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Thread: Tiger Foam Insulation ?

  1. #16
    DIY Junior Member cloughjon's Avatar
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    Hi, I completed insulation of my entire house with 2lb closed cell foam a couple months ago and am pleased with the results. I have an older house with no insulation in the walls and used the "Touch and Seal" kits for the attic and around the rim joists in the basement. I used the "Foam it Green" slow rise formula for the hollow wall cavities. I had wonderful results. I would not try to do this when it is cold, yield will be much less. Usually we would be running some heat by now, but we aren't. I recorded the inside/outside day/night temps for several days in late winter/early spring with heat off and am comparing the temp in the house now with the previus numbers of similar days. The results are better than expected. RH numbers are higher, house feels more comfy too... If you want the closed cell spray foam, I'd say go for it.. wether you pay some pro or diy...just do it.. I could not find a pro to do my wall cavities closed cell, they all wanted to do the open cell junk, they wanted no part of the attic either, gotta admit the attic was really high on the suck scale!

    Good luck,
    Jon

  2. #17
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    I doubt you got very good yield out of whatever DIY kit you use to try to make 2lb. foam with.

    Get yourself a scale and a graduated cylinder and figure out your density, you'll be surprised how far away from 2lb/cubic foot you are.

  3. #18
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Aw, c'mon, Jon SURELY must have controlled the temp of both cans to within a coupla degrees, adjusted properly for the outdoor temp, and the pressure was constant the whole time- it's 2.00lbs density right on the money, fer SHER! ;-)

    Even if it's all over the place for density (probably is), it'll outperform the typical half-pound pour/spray, but probably not by enough to rationalize the cost difference. In the attic where there's more room, a half-pound spray would have delivered better value in $/unit-R.

    Jon- the higher interior RH is primarily a function of the reduced air infiltration- it would take laboratory side-by-side test to measure the effect of the much lower perm-rating of a house-model insulated with open vs. closed cell. We don't live in labs. The larger issues of those dramatically different permeance numbers are on the moisture content of the structural wood. Closed cell reduced the moisture transfer in both directions, and whether it's hurting vs. helping depends a lot on where it's applied, what thickness, and the local climate. Open cell allows much faster drying, and in some apps it's by far the better choice, others, not so much...

    In Virginia's mixed climate there's no moisture performance advantage for going closed cell (unless you're up at 3000' of altitude in the mountains.), and the difference in clear-wall R-value difference in a 16" o.c. studwall is smaller than the R-value/inch numbers might imply. Dense-pack cellulose would outperform open-cell on both R-value and on moisture issues in the wall cavities, but lag the clear-wall R of a decent closed cell installation. It's also easier to "fix" when framing obstructions create voids in foam-pours. (Done a thermal image of your results to verify it? A mere 5% void area can pretty much wipe out any heat-loss advantage. It may be possible to drill & squirt something in, if you find any issues.)

    The relatively recent 2lb foam from Icynene (and some of the 1.5-lbs closed cell polyurethane foams) is higher permeance than standard 2lb polyurethanes, but much lower than open cell foams, and won't saturate the way open cell can in flood situations, and has about twice the drying capacity of polyurethane at any given R value. Even though it's only ~R5/inch compared to ~R6/inch for polyurethane, for basement walls it allows you to go much higher R without drivng moisture upward to the foundation sill. With 2lb SPF you're limited to 2"/R12 before you risk sill-rot, but with 2lb Icynene you don't hit the drying limit until about 5-6", or R25+. Basements & crawlspaces are something of sweet-spot for that product, but in $/R it's also coming in better than standard 2lb SPF too. (It's good to have options!)

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member KneafseyM's Avatar
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    I just did 1 room with 3 exterior walls with Foam it Green Slow Rise. This was a retro fit behind plaster and lathe. Initially I ran my snake camera down from the top holes as I was filling the bottom and it looks like it filled in well, but that is impossible to tell.

    The project was very intimidating due to the cost about $750 with shipping. But was actually pretty easy. I spent about 2 hours drilling holes, then 3 of us spent about 1.5 hours spraying it in today. It went very smooth. The hard part was guaging how long to spray so we filled each hole about 4 times.

    In the morning I hope to get infrared temp readings on the walls. In the room I actually have some insulation in 2 cavities when I replaced some siding and insulation and drywall where I just removed two windows so I should be able to see if there is any variance.

    I can't tell how much is left in the canisters, but I might be able to get one more wall done in another room.

    There was definately a learning curve and having 2 helpers was nice.

  5. #20
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    A satisfied customer who doesn't even know if the cavities are full yet...

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member KneafseyM's Avatar
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    I figure I probably have some voids, it is impossible to tell, but I know the cavities are as full as I could get them. But I know it will be 100% better than what I had before!

  7. #22
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    You could have had a proper pour foam job done by pros for $800...

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member KneafseyM's Avatar
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    No one in Tulsa Oklahoma would do what I needed. I made a lot of calls as I was intimidated, the guy everyone steered me to wouldn't return my calls. Were you going to come down and do it for $800 or do you know someone here?

  9. #24
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Most of the pros in my area won't touch a 2lb pour (under any circumstances), and those willing to do a half-pound pours would be charging quite a bit more than $800 for the equivalent volume of a Tiger-Foam 600 board-foot kit. On the up-side, they take their time and determine the quality of the fill with an infra-red camera as they go, but it's still just a half-pound pour at about R3.5/inch of thickness. In many retrofit situations a dense-pack cellulose job is lower risk less money and higher performance than a low density or incomplete foam pour.

    When it can be open-sprayed, different cost, different story. The competence & experience of the installer still counts for a lot though.

  10. #25
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    Interesting, I thought the US was littered with foam contractors.

    Up here foam for buildings is highly regulated compared to down there.

  11. #26
    DIY Junior Member KneafseyM's Avatar
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    There are several spray contractors around for new construction, but no one wants to do retro work.

    Taking IR temp readings this AM the plaster walls were 1 degree less than center of room, much better than the 10 degree difference prior. Might not have filled every void, but to me that is a major success.

    People keep talking about dense pack cellulose, but that will much more invasive in the plaster.

  12. #27
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlarrivee View Post
    Interesting, I thought the US was littered with foam contractors.

    Up here foam for buildings is highly regulated compared to down there.
    Depends on where. There must be close to a dozen foam contractors within 100km of me, but none I've dealt with will even do closed-cell pours, and most actively talk you out of low-density pours, but will do it (if reluctantly & overpriced.) They're very competitive when it comes to sprayed foam however.

    I have no idea how many foam contractors there are in/around Tulsa- it could be slim pickings.

    Regarding dense packing cellulose in plaster walls: If blowing from the interior most can do a decent job of cutting the holes with a hole saw, and can do it with a single ~2" hole per stud bay (bigger than what's needed for a foam pour granted, but not any more work to patch.) The pressure experienced by the wall will be significantly LESS than a foam pour gone wrong. And in the (less-likely) event that a wall buckles or cracks, the repair is MUCH easier than when all the bits are glued together with foam. I suspect the reason the local foam contractors here shy away and up the price of foam pours is that the 1 job in 100 that experiences problem gets real expensive real fast- they'd rather skip the headache and just spray.
    Last edited by Dana; 01-04-2011 at 08:44 AM.

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