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Spray Foam Insulation installer

26 August 2008
New Jersey
Im looking to have spray foam insulation installed in my soon to be powder coating shop... can anybody recommend one?
I cannot recommend a vendor but I can tell you how they work. And, what the technology is.

First, they are two-part systems. They have the product and the catalyst, both mixed through a heated spray system. They usually are set up in a cube van and stretch the sprayer/nozzle to the site. They need to be within 100' as I recall (curb to application site).

There are two types of foam; closed and open-cell. The closed cell achieves the same R rating with less product but is...wait for it...higher in cost. Closed cell is supposed to be a vapor barrier. It is claimed to not be structurally supportive, but just try to get through it after application with anything non-motorized. You will wear your arm out.

Open cell takes up more space and expands quite a bit. It is not a vapor barrier. It works fine with 2X6s where you can get more foam on the wall. A 2X4 space can be filled as well but you cannot overspray in that space. I went with closed cell and did the back cap of my house from grade to second story roofline and slightly thicker than specified. Be sure to have all your wiring in conduit or in place before you spray. Otherwise, you will never see it again.

If it were me, doing it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing either. It works great.
Did you look into those rigid foam panels before you went with spray foam?

How much did you spend per square ft?
I could probably find this online with some searching but since it sounds like you're familiar - any price difference estimates (labor & mat'l) for open/closed vs regular insulation for a 12 x 40 foot exterior wall with 2x6's, where the interior of the wall/studs are fully exposed and accessible?
Yinzer - price difference was for the product, not the labor. On second thought, labor may have been a touch less because for the same effort you get more R-value. I don't recall how we priced the job. I had it done about 5 years ago. As I recall, you have to do multiple sprays over the same area with open cell and just one with closed (assuming 2X4). I had 2X6 and had them run a second spray anyway (it is a western-facing wall in Chicago...cold and hot!)

I would watch out for the facing on the studs. They need to prep that (i.e. keep the foam from getting onto them.) If they do not prep properly, they will spend a ton of time trying to get the facing of the studs clean and ready for the sheathing. That could be a problem. The other problem was containing the foam if the wind picks up. Ensure they put up a tarp on stuff below and anything you don't want foam permanently attached to. Neighbors are weird like that (not wanting your foam on their new exterior lamps, lawnchairs, etc. ) (Joking there)

My recollection is that I went with Dow but there are plenty of brands. I picked Dow because the pricing was similar across all brands and I knew Dow was purple, so I could audit/confirm I was getting what I ordered (you will understand when they show up with the product. You ever see an independent gas station get fuel delivered? It could be any brand just the cheapest at the tank farm. Same theory.)

NSXRguy, your PM is full. I could not respond.
I can tell you from experiance spray foam is a wonderful product... a very good friend of mine is one of the very few in south east michigan who does it... it's a bit pricy going in... but the savings in energy and comfort level of the structure is very noticable
I think i will just go with rigid foam boards for now.... spray foam is a bit out of my range right now