July 29, 2014
In 2010, Dr. Allison Bailes, PhD Energy Vanguard wrote an article based upon her personal experience and inspection of various homes that used spray foam insulation.
She began the article by citing that it is a great product and outperforms fiberglass batt-insulated, stick-built homes. The remarkable thing about her article was her appreciation for how the building envelope should completely surround the conditioned space and in contact with the air barrier. That said, the inspections she participated in found any and all of the following issues:
- Spray foam isn’t thick enough (more common with closed cell foam than open cell).
- Spray foam installers missed some of the air leakage sites.
- Spray foam installers didn’t understand the building envelope and sprayed either too little or too much.
- Spray foam contracts and pulls away from framing
The homeowner she referred to had a house in Charleston, S.C. and provided the following video to describe the inconsistencies that contributed to the poor performance.
Her conclusion – “Don’t assume that just because a home is insulated with spray foam that it’s automatically a winner. Every product has its pitfalls, and spray foam is no exception. “
SIPs homes does not require spray or fiberglass insulation, but rather a consistent foam sandwiched between the OSB or MGO boards. It is not subject to the pitfalls experienced in non-SIP homes. With the better technology successfully being implemented here in Charleston, why build your home any other way?