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Old 09-08-2010, 06:50 AM   #1
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Questions about open cell foam

I had my basement sprayed about 3 weeks ago and have few questions about it. I really hope someone can help me with this.

I had all the tim joists sprayed and 1 length of wall about 60 feet long. It is a walk out basement.

1. Along the wall, there are 15-20 places where if I push on the foam, I can feel hollow areas. Is this normal for this application and do I just need to call the installers back for them to fix it? Do all these hollow areas mean that they have installed the foam incorrectly?

2. I have both hot and cold water pipes AND heating pipes for my boiler in many of the rim joists. The installer foamed over these. Some of these pipes were very close to the outside wall (within a couple inches). The installer said this was fine and reassured me. However, my plumber said not to cover these up and to keep the insulation behind it and not to encase them. I had another bid for the same job and I believe the guy was going to keep the insulation behind it. I don't know if I should start ripping it out in key areas or not.

PLEASE help with this issue as winter is upon us in Northern Minnesota. My biggest concern is that this insulation will allow the pipes to freeze. I have heard issues about boiler pipes getting to hot, but I will have to look into how high a temp my boiler gets to.

3. Some of the foam is coming off the joists. It is not bad, maybe 1-3 percent. It has come off maybe a millimeter of so. Again, is this normal?

Thanks for all the help and advise.


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Old 09-09-2010, 08:16 AM   #2
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Doesn't anybody know the answer to this?

Doesn't anybody know the answer to this?


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Old 09-09-2010, 09:40 AM   #3
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From your description of the sprayed foam not adhering to surfaces in certain places, it does sound like your foam installer may have had a bad day.

A few reasons why the foam is not "sticking":
  • The foam was not kept at a constant warm temperature in the hose. Most spray foams require the 2-part foam system be warmed by heated hoses to ensure the foam will react properly when combined together at the spray wand head.
  • The spray wand head may not have mixed the foam correctly when sprayed.
  • The foam installer didn't realize that he had a problem with the flow of one of the two components of the base materials.
Was your installer a professional foam installer or a handy-man type?

Do you remember if the installer's spray-foam hoses were wrapped with an outer covering or just bare naked hoses?

Spraying your water pipes with foam to keep the pipes from freezing in the winter is the whole idea. Especially the water pipes that are adjacent to an outside wall in a home in northern Minnesota!!

No, it is not normal for spray foam to become loose from wood framing or concrete. Although, spray foam will come loose from most anything that is oily or has a very smooth, slick surface such as foil-covered plywood, etc.

There are several "flavors" of spray foam on the market. Some are better than others. Was your spray foam one of those GREEN foams?

Do you have any type of warranty?

Good luck!
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