In order to conserve energy and maintain a sound-proof interior, a building must be adequately insulated. With this in mind, our designers developed a three-pronged strategy for insulating the exterior and interior walls at 753 using Icynene® spray foam, rigid foam, and fiberglass batt insulation. These materials along with their specific application in this particular remodeling project are outlined below.
Icynene® Spray Foam
As outlined in their website, Icynene® is a cost effective, expanding soft foam insulation for use in all types of construction. Its unique characteristics allow it to simultaneously insulate and air-seal the building. Icynene® manufactures its products with three objectives in mind – to create Healthier, Quieter, and more Energy Efficient indoor environments.
- Healthier: The foam insulation is water-blown, so no hydrofluorocarbon or Polybrominated diphenyl ethers are emitted. The air barrier system created by the spray foam seals out dust, pollen and other allergens from entering the structure, and minimizes the potential for condensation, mold and mildew.
- Quieter: The air seal created minimizes airborne noise from entering the home, and reduces the sound of kitchen and bathroom plumbing run in the walls.
- More Energy Efficient: Icynene® spray foam insulation is up to 50 percent more energy efficient than traditional insulations which helps the homeowner save money on utility bills and conserves natural resources.
Installing spray foam insulation is a complex process, where specialty equipment and materials are used. In other words, you can’t just rent a “Foam Sprayer” from Home Depot for the afternoon to insulate a drafty attic. Rather, this is a job for a professional insulating company.
- Application: At 753, Icynene® spray foam was installed in the following locations:
- All walls of the conditioned crawl space (closed-cell spray – which is waterproof – was used here as moister was a concern).
- On the band board on the first and second floor.
- The vaulted roof and walls above the second floor kitchen.
- The exterior wall in the back of the house.
- On the first floor ceiling (this was mainly for soundproofing purposes).
- In several of the interior walls that contained kitchen and bath plumbing.
Rigid foam insulation is a premium insulating material that comes in sheets of varying size and thickness. It is generally waterproof, and is significantly more energy efficient than regular batt insulation. The insulation boards can be cut with a knife or saw, and glued and/or tacked to the wall.
- Application: At 753, we used 2-inch thick rigid foam insulation on the side exterior wall, where moisture was not a concern. In order to achieve continuous coverage, the foam sheets were installed on the inside of the wall framing. When insulation is installed in just the wall cavities, portions of the wall can be left un-insulated as framing often accounts for up to 25 percent of a framed wall. Rigid foam insulation was also installed on the underside of the flat portion of the roof.
Fiberglass Batt Insulation:
Fiberglass batt insulation is sold in panels that are sized to fit most standard wall framing. It comes with various R-values, and often has facing that serves as a vapor barrier for use in exterior walls. Though not as energy efficient as spray foam or rigid foam insulation, fiberglass batts are the cheapest and easiest way to insulate walls.
- Application: In this remodeling project, batt insulation was used only in interior walls for acoustical purposes, so the un-faced variety was used. On both floors, insulation was placed between the wall framing around the bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and laundry room.