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Some years ago we added a bathroom in our 180 year old brick farmhouse. When it came to insulation we decided on using spray foam. The chief reason for doing so was the number of rodents in the attic and walls. We were concerned about another space that the mice would have free reign at hence the foam. I did all the spraying myself. I used large kits that came with a 2 part foam in 2 pressurized tanks of chemicals. I suited up in coveralls, gloves, hood, face shield and HALF FACE respirator. The spraying went quite well using 2 kits to complete the job. when I got to the end of the first kit of tanks it spewed gases out without any foam forming. I completed the job with a second kit. To my surprise the house was filled with a fog. Well as it turned out it was only in my corneas. With a trip to the ER I came home with foggy vision and told by the ER doctor to seek specialist help in the morning. To my delight the fog had disappeared and my vision restored. So my advice is to let professionals do the work or use FULL FACE respirators.
Tight wads always do that! You were very lucky!
@ExelArts I did not know that.Tank q.
You do know spray foam insulation shrinks over time creating gaps over time making it useless and it lights a flame easier then any other products you would use for insulation
@John D Thanks for your reply. We never want to sell our house. That’s why my husband is always making it better. Our son is buried in the cemetery right behind our home and our youngest owns right across the street. We are here till we die. Every plumbing, electrical, gas or structural change is done with a permit and gets inspected. Cosmetic things such as tiles is just done. My husband goes overboard on all his construction He enjoys over-building. It is ok because our house is very nice, poach.
I used closed cell in my exterior walls, then batt behind it. Low utility bills. 28 years later still no issues. I'll use it again in my next house.
As I said elsewhere, I have about 30 years experience as a timber framer using with SIPs and closed cell polyisocyanurate spray foam insulation systems. I am retired now but I lean more towards dense pack cellulose without an air or vapor barrier/retarder. Finding “craftsman” willing to do it my way is difficult. I am fortunate to have satisfied clients that let me observe what works (and what doesn’t). Some places had blower door tests and thermal imaging to help me monitor our quality control.So at 66 my wife and I are going to do dense pack cellulose for my “last” place …..ourselves.
Very informative thanks. One thought around the importance of ventilation was a mechanical ventilation option. Trickle vents of course let cold in/out but a mechanical system does not. It's not at all common in the UK but I know one person (only) who has it and he swears by it!
An MVHR unit is exactly what I have. Actually the spray foam vids that Roger includes appears to show the spray foam being put directly on to the roof space between the joists, whereas the guys who did my attic stapled a coated cardboard between each joist, allowing an air gap. They then filled it right to the (and beyond in a lot of cases) inside edge of the joists, finishing it by shaving it flush for the Pro Clima Intello Plus membrane and then the plasterboard. Although it's pretty unlikely (because this is a 1960s semi), I've been trying to go for airtightness, so an MVHR is essential. I'm not totally happy with it in my setup yet as we do still have some sporadic condensation problems in the two occupied bedrooms, which I am thinking of addressing with the addition of an extract vent in each bedroom, to get a constant circulation of air going, but i need to do more research on this first.
If you are allowing someone or are paying someone to use spray foam on the inside of your roof, you are the part of the gene pool that needs to be excised. OMG, NEVER EVER LET ANYONE USE SPRAY FOAM AS INSULATION ON THE INSIDE OF YOUR ROOF. I can go through reasons for about 10 years. Its cheap yes, but it leads to hundreds of hours when repairs are needed. Yes, 100% YOU WILL NEED REPAIRS. Its not if, its when. When someone needs repairs on the their roof and I see spray foam, I tell them thank you for letting me see their lovely home, but inform them I cannot do the repair. Ask ANY roof repair company and they will tell you the same thing or charge you a way unreasonable price.
As an electrician I also always see issues where original cabling hasn’t been designed to surrounded by that extend of thermal insulation, which can lead to over heating of cables and possibly fire. Also I see it as a nightmare situation if you ever need to make a repair or alteration, to locate or even cut through all the foam to add cabling for new fixtures or fittings.Personally I believe that of this kind of insulation os going to be used all services should be informed so that it can be taken into consideration during design so that cabling size and maybe a conduit system could be installed to address certain potential issues. All this just means greater cost elsewhere so for me I would always go for modular insulation.
@whatitmeans In Argentina they also use metal conduit for all the wiring!
@Gary Pautard DIY are not only ignorant but dangerous as well; I feel sorry for anyone who buys their property without a thorough inspection!
Not cheap but they should use conduit for all the wiring surrounded by foam.
@Brad Kittel nothing you've said here is very logic rooted. 5g radiation?? Lolz, im going to blow your mind., literally everything emits radiation, and ac current in a wire does nothing to disrupt your biological functions. Fact
@Joseph Meyers So true, that is why I wouldn't want it. I am a sort of a do it yourself person with things that aren't out of my wheelhouse and I've had to cut into walls for like putting in a medicine cabinet and a window where I discovered they had a window before after removing the drywall. I wouldn't have done anything like this if the walls where full of this stuff.
I have open cell spay foam which is totally superior to fiberglass insulation. I have vaulted ceilings and vented each space properly. The house is 3000 sqft in total with 3 floors at 1000 per floor. It holds the heat and hold the cold. With all the windows and skylites the air moves well. This insulation was the best thing I ever did in all the years of construction. Mortgage companies just want to extort money in any way they can.
Resonance can play some tricks. An idling diesel truck was louder in the adjacent house than it was standing a few meters from the truck. Also when everything else is super quiet, the noise that gets through seems extra loud. If you spray expanded poly urethane too thick in one go it can get very nasty, thankfully that wasn't my problem.
Excellent, non biased presentation. Speaking from a northern North American perspective, where spray foam is common, it seems mad that mortgage companies are wary of it. But on the other hand it is a very technical product and issues like off gassing due to bad product mixing and condensation due to bad installation design are too common here even though the market is familiar with the product.It's excellent when it works, but makes future modifications harder and is easier to mis install than, for example, fiberglass wool or styrene board
Great video, this brought back some very financially painful memories. 26 years ago we bought a 1920's house with a slate roof. The roof was OK, but not prefect, we simply could not afford to re-roof. We found out about foam and went that route. The slate roof was cleaned and refurb'ed before the foam was applied. Preparation took three days, installation took one day. The roof was then sound, solid and dry. Added bonus, not the reason for installing it, was thermal insulation, it was excellent, never a problem all the time we lived there. Fast forward to 4 years ago, we decided to sell the house, the first couple to bid were serious but they got 100% knock-back from their mortgage company because of the foam. I got quotes for a new tile roof at c.£6k, and offered to compromise on price but buyer didn't want the agro. Some weeks late a cash buyer comes along, his survey highlights the 'foam', he doesn't need a mortgage but in his eyes a new roof is the only way forward. I know I can fix the roof for £6k but there is a problem with timing to get the job done. We had seen the house we wanted to move to and to complete that purchase we had to drop £22.5k to keep the buyer on board. We're immensely happy with the purchase we made, but dropping that £22.5k will always leave a bad taste in my mouth. Spray foam does a really good job, but not everyone, especially surveyors and mortgage lenders see it that way.
@mark rainford by who's definition of civilized?
@JT Wood I see this all the time, spray foam is terrible to deal with later on down the road, and physically harmful to you and your family if the wrong kind of mold starts growing.
@Kadzu D. more often than not, when you come across spray foam the wood behind it is rotting, and you and your family are breathing in possibly harmful mold spores.
Contractors hate it too. It's unpleasant to remove, and they will charge through the roof to deal with it.
@Carnbyarst Most certainly. If it ain't broke ...
If you've got double glazing...like it was a good thing... I think the only place I've seen that bad windows are on unheated garages.
Best video i have watched on this subject. Do you complete insulation for the public?Please let me know, as I would love insulation (not spay foam), in my house.
Sorry I am way too busy to take on more work
Looking over the replys I didn’t see anything about fire hazard. When a forest fire ate into our siding the fire department thought they had it out. Not so, when they opened the door to check inside were greeted by clouds of black smoke and had triage to go on to not yet burned houses. Yep that stuff put in the walls when new siding was installed 15 years ago in the walls burns like a house afire!
I had spray foam installed when I had the house built ten years ago. I was aware that a roof leak could compound things a bit as the foam could retain some moisture. To add an extra measure of protection I specified that a premium quality synthetic roof underpayment be used instead of tar paper. I went with Titanium UDL-30. That’s the sort of thing that is used in Miami where hurricanes are common. This stuff is head and shoulders better than tar paper, but it costs the same price. You might lose all of your shingles in a storm, but your roof still won’t leak. It also does not tear or decay like tar paper. Having done that I did not have to worry about a roof leak with foam installed in my roof. I should also mention that with foam installed in your roof your entire attic space will only be about five degrees cooler or warmer than the ambient air in your home’s living space. That reduces the strain on your hearing and AC system located in your attic space.
@Outlet In Texas if your roof is over 15 years old they'll tell you "Your roof is not covered". You're on your own!
That is correct and a big money saver! Sold insulation and HVAC equipment!
@Kevin There could be a small amount of leakage around the nail shaft, but the synthetic underlayment is so much stronger and longer lasting than tar paper that it will still be waterproof for the most part. Tar paper absolutely disintegrates after about a month or so in the Florida sun. Synthetic underlayment will last more than a year if exposed. Nothing is perfect, but for the same price as tar paper synthetic underlayment is the way to go these days.
You do realize they nail the shingles through the underlayment right?
I had that roof membrane used when my house needed a new roof installed. Recently, my house needed to have a four-point inspection. My home insurance company went belly up, and my new one required this. The inspector spent quite some time doing his inspection of the roof. When he finished, he informed me that he noticed that I had that membrane installed and told me that I would get a nice discount. In Florida, you will not even get an insurance policy if your roof is over 25 years old.
Spray Foam - is a bad idea. In Germany we use 'rockwool' or 'glasswoll' to do the isolation. It is removable, repairable, non burnable and has great isolation values and is eco friendly. Spray foam is non removeable, non eco friendly, burns like hell if used wrong type - it is a mess. There is maybe one good thing: the volume while shipping... compared with rockwoll.
I made walk in freezers and coolers for years and we never had any sort of water problems. In fact, the water would run off plus the foam was so tight on the metal skin there was no room for water. People also overlook how strong the foam is, having it inside a wall would make it much stronger than fiberglass in the same wall. If you had two walls one with spray in foam and one without, I bet the foam wall could support twice the weight. It's not all bad you just need to let it off-gas before covering it up.
I sold foam insulation long ago and I've seen walls buckle and sheetrock had to be replaced. Not a cheap proposition! Need expert installers!
@Justin Last 2: Last Harder IDK about your profession or education, but I am a Mechanical Engineer myself. What I can tell you, is that sometimes strenght does not only rely on the material itself, but sometimes how it is supported. Now foam might not have a lot of strength in itself, but it supports the load bearing structure sideways. So it actually helps a great deal with the loads by just fixing the beams in place, which is an enormous factor in load bearing calculations. However, my concern would be the longevity of this support, as foam insulation deteriorates quite quickly. As long as it acts like glue with a structure, it is fine. But it becomes porous and detaches itself quite quickly, and then the benefits are void. I guess what I´m saying is that you´re right, but for the wrong reasons...
If you are relying on the Insulation to Hold Weight, you have already fucked things up beyond repair. What happens when someone decides they want another Outlet? Or if they want to run recessed lights? Where does the Water Go when there is a leak? It has to go somewhere...There is no reason to have Spray Foam Insulation. It is nothing but a Detriment.
You ever make a walk in cooler out of wood?
This must be a UK issue. No mortgage company in the USA ever asks about spray foam.
They just don't know better and don't want to lose the sale of the property!
It's not about the spray foam installation, it's that you cannot verify the building structures underneath are intact, therefore no mortgage company will give you a loan.
But there can STILL be resale issues where there's historical off-gasing from the foam causing health issues with the seller occupants. Seen several examples of this. If the chemicals aren't mixed correctly in the right proportions, it can have really nasty health outcomes for the occupants. Worst case I saw was off-gasing causing breathing, cardiac & migraine issues meaning that the family had to move out of the house, couldn't afford to have the foam removed because it's (SUCH) a difficult thing to do, and because of legal disclosure obligations, couldn't sell as nobody wants a dodgy house. Sometimes shortcuts are NOT shortcuts at all.
Well it's no diff from having it finished. You wouldn't be able to see the damage either way
May be dry states have less issues, UK is wet wet wet.
I live in a very cold area (below freezing for many months at a time) and spray foam is very popular due to eliminating drafty gaps. It’s good in new builds with the correct ventilation system for it. Mortgage companies in my country are fine with spray foam, so that must vary by country.
A well balanced presentation Roger, the biggest issue in our opinion, is when something does go wrong !! it is a nightmare to locate and assess the full extent.
I had spray foam applied directly to the underside of my slate roof years ago, but the wooden beams remain visible. It certainly works as insulation - when it snows the snow lingers on my roof much longer than it does on my neighbours’. As a bonus, the original builders had used a very sandy mortar to bind the slates and it was constantly shedding dirt on everything below. The foam sealed all this in so now I have a clean attic space for storage. Recently, however, I have considered installing solar panels but for slate roofs these require special brackets which, in turn, necessitate removal and replacement of the slates. With foam sticking them all down this will be a problem. If anybody is considering solar panels and foam, I’d suggest get the panels installed first!
@stuart horwood Must be a Brit thing because I've never heard of it being a problem in the US.
Sorry DrSteve, but if you think fitting solar panels to a foam sprayed roof is a problem, just wait til you come to sell your home and discover that no mortgage company will finance your buyer because of the foam. Good luck with that!
They didnt wrap over the studs
It's interesting hearing about insulation in other countries. Here in Sweden the norm is 25-40 cm insulation in walls and floor and about the double in the roof.
Missing one thing in the video: health and safety.There have been several cases where the contractor didn't do the mixing correctly and the spray foam kept on releasing chemicals into the air. The residents became hyper sensitive to urethane and their houses had to be demolished and replaced by a completely new house. Recycling of sprayed building materials is a nightmare as well.
Glad someone said it... having worked the job, this stuff is NOT something I'd want to be surrounded by in the place where I live. I'll take poor insulation, thanks.
Ran into a similar issue where the spray foam kept off-gassing V.O.C.'s into the living area. Husband got sick and passed away unexpectedly after about a year in the home. Wife kept getting sick and after extensive testing was done the V.O.C's were determined to be causing her issue but were "not" linked to his passing. As the HVAC contractor on the home we installed systems with fresh air, ERV systems, dehumidifiers(in La., very high humidity) and electronic air cleaners.
An underrated aspect of closed cell foams is the rigidity and strength. Especially with the high density foams, it can be incredibly strong, in many cases stronger than the frame itself. Ultimately I think it just makes sense to combine structural and insulative components in things like SIP panels.
Ive been in an attic installing alarm systems that had a closed cell foam as thick as the ceiling rafters. The owner walked around on it like it was concrete. I still stayed on the rafters.
@Terry Urquhart it's not destructive strength. it's meant as used in 150 year old houses that have no structure left in the old wood framing. I am under way a major Reno now and can't wait to spray it. the framing was completely encased in concrete and there is zero structure left
@Andrew Guest not many tornadoes in UK though …
My company, based off a recent study, actually does fortifications with closed cell. I haven't seen first hand how much it actually helps, but I've been told it greatly increases the durability of your house in the event of tornados or hurricanes.
I actually experienced an unexpected bathroom issue, where after spray foam, the bathroom began to stink of sewer gas. It turned out that the seal in the house was so good, the vacuum effect you spoke about was in effect, but the bathroom fan was a bit overpowered and it would actually suck an occasional bubble out of the water trap in the toilet whenever the bathroom door was closed. We actually had to keep the bathroom door open to prevent that until we got a less powerful fan.
Have a insulated combustion air pot installed in your mech room and you will no longer have this issue. I am a licensed red seal plumber, gasfitter and electrician specializing in controls and heating installations
Your bathroom door should not have an air tight seal it's an interior door not an exterior door.
Won't happen with a properly vented house.
I'm a roofer in Alaska. Since the 1970's onward they kinda went mad foaming everything here with no roof ventilation. I've seen buildings so rotten that the only thing preventing the roof from collapsing was the foam itself. About 20 years ago most of the builders realized that there needs to be an air gap between the foam and the roof to let the condensation evaporate. The other problem with spray foam is that it can kill you because it will be gassing off for months or years if it was a bad product or mixture or for some other reason it cannot cure quickly. Other than that it has maybe the best R-value of any insulation.
I had to board out a loft because of this foam. As Roger said, the people buying the house, couldn’t get a mortgage until it had been removed. It was quite a small house , a simple up an over pitched roof. The foam removal company charged £2,500 and wouldn’t touch it until the loft space was boarded, which is understandable. That was another £800 so it can be an expensive business. Good video Roger.
I do bee, wasp, and hornet removals from structures...I encounter spray foam more and more...the interesting part is that mice and rats tunnel through the stuff quite easily making a serious mess. Also, I have seen a lot of moisture damage under the foam. Bees, wasps, and hornets hollow out foam to make their nests inside...whenever I do a removal with foam, the job doubles in price due to increased work load and the cleanup is a serious problem
Great video. I'm in exactly the situation you've mentioned. Selling my house. But previous owners had spray foam insulation. After our buyers mortgage survey, we lost our buyers. Now in the processes of removing foam, replacing felt, etc. Pretty much new roof.
Seems in the past few years professional installations have been shown in many cases to have shrunk away from the framing members. Closed cell as well of course as open cell (which really is to be avoided at all costs). Also any savings from shipping are way more than compensated for by the high cost of product and installation when using foam. I think the real lesson to be learned here is not to disparage the DIY'er as they can often do as good or better than the professional. Often the installer in rural or small town areas if available at all will not be doing foam full time and the expertise can vary drastically. Not many professional installers 'play with the formula' they just apply whatever is sent them and move on to the next job. If they can get a better price on a batch of foam and up their profit margin most will unquestionably accept the product. Again the point that is made is that any high tech material that is stringent in its application with little or no latitude for error or sloppiness is just not going to work on the real world construction site. Moisture and temperature parameters are going to be violated to get the job done where time is money, would be one example. A poorly trained and or motivated work force is also going to be a problem. There are so many things that effect the quality and performance of a building that it is foolish to add more complications. Narrow application limits should be avoided if at all possible.
Love this video! You did an amazing job of explaining spray foam insulation and hashing through some of the issues associated with it. Thanks.
One benefit of spray foam which I didn't see/hear mentioned is that a thinner layer of spray foam provides a similar level of insulation to thicker fibreglass insulation.
The use of "vapour barrier" or rather vapour retarder is recommended for certain climate zones. For attics you need a good ventilation. You have to make sure that moisture in the air is vented out.
Best building channel mate. I'm a DIY-er; your advice is priceless. This foam always 'looked' like a good idea, but I was always doubtful, for exactly this reason. I didn't like the idea of it being effectively 'sealed for good'.
When they did our house, the attic was sprayed foamed directly on to the ceiling drywall and rafters, hence the attic isn't insulated, only the ceiling and walls of the structure. Is working great 11 years in. There is a slight wave in our ceilings but it is unique and it is waves! Likely caused by moisture in the spray foam at application.
As someone who has been in the foam insulation industry for 15 years, I see all these problems all the time. I do not even touch remodels if the HVAC is not being adjusted properly to figure for proper ventilation. I love foam, but a house needs to be built for foam. I do not typically like using it for remodels, and where we live remodelers are not typically intelligent enough to understand air tightness and moisture control and most foam companies are just as bad. They just know how to paint walls, cabinetry, and flooring. Spraying foam directly against the roof with close cell to water proof is the most ignorant thing I've seen other companies do. The roof is incredibly difficult to remove like you said. I believe that 70% of the foam insulation companies have no idea what they are doing and do not properly get their guys trained. They rely on equipment sensors to tell them if the foam is correct which is often too late. An applicator should be able to see it on the wall instantly and know. I also believe foam is sprayed half as thick as it should be. I sprayed my personal house to and R-42 in foam which was about 11.5 inches. I can run my house on an ERV for over half the year in Texas. I only kick on my air conditioning in the summers and winters at the extreme points.
The obsession with "saving through efficiency" is perfectly summed up by the use of spray foam on the underside of the roof structure. Personally, I'm happy to sacrifice a little R-value up here in the Adirondack mountains for peace of mind knowing that my rafters and beams aren't being eaten away by unseen collected moisture which could lead to a huge replacement bill down the road. A cold roof with soffits and insulation on the floor instead of the ceiling is the most cost-effective and nearly equally efficient setup where I live.
@Kelly Craig I've hiked deep into the Cascades and have found piles of cedar staves left behind from old growth true western red cedar. The wood was probably left on the on the wet mossy ground for at least 80 years. I took some home, dried it out and made chairs out of it. Pristine condition, no rot, no bugs, no fungus. The wood passed off as "cedar" today is nothing like the old stuff at all.
Cold roof good. Allowing the space above the living space to breathe is the most effective method to keep moisture from building up. Insulating your ceilings is fine, and recommended. If cathedral ceilings are used, an air space is still required to allow the rafters and roof materials to breathe. From the soffit to the ridge. Most of this moisture that people are talking about is produced within the living space and not allowed to get out.
@Lucky seven air ammo I just built a house with open cell foam on the underside of the roof deck. Reading a lot of these comments has me worried it might have been a mistake. Your comment seems to be the most knowledgeable yet and restores my confidence in the build.
Foam is a massive fire hazard too
@Lucky seven air ammo Something always happens - like carpenter bees or termites changing the system. Then if you can't see and inspect the damage, you're in trouble. Bridges need inspection and repair because water management plans don't work as intended (in one case a tomato plant was growing from a gutter) and the water runs down the wrong beams, rusts out the wrong bolts, and suddenly huge I-beams have cracks running through them because the support cables have been loosened.It's always better to be able to see, to inspect and respond.On the subject of bridges, a lot of the water management issues come from using aluminum gutter systems encased in concrete. It turns out that aluminum expands in concrete, causing the gutter sides to bow inward toward the center. Then dirt collects around the outside of the gutter, and water goes where you really didn't want it.
Spray foam in a steel framed home works out nicely. We built 3 of them, with a wall cavity of 8 3/8" on the exterior walls, heating and cooling the homes was very low cost.
So do you recommend for metal buildings like an outside shop?
Yeah, but every repair on electrical or plumbing was very expensive...I'd hate to see a water leak with that bullshit in it...
I got spray foam installed in my new home ten years ago. It was the open cell type. It’s been great as my utility bills are lower and the house is quiet. Cost was $7000 more than regular blown in cellulose insulation..it has paid for itself and will be a selling point when I come to sell the house. Absolutely no bugs in the house as it is completely sealed. I would do it again with another house.
@therealsparkman 6mm is almost 1/4 inch. You confuse that with .006 inch, also referred to as 6mil.
@therealsparkman code for 3 mil poly here is only required on fiberglass batting walls or kraft paper. Because it is not high density. Cellulose should still use a vapor barrier but isn't required. Plastic is the wrong way to go in maine.
@therealsparkman - Look it up pal. 🖕🏿
@Beatch Not sure where you live, but where I reside, a vapour barrier is required for any blown in insulation OTHER than blown in foam to meet building codes.
@Private Sorry...but you are the one who is in need of education. And, if you can provide any kind of proof to validate your conspiracy, then I will take what you say as valid. But until then, your ideology holds zero merit. We follow the building codes that are laid out. The only thing that one has to worry about with spray in foams is the outgassing that occurs. I have yet to see any kind of examples of where moisture has breached foam insulation.Furthermore, air exchangers assist in removing stale air and the moisture that may be in it.
As a rule of thumb do you cut the rigid foam for an exact squeeze fit or do you leave an 8/10mm gap for the gun to get a solid squirt in around the borders? Thanks Roger.
I had spray foam professionally done after a rehab of a 115 year old home. I gutted the attic “apartment”, repaired the weighted window pulls, ran all the electrical and CAT-6, added a proper adjustable vent, then spray foam in the rafters and walls up there, drywall, carpet. It went from the most uncomfortable room in the house to where the kids and I spent most of our time. Also sprayed a barrier around the skirt of the house which was exposed and accessible above the sandstone blocks in the basement. This house is in the southeastern US, where it’s hot and miserable in the summers, and grey and damp in the winters. Spray foam is _the_ best investment in energy savings and comfort I’ve ever made!
Its a fire hazard, once this stuff is exposed to a heat source it will burn gard and fast and produces toxic smoke, thats why I never recommend it to any of my customers, fire safety is the most important thing
I do water mitigation in the Southeast. Spray foam is one of the building materials we absolutely hate to come across. It's absolutely terrible to remove, and more often than not the wood is rotting underneath and the homeowner has health issues from breathing in mold spores.
@Daniel Staggers your toxic negativity is going to rot your soul Daniel. Becareful ding dong
Until all your lumber rots out it is. And if you sprayed it on the inside of the roof directly, it will all rot out.
We have closed cell foam insulation in our 2200 sq ft two story home. We have Anderson 400 series window with tinted glass. Our house was designed and built to be air tight. The HVAC contractor studied the plants and in concert with the architect they designed a system that includes fresh air make up system that tempers the incoming air by using the exhaust air. All of the parts and materials were available and none had to be “special” ordered of fabricated. Having worked in the home construction industry for most of my life, I believe that spray foam is the best bang for your buck if you look at the entire house holistically and systems vs individual pieces of the system. We heat with natural gas and have central air. We live in the northeast U.S. and we have never paid over $100 per month for our gas and or electric service. While we paid more to build the home, our ROI is occurring within the first six years of our completed date. Thank you.
Lucky you; my 1500 sq. ft. all electric home runs up to $ 400. per month. Our supplier is Reliant energy!
Adding another problem to spray foam in walls is that recently a house I looked at in N.Texas was having electrical problems because the 4 year old spray foam attacked the PVC wire insulation! It all had to be stripped out and replaced (some foam to get to the wire and all the wiring in the external wall cavities.I'd never heard of such a thing any yet seeing was believing. Makes me wonder if it's happening inside other houses. Can't be a lot of them because we'd have heard of it before?
They might of used an industrial grade of spray foam that's not compatible with plastic and painted surfaces. I'm over in Longview where a friend sprayed closed-cell foam on the roof decking of his new house using material bought from another friend that was the local industrial insulating contractor. I was shown the product's spec sheet which stated it was harmless to Romex sheathing, PVC, other plastics and rubbers. There's another guy over here that has a RV trailer park where he rents out old long trailers he got for next to nothing due to water leaks. He fixed those by coating their exteriors with the sprayed closed-cell insulation then primed and painted the foam with a white acrylic roof coating. He said the added insulation makes them easy to keep cool and warm.
@Nigel Shindler the way around that is wax paper. You line the spray foam areas with the wax paper and then it can be removed like cut blocks.
Hi Bob: here in the UK we have canal boats (narrowboats as we call them) which usually have a steel shell and it has become quite common for them to be insulated with spray foam when they are built, as it is easier than cutting and fitting block insulation. But one of the known drawbacks is exactly what you have described: the plastic insulation of the wiring systems can perish because of the chemicals in the foam. Added to that, it's very difficult to check if condensation has got in and the shell has started to rust from the inside under all that well stuck foam. You can't just pull off a lining panel and take out a loose block of foam as you used to be able to do.
Really interesting video, my concern is enclosing a property with a chemical based thermal envelope and ignoring any potential health issues arising from the vapours coming of these products. I remember the cavity wall insulation debacle some years ago where householders fell ill because of the toxic fumes/vapours building up in the cavities and entering the interior. Adverse health issues through the use of chemicals in a living space can sometimes take a long time to materialise and not fully understood by the purveyors of these products. The building industry is littered with products that have found to be harmful to health and posthumously withdrawn. I personally over past couple years have come to realise that plastic is not a mans best friend anymore.
@Emil Muhrman hi, I did say I believe some Scandinavian countries? There are growing concerns about this material and I feel sure sooner or later it will also become restricted . Doesn’t surprised me that asbestos was banned in the Sweden during the seventies, they are always ahead of the UK in every way.
@Christopher Nunn mdf is not banned here in Sweden. But asbestos has been banned since the 70s.
@Skin Lab how long does it take to off-gas?
@Major Pwner are you assuming I never sprayed?
@Skin Lab A little cancer is neat too. Hubris knows no end with you people... Like five minutes online taught you more about this than I learned installing it.
Here's 1 problem with spray foam in attics...If you have plumbing vents that go through the roof then you have a rubber boot around it on top of your roof to keep water from coming in. That boot usually dry rots, cracks & shrinks allowing a small amount of water to make inside the attic where the foam absorbs it. This grows a small amount of mold & algae. This will attract the outdoor roaches nicknamed "water bugs" or "palmetto bugs"...(they're roaches). The exterminator will not be able to stop the roach problem so if you've noticed this I recommend inspecting your rubber boots around the plumbing vents.
Have a roofer replace the boots every 3 years to be on the safe side! Or you may do it yourself if you're no afraid or heights!
@itscard0man Great question but I don't know the answer.
But that is only with open cell ? Closed cell does not absorb the water correct ?
This seems like a great idea in theory but a mixed blessing in practice. Another fear with some 2 part systems is that if they are improperly mixed, the uncured components will off-gas, releasing potentially harmful fumes. I've not heard of the mortgage problems you describe here in the USA (perhaps because slate and tile roofs are rare here), but I'd lean toward an open cell foam, so that at least you know early when a leak occurs. On the other hand it is claimed that closed cell foam adds a lot to the strength of the roof, for those in hurricane zones.
A problem not mentioned is, docks use closed cell foam, because open cell will take on water and sink. If have such extreme moisture problems you have to worry about moisture traveling through, you've got bigger problems. That same moisture is the enemy of glass too. The more moisture in it, the worse it insulates.
Can you really tell (if you live in a hurricane zone or tornado alley which was spray foamed and which wasn't when they are LEVELED. Think I prefer the house on wheels during that time of year...always wanted to go to the beach. Who does plaster walls anymore? It is generally gypsum board. Insulated Rafters is a NO GO practice, and the foam has that nasty habit of off gassing a carcinogen HFC(almost as bad...maybe worse than asbestos at causing cancer)
Many homes are built using 2x6 walls. One engineer that worked in home construction told me after they used the closed cell, they come back and fill in with open cell and have had good results. You could use any number of insulation products for the remaining 3 1/2".Closed cell foam should be limited to 1 1/2 - 2" thick. It has R6 to 7 per inch.There are many cases where this has not been heeded and there are odors that linger for months if not longer making a home unlivable. Another reason to use a trained professional.Open cell has R3 to R4 per inch. 2" Closed cell-R14 plus 3 1/2" open cell-R14 provides R28 total. This is before external sheathings are considered.I don't think I would consider anything else if building new.
Had a “nontoxic” closed cell foam installed about 6 years ago. I traced the USA SDS sheet to the patent holder which did not list ingredients. For 2 weeks after install the house air quality was so toxic we moved out. After week 3 we moved back in and no odor since. Closed cell product shrank 5% a year later. All in all it was worth it.
I think spray foam can be great, but not applied directly to the underside of a roof. For one, it forms a watertight seal which will lead to roof rot long before a leak is detected. But I also wonder about it's role in ice damming as there will still be some loss of heat. Where I live (in central BC, Canada) we get over three feet of snow and the roof is snow covered for more than half the year. The ceiling is insulated, but not the underside of the roof. In a northern climate, if an attic is not well ventilated and the same temperature as the outside, ice damming will occur.
Very informative, thanks. It's interesting how this stuff is different around the world - I came across this via Matt Risinger's Build channel and gather it's very common in the USA, possibly even the preferred approach. It's a fascinating thing to watch a pro do it. And ludicrous the main reason against it here is insurers/lenders who as you point out don't ever come and look at your roof anyway in many cases, let alone check behind a bit of plasterboard. I'm assuming this stuff is totally non recyclable, non-degradable if you do remove it?
You need to provide ventilation baffles between the roof decking and the foam or fiberglass insulation to provide a path for moisture to evaporate from under the roof. These baffles need to communicate airflow between the soffits and the roof vents on the roof peak.
A note about moisture. It's not moisture until it condenses. Otherwise, it's humidity. A humid home is a warm home. Reduce the humidity in the air and the house is cooler. So you want humidity in the cold seasons and not in the warm seasons. Luckily, in the warm seasons, you either open a window or put on the ac to take the humidity from the air.
I have been using spray foam for a 100 years on valves and flanges etc but used it only once in a residential environment. All I would say (through harsh experience), ensure that your substrate, wooden structure is totally 100% dry and moisture free and does not hint of rot/mould or anything. My solum was compromised, thus increased moisture levels in the atmosphere and then by the time I got to it, I had x1 purling and x15 wooden beams to replace in my basement. Cost me thousands to resolve as I had to remove all the contaminated wood, new engineered flooring etc. The foam likely exacerbated the situation but the solum was the primary issue, so not really the foam to blame.Another lesson learned - a sore one.
You have personally been using spray foam for 100 years?
I work as a carpenter. It scares me how willing we are to fill homes with plastic. This is going to be a recycling and waste nightmare in the future. I hate how much waste building homes produces. Mircoplastics into the environment just from cutting kingspan (no i'm not talking about proper dust extraction on site, where do you think the dust bag goes) let alone dealing with the waste of re-roofing later on down the line. Roger I respect your building skills and knowledge and have learnt a lot from Robin and yourself. What can we do to change the industry for the better?
@John Pitchlynn I live in Iowa I think that's all they use out here is corn base plastics. I hope corn plastic homes are on the horizon. I thought of building homes out of just glass windows or polyvinyl sheets and I might end up doing that but the thicker unbreakable polyvinyl is way too expensive. We could use some corrugated plastic 8x4s asap
@Chief Inspector yes, I knew most of that from research and actually building with the straw baked. But your list was well written and knowledgeable, thanks for that. I've researched just about every alternative building materials there is. I've moved past straw and my current project is using a combination of styrocrete in some areas and aircrete in others. A buyer can't get financing fro alternative materials and insurance can be a problem but everything I've built, someone fell in love with it and bought it.
@Chief Inspector I never said it was perfect everywhere, be reasonable.And I just suggested it to widen people info bubble, I'm not pushing it as a solution, not many people know the method was used from early New England to present day
@BOB Joatmon 1. Building with straw is not fully-accepted as method of construction in many parts of the country. **Plenty of building officials, inspectors, structural engineers and local authorities have been known to laugh in your face if you bring up the idea of building (or retrofitting) your home with straw. The nursery rhyme of the three little piggies will invariably come up, along with some understandable concerns regarding insects, mold, and longevity.2. Talking of insects and mold…Straw bales will harbor both of those things if they are consistently wet or relentlessly exposed to high-humidity areas such a showers and sinks without adequate protection. Of course, a conventional house will also easily host insects and is susceptible to mold, too, if not built right. But straw is more sensitive to such things than wood-constructed and fiberglass-insulated structures.3. It may take more time to acquire a building permit for a straw bale structure than it would a conventional one.This is more to do with the social conception of the material, rather than the material itself. In some areas of the country, especially the Southwest, straw bale building is a well-accepted method; in other areas where there is more moisture, cities and counties may look askance at the use of bales and might require additional assurances-such as paying a local structural engineer or requiring unnecessary moisture testing-before releasing the building permit.4. Because of the thickness of the bales, you will lose square-footage inside a home. A stick frame wall is around 6 inches thick A straw bale wall is around 18 inches thick.So that extra-thick wall will indeed eat up some of your interior space. Most people simply make the exterior footprint of the house a bit bigger to make up for that lost space, or they live with a little less space inside. But designing the house a bit bigger will add some costs to the construction of the house: you’ll need some extra concrete in your foundations, for example, and you’ll need to make your roof trusses a bit longer.5. If the bales aren’t stacked properly, there can be small gaps in the walls that create thermal break-points in the otherwise well insulated walls.Unless you’ve done a lot of work with straw, as you put up the bales you’ll tend to ignore those little spaces between the bales, or places where the bales abut the post-and-beam, or the areas next to the ceiling where the bales don’t quite fit, etc. Those places in the wall where solid straw bales stack firmly on top of one another are going to provide the greatest insulation. But the areas around the doors and windows are can be hard places to do the firm stacking, and sometimes loose straw gets stuffed into a corner without being securely packed - and then settles over time. This becomes a spot for thermal leakage. So when you’re stacking your bales, pay attention to the ‘hard-to-reach’ places. It really does make a difference, and really is easy to overlook.6. Plaster is the crucial point of the construction process, and is often done poorly.I have experienced so many different problems with plaster throughout my 23 years of straw bale construction. Both stucco and adobe have their pros and cons. Either way, the plaster job needs to be done right, and a poor plaster job is going to prevent the material from performing like it should. Check out my Adobe vs. Stucco article for more information on this one. And if you are going to do the plastering yourself, get ready for a lot of fun -and even more hard hard work.7. There are no studs at regular intervalsAlternate ‘hanging’ methods must be utilized to hang heavier pictures, mirrors, and cabinets on, and putting up shelves in closets where one of the walls is next to the bales needs to be done differently. This may be a bit frustrating at first, but there are some cool alternative ways I’ve developed over the years.8. Working with Straw is fun, but often becomes a skin irritant.This can mean nothing much more than itchy skin, but working with bales for days on end will make you want to have an air compressor or a hose nearby at all times. Breathing straw dust, especially as you cut the bales with a chain saw, will set you coughing. Or straw flakes will get in your eyes as you put up the top row of bales. Just a thought.
@BOB Joatmon Yes ok in dry climate. Come here to Florida and try it. Also rodent nesting.
Great video. Spray foam is fantastic for basement and crawlspace walls and IMO....that's it. Use rockwool bats done properly in the rest of the house. Use R 30 in your flat ceilings and make sure your attic is as close to the outside temp as possible by venting it properly. Use baffles in your vaulted ceilings with soffit and ridge venting for air flow beneath the roof sheathing. Some old style things are just better
I used Icynene in south florida and the insulation properties were amazing. I paid $7500 but I absolutely loved it. During construction, in the south florida summer with the house fully closed and NO air conditioning you could walk inside the house and be cool when you walked in. Sure, you would sweat after 20 minutes inside the house but in a home with no spray foam you could not even walk in! It is simple amazing.
As a general contractor I hated spray insulation and only used it if I could not convince the owner it was a bad idea. It makes a remodel job a nightmare.
Its great in interior walls for soundproofing bedrooms and floors. it really deadens the foot steps of someone walking around in the second story and makes it easier to sleep.I know one family that just had the basement rafters sprayed because the washing machine and dryer noise would echo through the house.But I wouldnt use it on the roof or exterior walls because it could trap moisture.
To my knowledge, spray foaming pre-existing roof structures here in the US isn't a common practice - I've never heard of it or seen it done to an existing slate or wood roof as those are generally considered to need to breathe to deal with both moisture and temperature fluctuations. I like foam in certain roles such as sealing, but I would not want a house insulated only by foam. The best system I've seen is a 1-inch layer of foam in a 2x6 wall for air/moisture seal combined with R-36 bats for thermal insulation. I've only seen one house done with a full envelope (under roof foam), more common is a foamed ceiling. I feel for those of you in the UK who had their roofs foamed after maintaining the slate and losing value on the home. That's rough.
3:03 - Presumably you have the impermeable membrane on the _outside_ (I assume that's what you mean by "the other side of the roof". So open cell lets the wood's moisture equalise with the _inside_ of your house through evaporation, which is exactly what you want. If you use closed cell, that's basically like having a second impermeable membrane on the inside, but the outer one will crack / fail first, so any water that gets in will have nowhere to go (water gets in through cracks much faster than it can evaporate back out through the same crack), and will just saturate the wood
In my Tiny Texas Houses I use a spray Icycnene foam but use older wood windows which intentionally allow for air flow, being in Texas which is warm most of the year, this works better... giving me a great way to buffer the heat gain, using self-sealing underlayment beneath a metal roof, 6" of open-cell stops all interior heat gain, providing shade, and thus with windows open, even at 107 F I get 80 F interior temp dropped to 76 at the bedside with a small battery-operated fan. Air flow, Venturi effects, insulation, moisture deflection especially in my often 80% humidity, all forms complex factoring that depends on where you are as to which solutions work best. 11 inches of rain in a week here is not common in other places, nor long freezes. Thanks for your very good presentation and view from a place where slate roof is rare.
Best use of spray foam is to glue around the edges of rigid foam then slap it in place to make a rigid bond with the wood. If there's a problem you can easily cut the block out with a knife, it's not glued/foamed on the back (so it doesn't push out). Moisture may collect there but not against the wood necessarily so it has time to get out.
great video.. as a sound engineer i have to agree with all you say on this topic, and agree i personally do not use the stuff unless job is minor. An extra mile Sound engineers go when design building a recording studio is continuous rockwool between two studds , but this takes up extra space and need extra long vent pipe too which also snakes around in the cavity before exiting the building to prevent out side noises coming in.
I hate this stuff with a passion, it is impossible to work around. Any kind of panel or wool or foil is so much easier to work with, and yes it is tedious work but worthwhile and lasting value if done right. Well spotted on the venting aspect, in the quest for supreme insulation the indoor climate is often a bit forgotten, specifically the inflow of fresh air and outflow of damp and CO2. The venting intake and outtake capacity needed for a certain space and purpose (bedroom? kitchen? bath? etc) is something that needs to be calculated, and vents set up properly to create a good indoor climate. Incidentally damp air doesn't have favorable thermal properties.
I remember back in the family house, the attic was so cold compared to the rest of the house. It only had insulation between the rafters that made the ceilings of the upper floor. The rest was pretty bare and the whole house could get really cold in winter.
@J 2130 It wasn't winter. It's just the UK.
My in-laws did icynene in their walls during a major remodeling about 10 years ago. They did in only in part of the house that had the drywall exposed. It turned out great. There is tremendous difference in comfort between the new and old. They wished they had done more of the house. If you have water entering the structure, foam won’t fix that. You are right you want to get qualified professionals to do this. Do your due diligence and check their past jobs. Done right, this is great.
@Mike Jones cellulose is great until it gets wet! Then it is hell on earth!
@Mike Jones tell me what's worse for you. Inert glass or ink from bleached paper and magazine pages, and fire retardants.
@Beatch Borax is a naturally occurring substance. By your measure everything is carcinogenic. Sounds like a Californian.
@Mike Jones but its better to have a science experiment sprayed in that is very rarley ever a perfect mixture. Or cellulose that's a powder filled with carcinogens and chemicals that is easier to come into your home through infiltration than dense pack fiberglass that only has borate added to it? That doesn't sound right 😕 20 to 30% of cellulose isn't even cellulose its additives and newspaper chemicals
@Beatch I wouldn't want fiberglass anywhere near my house where me and my family breathe the air.
There's four kinds of barriers: vapor, moisture, rain, and thermal. The problem with rot and mold is that people get the sequence of the four mixed up and wrong.The proper sequence going from the inside out: vapor barrier, thermal barrier, moisture barrier, and rain barrier.That way the interior warm humid vapor can't get past the vapor barrier on the warm side of the insulation into the cold side of the insulation, condensing into water. Plus any trapped vapor on cold side of the insulation can escape through the moisture barrier that can breath vapor to the outside. And of course the rain barrier can also breath vapor.
We had it done (slate roof, good condition 1950s, closed cell) 1996 and sold in 2018 with no problem - and the roof space was great (no 45C in summer, -10C in winter).Had the new family home done in 2019 (membrane + concrete tiles, 1980s 'Barret" build, closed cell) done in 2019. No problems since.....the roofers didn't comment / complain when they needed to re-channel the interface into the extension (~1985).But then we used proper ventilation (open a window occasionally) and bathroom extractor fans.
We put in spray foam that was soybean base. Sounds great--renewable, right. What we found is that mice and insects LOVE it. Now we have a constant chewing sound coming from roof and walls.
As always, very clear and cogent arguments for and against. Many thanks, Roger
The worst thing I’ve heard about this stuff is a house being contaminated with a fishy smell afterwards that’s very unpleasant for the occupants and can also cause health problems, because the mix wasn’t right when it went on. At the very worst can lead to a house being uninhabitable! As the smell had penetrated surfaces and was still there after spending thousands removing it.
Yes if they get the mix wrong it is a nightmare and all needs to come out. That is why I am not a fan of the DIY kits. You need ideal conditions. It is a shame because it would be a fantastic product if we could rely on it.
This is spot on. The idea that in "theory" spray foam will create an air tight highly insulating barrier is true. In the real word with many many different interfaces of many many building components and materials air tight is effectively impossible. That leaves us with focused air leaks, focused moisture issues, and very difficult to repair rot issues (often in main structural components). The idea of high r value construction and air tight envelopes are good ideas but spray foam is not the way or at least not in its current methodology. We are going to be ripping up more and more structures with wet foam, mold, and rotten wood being the main contents in the dumpster.
@Skill Builder It does not shrink unless incorrectly applied/off ratio.
You are right on so many counts. If there is only one place for all the airborne moisture to escape it will be a much higher concentration and. like you say, rot can take hold. I think that the foam sometimes shrinks back around the rafters to allow micro leaks.
I've have only recently started researching ways to insulate in hopes of having my home built, and I must say that this video is beautiful. None of these concerns was mentioned even once in all my past month researching. Thank you good sir! You got a new subscriber!
Potentially another reason UK mortgage companies might not like spray foam is the flammability. Compared to other insulations it burns pretty quickly and very hot.
True honest facts there Roger, a friend of mine actually has a company removing and inspecting this stuff and I’ve occasionally had to go in and construct a Entire new roof due to rot, which 9/10 times the tiles have fouled causing a leak which has gone undetected due to the foam, I’ve also noticed that the elderly seemed to get targeted for this stuff. You and the team keep up the good work 👍💪🏼
I have a house in North Carolina and the prior owner had a spray foam business and so he experimented with it on the house when he owned it. The guy sprayed the underside of the floor from the basement. Seems like a good idea. Well anywhere a sink, bathtub or toilet was located it trapped water. When I took possession of the house I started to tackle the old house smell by removing carpets and that helped. I looked for water leaks and could not find anything. I cut into the foam and pulled down a section about 1 square foot and water poured down on me. The closer I cut sections to a toilet the more piss water I found. After about 400 hours of work I found whole sections of floor and support were totally rotten. This was done to the underside of the main floor of the house that covers 1800 sq ft - this whole floor was toast. I think the prior owners experiment caused about $30k in damage to the house if I paid some one to fix all the issues the foam caused. I go to open houses that realtors in town are conducting and he sold this great idea to at least 30 other homeowners in town.
@Private Awesome points / observations. Just say NO to foam unless it is a small can of great stuff in spot applications. Foam really is mechanic (or construction pro) in a bottle. There is no substitute for hands on labor and skill - when you try to replace that with a one-size-fits-all solution you'll pay price later on (unless your home flipping.)
@Lucky seven air ammo Valid points but even in my dad's house in CT built in 1850 the installers missed loads of spots. Don't know if it is open/closed cell. Does save heat but maybe only about 25% max due to 3 walls having no insulation. Also, in the past installers would fill the attic with foam! That never made much sense to me. Final thought... the real problem is ALL or NOTHING thinking when it comes to solutions. Why not mask off critical areas for the purpose of leak inspection, access to wires, etc Use foam where it makes sense.
@Lucky seven air ammo - Can you see the light through that open cell foam? Neither can water. If water can pass through, so can air. Should be common sense. Please stop preaching what a salesman told you and what you read on the web. It's all misinformation. A little known fact only the corporate boys know is as soon as the foamers helper slices the skin off the foam, it is game over. That's layer is the protective skin which helped stop vapor from entrapping itself inside the cellular structure. This is why spf roofs rot. BTW.... OC SPF is no better than fiberglass insulation. You can read that tid bit of information in the Federal Register over the "R" value investigation into SPF green marketing practices.
Anyone who puts closed cell onto the underside of a roof deck is a clown.. open cell on a roof deck is fine, water goes through it just as fast as fiberglass warning you of a leak just as well.Don't knock foam unless it has been improperly installed. The energy it saves is astounding. I heat my 5,000 sf for the same cost as 1,800 sf older houses. It's a no brainer.
A very fair and balanced explanation of both the pro's and con's
HVAC guy in the US and I spend a lot of time in sometimes very tight attics/lofts that have spray foam. One more thing to consider is if your air handler/furnace is up there, the spray foam guys need to be real careful about making sure they prep/cover the HVAC unit carefully and don't spray and entomb anything I need access to. Often service disconnects are attached to rafters and get sprayed shut- then I have to destroy the insulation to dig it out. Also if you have ducts or machinery tight against the rafters they may not spray behind it and lay thin or entirely miss large areas. I didn't consider the acoustic changes! Good video, boss.
Roger. Totally agree with you. I have a letter in the "professional Builder" February 2020 copy which prompted a discussion that generated support to your conclusion. As a lifetime Carpenter & Joiner I am amazed that people fall for this concept. Fire could be a problem with over heated cables. Electricians I know are not happy with tightly packed insulation, which, even to a non-electrician is blindingly obvious! Another topic Roger you may like to discuss:, the obsession with washing roofs. I won't spoil your thunder!!!
@Sounds Light There are firms that " aggressively " clean roofs for them to look ' clinical clean ' ...! However, this does remove the surface ' protection ' layer, thus creating a porous roof covering to clay /concrete. A home owner approached me with a leaking roof . He had decided within the 20 year span of time to have it washed 3 times!There are firms that Specialise in running a copper line at ridge level to kill the Moss...That is OK.
@Bill Wilson I'll tremember, thanks Bill
@Sounds Light An easier way to wash roofs is to apply a solution of copper sulfate to the roofing then wait for the rain to rinse off the dead moss, lichens, etc.
@foppo This post is a whole new revelation for me. I need to get out more often :) Washing the roof, washing the plants, what comes next?If I wash my hands, I do myself a service, if I wash my pants I do the world a service, but washing my roof and plants even washing my alloy wheels with a toothbrush are all a step too far! My roof is to keep the elements out: to keep me dry and warm, my plants are natural livng creatures and my alloy wheels have seen better days. I'm not in this world to attend to cleaning roof tiles or plants, not even neighbourhood cats! If I can get the council to clean the pavements once a year, I want a Noble Prize in Communication Skills and Diplomacy but since my council has developed very large death ears, I brush clean the pavement in front of my house once in a while and that's as far as I'm going to go with beautifying the world :)Prince Charles was telling us he talked to his plants, later transpired the bushes he was attending to aren't his plants, didn't live in his garden - rather visited often by prior arrangement. Then there is this guy lives down the street in a flat at No 10, he was telling us importance of social distancing and observing rules saves lives and all that jazz. Did I go to hospital with covid more than once? No, he did. Did I get caught with my pants down? No, he did. Did I lie to people and their rep to cover it all up? Well, what do you think? Did I lie and lie denying the whole thing until there was indisputable evidence to the contarary and then only then did I admit? No, he did all that. Did I get a ticket for it? No, he did. Do I have 6 publically known children with probably 6 different women, perhaps some married and maybe more still in the closet? I leave this open. Things aren't what people claim them to be - the moral of this imaginary!
Some people wash their plants in the UK Keeps them shiny.
Best main application for spray foam is to run spirals of wire nailed to the rafters over the roof sheeting then foam-cap the whole place and lay on membranes. The problem is that once the foam starts to burn, the house is a goner. It WILL burn.Next application for the spray foam is poofing it in bags that compression fit cavities. Sprayfoam doesn't sag when wet like fiber.
Builder friend of mine attempted fitting a velux window on a roof with that stuff spayed direct onto the slate. Those slates were so tight it made the job just impossible. Couldn't even get a hacksaw blade between the slates to try to cut foam away. Ended up taking the window back to the supplier and hit with a restocking fee, a labourers day wage as well as earning nothing.
That is what concrete/stone blades are for. Also you could have used a stone drill we use on countertops to drill into the stone. Your contractor was not very resourceful.
Those costs are what you paid for your 'education'!
HI Roger As a long established spray foam contractor in the midlands i just wanted to thank you for a very balanced and accurate vlog. Spray foam IS looked on in a negative fashion by the mortgage lenders and their valuers. We, as an industry, have tried to have meetings with them to establish exactly what their concerns are, and to address them. ( BBA, Kiwa and Local Authority Building Control Depts are all happy with the product). Alas the 1980s saw a number of less scrupulous installers "sticking slates and tiles on" as you say, Whilst this can work if done correctly, with the correct ventilation, it can also hide a multitude of horrors and even cause them. However foam, when sprayed correctly, with the correct membrane (breather) and or ventilation gaps, then it really can improve the thermal performance and air thightness of our homes, factories and offices. Some people don't realiize that spray foam, is made from the same raw chemicals as PUR (rigid board insulation sheets). Yet we are all happy to fit lots of rigid board insulation into our homes. In terms of thicknesses, Closed cell foam is more or less the same thermal conductivity as the rigid insulation boards, so to meet the same U values we need to spray the same thickness, or a little more, to get the same thermal performance. (open cell needs nearly double the thickness to achieve the same U values). The main advantage, other than speed of installation, is the inherent Air tightness, NO More Gaps, that spray applied foam gives over even the best hand cut rigid insulation. So again i agree with everything you have said. I just wish we could educate the mortgage lenders and valuers, and help to reduce our carbon footprint and heat loss, and save money on ever increasing energy prices by properly insulating our homes. Kind Regards. Peter - Spray Foam Solutions Ltd
So that's why they bring along a two-pound hammer with them. Little old lady, "Why did you put all those large holes in my walls?" Mortgage lender, "Normal inspection procedure, lady."
Great video - was really interesting ,You described how you would fit the insulation yourself. Could you please make a video showing this step by step procedure. I want to know how it's done right. Many thanks
Thanks for your videos. I have this on my house and shop and we have metal roofs this is the best thing ever. But like everything there is some things to improve. The membrane we use in the roof before roofing is self expanding it closes around the nails or screws so even if some holes appear it will take care of that the other stuff just garbage...
I did some 'damp repair jobs last year on a couple of period properties here in Aberdeen, Scotland, one being around 120 years old, granite facing with traditional timber framing, lath and plaster finish on the inside. They had the spray foam pumped into the wall cavities (and the roof), but a couple of years later damp patches appeared in quite a few spots. Turned out the pointing around some of the granite blocks became defective and started letting water in. This wouldn't normally be too much of an issue if the cavity wasn't filled with foam as it would evaporate on the inside, but the foam began to absorb the moisture over time, or cause a bridging affect (carried the moisture through to the inside walls), and damp patches appeared on the internal walls.Would I recommend it on an old property like this...no. Would I recommend it on a new build...possibly, but that would depend on it's design, as air still needs to circulate the structure
Good video, I'm no fan of the stuff myself even though it's been used on several commercial jobs I have been on. I'd rather pay a few pennies more for a heat bill than to have to contend with spray foam abatement for whatever reasons...remodeling, rot repair or whatever the need may be down the road. Insulating the home with batt properly is more than adequate. Making homes into vessel so tight you can hold a vaccum is just wrong, but NY state now requires testing for this..blower door test
Never seen spray foam insulation being used here in Denmark, but pretty sure it does not meet requirements, as it's not fireproof like the rockwool we normally use, and the toxicity of it isn't good either.
I had my attic and crawl space open cell spray foam. It would be 30 degrees outside and my home inside was 60 without using heat. I love it!
Excellent video. One other issue with spray foam as I see it if you want / need to run additional wiring in a wall with it you might as well forget it. Just rip off the drywall and remove it.
It is not as hard as some are saying. The wires needs to be 1 1/4 inch from the finish surface but even that is pretty darn easy. If I was remodeling some place I would not consider this to be a big deal. I have a couple to a few decades of experience using SIPs in Montana and I have been able to visit those projects and see what works and what does not. Build tight and ventilate right.
One issue I never see mentioned is that with sprayed walls, it's almost impossible to run additional wiring if you wanted to add more circuits. How would it be done?
@j Killalea you can't just push an indentation into closed cell spray foam it's a very rigid plastic. There's a lot of people in this comment section that aren't contractors. Open cell spray foam on the other hand is very fragile and you can rip it apart easily. In colder climates open cell spray foam is not ideal. I wish I would have never came into this comment section at all the ignorance in this video and the comments is pretty painful. I've been working with closed cell spray foam for 20 years it's a superior product and when thought out and planned for none of these "issues" are an issue. Besides who lets their roof start leaking before they replace it by the time it's leaking it already looks terrible
Why is it "almost impossible" to run new cables as apose to a normal insulated roof or ashlar wall. This foam only gets used in the rafters or ashlar walls to achieve a certain u-value and is easier to cute a channel in than celotex. You can literally press an indentation into it hence why I suppose its àlso breathable which is impossible in celotex.
Like I do when building new homes, put in a few lengths of conduit throughout the home for future raceway from basement to attic. Very simple.
If you are going to have the walls open to do it.. Why would you not run any new wires then and there since you are obviously renovating.
In most cases closed cell is 2 inches, 3 at the most. It leaves an air space , so you can fish wire .chclip.net/video/Hb1SGUgcMvU/video.html
If you put your wires in conduit and your plumbing pex pipe inside a poly pipe they are very easy to change out if you have problems if they are encased in concrete, insulation foam or even the ground. Works best if all fixtures are individually plumbed. You can also put all communication cables inside conduit for easy change out.
Moved from a doorman building in NYC to Chicago and gut-rehab two adjacent buildings into a live/work space. We used spray foam throughout the project (7000sq ft). I'm continually amazed at how small our heating and cooling costs are. Here in the US there spray foam insulation is sought after.
Nice video! Thanks. Definitely a renovation nightmare. Go with rock wool insulation everyday.
The solution to moisture coming through the roof into the attic space is a product called Zip Sheating. The zip system if installed correctly creates a water and air barrier on the outside of the roof, all the joints are sealed with a specially formulated tape that is warranted for 30 years. The roofing and wall product is manufactured with the air and water barrier at the factory during manufacturing. It has been around in the US for about a decade and close/open cell foam can be applied directly to the underside. If your applying a new roof this system is worth a serious look, if your building new, it’s a must have.
One thing not covered how flammable some of this type of insulation can be. Brother had lost a home to fire, had many contractors come out to give him a quote. He always had a small fire burning and asked for a sample. He would toss it into the fire and ask them how the trip out was. Out of 12 contractors only 1 got past this conversation to walk through the home. Brothers only question when the guy was leaving was What he would like to eat for lunch when he was doing it.
1:25 If you have a loft conversion and if you have a water damage in roof that is enough to rot the joists, than you will see the leak and water damage on the ceiling. However, if you have spray foam insulation, you won't see anything until the day your roof collapses down. That's the difference.
Excellent and informative video! Thank you for reminding me of spray foam concerns. I have heard of this years ago and apparently still rings true. Right now, I’d rather go without spray foam and get close with older methods that are proven than mess with possible health, moisture or mortgage issues down the road.
I removed all the tiles from my roof(lid) and replaced them using copper nails. I would never attempt it again though, what a ball ache. Most of the nails had rusted away, a nightmare getting rid of all the nails, inevitably some had to be hammered in and left at that. Celotex, Kingspan all the way. That foam is as Roger says; if a damp problem starts behind it, you'll never know until something gives way!
One point I can't see touched upon here is spray foaming over electrical cables. IIRC, under IEE regs, the current carrying capacity of a cable is halved if the cable is fully surrounded by insulation, even if it's over a realtively short distance.(30cm?). Rather than using the standard 2,5mm cable for your rings, you might have to use 4mm or larger. The only way to get around this would be to run the cable through conduit, I believe
I was a deputy fire chief in my city in South Louisiana (USA). The highest Carbon Monoxide Level issue I had ever come across, was in a renovation house. The house was elevated on piers (about 18", common practice in wet Louisiana), new windows, new doors, spay foam, new sheet rock. Furnace and water heater were not replaced. Fortunately the owners had an alarm system that included a CO detector and the alarm company made contact with the FD. The reading was over 225 ppm on our meter (33 ppm over 8 hours sets an alarm for work environment). Fortunately, no long term effects were had by the occupants. The occupants said "everything was new, had to be a faulty detector". After investigation, it was determined that the renovations were done so well, that a house that was designed, and needed to breath, no longer could. The house was initially built in the mid 1800s. This incident has always stuck in my head, and will never add such measures in a renovation. Just my 2 cents.
@bosidabosida I am not an architect nor a mechanical engineer. I was only present to identify and mitigate the emergency and provide pre hospital medical care to those affected. The structural and equipment issues were investigated by other state and local agencies. All agencies involved produced a final report, to which I was involved. Thank you for recommendations.
@Christopher Gruenwald I believe that you are insinuating that I claimed that the spray foam insulation was the producer of the CO. I did not say that, nor was it implied. Nor did I state any particular appliance that may have been involved. As far as the information I provided, it was accurate, and measured by use of calibrated test equipment. The information gathered is of record in the official public report. The incident was also investigated by multiple public agencies due to the significance of levels of CO present, in hopes of preventing any other illnesses or possible death. The last two sentences are of my personal comment. I do not believe I am "spreading miss information" as you have stated, just sharing an incident, with a personal comment at the end, not unlike the comment of your own.
@Ruyan Vé well you don’t understand the difference between carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, so I would expect you to know how mold is forms either. I live in a cold climate and all the mold you see is located in houses that use a breathing insulation like fiberglass as the moisture in the air passes through the fiberglass and turns to frost on the back of the exterior sheeting. The north side of the houses are the worst as the sun never shines on them to dry them out. You have non of this with a closed cell spray foam installed as it stops the permutation of moisture through the material.
Nothing like spreading miss information over not understanding one single situation. The spray foam didn’t cause the CO, the improper appliances did. My house is fully insulated with spray foam insulation and is extremely air tight and there is zero CO problems here and I have natural gas appliances.
The furnace should have been replaced with a high efficiency model which gets combustion air from the outside, or better yet, a heat pump. Same with water heater. The stove needs a vent to the outside with makeup air, and preferably be electric. An ERV will bring in fresh air while keeping energy efficiency. The dryer also needs makeup air.
Wow, I’ve seen some bad info on spray foam and this is right up there with worse of them. Half of what you say couldn’t be more wrong. Spray foam is installed to code, not 25-50 mm or 1-2 inches. Typically for an R49 you’d get 7’ or 175 mm. Also the proper way to install OC is to use a vapor retarder, spray foam is never a vapor barrier. Anyone seriously interested in Spray polyurethane foam (SFP) please talk to a Tech rep for a material manufacturer. It’s people like you who scare people and give products a bad name. It’s abundantly clear you have very little knowledge on this subject. I’ve been in as you say "spray foam" for 27 years and I’m currently a Tech rep for a manufacturer. It’s the best insulator on the market.
@Aubrey Morris Those are the people that got suckered into buying a franchise so have to make statements like that out of desperation to make a sale.
@Aubrey Morris Not a salesman, once again you demonstrate your ignorance.
Wow seems like the salesman got pretty triggered. Not surprising.
@Aubrey Morris Further more, as to holding a lighter up to it, is your house made of all concrete and steel. Guess what, hold that same lighter up to a piece of wood. Here’s some more FYI, spontaneous combustion temp for CC SPF is around 850 degrees, what’s the spontaneous combustion temp of wood? 450-500. As far as bugs go, that’s what exterminators are for.
@Aubrey Morris yeah, you do, I have projects going back 27 + years that are still in service and performing very well today. And as far as chemicals go, you don’t need hazmat placards to ship it.
Definitely some issues with spray foam, but also some massive advantages. Like most products, its dependent on the climate you are designing the system to address. Makes perfect sense to me that the UK with the cooler but more humid environment would lead to totally different results than using it in the USA, where that climate is not preset outside a few small regions (Seattle area for example). Here in the US, I have seen it praised highly in a number of specific circumstances. Particularly: R-value per inch is almost impossible to beat. Retrofit in tight and confined spaces like crawlspaces is MUCH easier than trying to perfectly size things by hand. Man-hours required are far lower compared to trying to get a good tight batt insulation, and as soon as the initial off gassing is complete you are available to work again. More training is required for the installer by far, but that training is centralized in a few highly competent installers, instead of a larger number of lower skilled labor. Finally - and something that might have the largest impact here in the USA: New construction in much of the nation is now required to pass a blower door test to verify the airtightness of the home before certification of occupancy. Spray foam dramatically reduces the number of potential touchpoints that could be letting conditioned air escape, and is relatively cheap insurance to ensure that the house passes without potentially project-busting overage to try and open things back up and find where those few CFM are going.
Except that your house needs to breath like you do and the regulations are B.S.
Very important information and a lot to think about. I have never heard anything about mortgage companies refusing a mortgage because of the foam. Many things to think about building or repairing a home. Thanks!