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Old 04-22-2018, 01:02 PM   #1
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Spray foam vs Foam board

I know some of the pros and cons of using different insulation (cost, time) but what other differences are there?
Are the R-values much different?
What about moisture?
Radiant barriers?

I like the idea of spray foam. It seals holes. But what about "off gassing?"

Any knowledge and experience would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:19 PM   #2
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We decided to remove all Glass wool from the bus and replaced it with PIR-isolation plates, we used spray-foam (isolation PUR) to fill the unreachable areas and small spaces between/around the plates.

Our PIR-plates (50mm) have an Rd value of 2.72 ~ 2.32.

The isolation / Rd value of PUR (spray foam) is a little less. but still very good!

We discovered that if you process the PUR / SprayFoam in an hot environment (during a hot day) that huge air bubbles can appear within your isolation so keep the weater / temperature in mind!
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by KasperNL View Post
We decided to remove all Glass wool from the bus and replaced it with PIR-isolation plates, we used spray-foam (isolation PUR) to fill the unreachable areas and small spaces between/around the plates.

Our PIR-plates (50mm) have an Rd value of 2.72 ~ 2.32.

The isolation / Rd value of PUR (spray foam) is a little less. but still very good!

We discovered that if you process the PUR / SprayFoam in an hot environment (during a hot day) that huge air bubbles can appear within your isolation so keep the weater / temperature in mind!
Thanks for the tip!
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:03 PM   #4
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That foam sealant is not the foam to use.

Closed Cell Spray Foam has an R-Value of about 6 per inch depending on weight.

It seals, and insulates very well, and is the insulation of choice.

The downside is that it costs at least double the price of foam board that insulates almost as well but is a little trickier to seal.
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:39 PM   #5
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That foam sealant is not the foam to use.

Closed Cell Spray Foam has an R-Value of about 6 per inch depending on weight.

It seals, and insulates very well, and is the insulation of choice.

The downside is that it costs at least double the price of foam board that insulates almost as well but is a little trickier to seal.
I think spending the extra money on insulation is well worth it, to install the best product.
Any negatives, though? Are there fumes being given off forever? Does it handle humid environments well? Does it mold?
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:59 PM   #6
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I think spending the extra money on insulation is well worth it, to install the best product.
Any negatives, though? Are there fumes being given off forever? Does it handle humid environments well? Does it mold?
I had my first bus spray foamed.

For a few weeks after having it sprayed you could smell a distinct odor from the foam. Especially in hot weather. By the time I moved in the smell was pretty much gone.

I lived full time for 6+ years covering 40+ states and never had any moisture or mold issues with the insulation.
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:59 PM   #7
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I think spending the extra money on insulation is well worth it, to install the best product.
Any negatives, though? Are there fumes being given off forever? Does it handle humid environments well? Does it mold?
It's closed-cell and remains dry.

It has no issues with damp or mold.

The whole "off-gassing" thing is over-blown. A few sensitive folk might smell something when it's first installed. There are no known cases of the smell remaining beyond a few days, or of anyone becoming ill because of it.

They spray entire houses and commercial buildings with the stuff. If there were any real issues we would know by now.

I can't afford it. If I could, I'd use it. What I am most likely to do is use foam board for all the flat surfaces and ceiling, and buy a small kit for the end caps.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:02 PM   #8
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It's closed-cell and remains dry.

It has no issues with damp or mold.

The whole "off-gassing" thing is over-blown. A few sensitive folk might smell something when it's first installed. There are no known cases of the smell remaining beyond a few days, or of anyone becoming ill because of it.

They spray entire houses and commercial buildings with the stuff. If there were any real issues we would know by now.

I can't afford it. If I could, I'd use it. What I am most likely to do is use foam board for all the flat surfaces and ceiling, and buy a small kit for the end caps.
Awesome. Thanks.
I'm overly paranoid with the whole formaldehyde thing. And mold.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:02 PM   #9
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I had my first bus spray foamed.

For a few weeks after having it sprayed you could smell a distinct odor from the foam. Especially in hot weather. By the time I moved in the smell was pretty much gone.

I lived full time for 6+ years covering 40+ states and never had any moisture or mold issues with the insulation.
Terrific to hear! Thanks
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:04 PM   #10
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There is a very nasty video out there of how fast spray foam ignites and how quickly fire spreads (it was in a simulated home environment), and the thick black smoke that it gives off if it ever catches fire is frightening.

For that reason, I would stick to fire resistant closed cell spray foam. Or some of the companies use a "Intumescent" paint like coating over the top that is some very cool chemical magic that makes it significantly more fire resistant.
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:20 PM   #11
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There is a very nasty video out there of how fast spray foam ignites and how quickly fire spreads (it was in a simulated home environment), and the thick black smoke that it gives off if it ever catches fire is frightening.

For that reason, I would stick to fire resistant closed cell spray foam. Or some of the companies use a "Intumescent" paint like coating over the top that is some very cool chemical magic that makes it significantly more fire resistant.
...wow... Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2018, 12:12 PM   #12
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I have seen some reports of badly applied spray foam not curing properly and emitting noxious chemicals. It certainly is not all the time, but it is celar to me that if I were to use spray foam, I would want it put in by an established, reputable, and responsible company.
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:19 PM   #13
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If there were any real issues we would know by now..
Bet they said the same about asbestos just before etc..
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:22 PM   #14
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We have installed spray foam, high density and icenene in several building, some of it I have done myself. I have had no issues with side effects and either way it would be very hard to proof that it has a relation to my wife's and daughter's asthma.
but;


https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/heal...yurethane-foam


Our knowledge and acceptance will always be years after the facts.
lead paint....smoking.... sugar....agent orange,.... depleted uranium,... the list is endless. I worked for years in nuclear power plants and for years my bosses told me that it was only bad for you at a huge dosis. Not that i believed that anyway.



Pick your poison, we are going to die... but if you are nervous about the side effects then I think it would be safer to go with aluminum foil foam board and seal / glue the edges with expanding foam.


Good luck making a decision.

later J
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:33 PM   #15
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The only negative comments I have read in reviews is if you put it on too thick it doesn't cure properly in the center and may edit fumes. I'm sure it's not a problem when done professionally because they, I'm sure, know that by the time they start charging customers.
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:45 AM   #16
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I think spending the extra money on insulation is well worth it, to install the best product.
Any negatives, though? Are there fumes being given off forever? Does it handle humid environments well? Does it mold?
My spray foam arrived today. I got the TigerFoam which is a better moisture barrier than foam it green. Foam it green is a class 2 moisture barrier. I have a few more things to do to be ready to spray it. If the nozzle clogs it.can come out of the 2 tanks unequally which is problematic. You *do* have to be careful to follow the directions.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:48 AM   #17
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The only negative comments I have read in reviews is if you put it on too thick it doesn't cure properly in the center and may edit fumes. I'm sure it's not a problem when done professionally because they, I'm sure, know that by the time they start charging customers.
"professionals" trying to finish in one pass is the main reason for the improper curing.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:20 AM   #18
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"professionals" trying to finish in one pass is the main reason for the improper curing.
And never by inexperienced first time DIY'ers.
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:22 PM   #19
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And never by inexperienced first time DIY'ers.
Everyone I know that's done their own has had a very nice finished result.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:17 PM   #20
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Reviving this because I like the information here so far but would love to hear more opinions.

When choosing the foam board route, what have some of you done to get it sealed enough to not trap "sweat" in between the roof and board?

The spray foam is pricy, I would likely hire someone if I were to choose the way, but I'm still going back and forth so much.
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