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Old 12-30-2009, 10:29 PM   #1
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


Hi, I'm planning on doing some insulating to help with my oil bills. I have an old home that scored a 0 on the blow test. The guy said he had never done one with a score of 0 before.
Im going to add some pics in a few min to show what areas I'm working on. I'm using something called Draft stop. Its a removable weather stripping, that's like caulking. I have old wooden and lots of air leaking around the floor doors and where pluming comes through floor.
The reason for Draft stop its just till spring and i wont have to worry about taking the time to make it look nice. ( I'm on crutches so limited to bending and reaching. )
I also plan on using spray foam. I know it can be very messy but hopes it will help. I want to spray along where the house meets the basement and want to make sure there isn't a problem with this. (I'm not sure of the proper words to use, that's why I'm trying to explain the places. ) Also where that beam meets the floor above it. I would then put in some of the reg. insulations and put up a vapour barrier. I would like to spray foam anywhere i find a hole big enough to fill. But I know sometimes you can over do things and make more work for you after that
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:50 PM   #2
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


Spray foam along the rim joist between every floor joist is a great idea. 10% of the heat loss is through this area. You cannot over due it really. Just let it expand and saw off the excess as needed.
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:36 PM   #3
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


Is it better to use reg spray foam that expands alot, or Low expanding foam. For some reason I think that the low exp would be better for a few reason but don't know if I'm right with what i'm thinking. I feel for some reason it would be better and act more like a vapour barrier. Where the other one expands so much it may loose some of that quality of vapour or insulation value. The other thing is clean up, because the one that expands a lot can make a mess and leave you cutting lots out?
Also Price wise, if they are basically the same, thinking its better to get reg. that expands alot.
Attached Thumbnails
Insulating with spray foam and caulking-heat-vent-going-upstairs.jpg   Insulating with spray foam and caulking-img_4077.jpg   Insulating with spray foam and caulking-img_4086.jpg   Insulating with spray foam and caulking-img_4087.jpg   Insulating with spray foam and caulking-spray-foam-these-areas..jpg  

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Old 12-31-2009, 12:06 AM   #4
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


Here are somemore pics to show what i'm trying to do. In one pic you can see the insulation and some kind of a wrap goes up behind it, almost like wax paper? Others are holes I want to plug by oil pipes coming in the house and plumbing and vents going up through the floor.
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking-img_4204.jpg   Insulating with spray foam and caulking-img_4206.jpg   Insulating with spray foam and caulking-img_4176.jpg   Insulating with spray foam and caulking-img_4189.jpg   Insulating with spray foam and caulking-img_4193.jpg  

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Old 12-31-2009, 12:22 AM   #5
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


Based on experience, I'd stay away from the "Great Stuff" crap they sell at Home Depot. It expands a lot and is extremely sticky (a huge mess to clean up if you get any on places where you don't want it).

I'd recommend going for the low expansion type rather than high expansion because it's easier to gauge whether/when you've sprayed enough. High expansion foam expands for hours, you'll have a lot more mess to clean up if you overdo it.

Another reason for not using the high expansion foam (or overdoing foam application in general), is that as the foam expands, it can crack warp your window frame, etc. The more pressure from overexpansion and the more you overdo it, the greater the risk of damage. With the low expansion foam, it's easier to eyeball when to stop with the application, and if you're off slightly, the foam isn't going to expand that much.

Lastly, ask the clerk at the store to show you the low expansion foam that's designed for doors and windows (I think DAP makes a product for this). I'm guessing the chemical formulation is such that it reduces expansion related damage (warping/cracking surrounding structures), which likely makes it your safest option for spray insulating.

Last edited by TitaniumVT; 01-02-2010 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:00 AM   #6
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


Be very careful using expanding foam in confined spaces like around doors.windonws. Once it expands to fill the space it may continue expanding causing drywall and door/window frames to bow. Use the "minimal expanding" version.

Something that will help a lot, in warmer weather maybe, is to remove all the trim from doors and windows and insulate the air gaps there. Carefully pry off the trim after scoring the edges with a utility knife to break paint, caulk lines.
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:15 AM   #7
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


low expansion foam is for insulation around doors and windows. For the other areas you use expanding foam. Look at a can of professional grade like that from Hilti. (not Home Depot Hilti which is not the same) These cans will even specify what I just stated.
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:36 AM   #8
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


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low expansion foam is for insulation around doors and windows. For the other areas you use expanding foam. Look at a can of professional grade like that from Hilti. (not Home Depot Hilti which is not the same) These cans will even specify what I just stated.
Home Depot Hilti is different than "professional" Hilti?
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:24 AM   #9
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


I've used Great Stuff foam a lot, and it can make a mess, especially if you spray it on things that you don't really want to spray it on.

I've also used DAP low expansion foam. I've come back years later and found that the DAP had a crack running through it. Great Stuff foam is permanent. The DAP is also soft (but brittle) when cured. So if it's in a location where it might get hit by something it's probably not a good option.

I've never used any other brands, so maybe there are better alternatives, but Great Stuff gets the job done. I'd say if your pipes are so weak that expanding foam cracks them then it was time to replace them anyway!

I've never had any problem with it flexing my windows or doors, but I don't try to fill the cavity in one application.

If I was in the original poster's position, I'd get the great stuff or other similar hard, expanding foam, and start spraying it around the metal pipes in the walls and other vertical surfaces to see how it works.

Regarding insulation value, the regular is probably better because it has larger air cavities. They are both closed cell foams, so no air can blow through them. In that one photo you have electric wires -- I'd use a fire blocking caulk around them. There are various different types of that ranging up to $20 a tube. I used the cheapest, which was about $5. Read the label and find one that's rated for residential use.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:26 AM   #10
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


What are we looking at in that first picture? Is it sideways?
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:18 AM   #11
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


Looks like the vapor retarder on that fiberglass insulation is likely reversed, BTW.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:32 AM   #12
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


Your first photo looks like the pipe may be wrapped with asbestos cloth although it can't be confirmed from here. If this is in an interior space where the fibers could get airborne, you might want to get it removed by a professional. Don't remove it yourself as you can cause more problems by spreading the fibers. If you have to work near it, try not to disturb it in any way.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:36 AM   #13
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


In the very first picture, that white covering on that pipe, could that be asbestos?

New Brunswick...Canada? or NJ?
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:17 AM   #14
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


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Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
Home Depot Hilti is different than "professional" Hilti?
according to Hilti yes. I had a problem with the window foam sold at Home Depot. the entire case would only clog the guns. lost three guns. But Hilti said only Home Depot could help and that the stuff they sell is made for Home Depot and is not the same. Home Depot would not work with me saying I had to talk to the Hilti Rep. But it is really an independant group selling at Home Depots and not sure why their products are different. In the last three years I deal only with Hilti (commercial account) and have never had any more problems.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:29 AM   #15
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Insulating with spray foam and caulking


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according to Hilti yes. I had a problem with the window foam sold at Home Depot. the entire case would only clog the guns. lost three guns. But Hilti said only Home Depot could help and that the stuff they sell is made for Home Depot and is not the same. Home Depot would not work with me saying I had to talk to the Hilti Rep. But it is really an independant group selling at Home Depots and not sure why their products are different. In the last three years I deal only with Hilti (commercial account) and have never had any more problems.
That is odd. I can't believe they would have two different lines producing the stuff. Sounds like someone just didn't want to deal with problem. I've only lost one gun. It was my fault though. I put on a can that was four years past it's expiration date.
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