High Density Foam -- Any Incidents of Cracking in Frame Walls as Studs Dry/Twist?

Just had a convo with a cold climate builder who said he has had concerns about the viability of the continuity of the air/vapour barrier created by using high-density foam in frame walls where budget dictates non-kiln-dried framing materials. Once the foam has set, and the wood starts to dry out, he has seen the studs twist and cup and significant cracks develop at the junction between the studs and the foam, and in some cases throughout the foam itself.

Although he didn't tell me if he'd done a before/after blower door test to see what the delta, his concern was enough to make him change products. He now uses high density foam on all non-framed walls where there is no issue with movement or shrinkage and the more flexible low density foam on framed walls. He's willing to take the hit on the lower insulation value and the additional vapour barrier requirement.

I hadn't bumped into this issue before and wonder if there are more people who have experienced this problem, and if so, is there any documentation, and if not, do you think there should be?

Views: 216

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

...apart from installation issues, I mean. Have asked a few questions of one Net Zero builder who is using high-density foam and he pointed to installation QA/QC problems with +2" layers being sprayed, or layers are being sprayed without enough setting time between them if pulling and cracking are issues. He noted one incidence where a crap installation at the rim joists left gaps of 1 to 1.5 inches!

He didn't see much of an issue with air barrier being compromised, because spray foam would be in contact with sheathing and that is stable. I have a few phone calls with other Net Zero/Low Energy builders this week that are unrelated to this topic, but I know they have experience with high density foam, so I'll ask some more questions and report back on what I find.

Well if budget dictates one uses wet / green wood, said budget had better dictate drying time as no product should be installed until everything is dried out

The issue isn't the product, it is improper application

Shawna foam pulling away from the studs due to over application will cause spontaneous combustion or core burn. A poor mix will cause splitting of the foam and noxcious odors. See...

http://masonknowles.com/docs/troubleshooting_sprayfoam_insulation_j...

and

https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy10/sh-21003-10/manual.pdf

 

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Bud Poll replied to Sean Lintow Sr's discussion Blower Doors & Methods Used in the group Best Practices (Residential)
"A multi-point will take longer, but what will it do for the home owner?  Will it change the…"
51 minutes ago
Sean Lintow Sr replied to Sean Lintow Sr's discussion Blower Doors & Methods Used in the group Best Practices (Residential)
"Hmmm good question - personally for air-leakage I would go with multi-point, preferably run from…"
2 hours ago
Richard Beyer posted a discussion

Media Reports Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation spontaneously combusted a $5M Connecticut Home... "The Conclusion"

OFFICE OF THE FIRE MARSHAL1212 WHITTEMORE RDMIDDLEBURY, CONNECTICUT Fire Investigation Report –…See More
13 hours ago
Profile IconDavid Hepinstall and Matthew joined Home Energy Pros
18 hours ago
Steve Leombruno posted a blog post

Static power energy box

Just wondering if You've heard of this Static power energy box that boasts energy consumption…See More
22 hours ago
Bud Poll replied to Sean Lintow Sr's discussion Blower Doors & Methods Used in the group Best Practices (Residential)
"Hi Sean, I have a question for you.  If you were only interested in providing the best audit…"
yesterday
Martin Geib posted an event
Thumbnail

WUFI Pro Training at 475 Headquarters

March 13, 2015 from 9am to 5pm
475 is proud to partner with WUFI Pro developer, Manfred Kehrer, for this training. Manfred…See More
yesterday
Tom White posted videos
yesterday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service