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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    15

    Spray Foam Insullation -Dimilec - Is It Bad?

    Hi,

    I have spray foam insulation in my house all 4 sides and roof, however, I just found this youtube video that shows that spray foam could be a hazard to your health.

    1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPxg9IlYnWg

    Can someone give me feedback on this.

    2) http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/ar...-Health-Risks/

    IMPORTANT: I just found out that my house has voc levels of 4000 ug/m3 right now. So I am wondering how do I find out if it is due to the foam or something else.

    Any tips from any air quality expert. I started out trying to solve asthma issues and maybe the VOC, Foam, Asthma are all tied together. I do not know and could use some guidance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,455
    Quote Originally Posted by victor123 View Post
    Hi,

    I have spray foam insulation in my house all 4 sides and roof, however, I just found this youtube video that shows that spray foam could be a hazard to your health.

    1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPxg9IlYnWg

    Can someone give me feedback on this.

    2) http://www.buildinggreen.com/auth/ar...-Health-Risks/

    IMPORTANT: I just found out that my house has voc levels of 4000 ug/m3 right now. So I am wondering how do I find out if it is due to the foam or something else.

    Any tips from any air quality expert. I started out trying to solve asthma issues and maybe the VOC, Foam, Asthma are all tied together. I do not know and could use some guidance.
    During warm months and calm winds there are no external forces on the home to force fresh air ventilation on the home.
    Any air tight home with the usual materials inside and normal activities will test high for volitile organics. Formaldehyde is the most common. Now spray foam the home making it near perfectly air tight and what would you expect.
    All well built homes need a fresh air change in 4-5 hours as a minimum ventilation rate to purge the common indoor pollutants and renew oxygen. At a minimum, fresh air is critical when the home is occupied. Some people are very sensitive to these pollutants.
    When the outdoor dew points are +55^F, significant dehumidification is required to remove the moisture from the fresh air and the occupants to maintain <50%RH. <50%RH is needed for comfort, to avoid mold and dust mites which can cause other Indoor Air Quality problems.
    The whole house ventilating dehumidifier like the Ultra-Aire are excellent device for providing fresh air and removing excess moisture when the a/c is running enough. We do many foam insulated home with great results.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    82
    Teddy Bear,
    Do you like the idea of spray foam insulation?
    My question is to you. What kind of insulation would you choose if it would be your house and your choice? Just curious... Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    82
    Hey Victor,
    Did you do any testing for VOC. How do you know the voc level? If you hired someone what did they say?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,455
    Quote Originally Posted by smooth_operator View Post
    Teddy Bear,
    Do you like the idea of spray foam insulation?
    My question is to you. What kind of insulation would you choose if it would be your house and your choice? Just curious... Thanks
    My 35 year old home has 1" of foam board on th outside. This is air tight construction, like .2 ach during cold windy weather. During warm weather lite winds, it has an air change in 10-15 hours.
    I like the air tightness and the strength of the more rigid foams. I would want strong fresh air ventilation during the first couple years. My brother just finished his foam house. Looks good. I will be testing it for fresh air ventilation.
    Iwill keep you posted.
    Regards
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    73
    You didn't mention how old/long ago the insulation was installed? The VOC's associated with polyurethane foam drop sharply with time, as I understand the current science to indicate. Consider adding fresh air exchange, either an ERV or exhaust-only fan (my choice is ERV, but exhaust-only is an easier retrofit). Check buildingscience.com for more good information than you want to think about.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,455
    Quote Originally Posted by keith w View Post
    You didn't mention how old/long ago the insulation was installed? The VOC's associated with polyurethane foam drop sharply with time, as I understand the current science to indicate. Consider adding fresh air exchange, either an ERV or exhaust-only fan (my choice is ERV, but exhaust-only is an easier retrofit). Check buildingscience.com for more good information than you want to think about.

    The new or old homes need the fresh air change in 4-5 hours to purge indoor pollutants and renew oxygen at a minimum when occupied. You are forgetting the fresh make-up air ventilation as an option for ventilation. The advantage is that some air is available for the operation of exhaust appliance like the close drier, kitchen/bath exhaust, and open combustion apppliances.
    Supplemental moisture removal (dehumidifier) is needed when the outside dew point is +55^F with low/no coolings. Humidification is also required for homes that with low occupancy and moderate to large size with outdoor dew points <40^F.
    Most homes get enough fresh air when the wind blows and the outside temperature is <30^F. Not ventilating when the home is unoccupied will conserve energy. Some ventilation controllers sense occupancy and the lack of natural ventilation by monitoring the CO2 levels or use occupancy schedules. Check out the Ultra-Aires DEH 3000 controller.

    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

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