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Old 03-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #1
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


Foam is way to costly and not worth it. or do you have a bunch left over from another job? Just put batts in the wall way cheaper and no VOC's


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Old 03-17-2013, 11:13 AM   #2
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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Foam is way to costly and not worth it. or do you have a bunch left over from another job? Just put batts in the wall way cheaper and no VOC's

tcleve has been on here for quite a while and has always demonstrated that he is a consummate professional.


Foam is 100% worth it if used in the right application. There are situations where it is 10X as effective as batt insulation and the fact that it is an air barrier whereas batts (most often poorly installed) are not makes it a great choice in some cases.

I would submit that tcleve can do much of the same with proper air sealing and high density batts but claiming that someone is trying to "rip someone off" if not appropriate in this case.


Last edited by beenthere; 03-17-2013 at 11:30 AM. Reason: Removed accusation from quote, and from post
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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tcleve has been on here for quite a while and has always demonstrated that he is a consummate professional.


Foam is 100% worth it if used in the right application. There are situations where it is 10X as effective as batt insulation and the fact that it is an air barrier whereas batts (most often poorly installed) are not makes it a great choice in some cases.

I would submit that tcleve can do much of the same with proper air sealing and high density batts but claiming that someone is trying to "rip someone off" if not appropriate in this case.
Just FYI R factor is R factor air inflitration has zero to do with it as per 16 CFR part 460 set forth by the FTC R factor is R factor. and as for ripping people off spray foam at 4.00 per square foot VS HD Fiberglass batts at .52 cents per square foot compairing R factor to R factor I would go with Fiberglass and as for air inflitration you seal the penetrations you have a whole house envleope no insulation no matter what it is by itself is going to stop air movement.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:51 PM   #4
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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Just FYI R factor is R factor air inflitration has zero to do with it as per 16 CFR part 460 set forth by the FTC R factor is R factor. and as for ripping people off spray foam at 4.00 per square foot VS HD Fiberglass batts at .52 cents per square foot compairing R factor to R factor I would go with Fiberglass and as for air inflitration you seal the penetrations you have a whole house envleope no insulation no matter what it is by itself is going to stop air movement.
Foam insulation does seal a house. Expanding spray foam is commonly used for sealing homes.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:00 PM   #5
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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Foam insulation does seal a house. Expanding spray foam is commonly used for sealing homes.
just to let you know take a 1,000 sqf home and insulate it walls and attic that would be roughly 3,000 sqf @ 4.00 per sq for insulation foam comes to a grand total of 12,000 dollars VS 3,000sf x .52 cents = 1,560. also you have to remember The IBC requires a air membrain like tyvex and the siding has to be caulked and the windows have to be air tight and the penetrations made from the electrical and plumbers and the HVAC trades need to be sealed up too not just the stud bays. will ensure and well sealed home. Foam is not cost effective R Value for the price you pay for it. A Bibbs system whither it be fiberglass or dense pack cellulose R value to R value per cost is way more cost effective then foam.

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Old 03-17-2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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just to let you know take a 1,000 sqf home and insulate it walls and attic that would be roughly 3,000 sqf @ 4.00 per sq for insulation foam comes to a grand total of 12,000 dollars VS 3,000sf x .52 cents = 1,560. also you have to remember The IBC requires a air membrain like tyvex and the siding has to be caulked and the windows have to be air tight and the penetrations made from the electrical and plumbers and the HVAC trades need to be sealed up too not just the stud bays. will ensure and well sealed home. Foam is not cost effective R Value for the price you pay for it. A Bibbs system whither it be fiberglass or dense pack cellulose R value to R value per cost is way more cost effective then foam.
Cellulose is close, but not as effective as foam for sealing.

When an attic is made as part of the conditioned space. Foam is far more effective then fiberglass batts.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:55 PM   #7
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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just to let you know take a 1,000 sqf home and insulate it walls and attic that would be roughly 3,000 sqf @ 4.00 per sq for insulation foam comes to a grand total of 12,000 dollars VS 3,000sf x .52 cents = 1,560. also you have to remember The IBC requires a air membrain like tyvex and the siding has to be caulked and the windows have to be air tight and the penetrations made from the electrical and plumbers and the HVAC trades need to be sealed up too not just the stud bays. will ensure and well sealed home. Foam is not cost effective R Value for the price you pay for it. A Bibbs system whither it be fiberglass or dense pack cellulose R value to R value per cost is way more cost effective then foam.
But what about the labor cost of someone going around and sealing all those penetrations vs someone just walking through spraying foam everywhere. and trimming it up later. seems like a huge time saver for spray foam but not sure it completely offsets the pricing difference.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:18 PM   #8
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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But what about the labor cost of someone going around and sealing all those penetrations vs someone just walking through spraying foam everywhere. and trimming it up later. seems like a huge time saver for spray foam but not sure it completely offsets the pricing difference.
Um my friend who is a contractor build homes for a living has been on fine home building. just got done with 4,000 sqf home insulation was all Fiberglass cost under 3 grand a pressure air test for air inflitartion was less then 6 sq inches for the whole house. You want to do foam be my guest one inch of foam is R 13 the code for most attics is R-48 a and to do the walls to R-21 the cost is over 20,000 dollars do the math match the cost of R value to R value and caulk is cheap and a small can of good stuff will take care of the holes.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:49 AM   #9
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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Um my friend who is a contractor build homes for a living has been on fine home building. just got done with 4,000 sqf home insulation was all Fiberglass cost under 3 grand a pressure air test for air inflitartion was less then 6 sq inches for the whole house. You want to do foam be my guest one inch of foam is R 13 the code for most attics is R-48 a and to do the walls to R-21 the cost is over 20,000 dollars do the math match the cost of R value to R value and caulk is cheap and a small can of good stuff will take care of the holes.
Your friend's recently completed home tested out at 60 cfm on the blower door at 50 Pascals?

That would be amazing if it did but highly unlikely.

I don't think that anyone that proposes foam is "ripping people off".

As noted earlier, there are some applications that foam is uniquely qualified for and the duplication of the effectiveness in batt and rigid insulation is cost prohibitive on a labor standpoint.

Ex. If you have a home that is already framed and under roof, insulating a vaulted ceiling in a sealed capacity is very difficult and time consuming.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #10
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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Your friend's recently completed home tested out at 60 cfm on the blower door at 50 Pascals?

That would be amazing if it did but highly unlikely..
Gee lets look at the IBC must have house wrap to that helps seal the sheathing, the siding helps seal it the windows must be air tight, the top plates must be sealed the bottom plates sealed the out let boxes sealed all penetrations must be sealed, Caulk is cheap and it is easy to do. it is not rocket science. his insulation subs used the KISS from Knauf eveything sealed insulated and passed. might want to understand his homes are on display and reviewed by a lot of Green energy people in the Northwest. so it can be done and it can be done with 100% fiberglass insulation at a great saving in time labor and matirials. In all fairness he has also done homes with dense pack celulose and got the same results too with about the same amout of savings. It is the prep work that needs to be done first the right time. Becase when can some one go back and fix it after the whole thing is done.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:57 AM   #11
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


Where did I say that it can't be done with fiberglass or batt insulation?

You number of 6 square inches is still unlikely despite the air sealing measures. Passivhaus homes leak more air than that and 6 square inches is about 60 cfm at 50 Pascals on the blower door.

You will get more than enough leakage from sealed windows and doors to get that number.

Nobody is arguing that you can get a tight home with batts, however, claiming that someone is "ripping someone off" by spraying foam is just as incorrect.

Foam, in certain applications, is the easiest and best solution. Would I use it in the walls of my home, no. I would prefer a rigid foam exterior with detailed seams and sealing.

I would prefer to use wet spray cellulose or roxul as fiberglass is the least impressive of the widely available batt insulations.

I don't read any of your post specifying HD fiberglass batts. Do you prefer those over standard fiberglass?
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:22 PM   #12
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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Where did I say that it can't be done with fiberglass or batt insulation?

You number of 6 square inches is still unlikely despite the air sealing measures. Passivhaus homes leak more air than that and 6 square inches is about 60 cfm at 50 Pascals on the blower door.

You will get more than enough leakage from sealed windows and doors to get that number.

Nobody is arguing that you can get a tight home with batts, however, claiming that someone is "ripping someone off" by spraying foam is just as incorrect.

Foam, in certain applications, is the easiest and best solution. Would I use it in the walls of my home, no. I would prefer a rigid foam exterior with detailed seams and sealing.

I would prefer to use wet spray cellulose or roxul as fiberglass is the least impressive of the widely available batt insulations.

I don't read any of your post specifying HD fiberglass batts. Do you prefer those over standard fiberglass?
I look at this way foam closed cell or open cell foam is at a cost of 4.00 per sqaure foot cellulose is around .75 cents per square foot Fiberglass is around .52 cents per square foot and to equate R value to Air Infiltration is like comparing Coconuts to Apples. R value is R Value and any contractor should show the information sheet to let the coustomer know how much it is going to cost. Could I have worded it better to the OP? Yes cost VS R value and how long it takes to recoup the cost if not explained to the costomer is a form of being ripped off maybe not on purpose but not a thing in the best interest of the consumer. when a insulation company gave me a bid for my new home being built and it was foam 70,000 dollars that was more then all the lumber siding and roofing combined. Know what they told me but it is green and it seals your home so good. it would take me 150 years to recoup the cost. I went with with sub that did it for less then 2,000 dollars and that was insulation of all the walls inside walls out side walls R-21 attic R 49 sub floor space R-30 and my garage walls and ceiling. R value to R value is what to compair to Not R value to air inflitration. Does foam work to seal the house yes. a case or two of Good stuff low expation foam on the seams of the stud cavitys would work just fine.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:38 PM   #13
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


The problem with this argument is comparing foam to any other insulation is not comparing apples to apples. It kind of stands alone in the fact that is airseals and vapor retards, as well as high r-value. The cost is high, but it can be offset. It also greatly strengthens the structure.

On another note, if you know somebody that got a house down to under 100 cfm, WOW. I doubt it though, As I have sprayfoamed entire structures and only once have I seen under 560 achieved, and that was also on a very small structure.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:46 PM   #14
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


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R value is R Value and any contractor should show the information sheet to let the coustomer know how much it is going to cost.
Unfortunately this is not true. R-Value is not R-Value. You never answered my question from before about High Density vs. standard density.

Low density fiberglass batts (those used most often in new construction) are very inclined to suffer from convection and therefore lose a considerable amount of their R-Value.

Is it worth spraying foam for that reason alone...probably not but that depends on what the premium is. I don't know who was trying to charge you 70K for foam but the new homes in our area usually have it as a premium and my neighbor forked over the extra $5,000 for the foam in his home and that premium will more than pay for itself in his case. I am the second owner of my home but I would have payed the premium had I build the home. The air sealing value alone is worth the premium but the measurable performance difference in R-Value (trust me...this is proven) is also worth the premium in most cases.

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when a insulation company gave me a bid for my new home being built and it was foam 70,000 dollars that was more then all the lumber siding and roofing combined. Know what they told me but it is green and it seals your home so good. it would take me 150 years to recoup the cost. I went with with sub that did it for less then 2,000 dollars and that was insulation of all the walls inside walls out side walls R-21 attic R 49 sub floor space R-30 and my garage walls and ceiling. R value to R value is what to compair to Not R value to air inflitration.
Again...I would have encouraged you to get another quote if only from the standpoint of getting a more sane number.

I can probably go to a used car dealer and pay $50K for a used Honda Civic but that doesn't mean that is what I should think all Honda Civics cost of should be used as a valuation comparative.

Sounds to me like a foam installer was trying to make half his year on your job.

Insulating between conditioned spaces is great for noise.

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Does foam work to seal the house yes. a case or two of Good stuff low expation foam on the seams of the stud cavitys would work just fine.
If you think you can seal up a home effectively with just a case or two of foam, you are probably mistake. If you are not...do you want a job???

It may be done from the standpoint of the materials but I can guarantee you that the amount of time that it will take will be exhaustive to the installers and you will get a bunch of stuff missed.

You don't need to use a spray foam rig to do it but spray-able sealants/caulks are much easier and more effective when doing a bunch of square footage.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:23 PM   #15
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Foam VS Fiberglass insulation


An "R-value" for a material is not always equal to another "R-value"!!!! There are values for materials themselves, but in many cases the used of the product will only provide 50% to 85% of that value in many cases, depending on the wall or roof construction - whether is a material property and real value in use.

It depends on how it is used. Unfortunately, the building codes are simplistic requirements based on some uses of a material. A prime example is the "R" of a material like a bulk insulating material because it is in a situation between members (like studs and joists) and not as a continuous layer to eliminate thermal short circuits. This is not including the benefits of eliminating air infiltration.

On glaring example of thermal short circulating is the use of 6" fiberglass (R-19) that can give a value 50% less between studs, depending on the spacing and stud material and not solve the infiltration problem.

Dick

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