I've seen this only once, and it was with closed cell foam, but I've heard of it happening with open cell foam, too. I don't know the details, but I've heard it could result from a bad batch of chemicals, improper mixing, or too high a temperature. Whatever the cause, it's not a good thing. The photo below shows how the spray foam pulled away from the studs. A little bit of uninsulated area like that adds up to a lot of heat loss/gain when the whole house has that problem, as it did here.
Closed-cell spray insulation, a rigid medium-density material, can be used in exterior applications such as continuous insulation applications, as well as interior applications. This type of foam insulation has a higher R-value per inch making it also suitable for small areas that require the highest possible R-value to meet building code requirements. Closed-cell spray foam’s rigidity help reject bulk water making it a recognized flood-resistant material by FEMA.
We have a 1950's ranch in Atlanta and are interviewing foam contractors to spray open cell under the roof, with an "ankle wall" out towards the eaves to seal the attic. My wife and daughters are chemically sensitive, so I'm trying to figure out how to minimize the fumes coming into the house. Additionally, at least one contractor has offered (for > $900) to remove our existing rock wool & R-13 fibreglass from the attic floor to "increase cross-ventilation into the attic". Seems to me I can't both minimize fumes AND increase cross-ventilation. They also offered to spray a fire-retardant on for >$600. Would ventilation during installation help any or woud the retardant seal off the foam and help that way? Thanks... https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ggLAUsiuI_o
You’ll quickly recover your investment in a new spray foam insulation system. Your productivity will soar at the same time you’re spending less on material costs and overall operating costs. And by giving your customers the benefits of polyurethane spray foam over traditional, inefficient fiberglass, they can expect higher resale values from their properties and significantly lower utility costs. Using spray foam to minimize air leaks in walls and roofs, a typical homeowner could save up to 15% on heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
OK, Peter, I finally went back and read Alex Wilson's article on what he perceives as a serious problem. I haven't seen the full report, but based on the summary he wrote on the Green Building Advisor website, I question the science. It seems to me that he's chosen the wrong metric and he's basing his conclusion on too many assumptions because he doesn't have enough data. You can see my comments at the end of his article.
I was hesitant to buy this because many reviews stated that it didn't cover as advertised, but after reading/following all directions, everything turned out perfectly. It even seemed to apply slightly more than the 650 bd/ft that was advertised. The application process was very easy to learn and I applied all of the product in about 1 hour and 10 minutes- prep time included. I couldn't be happier and I purchased another kit this morning.
The drawback to spray foam insulation is it's been known to cause certain health issues such irritation of the eye and the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Direct contact can cause inflammation to the skin, and some individuals have been known to break out in a rash on the arms, chest and neck area. Spray foam insulation has also been linked to a few cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This condition can cause:
I recently did a remodel project for my basement using spray foam insulation. The original builder has used fiberglass, but I wanted the best insulation i could find. We chose closed cell foam because it blocks moisture from getting into the house. It took one day to install and was fumey for about 3 hours. It was pretty cool watching it being done. It comes out as a liquid and then expands rapidly into a foam. It's quick! Then they took a types of saw to shave it flat with the wall studs so we could then go ahead and drywall.
Spray foam insulation systems effectively seal walls, roofs, corners and other surfaces, creating a more comfortable household because it provides a barrier against drafts and associated pollen and dust. Long-term, properly installed spray foam won’t change its form or shape, meaning it will deliver the same benefits that it did years—or even decades—after being installed, while other insulation materials may settle and create future gaps in the insulation. http://m.www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ggLAUsiuI_o
These coatings contain various types of acrylic polymer, and are typically formulated to help extend the coating’s life and improve durability. Acrylic coatings are available in a number of colors but are most commonly used as white reflective coatings. Thanks to its durability and low cost, many contractors and facility managers believe this to be the best roof coating.
If your foam pulled away just a little bit, Jamie, and they were able to fix it with just a little bit of touching up, then it wasn't as bad as the house where I saw this problem. As the last photo above shows, it had pulled away significantly from the studs and rafters, and it was all over the house. This was closed cell foam, and interestingly, it didn't pull away from the horizontal framing members, just the vertical and sloped ones. They did some touch up, but that wasn't enough. I don't know how this one ended up getting resolved. I think maybe the contractor came back and sprayed cellulose on top of the foam.