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Jeff S

Spray foam vs. fiberglass insulation

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Is spray foam insulation worth the triple cost of fiberglass insulation in new construction? If you had spray foam put in would you do it again?

Thanks for the help!

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YES I WOULD!!! This stuff is great. Persoanlly I would go with the sprayed polyurethane, not the icyanene. The icyanene can pick up moisture which can lead to bigger problems. I am in the commercial construction business and we are startign to see more of this and my brother who is a home builder swears by it. It seals out any small air leak not to mention you get a better "R" rating in a standard 2x6 wall than the fiberglass insulation. I believe if you have an energy audit done on your home you could possibly get a rebate or something also. just my $.02

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You say spray foam, which type? Open or closed cell. Either way I would and I am doing it again!! Iceynene the last time, Urethane spray foam this time. The biggest thing that people dont realize is the figerglass batting R-Value is rated at warm temps. When it gets really cold like here in MN, spray foams are much better performers at keeping their R-values. Besides there also better at insulating out noise.

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I built my house with Insulated concrete forms (ICF) from the basement to the roof line. Additionally, I used spray foam in the ceiling and in the sauna and in a few other rooms. Those products are fabulous. As mentioned earlier - sound reduction is great, coverage is superior to fiberglass, mold cannot grow on the surface since there is nothing to keep the mold growing. I am an environmental engineer and wanted to build as safe of a house as I could. I turned my basement heat on for the first time in 3 years a few weeks ago when the temperatures dropped below 30 below - the basement dropped to 65 so I turned it up to get back to its typical 70-72 year round regardless of the outside temperature. I am sure the ICF has a lot to do with it but the spray foam in the ceilings certainly prevents air movement and reduces heating costs. I would do nothing different if I built again. If anything - I would use more spray foam. I did a lot of research at the Minneapolis home show - there were several distributors there and I picked their brains and read lots of literature before I decided to go with the spray foam. When I built, the cost was not triple the cost of fiberglass - more around 1.5Xs to double. Keep in mind that during the application process (especially for ceilings) it is incredibly difficult for the contractor to evenly apply the liquid (that ultimately turns into foam) and therefore, you end up with a number of areas where the insulation is significantly different in thickness than in other areas. Since it is difficult to control the amount of liquid that comes out - you simply ask for less to be applied (in the ceiling that is) say 3" instead of 6". What will end up happening is you will have anywhere from 6 to 15 inches in the ceiling - remember that a seconds hesitation on the spray gun means several additional inches at that location - the expansion is incredible. By doing it this way you pay for 3" application and get 6 to 15 inches instead of paying quite a bit more for 6" application and get 9 to 15 inches. I love it - can you tell.

Cruiz

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Sounds interesting....can you offer up any sources that might provide more info?? Thanks!

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