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Full Version: The uglier side of spray foam
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For anyone considering spray foam, here's a story where some people have had serious issues with it.  

I used to do a lot of contracting work and probably used it on a few hundred projects (I've never done an entire house with it either) with  no negative issues, but I wouldn't personally want to use it in a Van.  Polyiso would be my first choice for vehicle dwelling.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Hh5MYv7lWc
I recently watched an RV burn. The black toxic smoke made me wonder if using foam on my camper build would be a good idea. Should there be an electrical fire in a wall, the smoke might get you before the heat does.
I went to the Home Depot web site and looked at the R values of different types of insulation. This is how it works out per inch, fiberglass 3.7, foam 3.8, denim 3.4, cellulose 4.6, rockwool 4.2. Rock wool and cellulose both interest me as you can put a blowtorch to them and they won't burn. Bugs don't like the boron that they use in cellulose, so that is a plus. My walls will be 3" thick I think. Finding something that works easy is a big factor. For the fiberglass and rock wool, I might have to make the walls 3 1/2 ".
I haven't gotten the info on weight. The fiberglass would probably win that battle.
I can't believe they made a >21 minute video to say that foam has to be applied correctly. What a waste of time, the entire "content" could have been boiled down succinctly into a few sentences!

One of the reasons polyurethane foam is so popular, especially in confined spaces, complex geometry, or thin wall sections is due to it's R-value of ~7 per inch, and that you can get it in closed cell formulation that stops drafts, moisture problems, and air infiltration entirely. The only products I know of that are a better thermal barrier would be those commercial areogel products and vacuum insulated panels. Precast sheets of foam are great for new construction, and a lot use them in vehicles too, but it doesn't provide nearly the same quality thermal envelope as a cast-in-place product while maximizing volumetric efficiency and coverage.

They must make these kinds of videos simply for people to feel smugly superior. It's not like folks that get into these situations bother to do the commensurate research or due diligence themselves, hence the abundant source material for producers of sensational drivel like this. Such a shame. People could really use some sort of non-biased AI or search program that could quickly distill vetted information and advice to prevent these sorts of Dunning-Kruger calamities. Or perhaps a helmet of some kind that would shock them when it detects bad decision making patterns in the brain! Part of the problem is a lack of quality information full stop, when it comes to evaluating the performance and trustworthiness of "professionals" like contractors, mechanics, doctors. Professional licensure should come with fastidious statistical data collection requirements of past performance and remediation information that should be publicly available.

Along with personal finance, I think a basic risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis course would be a great addition to high school curriculum in western countries.
(06-16-2016, 11:08 AM)AngryVanMan Wrote: [ -> ]I can't believe they made a >21 minute video to say that foam has to be applied correctly.  What a waste of time, the entire "content" could have been boiled down succinctly into a few sentences!

One of the reasons polyurethane foam is so popular, especially in confined spaces, complex geometry, or thin wall sections is due to it's R-value of ~7 per inch, and that you can get it in closed cell formulation that stops drafts, moisture problems, and air infiltration entirely.  The only products I know of that are a better thermal barrier would be those commercial areogel products and vacuum insulated panels.  Precast sheets of foam are great for new construction, and a lot use them in vehicles too, but it doesn't provide nearly the same quality thermal envelope as a cast-in-place product while maximizing volumetric efficiency and coverage.

They must make these kinds of videos simply for people to feel smugly superior.  It's not like folks that get into these situations bother to do the commensurate research or due diligence themselves, hence the abundant source material for producers of sensational drivel like this.  Such a shame.  People could really use some sort of non-biased AI or search program that could quickly distill vetted information and advice to prevent these sorts of Dunning-Kruger calamities.  Or perhaps a helmet of some kind that would shock them when it detects bad decision making patterns in the brain!  Part of the problem is a lack of quality information full stop, when it comes to evaluating the performance and trustworthiness of "professionals" like contractors, mechanics, doctors.  Professional licensure should come with fastidious statistical data collection requirements of past performance and remediation information that should be publicly available.

Along with personal finance, I think a basic risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis course would be a great addition to high school curriculum in western countries.
Great post.

"Dunning-Kruger calamities" is priceless!

As to your high school curriculum suggestions, well, such courses would be fatal to western governments and banking systems in short order.

But you knew that...