Speedway The open cell spray foam insulation contains a density of 0.5lb. per cubic foot. The greater the density of the foam the heavier, or stronger it will become. This particular type of polyurethane foam is referred to as “Open Cell” because of the nature of the chemical reaction during the installation process. When the polyurethane foam is being applied the tiny cells of the foam are broken causing air to fill the “open” space inside the material, resulting in a soft or spongy material. The open cell foam carries an R-Value of 5 to 5.5 per inch (R-Value is the measure of thermal resistance, which can be found by identifying the ratio of the temperature difference across a spray foam insulator and the heat flux). 0.5lb. foam products use significantly less material than 2lb. foam products do when completing the same sized job, making them attractive to an individual concerned with conserving the foam material. Due to the fact that open cell foam requires less material, the cost of the project is much cheaper than it would be if you were to apply closed cell foam.
Fireproof Insulation Materials (with Pictures)Is polyurethane foam, in its sprayed form and as an insulator, actually environmentally friendly? What does 'green' and 'environmentally friendly' mean? All excellent questions, and all of them are not answerable in a word or two. Let's begin with defining the concept of environmentally friendly. According to the International Organization for Standardization (IOS) the term is too vague to be meaningful. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) agrees, but only to a point. The USEPA created the international Energy Star program in an attempt to provide the manufacturers of goods with a voluntary labeling system for promoting energy efficient products. In the 1990's when the program was started, it was only applied to appliances and electronics. However, today entire homes and home offices are able to gain Energy Star certification. The only criteria is the building must use 15% less energy than a standard home built to the 2004 International Residential Code. How does a home achieve that rating? The things at the top of the list for getting an Energy Star rating are not surprising: insulation, high performance windows, tight construction and ducting, energy efficient cooling and heating systems and Energy Star certified products (appliances, lighting, water heaters). Now, in reference to insulation specifically, its efficiency is measured according to R-value. An R-value is a mathematical calculation which produces the level of thermal resistance a building has. For the average North American home insulated with traditional fiberglass batts, R-value sits at between 3.1 and 4.3 per square inch. Blown in fiberglass insulation has a typical R-value between 2 and 4 per square inch. According to the US Department of Energy, the same home insulated with spray foam polyurethane insulation will have an R-value between 7 and 8 per square inch. Clearly a home insulated with spray foam would be well on its way to achieving an Energy Star rating, even without installing LED lighting and thermal windows. When a building is insulated with polyurethane foam, the costs of heating and cooling will undoubtedly be vastly reduced. Many spray foam manufacturers report that energy costs can be reduced by up to 40%; a claim that is both highly likely and easily attainable. With such a diminished use of energy, there is less demand for petroleum-based products and fossil fuels, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint being left on our planet. We are half way to answering our title question, is spray foam insulation really green? Now we know its immense potential for energy savings, but what about the manufacture of the foam itself? In the case of spray foam, the two substances that come together to produce the foam must remain separate until the time of application. Those two things are polyol (a naturally occurring alcohol) and diisocyanate (a group of organic compounds derived from plant and animal materials). When they are brought together with water, an exothermic reaction takes place producing the polyurethane foam. Although the foam is produced from organic substances, it does not breakdown over time - a good thing for insulation applications, but where does it go when it is no longer needed? When the intended use of the polyurethane foam has been completed, it can be re-purposed and recycled. For example, the Polyurethane Foam Association has pioneered a program in the US in which spray foam insulation and products meant for the landfill are collected and made into carpet foam underlay. The program is so successful that 80% of all carpet underlay used in the US is made from recycled polyurethane foam. The reduction in waste going to landfills is incredible! So, is spray foam insulation really 'green'? Yes, it is. Polyurethane foam is produced in an environmentally friendly way in that it is created from organic compounds using very little energy or water, prevents the excess use of fuel in heating and cooling homes and is entirely recyclable for other uses.
How to Remove Expanding Foam Residue With a SolventExpanding foam that overexpands and lands where you didn't plan for it -- on hands, clothes, cinderblock or studs -- can pose a removal problem, with the solution depending on the type you use. Polyurethane foams including Dow's Great Stuff, Touch 'n Foam, DAP Kwik Foam and Owens-Corning Insulating Foam Sealant require solvents to clean up while they remain wet, or uncured. DAPtex, a latex foam, expands less and stays flexible as it dries -- and cleans up when uncured with soap and water. Uncured Uncured expanding foam remains wet and can pose a removal problem on skin, carpet or clothing. Polyurethane foam on rigid and soft surfaces: Consult the manufacturer's instructions, which will suggest solvents, such as acetone, paint thinner or nail polish, to remove uncured polyurethane foam. On soft surfaces, such as carpet, test an inconspicuous area first. Polyurethane foam on skin: Wipe off the foam with a paper towel, and rub off the final sticky layer with petroleum jelly or baby oil. Latex foam: DAPtex can be cleaned off surfaces and skin with soap and water. Cured Expanding foam dries and hardens in 1 to 8 hours, depending on the product. You can sand, trim or scrape cured foam from rigid surfaces. Use a utility knife with a new, sharp blade for overfill up to about 1 inch thick. Switch to a serrated bread knife for wider overfill. If polyurethane foam dries on your skin, rub off as much as you can with a pumice stone. After a week or so, any remaining dried flecks should work off your skin. Tip To clean the nozzle before putting away the expanding foam, home improvement expert Danny Lipford recommends inserting a spray lubricant straw into the nozzle and spraying lubricant through the nozzle, then cleaning out the nozzle with a wire. Wipe off the outside of the nozzle and the straw before storing them. Alternatively, clean the nozzle with a can of compressed air. A DAPtex nozzle can be cleaned with soap and water and a paper clip or pipe cleaner.
How to Remove Expanding FoamAfter long hours of searching you have finally landed in the right place. At last the elusive answers to questions on insulation and spray foam are here awaiting your approval. These aren't the usual newbie FAQ's. These are the 'technical' questions only the really savvy home renovators ask. No more intense bouts of frustration where you suddenly find you're banging your head on the keyboard. The real answers to the advanced questions are here, so say goodbye to impressions of little squares on the forehead. Does spray foam release any Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)? Polyurethane foam is not considered to emit VOC's. However, during application some spray foams release VOC's through the process of discharge from the canister. After curing there should not be any further emissions. To be sure, check with your foam supplier. Can it be used to insulate underground water pipes? Yes! Work closely with the polyurethane manufacturer to determine the best method of application and the most beneficial kind of foam to use. Regional climate changes and projected temperature extremes will be a part of the decision making process. During application, be sure to prepare the trench properly so that no moisture is allowed on or in the foam until it has cured. Should fibreglass insulation be removed before applying it? Yes! Many contractors opt for leaving blown in insulation in an attic and spraying the foam on top. The problem that arises is ventilation and temperature control. More clearly, the temperature of the attic floor will be different than amidst the fibreglass and the temperature amidst the fibreglass will be different than above the spray foam. The job of the spray foam is to balance temperature and humidity with the environment so condensation is prevented. With an inner layer of fibreglass, where air flows, the conditions would be perfect for moisture formation. Does the surface where it will be applied have to be clean? Yes! Any oil or dust on the application surface will prevent the spray foam from adhering. For the typical attic in a wood frame home, a careful vacuuming job covering every nook and cranny will often be adequate. For applications where the surface is steel (or any other metal) it is even more important for the surface to be free of dust and oil. In some cases where the steel is very new, a coat of primer will be required. Many spray foam manufacturers offer a simple rule: if it can be painted, it can be spray foamed. Does an attic need to be vented if spraying foam on the rafters? That depends. If you are applying the spray foam to the roof deck and gable walls, then you want everything under that surface to be a part of the temperature conditioned space. Vents in an attic with insulation above it would be much like have open windows year round - a total waste of money. If you are applying spray foam to just the attic floor, then the conditioned space is below the attic floor. Vents will be necessary for preventing excess humidity. Is weather a factor when applying it? Water is the most important consideration, either as rain or condensation. If there is any moisture present on the application surface, the spray foam will not adhere. Most of the time the problem will be seen right away, and the installer can stop the job until the surface is dry. In the case of applying spray foam to the exterior of roofs and walls during the construction process, wind will be a major factor as well. Overspray carried by wind can not only affect surrounding surfaces, it can mean a loss of yield. Ambient temperature plays a role as well, albeit in extreme conditions. Exceptionally hot temperatures can cause the foam to not hold shape, cause risk to the installer in enclosed hot places and even risk explosion of the tanks holding the polyurethane. Freezing temperatures, such as in northern Alaska, may cause the applicator to cease working altogether. The substrate temperature is a factor as well. For unique situations such as these, it is best to consult with the manufacturer to see how best to proceed.