SPRAY FOAM INSULATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

The GREENGUARD Certification Program (formerly known as GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification) gives assurance that products designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to the creation of healthier interiors. Achieving GREENGUARD Certification gives credence to manufacturers’ sustainability claims, backing them with empirical scientific data from an unbiased, third-party organization.

Program Mark
Products certified under this program bear the GREENGUARD Certification mark

About Ecologo
eco-logoFounded in 1988 by the Government of Canada but now recognized world-wide,EcoLogoTM is North America’s largest, most respected environmental standard and certification mark. EcoLogo provides customers – public, corporate and consumer – with assurance that the products and services bearing the logo meet stringent standards of environmental leadership. With THOUSANDS of EcoLogo Certified products, EcoLogo certifies environmental leaders covering a large variety of categories, helping you find and trust the world’s most sustainable products. The EcoLogo Program is a Type I eco-label, as defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This means that the Program compares products/services with others in the same category, develops rigorous and scientifically relevant criteria that reflect the entire lifecycle of the product, and awards the EcoLogo to those that are verified by an independent third party as complying with the criteria.

The EcoLogo Program is one of two such programs in North America that has been successfully audited by the Global EcoLabelling Network (GEN) as meeting ISO 14024 standards for eco-labelling.

Program Mark
Products certified under this program bear the EcoLogo Certification mark

The building envelope is the physical separator between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. Building envelope design is a specialized area of architecutal and engineering practice that draws from all areas of building science and indoor climate control. The envelope controls the air flow and is important to ensure indoor air quality, conserve energy consumption and avoid condensation (ensuring durability) and providing comfort.

The physical components that make up the envelope include foundation, roof, walls, doors and windows. The dimensions, performance and compatibility of materials, fabrication process and details, their connections and interactions are the main factors that determine the effectiveness and durability of the building enclosure system. This concept is also described as “the house as a system” whereas all parts of the building must be designed in such a way so that they work together in providing a healthy, comfortable and energy efficient space.

building_envelope

Greenhouse gases are components of the atmosphere that contribute to the Greenhouse effect. Some greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, while others result from human activities such as burning of fossil fuel and coal.[1]Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the concentrations of many of the greenhouse gases have increased as a result of human activity, resulting in such natural phenomenon as melting of polar ice caps, more severe weather patterns and changes in flora and fauna.

graph_greenhouse

Stack effect is the movement of air into and out of buildings, chimneys, flue gas stacks, or other containers, and is driven by buoyancy. Buoyancy occurs due to a difference in indoor-to-outdoor air density resulting from temperature and moisture differences. The result is either a positive or negative buoyancy force. The greater the thermal difference and the height of the structure, the greater the buoyancy force, and thus the stack effect. The stack effect is also referred to as the “chimney effect”, and it helps drive natural ventilation and infiltration.

Yes, all of our products are fully approved by Health Canada for residential use.  Icynene is the supplier of choice for insulation for the American Lung Association Health House and Walltite ECO is Greenguard Certified for use in Schools and Hospitals.  airKrete® is composed of magnesium oxide, made from sea water, and ceramic talc – so inert you could eat it.  All of our products are 100% formaldehyde free.

Yes, airKrete® is a foam insulation that can be added from either the interior or exterior of the wall assembly (depending on construction type) without removing any drywall or plaster.  A small ½” hole is drilled into each wall cavity and the foam is pumped in using low pressure air.  Holes are then patched with a drywall compound or a plug.  Most homes can be completed in just one day.

Open-cell foam is soft – like a cushion or the packaging material molded inside a plastic bag to fit a fragile object being shipped.  The cell walls, or surfaces of the bubbles, are broken and air fills all of the spaces in the material.  This makes the foam soft or weak, as if it were made of broken balloons or soft toy rubber balls.  The insulation value of this foam is related to the insulation value of the calm air inside the matrix of broken cells. The densities of open-cell foams are around 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound per cubic foot.

Closed-cell foam has varying degrees of hardness, depending on its density. A normal, closed-cell insulation or flotation urethane is between 2 and 3 pounds per cubic foot. It is strong enough to walk on without major distortion. Most of the cells or bubbles in the foam are not broken; they resemble inflated balloons or soccer balls, piled together in a compact configuration. This makes it strong or rigid because the bubbles are strong enough to take a lot of pressure, like the inflated tires that hold up an automobile. The cells are full of a special gas, selected to make the insulation value of the foam as high as possible.

The advantages of the closed-cell foam compared to open-cell foam include its strength, higher R-value, and greater resistance to the leakage of air or water vapor. The disadvantage of the closed-cell foam is that it is more dense, requiring more material, and therefore, more expense. Even though it has a better R-value, the cost per R is still higher than open-cell foam.  The choice of foam should be based on the requirements for the other characteristics – strength, vapour control, available space, etc.

Both types of foam are commonly used in most building applications.  Some are inappropriate in specific applications. For example, you typically would not use open-cell foam below grade where it could absorb water; this would negate its thermal performance because water is a poor insulator compared to air. Closed-cell foam would be a good choice where small framing sizes need the greatest R-value per inch possible.  Basically, the choice depends on the conditions of each installation. We routinely select from a wide variety of foam systems with varying characteristics, depending on the particular requirements of our clients’ projects.

Foam Comfort uses BASF Walltite ECO, Icynene Insulation System and airKrete®, all are fully tested and approved and are the finest insulation products available.

R value insulation ratings are used to measure insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R value, the more effective it is. House Insulation should be purchased based on its R value, not thickness or weight. One type of insulation maybe thicker or thinner, but if the R value is the same they should insulate equally.

R value performance testing is done in a 70 F environment with no air movement. Ironically enough, when you need insulation the most you’re generally not in these ideal temperatures or conditions. This can result in the rated house insulation R value being higher than the actual effective R value.

The R value in house insulation is substantially lowered when there’s any air or water/moisture leaks. This is why traditional fiberglass insulation is often ineffective.  In addition, it becomes a breeding ground for dangerous molds.

1 inch of insulation is = to 30 inches of concrete.
There are different types of house insulation materials, each having a different R value.
A comparison of various insulation materials are:

  • Insulation R value of Blown in Cellulose Insulation is 3.70 per inch
  • Insulation R value of Fiberglass Insulation is 3.14 per inch
  • Insulation R value of Expanded Polyurethane foam is 6.0 per inch
  • Insulation R value of airKrete® is 3.9 per inch

Thermal Performance Myth. There is a widespread belief that all insulation materials of equal R-value will perform equally.

Thermal Performance Fact. While insulations of equal R-value perform equally in the controlled conditions of a laboratory, they do not all maintain that R-value in the walls and ceilings of a building. Some give off gasses to the atmosphere and suffer a decline in efficiency, while the performance of others is vulnerable to the installers’ shortcomings.
‘Thermal Drift’ as this phenomenon is politely called, results from the failure of materials to fill all cavities completely, thus leaving air pockets which permit air movement inside the cavity. Further ‘drift’ occurs with some materials if the insulation is not fully protected against air infiltration, both from the interior and the exterior. Commonly used insulation may well perform at a fraction of its’ nominal rating depending on installation, how well it fits the cavity and how well it is protected from air infiltration.

  • Helps stop air and moisture infiltration thereby by eliminating an environment for mold spores and bacterium to take hold
  • helps save on energy costs
  • can add strength to a building structure
  • helps keep dust and pollen out
  • barrier to vermin and bugs

Foam Comfort uses a Soya based Closed Cell 2 Pound Polyurethane Spray Foam insulation. It is Sprayed into a cavity or on to a surface, in walls or on ceilings where ever traditional insulation would be used. As a result, it helps to keep the heat inside during the cold months and the hot air outside when it’s warm. Think of it as a thermal envelope.  While regular fiberglass insulation can be easily installed by the homeowner, spray foam insulation isn’t a do-it-yourself project. A professional will need to be called in.


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