Thursday, August 1, 2013

Spray Foam Insulation

Holland Insulating Company came to 3283 today. Chuck and Earl made up the crew. Their first task was to cover floors, windows and doorways in the areas they would be working with plastic. I figured the work would be messy...but they prepared for MESSY. And, they have the experience to know just how messy it would be.

Covering the addition was - relatively - easy: plastic on the floor, each of the four windows, and covering the door opening between the addition and the rest of the house. The living room was different. They actually constructed a plastic "room" enclosing about 3 or 4 feet of space north of the wall. These encapsulations did limit my photography some. And the light reflecting off plastic and newly sprayed foam wasn't friendly to the camera. But the picture story of today's effort is below.

I had the living room furniture well covered.
But, there was more protection required.
The plastic room is being built along the living room wall.

Plastic was put on the floor and over the windows in the addition.
The chemicals came in drums kept in their truck.
The long hose coiled up on the left brought them into the house.
There they were mixed in the spray nozzle creating the foam.
Chuck did all the spraying.
He was well protected with Tyvek and a respirator.
The addition walls were done first. Then the living room walls. Then the ceiling [underside of roof] in the addition. The spray expanded and covered some of the stud 'faces' but will be removed.

The first foam went in in the southwest corner of the addition.
Chuck worked his way around the room.
Here he is approaching the northwest corner,
Here he is working on the north wall.
The foam was applied in two layers. This is the first.
Here Chuck is inside the plastic room preparing to start the living room wall.
The first foam is being sprayed into the living room wall.
I couldn't stay inside to take pictures, so this is the best I got.
Here's a view of the work through the plastic wall.
Chuck is spraying the ceiling of the addition.
We chose to insulate the underside of the roof
since the space above the ceiling would not be vented.
Here's a picture of partially completed ceiling insulation.
Once Chuck finished the addition ceiling he moved to the basement where their task was to fill the cavities over the foundation where the joists end with spray foam insulation. This work went rather quickly -- except along the south wall where there was no "rim joist" built back in the 1920s. Here the siding/band board was attached directly to the joist ends. There were gaps that needed to be filled before the expanding foam was sprayed in. Chuck filled them with fiberglass and sprayed over it.

Downstairs Chuck changed to a air-supplied breathing system.
Not because he needed it, but because they had run out of face shields to use without it.
Foam was sprayed between the ends of each floor joist.
Where there was no rim-joist Chuck filled the gap with fiberglass before spraying the foam.
At the south end of the front porch the last floor joist was very close to the end joist.
Chuck forced the foam into the space and had some spill-out.

Decker SS Reversible Spiral Curry Comb
Curry Comb
Chuck's and Earl's last task was scraping. The foam was sprayed "between" the studs. But a lot found its way onto the faces of the studs...and some expanded thicker than the 3 1/2 inch depth of the wall. The guys went to work scraping off the excess foam. There was a lot of hand work done. And, the tool they used was actually made for grooming horses. Its called a curry comb and is a series of sharp serrated blades in a circle at the end of a handle.  I'm not sure what it's used for in horse grooming. But it takes foam insulation off very effectively.

A view of the sprayed, but not scraped foam.
[No, Damon, I know it looks like vanilla ice cream...but, its not.]
Another view...Not yet scraped
Chuck pealed back the Tyvek suit while he scraped the addition wall.
The over-spray was particularly heavy
in the northeast corner of the addition
Earl got the task of scraping the east wall of the addition...
including the heavy over-spray shown above.

The scraping created millions [maybe billions] of tiny pieces plastic foam. Thankfully I turned off the air circulation feature on our heating/air conditioning system before the work started today. Chuck picked up the plastic covering...and swept the floors...but particles remain. Static electricity is keeping them attached to many surfaces. We'll probably be sweeping/vacuuming them up for quite a while.

The walls do look quite good fully filled with insulation. And, I can tell already how the foam will keep us warm/cool in winter/summer.

Fully foamed and scraped living room wall.
Fully foamed and scraped north wall of the addition.
A view of the fully foamed ceiling.
No scraping needed here.
The northeast corner of the addition with final insulation.
You are looking "through" a future wall into the bathroom.
The crew worked until about 5:00. This was a longer day then normal for them. But since they got a later than normal start at 3283 the job took about one full day. They, however, are not quite finished. They need to return with a different [non-expanding] foam to fill the gaps between the studs and the window frames. I was promised a call tomorrow to schedule that [quick] work.

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