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Thread: Spray foam insulation for remote cabins

  1. #1

    Default Spray foam insulation for remote cabins

    My brother just sent me this link. It looks to be some very promising stuff. Has anyone up there in Alaska tried this stuff?
    http://www.foampower.com/index.php

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    It isn't new..but who can afford it at a dollar/bft

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    We sell them by special order only and they get used mainly to insulated rim joists. They are expensive and have an expiration date, so we don't stock them. You can do the math off the website, but in general it's about 5 times the cost of fiberglass insulation.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    We sell them by special order only and they get used mainly to insulated rim joists. They are expensive and have an expiration date, so we don't stock them. You can do the math off the website, but in general it's about 5 times the cost of fiberglass insulation.
    I haven't taken the time to figure things out yet. I have used spray foam on a few projects and really like it. We always had to bring in a sub though. This just looked like a cool way of getting around that.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Looking at their website it's about $1 per square foot 1" thick (without shipping) for their largest system. You will need 3" to get R19 to R21. $3.00 a square foot for insulation is pretty hard to swallow when my price across the counter for R21 fiberglass is a third of that (in semi-rural Alaska).

    With foam or fiberglass in a stud cavity you will still have the thermal bridging at the studs. The theoretical advantage of foam over fiberglass is that the foam will fill all the voids where fiberglass might miss. This is true right away, but the jury is still out on the long term. I've been to two houses where urethane foam has pulled away from roof rafters as much as 3/8"..for a total of 3/4" of uninsulated area along the sides of every rafter bay. Was it wood shrinkage or was it a urethane issue? I have no idea, but it can happen. When I demo'd my house this last year for a remodel, my fiberglass insulation was tight to the studs and bottom chords of the trusses..just like the day I installed it.

    For a cabin, a good fiberglass insulation job with a super tight vapor barrier job, is all you need for a comfy easy to heat structure.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    great insights, thank you.

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    What about floor insulation? Does anyone have issues with critters and fiberglass insulation or water and fiberglass insulation? Also instulation time and shipping in the bush is a factor. It can tighten up some sqeaky floors.

    I have used it to do my floors at the lodge and love it but I had someone coming in their own plane so shipping was 0 and installation time was fast. The stuff gets on everything tho, a tight body suit, tight head cover and a full face sheild using clear food wrap over the sheild so you can pull off and change out when you can no longer see.

    George

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    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    ... I've been to two houses where urethane foam has pulled away from roof rafters as much as 3/8"..for a total of 3/4" of uninsulated area along the sides of every rafter bay. Was it wood shrinkage or was it a urethane issue? I have no idea, but it can happen...
    Had to be the wood when the urethane was installed. Urethane will stick to almost anything if it is clean and free of dust or oil. Actually it wont stick very well to some plastics. Doesn't matter though unless cost is not an issue. Urethane foam is great in the right applications and if it is installed properly. If you have the money and you know how to use it I would say go for it.

    IMHO for the common person though, urethan foam is only good for filling small voids.
    That's what she said...

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    I just had the underfloor of my Kenai River cabin (on pilings) sprayed. All the floors are ten inch joists w/glass batts and visqeen, and about half the house ( mostly under bathrooms and plumbing runs) had two to four inch rigid foam under that. But there were many, many sites for air penetration - torn plastic, rim joists exposed, etc. A lot of the rigid foam that had been screwed and glued up there was pointless because of air intrusion above it.

    I prepped all the areas that had just visqueen (no rigid foam) exposed w/r1.5 inch roofing nails tacked part way into the joists, 6" to 8" on center. This gave the urethane something to grip besides the plastic which is not great for spray foam.

    I am very happy with the foam job. Monolithic rigidity, full vapor sealing, no more weasels in the fiberglass. Averaged a little less than 2 " of set foam based on the pump meter and the cabin's square footage, but I had him just skim the existing rigid foam, which means about 3/4 inch... and had him put in as much as four inches in other areas.

    Understand, this is a road system cabin.

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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    I have fiberglass insulation on the underside of my cabin off the ground (on sonnet tubes), covered in plastic but I was thinking of covering the fiberglass and plastic with thin smart board this spring as I too am concerned with rodents? Any thoughts on to cover or not?

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    You shouldn't cover the fiberglass with plastic on the "cold side"

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    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    I made a comment but then I looked it up and I was wrong. Disregard this post...
    Last edited by matjpow; 10-24-2009 at 23:44. Reason: sleepy
    That's what she said...

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    Building in Kasilof AK, 30/24 foot cabin with 15/24 loft ,what would cost spray form ,or fiberglass with good vapor barrier.

    Joe
    joe.conover@teck.com

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    Sorry spray foam

  15. #15

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    joec4570, A couple of years I build a cabin for my daughter on K-Beach road and a guy named John that sprayed the complete cabin with the eception of the floor. Roof, Walls and the rim joist . Very professional job. His name is John and phone numbers is Cell 398-9434 home 260-4768. He will come out and price and advise the best route. Good Luck

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    Premium Member bmunsell's Avatar
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    Default Cold Climate Research Center

    If you want a good source for ideas go to http://www.cchrc.org/ the Cold Climate Research Center. The "Remote" wall system on the walls page may be of interest. http://www.cchrc.org/remote-walls and a pdf at http://www.cchrc.org/docs/northern/N...als_REMOTE.pdf

    In our house we used 3" of closed cell polyureathane spray foam in the wall stud pockets and solid OSB sheeting, tar paper and1" of rigid foam on the outside. No thermal bridging, no moisture to the sheeting, no interior vapor barrier. We also spent a lot of time detailing the walls, windows and doors with Peel & Stick rubber to eliminate air leaks and shed water to the outside.

    It works really well, but it is expensive, even in town with a good subcontractor. I would make sure to use closed cell high density foam.

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    bmunsell, PM sent.

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