Spray it to make it “Stiff, Tight… and even GREEN!”

24 Feb

Now,  I know that this blog is dedicated to building homes out of Shipping Containers, recycled materials, and even…(gasp!) cast-offs and debris! But…

I know this, because I’ve been saying it over and over again. In fact, I can even hear it in my sleep! 🙂

But my “alternative” home still shares a lot of it’s “works” with it’s more “traditional” counterparts. So, we’ve been exploring the components, and even the “Rules of Homebuilding.” Once you grasp these, you can build just about anything.

But… don’t tell your significant other, or your “Honey-Do” list will start looking like the Magna Carta! Oy!


We looked at whether or not SIPs and Spray Foam are considered “Green” products. Now, I admit that I did this for two reasons;

  1. Because I caved to public pressure, and…
  2. I wanted to clean out my email folder without answering 37 emails individually.

Why? Because saving energy is “green,” that’s why! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 😉

Those of you that have been following along already know that my family is building a home, to replace the one that a hurricane ate. And, you also know that we’re doing it, in a way that makes the neighbors nervous. We’re building an “alternative” house. Now, this doesn’t mean that we’ll have loud music blaring out at all hours of the day and night, accompanied by a bevy of gyrating goth chicks, with big… um…er… never mind!

Now… I wanted that, but my wife said; “Not just NO, but HELL NO!” She can be a real buzz-kill sometimes! 🙂

We’re building our house out of 40′ Shipping Containers, and some reclaimed Aircraft Hanger components. I bet you don’t see THAT everyday, huh? Well, drive by my neighborhood, and you just might… Where was I? Oh yeah…

So today, we’re gonna take a brief step sideways, and take another look at SIPs and Spray Foam. This time, we’re gonna explore “the nuts and bolts” of Spray Foam products…

Spray Foam Insulation

You already know that there is no better home insulating material. Why do you know this? Because I told you so the last time we talked about this… weren’t you paying attention? ARGH!

Spray Foam Insulation can seal your home from air and moisture intrusion! Spray Foam Insulation can save you money on on costly utility bills, strengthen your home, and protect your family’s health from dangerous mold, airborne pollutants, and allergens! It can too!

Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation

  • Stops air and moisture infiltration
  • Makes your home more comfortable
  • Saves on energy costs
  • Adds strength to the building structure
  • It is permanent and will not sag
  • Keeps dust and pollen out
  • Reduces capacity requirements, maintenance and wear of HVAC equipment

Experts say that: “Spray Foam Insulation Redefines Traditional Construction Methods and Benefits Modern Building Sciences and Energy Efficient Green Building Initiatives.” But, I bet they take a deep breath before they say that!

Whaaa? English, please…

Using Spray Foam is a new way of insulating your house. It works, and it’s even good for the planet.

I’m boring you, already, huh? Well, if you have the stomach for it…

Keep reading, as I craftily weave a compelling tapestry of both fact… and “friction.” I’ll tell you all about how spray foam can be used in “the Building Envelope.” This is the “envelope” that YOU are responsible for. If you use any other kind of envelope, you end up relying on the Postal Service, and those are odds I ain’t touchin! 🙂

And if you’re paying attention, you’ll see how Spray Foam outperforms fiberglass insulation, becomes a superior air barrier, and even defies traditional and perhaps “outdated  old-school building practices”  of attic and crawl space ventilation.

We’ve already talked about Cellulose Insulation, insulation made outta  your favorite Levi’s (jeans), and even waste paper shreds turned into insulation!  In fact, we’ve talked about it so much…  so I ain’t going there!

Are you still awake? Hello? Is anybody out there? Man, I hate it when that happens… 🙂

Spray Foam Insulation (SPF) Saves You Money and Pays for Itself

SPF home insulation saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills. SPF is used to seal the entire “building envelope” of your home to prevent air and moisture infiltration. The US Department of Energy (DOE) studies show that 40% of your home’s energy is lost due to air infiltration. This air infiltrates the home in the form of drafts through walls sockets, windows and doorways.

Often times no expensive building wrap or additional vapor protection is required during construction when using SPF, saving money yet again.

But those building Nazis will still insist on it, I guarantee!

High R-Value

Sprayed polyurethane foam has an aged R-value of approximately 6.0 per 1 inch thickness (and depending on the particular formulation and application, even higher values have been achieved!). This enables SPF to provide more thermal resistance with less material than any other type of commercial insulation material.

Let me repeat that for the “hearing impaired;”

This enables SPF to provide more thermal resistance with less material than any other type of commercial insulation material.

SPF systems are frequently used to insulate and protect a wide variety of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

And this saves you money. You remember “money,” right? It’s that green stuff we used to try and save, back when it was plentiful! Ah… those were the days!

Monthly energy and utility savings of 30% or greater can be achieved when compared to the alternative roofing and insulation systems. The cost of an SPF roof or insulation system can often be recovered in less than 5 years, simply through energy savings alone.

SPF Prevents Air, Moisture and Gas Infiltration

Studies have shown that as much as 40% of a building’s total energy loss is due to air infiltration. Traditional fiberglass insulation is only stapled, or placed into the wall cavities and does not seal the stud and wall cavities from end to end, or top to bottom. Air infiltration can pass through these gaps, making it far less efficient than SPF. SPF not only adheres to, but forms to the walls and floors to create a tight seal and insulating barrier that stops this air leakage. SPF also boasts the highest R-value per inch than any other commercial material, (upwards of R-7.0, compared with Fiberglass at R-3.5) making your home more comfortable and less expensive to heat in the winter, and cool in the summer.

Since SPF acts as an air barrier, it also helps to reduce moisture infiltration, which is a source of dangerous mold and mildew growth in the home, and can cause severe health problems to its occupants. So save your family and save money at the same time with SPF home insulation systems. Moisture infiltration can also cause structural damage to your home or building.

SPF Helps Reduce Moisture and Mold

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture. SPF insulation is the key.

SPF Enhances Overall Building Stability

Since SPF is seamless and monolithic, foam sprayed into the walls enhances overall building stability and reduces “rack and sheer.”

SPF Deadens Sound Travel and Noise

SPF also reduces airborne sound making the home acoustically tighter and more private from room to room.

So there you have it! SPF Rocks! It’s truly “a great something” to consider when building your house.

I know, I know… I can hear the teeth gnashing, and the hair tearing… about SPF’s carbon footprint, and some of the ingredients used to produce it. But remember, I told you that there are many different “types of GREEN.” Sometimes, it’s a good thing, to take some of the “good” with some of the “bad.”

I think that this is definitely one of those occasions.

And there’s more! Using SPF actually reinforces and strengthens your home. It’s like wrapping your house in duct tape! If you’ve got a NASCAR watching bone in your body, you know how important duct tape is! Right?

So next time, we’re gonna talk about strength. And I’m not talking about trying to get you to switch deodorants… Although, you might consider it… 😉

Stay Tuned!

The Renaissance Ronin

One Response to “Spray it to make it “Stiff, Tight… and even GREEN!””

  1. Mark March 23, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    The Government has released it’s information about their Free Insulation Rebate for more information on the criteria see FREE INSULATION
    or download it here
    Free Insulation Guidelines

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