How 'NASTY' Is That Old Sytle Blow In Wall Foam ?? - Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 04-06-2008, 12:55 AM   #1
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How 'NASTY' is that old sytle blow in wall foam ??


To put into full question,,,How nasty is that old first foam they blew into outside walls that was to be the end all to insulation problems,,,probably the first from late 60's era?? I am tearing out sheet rock,well the first sheetrock which was an inferior product to todays rock,,,and find that thin layer of rock wool insulation the house was built with,,,THEN some idiot drilled the slate siding and 3/4 tongue and groove sheathing and black felt paper covering walls and blew this crap for foam,,,some of which hit something and didnt go at all,there is NONE, OR it ended up 'inside' the rock wool insulation,,,or at best its mostly still there BUT really chalky, fragile and REALLY really dusty and irritating to my nose. (and lungs) I 'tried' wearing respirator but it inferes with glasses nose piece. PLUS cant wear when doing all like framing which still stirs up tons of dust!! Is this stuff extremely irritable?? Known risks,,,any???or is it just my picky nose and lungs coughing up a storm?? ANY best way of getting rid of this crap?? I have a big shop vac that blows about as much dust out as it sucks in,,,was thinking of putting it outside the window and running hose thru so it blows it outside!!workable??

Overall this is the WORST insulation I ever saw,,,some,if not most is laying in dust pile in bottom of cavity!!. Probably less than a third is still there and working!! SO I have a short distance I cant tear out walls in utility room because there are storage cabinets installed over it. How do I insulate thru the foam and rock wool?? BLOW more insulation in those outside holes??

Oh and to cap off the whole deal,,,they didnt dumpster the left over pieces of the drywal back then,,,they JUST stacked them inside the walls,,oh the joys of remodeling. This wall board(hate to call it sheet rock cause it AINT!!) cracks above every window and door,its like only 1/4 to 3/8 max thick,,,they put more texture on it than it was thick almost!!(and not a GOOD texture job either) Speaking of problems of looks NOW,,,the ceilings wave at you from 15 feet. probably dips 1/4 to 3/8 between every ceiling joist,,,can I put 5/8 drywall right over it and 'suck it up' where it belongs?? Dont want to tear out and replace from scratch cause there is that pour in zonolite on top of it( I see today they stuffed the 'empty' sacks it came in against the outside walls over the wall plate),,,geesh,what NEXT!!)

BUT MAIN question,,is that crappy foam 'dangerous' to ones health??How about eyes???thx-d-

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Old 04-06-2008, 08:45 AM   #2
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How 'NASTY' is that old sytle blow in wall foam ??


Put a 'drywall bag' in your shop vac so it will collect dust, sorry don't know about the insulation.

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Old 04-06-2008, 09:01 AM   #3
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How 'NASTY' is that old sytle blow in wall foam ??


Quote:
Originally Posted by justdon View Post
To put into full question,,,How nasty is that old first foam they blew into outside walls that was to be the end all to insulation problems,,,probably the first from late 60's era?? I am tearing out sheet rock,well the first sheetrock which was an inferior product to todays rock,,,and find that thin layer of rock wool insulation the house was built with,,,THEN some idiot drilled the slate siding and 3/4 tongue and groove sheathing and black felt paper covering walls and blew this crap for foam,,,some of which hit something and didnt go at all,there is NONE, OR it ended up 'inside' the rock wool insulation,,,or at best its mostly still there BUT really chalky, fragile and REALLY really dusty and irritating to my nose. (and lungs) I 'tried' wearing respirator but it inferes with glasses nose piece. PLUS cant wear when doing all like framing which still stirs up tons of dust!! Is this stuff extremely irritable?? Known risks,,,any???or is it just my picky nose and lungs coughing up a storm?? ANY best way of getting rid of this crap?? I have a big shop vac that blows about as much dust out as it sucks in,,,was thinking of putting it outside the window and running hose thru so it blows it outside!!workable??

Overall this is the WORST insulation I ever saw,,,some,if not most is laying in dust pile in bottom of cavity!!. Probably less than a third is still there and working!! SO I have a short distance I cant tear out walls in utility room because there are storage cabinets installed over it. How do I insulate thru the foam and rock wool?? BLOW more insulation in those outside holes??

Oh and to cap off the whole deal,,,they didnt dumpster the left over pieces of the drywal back then,,,they JUST stacked them inside the walls,,oh the joys of remodeling. This wall board(hate to call it sheet rock cause it AINT!!) cracks above every window and door,its like only 1/4 to 3/8 max thick,,,they put more texture on it than it was thick almost!!(and not a GOOD texture job either) Speaking of problems of looks NOW,,,the ceilings wave at you from 15 feet. probably dips 1/4 to 3/8 between every ceiling joist,,,can I put 5/8 drywall right over it and 'suck it up' where it belongs?? Dont want to tear out and replace from scratch cause there is that pour in zonolite on top of it( I see today they stuffed the 'empty' sacks it came in against the outside walls over the wall plate),,,geesh,what NEXT!!)

BUT MAIN question,,is that crappy foam 'dangerous' to ones health??How about eyes???thx-d-

I didn't know they made foam then. Is it foam, which would be semi hard, or is it more loose? MY house had blown in done sometime in the 50's or 60's too. It's nasty stuff. My understanding is its a mixture of wool/cotton, fiberglass and paper. It's very messy and VERY itchy. It settles big time. When we gutted the 2nd floor rooms of our house, there was none. It ALL settled to the first floor (baloon framing).


Drilling holes from the outside is a common way of doign this insulation, even now with the modern stuff they still do that in houses where the walls aren't being torn down.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:42 PM   #4
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How 'NASTY' is that old sytle blow in wall foam ??


This stuff looks like shaving cream in hardened state. Pinch it between fingers and it turns to 'dust' of the MOST irritable nature!!. Obviously this was probably one of the first done with it when NEW.

The PROBLEM with drilling the slate is it basicly wrecked all the siding,impossible to replace as brittle as it is and color match. MOST of the plugs had fallen out thru the years!! Well its coming off NOW!!! problem withblowng stuff in from outside either this operator is NEW or whatever,some cavities didnt take any,,,POOR way of insulating IMHO
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Old 04-06-2008, 01:30 PM   #5
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How 'NASTY' is that old sytle blow in wall foam ??


It could be urea formaldehyde foam. It was common in the late 60's and the 70's.

It never did work as well as advertised because of the shrinkage (still better than fiberglass), but it contained formaldehyde, which got a deservedly bad name (off-gassing) in cabinets, glues, etc.

It is probably relativley inert now (after 40 years), but any dust can be an irritant. You may want to Google U F foam and see if this is what you are seeing and how to handle it.
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:10 PM   #6
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How 'NASTY' is that old sytle blow in wall foam ??


I would assume it's at least an irritant and use a mask and long sleeves/pants to avoid problems. I just came across an interesting article that goes into detail about insulation -- thought it might be helpful. Good luck!

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/10169.shtml
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:35 AM   #7
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How 'NASTY' is that old sytle blow in wall foam ??


As concretemasonary said, urea formaldehyde foam was used during that time. It was taken off the market due to contractor stupidity. Some clowns didn't know how to mix the product causing the product not to cure properly or at all. Extensive out gassing of the formaldehyde caused more then a few house to be abandoned due to the fumes. The houses were not habitable.
The spray foam industry took years to recover, even when a new material was used.
My house also had the stuff. After only a few years the material crumbled very easily when disturbed. I don't know how well it insulated, but since the house was built in 1938, with no insulation, it was better then nothing.
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