The content of this blog will be quite different than I normally present. As most of you know, I am dinosaur old. That makes me somewhat irrelevant; however, some knowledge comes with age and a couple of thoughts can be useful. The two items I’ll share today relate to automobile brakes and foam insulation for houses (I told you this blog would be different).
2. Foam insulation. This type of insulation is all the rage in new homes; however, there can be a serious problem. There are two types of foam—open-cell and closed-cell. Open-cell foam can only be used where there is limited moisture and an opportunity for venting, like in walls. If open-cell foam is used under a house, as in a pier and beam home, there will be serious problems. Open-cell foam is hydroscopic. It absorbs moisture. A friend recently built his own home and contracted to have the walls foam insulated. Under the pier and beam house, the contractor also sprayed the joists and flooring. Unfortunately, the contractor used open-cell foam under the house. As a result, the house is now rotting from below. Black mold encases all the joists. My friend pushed his hand into the foam and squeezed a handful…and a full cup of water ran down his arm. Where there is a water source, like the ground, only closed-cell foam can be used.
I hope this information is of use. These are hard lessons you don’t want to learn on your own.
Thanks for reading,
James L. Hatch