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Old 03-14-2013, 08:23 AM   #1
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Foam off-gassing


I have a customer that's hyper allergenic.
We're adding a kitchen /bedroom addition to a 1950ís home and i want to use foam insulation.
What do I do to help them with their concerns about foam off gassing.
They're concerned it will still off gas even after drywall.

Thanks
Tom
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
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Foam off-gassing


Spray or Rigid?

If talking about SPF:
- Open cell cures very quickly but they should be out of the home for at least the day following.
- Closed cell can off gas for months after the fact.

If talking about rigid:
- They are all usually cured up pretty solid. The XPS has the most nefarious of the blowing agents and PolyIso and EPS are the lesser of the two evils.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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Foam off-gassing


maybe lean on the side of caution and look for an alternative to the sprayfoam. Seems like quite a risk to install it given the circumstances.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:04 AM   #4
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Foam off-gassing


+1

I was merely commenting on the inquiry but I do agree. You can do and awful lot with a can of foam for air sealing and some Roxul.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:09 AM   #5
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Foam off-gassing


I wonder what exactly they are sensitive to. You could use wool, or this insulatio that is made from old denim jeans. A hyper sensitive person would never do remodeling work in their house. They are going to react to the drywall and the paint, new flooring is the most toxic. They will react to batts as well. The blown in seems to be not so bad. Put that which you are going to use in a pillow case and have them sleep with it, or generally spend sometime with it. Foam imho is toxic stuff, I would never use it. They do market those icf house to chemically sensitive people so you have to wonder. Good luck
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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Foam off-gassing


I have to agree with previous posts in that there are practically no new materials that do not off gas to some extent. Some are just worse. Be careful with products made from recycled material. You just don't know what ends up in the mix. My opinion (and that is all it is worth) is that good ventilation and filtration would do the most to alleviate the problem. I have discussed this a little on my blog

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Old 03-17-2013, 11:28 AM   #7
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Foam off-gassing


Blown cellulose would also minimize infiltration. Not as well as foam though.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:58 PM   #8
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Foam off-gassing


must be densepacked though, which is not going to be an easy task for somebody who doesn't do it on a regular basis
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
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Foam off-gassing


Quote:
Originally Posted by tcleve4911 View Post
I have a customer that's hyper allergenic.
We're adding a kitchen /bedroom addition to a 1950ís home and i want to use foam insulation.
What do I do to help them with their concerns about foam off gassing.
They're concerned it will still off gas even after drywall.

Thanks
Tom
The problem is, most of this stuff is in the customer's head, and unless they are really that hyper sensitive to stuff in our environment, I would let them know what the options are, and what the manufacturer info is, regarding material makeup, time to set up.

Most stuff like carpets & batt insulation still contains formaldehyde, which in a very air tight home, would be worse than the foam in the long run. If their place has a way to recirculate inside with outside filtered air, that would be the best way to make sure their home is not going to be holding "bad air", like most office spaces have a habit with.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:14 PM   #10
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Foam off-gassing


The problem I have with insulation is many times the guy lowest on the totem pole is made to do it, when really the most skilled trades should be doing the insulation.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #11
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Foam off-gassing


But also remember, that a lot of utilities will give you a credit, along with the fed's for the insulation work, so your costs would be decreased in the end.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:00 PM   #12
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Foam off-gassing


Getting back to the OP's original question....
In this situation, you can't generalize. You would have to go to the manufacturer of the particular brand of spray foam that you are considering and ask them about off-gassing. Then also, it would be required that the installation be done exactly to the manufacturer's specifications. I have read about instances where the chemicals have not been mixed properly, and then did not cure ---- resulting in a nastly smell that would not go away.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:36 PM   #13
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Foam off-gassing


We had the manufacturer mess up on the chemical once. It left a smell like eggs in the home. Had to remove the ENTIRE ceiling and replace.
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