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trebacz
Premium
join:2003-01-03
Mchenry, IL

4 recommendations

DIY Spray Foam Kit Review

Click for full size
Spray Foam in Rim Joist Cavity
I'm in the process of finishing my basement and I wanted to make sure it was well insulated (northern Illinois winters). After a lot of reading and research, I decide to go with 1-1/2" taped rigid foam, 2x4 walls with R13 fiberglass, and spray foam the top of the rim joists to effectively seal the rigid foam.

I did a blog post the spray foam part of my project and took some video of the process. Though I'd share it with the DSLreports group as a bunch of people seem to be contemplating the same type of project.

»blog.trebacz.com/2012/09/diy-spr···een.html

For me it's helpful to know what to expect when you buy one of these kits.


rbnice1

join:2000-12-16
Fenton, MO

Thanks! This is exactly what I am wanting to do to my basement.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to trebacz

Great information and very well done blog.



trebacz
Premium
join:2003-01-03
Mchenry, IL
reply to trebacz

Glad to hear it's helpful. Spraying the foam was actually a lot of fun. Looking forward to a nice warm basement.



Jon
Premium
join:2001-01-20
Lisle, IL

What do you do with the tanks when your done? Can you just throw them out?


Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

Yes, the empty and depressurized tanks, gun and hoses are dumpster filler once the product is dispensed. We use quite a few of the 200 and 600 board foot sizes of the Dow product and it's unfortunate how much hardware is thrown away each time. The good news is the the entire kit doesn't have to be used all at one time. I should be used within 30 days of opening though.

To the OP:

Looks good. As you discovered, installation is a bit messy but, IMHO, it's well worth the effort.

--
Zach



rbnice1

join:2000-12-16
Fenton, MO
reply to trebacz

BTW did you glue the foam board to the concrete walls or use another method?



trebacz
Premium
join:2003-01-03
Mchenry, IL

I glued the foam board to the walls using some foam board adhesive. Then taped the joints with "red tape". For the most part the adhesive just held the foam board until the 2x4 walls were put up. It was a poured concrete foundation with some high spots that often kept the glue on the foam board away from the wall.


id09542

join:2002-04-25
Bloomington, IL
reply to trebacz

Nice work, I am curious on the cost vs. having a pro do the work. I have a large "Morton" building with exposed ceiling/floor joists that I would like to seal and allow me to environmentally control the lower level and leave the upper level exposed. I built it myself, so my labor is free doing any work.


id09542

join:2002-04-25
Bloomington, IL

I guess I can do the math myself. It is expensive, but maybe the convenience and sealing qualities outweigh the cost.



Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4
reply to trebacz

My step sister and her husband did this in the basement of the house they built a few years ago here in northern WI. It worked very well and the partially finished basement is always comfortable.


Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
reply to id09542

Typically, the 600 board-foot (12"x12"x1" coverage) packs run anywhere from $1.50-$1.70 per board-foot depending on if our supplier is running any deals. OTOH, a barrel set of 2# closed cell foam (requires spray equipment to install) which yields 5000 board-feet runs $1700-$1800. It should run no more than $1.10 per board foot for a pro install. Assuming the operator is properly operating the spray rig, the pro-installed version is considerably harder and more dense as the Dow Foam Packs are 1.75#. An accurate 50/50 mix of the two components applied under the correct pressure and temperature are critical for a quality job.
--
Zach



Nick_L
Premium
join:2003-01-22
Pittsburgh, PA
reply to trebacz

Hope you applied 3/4 drywall afterward. I love the idea of the spray foam, but most varieties are not flame retardant, in fact they are flammable and must be enclosed. I'm not meaning to criticize your work, however fire scares the crap out of me and when I look at that all I see is kindling (that already burns 2 to 5 times faster than its solid wood, old growth comparable lumber) with accelerant chemically bonded to it. Yikes!



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by Nick_L:

when I look at that all I see is kindling

Considering the foam is usually right up against the outside walls (And most of the time it's on concrete), it would be the last thing to catch on fire.

I have foam boards on my concrete walls, but over it is roxul insulation batts. That stuff doesn't burn. So the fire would have to get through the drywall and roxul before reaching the flamable foam. By that time, there's no excuse to still be in the house

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

What about when foam is sprayed over electrical wires in the walls? What if there's an electrical outlet box in the wall with the spray foam?



Nick_L
Premium
join:2003-01-22
Pittsburgh, PA
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

said by Nick_L:

when I look at that all I see is kindling

Considering the foam is usually right up against the outside walls (And most of the time it's on concrete), it would be the last thing to catch on fire.

I have foam boards on my concrete walls, but over it is roxul insulation batts. That stuff doesn't burn. So the fire would have to get through the drywall and roxul before reaching the flamable foam. By that time, there's no excuse to still be in the house

That's what YOU have. It is not what everyone has. Generally speaking "enclosed with drywall" is an acceptable way to mitigate the fire risk. However, have you totally enclosed the foam board? In many cases the wall cavity extends above the finished ceiling and it is easy for a fire to spread that way. Also, what is your wall framed with? wooden studs? They burn. Another thing that most people don't realize is that while gypsum doesn't really burn, it's structure breaks down in a fire. Also the paper backing DOES burn. Additionally the paint that you painted the walls with: flammable. Wallpaper: Flammable. All I'm saying is that it doesn't take much to start a fire but it takes a lot to put one out. Why give it any help?

As with anything though, it is a game of weighing percentages. Energy efficiency is very important in today's world. The danger from accelerated fires, however is also very real. You mention still being in the house. It is true that the number one priority for fire resistance is human safety, ie. ability to get out of the building alive. However, I remember a time when a fire in a structure didn't mean that it would likely burn to the ground and all your possessions would be lost. I'd like to create a home that would be energy efficient, that I would be able to exit safely in a fire, and that I might be able to come back to after some renovations, instead of just scraping the plot clean and starting all over.

Fortunately there are many things that we could/can do to mitigate the spread of fire. They do make flame retardant spray foams. Cellulose insulation is treated to be flame retardant. In addition to fiberglass wrapped drywall sheets they make paper wrapped drywall that is treated to be fire resistant. Ceramic and porcelain tile doesn't burn. Wool does not burn. They make paint that has very low flammability after it's cured.

As you can probably tell, I have a slight fire "phobia". But just because I'm "overly cautious" doesn't mean what I'm saying isn't true.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

said by Nick_L:

Fortunately there are many things that we could/can do to mitigate the spread of fire. They do make flame retardant spray foams.

You mean like the one the OP used? In fact from web searches most all of the foams available on the internet are tested to meet ASTM E84, Class 1, meaning they are fire retardant. Yes, they do burn if exposed to flame and therefore should be covered with an appropriate material but they are not flammable and do not promote the spread of a fire.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to Nick_L

They make houses like you want in Europe. They're made of some sort of lightweight concrete block.

Here we're fixated on using trees.



trebacz
Premium
join:2003-01-03
Mchenry, IL
reply to trebacz

Yes, the foam I used was fire rated (thanks for the thought). It will also be covered with fiberglass (unfaced) and drywall when it's all done.



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to trebacz

Is $329 a good deal? Appx. how much is shipping to NY?

How much of a difference would I notice if I did that? Been thinking about it for awhile.

Any tax deductions for home energy crap like they have some times?