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cbeingessner 05-17-2009 10:15 PM

Tiger Foam
Anyone have any experience using tiger foam? I need to do where my joists meet my foundation wall as there has been a lot of movement and there are gaps, but I'm not keen on paying someone thousands of dollars to come in and do it. Any stories, horror or otherwise? The local guys here are between $2 and $3 a foot...

Chris -- follow along as the "Handyman's Dream" rises from the ashes!

Chemist1961 05-18-2009 06:50 AM

Check to confirm your total cost. Depending on your space and future use my understanding is the tanks have about 6 months life once you start using them, but there also may be several types of expansion foam for different applications. I think the tank set on line is around $700 for 600 ft coverage if I recall.
I did not use Tiger Foam only hand held cans and sealed my entire 2x10 rim joist and sill plate in an 1100 foot basement last year. I pulled all the fibreglass and did the bottom and top ledge of the sill plate, then went vertical on every joist bay, then did the underside of the floor in every joist bay as well, and also ran out 8 " from the wall in each bay along the underside of the floor perpendicular to the wall just for fun, with a 1/4 inch bead.
Also pulled all old fibregalss stufffed in cracks around 5 basement windows and sealed them with window and door foam but did not spray the entire rim joist. Then I went upstairs and did the whole upper level underneath each baseboard along every outer wall and in closets. The house, a 35 year old custom brick and stucco 2 storey home, is considerabley less drafty.
While it wasn't Tiger foam the basement was an easy job over a couple of hours here and there. I centered the ladder and with the dial gun I could do about 3 bays at a time. I used latex DAP foam where it was tricky and behind baseboards so I could clean up more easily and I used a gun with a dial in the basement so I could control my bead size. The foam creaps really well into gaps.
Don't know the accuracy of this but one furnace service tech told me the average home loses 15% of it's heat through a poorly sealed /insulated rim joist and I had had an energy audit done which disclosed equivelant to a 2 square foot window in leakage throughout my home, so I was very diligent. Our audit promotes a compounding rebate based on improved air loss by % so I went hunting for gaps and was surprised at what I found in an otherwise well built home. Very satisfying results.
When you begin to seal you can change the air exchange rate in your home which can effect proper ventilation in your HVAC system as well, but doing the rim joist alone should not upset the total home too much. You might also want to upgrade any exhaust vents to ones with a weighted damper before you seal them in the process.
Great project well worth the effort. Energy auditor said next to the attic this is the big payback in most homes along with insulating the entire basement.
BTW ,What area do you live in?

walkman 05-18-2009 09:05 AM

Is there a procedure for filling rim joists with foam so it can still be properly inspected for termites?

cbeingessner 05-18-2009 09:13 AM

Sorry, should have clarified that I'm in Saskatchewan, Canada -- no termites here. Too cold. The cold is why I want to spray foam my headers -- for a few months our houses are 72 degress while the outside is -30 degrees. Air loss is a big deal...

cbeingessner 05-18-2009 09:22 AM

The Tiger Foam is around $800 for 600 sq feet of coverage here in Canada. I was wondering about using the handheld stuff - I find it doesn't adhere to concrete (or wood, or anything) very well, and globs off in pieces that fall onto the floor. I think we have Great Stuff or something like that at Rona and Home Depot here.

What is the "dial gun" you refer to? All I ever see here are the disposable cans with the straw-like nozzle.

We did a similar energy audit to the one you described and were told the same. And there are inch-wide 1/4" cracks under each of my floor joists from when the exterior walls sank and moved. I've braced the basement (common here in SK) and now am sealing it up. We have 1960s windows, and R-12 walls, so I'm not worried about over-sealing. Plenty of air loss to go around!

I put in a dryer vent with the styrofoam ball that falls back in to block air from coming back into the house when the dryer isn't running. It is awesome.

Thanks for the advice -- I'll have to look at the cost of the cans of spray foam...they sometimes go on sale.

Chris -- follow along as the "Handyman's Dream" rises from the ashes!

cbeingessner 05-18-2009 11:00 AM

The quote I got from a company here was double that. However, if I can do it with 20 cans of spray foam at $8 each, that is substantially less...

Chris -- follow along as the "Handyman's Dream" rises from the ashes!

Chemist1961 05-18-2009 06:28 PM

Chris I read your blog, Looks like you might be in the south end near Campbell Collegiate??? Grew up out therebut your family name is also that of a contractor in this area. As soon as I saw your basement cracks it looked really familiar, Regina gumbo has a way of doing that to walls.
Anyway the cans come in a larger format and screw onto a trigger handle for better precision. Great Stuff has one starting at about $35 or so at HD. Various brands of foam come in large format and will screw on. I borrowed one from a builder but eventually bought my own. The larger format cans are good value and sold in several brands at various building stores,but are designed for beads and gaps not overtall coverage.
Heres a trick, when you want the foam to stick in a corner spray it with a fine mist of water first. A fine bead will also adhere vertically or horizontally but a big glob will expand and fall down, hence my narrow beads.
While the Tiger foam will coat your whole wall it needs to be covered with a fire retardent drywall or similar to meet fire codes as well. As I am no where near finishing the basement I sealed the rim joist and reused insulatuion and will upgrade the thickness with ROXUL to at least R35

cbeingessner 05-26-2009 02:28 PM

Yup, a few blocks south of Campbell. I know Beingessner does windows or something in Ontario? A distant, distant relative - my family's been in Sask since the early 1900s. I actually just braced the basement (and blogged about it tonight They used 4" i-beam -- solid stuff!

I'll eventually drywall the spray foam and fibreglass batts -- I think I'll just do R-20. But for now I just want to stop the air loss! After gutting the basement I can see a LOT of daylight. Oh my.

I also added insulation to my cathedral ceiling -- no small task...but worth it!

Thanks for the advice and help -- does the Great Stuff need drywall to be code? Thanks again!

Chris -- follow along as the "Handyman's Dream" rises from the ashes!

drtbk4ever 05-26-2009 05:07 PM


Keep us informed on what you end up doing with your rim joists. What kind of foam, where you got it, etc.

I would like to do something similar in my basement.

cbeingessner 05-26-2009 05:56 PM

Will do! Won't get to it til the end of summer, mind you...

Chris -- follow along as the "Handyman's Dream" rises from the ashes!

Chemist1961 05-27-2009 06:15 PM

Great Stuff is simply a gap filler not an overall coating. Several rates of expansion are availablem, for windows and doors versus big gaps , etc.
. If you insualte the rim joist you night want to take it to R35 for maximum rebate if you have the program we do in Ontario . Same amount of work more money back based on % of improvement.

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