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: 244

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.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Diane Chojnowski replied to Jose Macho's discussion Google Sunroof Project- Where Are They Going with Solar?
" "
4 hours ago
Profile IconJustin Tyrrell, McHale Insulation and Benjamin Mailian joined Home Energy Pros
4 hours ago
Tom White's blog post was featured

Deconstructing and Moving a Historic Home

This spring in New Orleans I hosted “True Tales of Haunted Home Performance,” at the Home…See More
5 hours ago
Tom White posted a blog post

Deconstructing and Moving a Historic Home

This spring in New Orleans I hosted “True Tales of Haunted Home Performance,” at the Home…See More
8 hours ago
Kim Tanner posted a discussion

Acronym Challenge!

We challenge you to make suggestions to help troubleshoot the below problem using as many acronyms…See More
11 hours ago
Kim Tanner joined Brandon Walton's group
Thumbnail

Efficiency First Arizona Chapter

Efficiency First of Arizona is the Official State Chapter of that unites the Home Performance…See More
11 hours ago
Paul Morin commented on Sean Maxwell's blog post The Better Blower Door Test for Multifamily Energy Code
"Thanks Sean for a very will stated article.  I agree with your assessment of the importance of…"
11 hours ago
SmithWatson posted a blog post

It is time to replace your boiler, isn’t it?

Have you suddenly started noticing a spike in your energy bills? If yes, one of the main things you…See More
13 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service