FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
“The Perfect Blend of Technology and Experience to Create a Superior Environment” TM
….. A Few Frequently Asked Questions …..
What is Spray Foam Insulation?
- Microcellular polyurethane plastic
- Closed Cell Foam: Rigid micro-cells that are filled with a blowing agent HFC 245fa (zero ODP)
- Open Cell Foam: Semi-rigid micro-cells are filled with air, water blown, CO2 & Steam
How does spray foam work?
- Spray foam is a two-part mixture of liquid components that expand rapidly on contact forming solid foam that completely fills all cracks and spaces leaving an airtight seal.
Won’t sealing my house airtight lead to indoor air quality problems?
- Spray Foam and More monitors this issue on projects that have a large amount of insulation work done. If it is too tight we do make corrections.
Can my home become too tight?
- In building science circles, we use the phrase “Seal Tight, and Ventilate Right”. When building a new home and insulating the entire envelope with spray foam, it is recommended to allow fresh air to be brought into the home through either an energy recovery ventilator [ERV] or a whole house dehumidifier with fresh air intake. This is how to best achieve the efficiency and indoor air quality that only foam offers.
What constitutes a vapor barrier?
- A perm rating of 1.0 or less is a vapor barrier. High perm ratings mean that the material allows vapor to pass through it more easily.
- These ratings are values are used to determine the effectiveness of a product to retard the diffusion of water vapor. Materials with high perm ratings allow more moisture through then materials with low perm ratings. Any material with a perm rating below 1.0 is considered a vapor barrier. The perm rating of closed cell foam is .86 at 2 inches, 16 perms for open cell foam and over 100 perms for “fiberglass”.
Does it lose R-value over time?
- It is possible for the R-value to decrease slightly over the time it takes it to stabilize. This could result in a loss of R-value from a 6.8 down to a 6.5 with closed cell foam.
How long has closed cell been available?
- Closed cell foam was first used as an insulation material in 1979.
What can foam be applied too?
- Foam can be applied to many things. If you can paint it with un-primed paint then the spray foam will stick to it.
How long does it take to cure?
- It takes about six seconds to rise, but around 24 hours to fully finish curing.
What is off gassing?
- Off gassing is the release of fumes during the reaction-taking place by the mixing of the two components.
How long does it off-gas?
- Off gassing only last as long as it takes to fully rise, so it off gasses for about six seconds.
How long does spray foam last?
- Spray foam will remain functioning properly for the duration of the structures’ existence.
Does the insulation promote rodent or insect infestations?
- Foam insulation offers no nutritional value. Therefore it does not promote a favorable environment for rodent or insect infestation.
What about bacteria or fungi?
- Bacteria and fungi need a food source in order to survive. There is no nutritional value in polyurethane.
What does it do to my electric wiring?
- Foam can be sprayed directly to electrical wiring. Recessed lights and other fixtures may require a certain separation from the foam to allow air circulation for cooling purposes.
Does Spray Foam contain Formaldehyde?
- No, there used to be a foam insulation product that did use formaldehyde, but the foam used today is a completely different chemical product.
Does the foam shrink?
- No, as long as it is manufactured by an experienced technician.
Will closed cell foam add strength to my structure?
- Yes, it will increase racking strength of walls by 2 V2 times.
What effect does the foam have on sound travel?
- Open cell foam can be used as a considerable soundproofing material. Closed cell on the other hand does not perform well as a soundproofing agent.
Why haven’t I seen spray foam insulation around?
- Everyone has seen this product in action, probably without even realizing it. Refrigerators use foam insulation to keep the cold air inside. It works so well that when you touch the refrigerator door you can’t tell if it is on or not.
Does the existing insulation have to be removed?
- In some cases, it is recommended that the existing insulation be removed. This is primarily the case when the current insulation has a vapor barrier. In other cases of rodent / pest infestation or other forms of contamination it is also recommended.
Does combustible equipment [i.e. pilot lights] have to be breath or gain make up air?
- For newer high efficiency units no; for older regular metal pipe vented units, yes.