When it comes to insulating & weatherizing, spray foam is an excellent choice. It can be used on both transverse and longitudinal surfaces. In terms of R-values per centimeter, closed-cell foam is among the best options available for air barrier, thermal control layer, & vapor barrier. It’s a slicing machine! It’s like a chopping block! It’s wonderful for making sushi!
The downside is that there are a few drawbacks to it. Spray foam’s potential benefits are fiercely discussed because it is a fossil fuel-derived material. For all of its usefulness, spray foam insulation is pricey compared to alternative insulating options. Some consumers have launched a class-action action against foam makers because they claim that the product has adversely affected their health.
You and Thermoset Polymers
Unlike traditional fiberglass insulation, spray foam gun is a thermosetting polymer. What is a thermoset plastic polymer? For someone who doesn’t know, a thermoset is a polymeric material that can be activated by heat. As a result of chemical curing, it typically takes on a hardened, solid-state.
Two organic components are combined to create spray foam insulation of the type we’re talking about here, and the foam quickly heats up and solidifies. With chilly temperatures, this seemingly simple procedure may not go as smoothly as it should.
It’s time for some spray foam shrinking fun!
Spray foam producers are a meticulous bunch. The temperatures vary & substrate requirements are clearly outlined in the technical specifications. To apply a coating to a surface, a substrate is needed.
The vast majority of installers do an excellent job, but mistakes sometimes happen. Foam applications are plagued by shrinking & poor adherence to the substrate in cold temperatures.
Spray foam is a polymer made up of two parts. The A and B elements are used to describe the two parts. It’s not uncommon for the foam to be mixed incorrectly in any climate. Here, we’ll focus on the unique issues faced by those who live in a chilly area.
Minimum Substrate temperatures would be maintained –
Because of the nature of spray foam, the surface it is applied on must be within the company’s recommended range. It’s vital to remember that we’re discussing the temperature of the substrate itself, not the air around it. Surface temperatures between 60°F & 80°F are commonly specified by spray foam producers. On a really cold January day, a poorly insulated wood sill might easily fall below 60°F. There is a good chance that the temperature will fall below 45 degrees.
A laser thermometer is all that is needed to get to the bottom of this issue. You must check the spray target’s temperature increase before spraying. The final foam cure might be sticky & shrink from the edges if applied to an extremely cold surface.
Temperatures of the various parts
Temperature-controlled trailers are used to transport foam insulation rigs. In these trailers, the tanks for the two constituent tanks are kept at the correct temperature. Like the surfaces being sprayed, the ingredients must be kept within a specific temperature range.
The ultimate foam set can be affected if the mixture contains one or both ingredients that are not at the proper temperature. It is possible that the application will not adhere well. It will become brittle and brittle if it is high in vitamin A but gooey and flexible if it is high in vitamin B. I don’t like any of this.
The substrate is covered in ice and dampness –
XPS foam boards may be an alternative for insulating a contemporary foundation wall, such as one built of formed concrete. However, foundations made of rubble or brick must be sprayed and foamed. In many circumstances, these foundations are so saturated with water that they can freeze. If the spray surface has ice on it, but the ice has been sprayed away, the substrate & foam will not be connected. It’s possible that the foam will come off the ice as it melts away. The same old “not good.”
Insulation contractors & energy auditors utilize spray foam as one of their tools for solving housing problems. However, spray foam might be affected by cold temperatures.