organic spray on insulation

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Paul Wheaton, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    I thought I read a thread here recently that mentioned some organic spray on insulation. Then my cousin called and I went fishing for that thread. After a half hour of searching I give up.

    Anybody know anything about organic, spray-on insulation?
     
  2. jassytoo

    jassytoo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't know if this is what you mean, but it doesn't have some of the worst chemicals in it by the look of it. www.fomofoam.com
     

  3. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Someone posted about spray on foam made from soy beans. Don't have time to search, but search for soy beans and insulation.
     
  4. Jaclynne

    Jaclynne Well-Known Member Supporter

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  5. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    I did some price comparing [fomofoam vs, soy-foam]. It seems that the soy uses bean cellulose but it is still full of chemicals. they both out-gass. Neither one is 'self-combustible'; though neither is completely fire-proof either. The soy costs about 50% more.

    I have never used the soy-foams. So I dont know if it works any better.

    I have used fomofoam, I love it.

    :)
     
  6. kuriakos

    kuriakos Well-Known Member

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    I think the soy-based foams have a slightly higher R-value, so the higher cost may be worth it for that. But I doubt there are any real environmental benefits...they probably just make it with soy so they can say it's all-natural.

    http://www.biobased.net/
     
  7. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    The soy based stuff is what I was looking for! Thanks!

    But ... yeah .... doesn't seem as safe as one might think/hope ....
     
  8. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for starting this thread Paul.
    Thanks for posting the link Kuriakos, and for the fomofoam name ET1(I easily found their homepage).

    I think my first interest in these spray foams started with monolithic's site and their process for making domes by spraying foam on an inflatable structure followed by cement. When I called for local prices, I lost interest. Although fomofoam is a do-it-yourself alternative, the price is still way up there. In their example, a 600 sq ft structure would cost at least $2100.

    The soy product is endorsed by the American Lung association; however, I could not find any information on either web site regarding outgassing. The safety data sheets are for the unsprayed separate chemicals, and as such do not indicate anything about the finished product, except a comment regarding the respiratory hazard during application required a respirator.

    I didn't see an R value for the soy product. The fomofoam claims R-7 which seems like it is rounded up. IIRC, polyurethane board, faced with foil is only 6.8 per inch. I bet the soy foam is about the same.

    For the money and questions about the safety, I would still insulate with cellulose.
    Gary
     
  9. kuriakos

    kuriakos Well-Known Member

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    The BioBased soy foam is R-4 per inch. I think there's a soy foam that's R-10 or somewhere around there, but I can't find any information about it anymore. I think it's http://www.soyfoam.com but that site is down now.
     
  10. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

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    I don't know much about this topic, however when I once visited the LBJ Ranch in Texas, I was told that they sprayed a mixture of shredded newspaper and water (a slurry) onto the inside of the barn roofs and it made it a lot cooler inside for the cattle.

    I'm not sure how organic it would be, or what chemicals would be present, but you could contact the Supt. at the LBJ State Park or the LBJ National Park portion, and ask them about it.
     
  11. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    I was just shown this stuff by their salesman at the MOFGA fair.

    It still burns.

    It sticks well while it is still wet, but once it has dried to tends to pull away from the studs and it will collapse.

    Over time it settles and leaves gaps at the tops of each wall.

    But it is cheaper than foam!
     
  12. kuriakos

    kuriakos Well-Known Member

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    That sounds similar to the wet-blown cellulose, which works pretty well inside walls...and yeah, a LOT cheaper than foam. I used it in a renovation of an apartment building I owned a few years ago. I don't remember the R-value but 4" of it was enough to comply with the codes.
     
  13. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    Your building inspector 'required' some set level of R?

    I have bought buildings with no insulation, I truly did not think that R was really addressed in building codes.

    :)
     
  14. kuriakos

    kuriakos Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, a lot of medium to large size cities have added insulation R-values to their building codes, sometimes only for multi-family residences. This particular building was in a liberal university city run by environmentalists, so they wouldn't grant the permit unless I insulated.
     
  15. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In my area, code does address insulation on new construction. Foam products must be covered with drywall, but I don't know how they address spray on foam in a curvilinear structure. I suppose a layer of cement suffices.

    Foams are not fire proof. Neither is homemade cellulose. The cellulose in the big box stores is fire proof. It is treated with boric acid so it is water proof, mold proof, bug proof, and fire proof. It prevents air infiltration (unlike fiberglass bats) and is the most cost effective insulation.

    Fiberglass actually becomes less effective as the temperature drops, and even a small gap will eliminate any insulative value. Plus, it's a royal pain to handle whereas the cellulose is just a nuisance.
     
  16. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    You may want to insulate your whole house with aluminum foil. (See the thread on "Tin Foil Hats" for more information!!! ;)
     
  17. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    It was explained to me [by a cellulose salesman] that it is not fire-proof, but rather fire-resistant. It can not withstand direct open flame, not prolonged exposure to extremely high heat.

    Also he said that the studs have a minimum spacing requirement as the wet-fill needs to be supported by the studs. If the studs are too far apart, then as the fill dries it will fall away from the studs and collapse down. so it can not be used if the studs are placed far apart, or if the structure has no studs.

    I understand that using cellulose fill, fills the void space between studs, so it would naturally slow-down any air-infiltration. But how does it "prevent air inflitration"? Loose fill does not seal the leaks and cracks in the outer walls.

    To my understanding only something that was either a caulk, or an epoxy-base; that was really glued to the outer walls, and filled all cracks, and stayed in place as a structural component, would actually "prevent air infiltration".

    Thank you for bringing me up to date, as I dont see how loose fill can compete in this area.

    :)
     
  18. kuriakos

    kuriakos Well-Known Member

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    You're right, loose fill cellulose doesn't make anything air-tight, but it does resist air flow a LOT better than fiberglass batts or fill...can you even buy fiberglass fill anymore? I haven't seen it anywhere in a long time. I wouldn't buy it anyway.
     
  19. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    That was what I thought.

    Thanks.

    So:
    seemed entirely at odds with both logic and observation.
     
  20. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The cellulose insulation fills the wall voids and prevents air infiltration.

    http://www.cellulose.org/cellulose_benefits.html

    When installed correctly, it packs densely, and it doesn't settle either. It fills the space in such a way that air will not infiltrate as it does with fiberglass.