influencer who had created a mirror and then she had made a few of other furniture pieces, and so it sparked something in me, and I was like, I can make my own for under $200 in my budget."






"It looks complex, but then when you do it, you're like, 'Oh wow.' It was an easy few steps that didn't take much time. It's affordable, and the result is so incredible. It's so fun.



"Everybody that comes into my house is just in awe, and they have a million questions, so I get it. I had a million questions, and I had to wing it because I didn't know anybody, so I was like, 'Alright, we're just going to try this and see how it goes' and it just turned out over what I thought it was going to be. It was amazing."





Beaubien spent approximately $75 for a secondary mirror she bought online and about $7-8 for four or five spray foam cans. She had had experience working with foam before and said it took about 45 minutes to spray her mirror's edge over 70 inches tall. She has since made a smaller foam mirror for a client and customized it with pink spray paint.


"I made one for a client who adored it so much that I would love to keep making more pieces," Beaubien said. "This is a cool, easy, special item that you could have in your home ... something foam is a custom piece, and it's specialized for your residence."



Would you like to know more about spray foam or like to become a spray foam applicator? Click here to learn more about ArmorThane, the top foam distributer in the country right now!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Open Cell Vs Closed Cell Foam Differencesw








Closed-Cell Spray Foam:


Closed-cell spray foam (likewise called 2-pound foam) has a density of about 2 pounds per cubic foot and an R-value of 6 to 6.5 per inch. Due to the fact that it is a denser material, closed-cell spray foam not only offers a vapor and water barrier to a home or structure, however also includes additional structural strength. Closed-cell spray foam normally costs more than open-cell spray foam.

Because the cells in closed foam spray have their own structure and don't share any structure with other cells, the foam has a greater plastic material and less air. The industry standard for spray foam to qualify as "closed cell" is that greater than 90% of the cells are closed.

Advantages of Closed Cell Spray Foam
While open-cell and closed-cell foams are both polyurethane-based, the primary difference between the two is that closed-cell foam is:

Denser

  • 2 and a half inches of closed-cell foam have a permeance of 0.8 perm. Less water/air can pass through a closed-cell foam
  • Much heavier
  • Because closed cell foam is denser, it provides added wall/structural strength. One place that open cell would be a better fit could be an attic or ceiling, due to weight.
  • Provides much better insulation and water barrier
  • Although it is generally more material (and therefore more pricey) than an open cell spray foam, closed cell foam is less permeable and more water resistant. This can prevent undesirable mold/moisture in surprise places.


Rate Factor to consider
Although there are many benefits of having a closed spray foam insulation, the price is a downside simply due to the fact that there are more materials needed to produce the denser insulation. Closed cell foam is more costly per "R," * so one can expect an R-10 of closed cell to be costlier than R-10 of open cell. There is more plastic utilized in closed cell, and the chemicals utilized for a blowing agent in closed cell foam is much more expensive than the water used in open cell foam. Nevertheless, there are benefits of increased effectiveness and strength. The professionals at Ozark Foam Insealators more than happy to review advantages with your needs.






Open-Cell Spray Foam Insulation:


Open-cell foam is a reasonably vapor-permeable compared to closed cell spray foam. It weighs 1/2 pound per cubic foot, with an R-value of 3.5 or 3.6 per inch. Open-cell foam is created for indoor usage just, and it's semi-permeable type traps air inside the foam, and in turn insulates the air seal. Open-cell foams utilize co2 or water as the blowing representative.
When the open cell foam is sprayed, it broadens about 120 times it's liquid volume and treatments in place in simple seconds.

Benefits of Open Cell Spray Foam
Although open and closed cell spray foam are both fantastic ways to insulate, there are some factors that people choose open-cell foam instead of closed:

More Cost-effective: 
Open-cell spray foam is generally a lot more economical than closed-cell.
Much Better Growth in Cracks: Open cell expands more readily than the much heavier closed cell spray foam, and is much better able to entirely fill an area.
Water as a blowing agent: Instead of utilizing a chemical, open-cell spray foam utilizes water as a blowing agent to spray the foam. There are no chemicals like CFC, fibers, VOC's formaldehyde, or asbestos.
Finest Cost per R-value: The R-value for the majority of open-cell foams are around 3.5 to 4.5 per inch.
Versatility: Because it is less extensive and does not release poisonous gases, open-cell spray foam is used as a flexible insulator.
Energy Performance: Open cell spray foam will keep your heating & cooling costs down by producing a tight air seal.
Applications for Open Cell Spray Foam
Open-cell spray foam can be used to insulate different locations of a building or house, including the:

attic
spray foam in specifically helpful here, since it is applied to the flooring or the underside of the roof
ceiling
Open-cell spray foam is lightweight, which is perfect for a ceiling
walls
produces an airtight seal, keeping your conditioned or heated air in, and undesirable air out
basement
likewise develops an airtight seal here, however, it is essential to make sure the basement is water evidence, due to the fact that open-cell spray foam is less waterproof than closed-cell.
below the structure