Sprayed Closed Cell Insulation Pictures

(Updated 1/22/2013)

Various pics of sprayed on 2" thick closed cell type insulation.
(Click on any to get a closeup.)

Reasons I spent the extra bucks to have this done (2" under the floor and on the exterior walls and 1" in the ceiling):

  1. Should we ever get flooded again, won't have the mess that that "standard" fiberglass turned out to be. With this stuff, just take the sheetrock off and dry it (the insulation) out with heat and air circulation. It doesn't absorb water.

    Water wicks up the fiberglass bats after the flood recedes so if you don't remove it quickly, mold generating dampness will work all the way up into the ceilings.

  2. It "glues" the 60+ years old house together and makes it far stronger. According to some sources it adds the equivalent of using 35% thicker plywood.

  3. It is a really super insulation. The night after the sprayer ( Renew Spray Foam) finished the temperature dropped to the lowest in two years (14 degrees) with a brisk NW wind (the coldest wind for us). I had set the thermostat to 60 before leaving (We had had heat for a couple weeks by then) and the next morning, it was 16 outside when I got to the house. 62 inside and the furnace never kicked off the hour or so I was there. Can't ask for any better than that. And no drafts.

  4. Hopefully the house is now "flood proofed". The 33" we got in the house from the Sandy Surge came in pretty near all up through the floor ( holes from pipes, etc.). I actually saw it coming in that way.). Now the floor is all sealed from underneath.

    I don't expect it to be perfect but it should be slow enough the intruding water can be kept up to with mops, towels, a water vacuum (if we have power), etc. This time the high water (the surge) was only in the house between 6 & 8 hours. So it's not like being flooded for days, like many places were. Only hours.

Basically there are two types of foam insulation (Open cell and Closed cell). Open cell is a good insulation too and much cheaper than closed cell (maybe only 1/4 the cost on a thickness basis). That's offset somewhat by needing more thickness to get the same effectiveness. But the biggest drawback is it absorbs water so if it gets flooded it soaks up water and will have to be removed. (Talk about a real pita.) And I don't think it adds as much strength either.

Closed cell costs about twice, or a little more, on an R Value basis than fiberglass plus it must be professionally installed (no DIY potential savings here), but I believe it's well worth the extra cost. Which really isn't all that significant when considering the total picture. Spending between $30k & $50k rehabbing anyway, so what's another $1k really, for something that will certainly pay for itself in lower heating/cooling bills in just a few years.

The yellow foam on the right is a water based open cell type. If the closed cell type was used it would expand against the window frames so hard they would move against the window inhibiting opening/closing.

Costs can be brought down quite a bit with a little ingenuity. For example, if a summer house have only 1" closed cell for the house, which should be plenty for a summer house.

Or have 2" in the crawl space and 1" on the walls.

Or have 2" in the crawl and up to 4' in the walls with closed cell, and above 4' done with open cell (which is MUCH cheaper, cheaper than fiberglass even.)

Just DON'T use open cell where it can get soaked. Getting wet is probably okay but anywhere it can get submerged is a real no go. It'll absorb the water and always be damp (mold loves dampness).
As I said earlier, Renew Spray Foam did my house. A good job and Doug (the owner) really knows his stuff. I would not hesitate to use him again. (Wouldn't hurt to say "Swede sent me." Might even help. {grin})

End Foam Pictures

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