Foam Insulation - Especially As A Best Practice!

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

Something I don't see often on new construction is foam insulation - especially as a Best Practice!

In contrast to yesterday's post, where new construction had entire exterior wall gaps that would not have received insulation, this house has its rim joist sealed against air passage, with insulation put on top of that.

This is so good to see!

I am hoping that this is the new wave in home construction around here.

Our area is one that experiences very low AND very high seasonal temperatures.

Rim joists are an area through which huge amounts of air, hot and cold, can pass.

This affects every aspect of the environment inside of a house.

Yes, a house needs to breathe, it is true.

But such respiration must be done properly and controlled so that it does not contribute to moisture build up or microbial growth.

Notice what is being done here.

All exterior wood material, called the rim joist or frieze board, is coated with an open-cell foam, probably some form of Icynene.

It surrounds the bathroom vent tubing as well as the lines from the AC compressor.

It can be seen puffing out.

The top photo shows that the rim joist along an entire exterior wall is coated with the foam also, in dramatic contrast to yesterday's post.

On top of the foam everywhere is regular fiberglass insulation.

The foam provides an R-value of about 3 per inch.  But the real benefit is that it completely controls air flow.  This is a real advantage when fiberglass is used in addition.

The fiberglass is there to add a bit of additional thermal barrier.  More insulation is almost never a bad thing.

The other green color seen is a copper solution sprayed here on exterior wood in lower levels, especially when there are basements.  It acts as an insect and moisture repellent, as well as a fungistat.

All in all I consider this to be

Best Practice

And it was very nice to see!  And I expressed my enjoyment many times to my client and his agent, AR's Karen Kruschka.

My recommendation:  when you see something that looks different or outside the normal, bring it up with the construction supervisor or home inspector.  See what the house is offering!  You might be pleasantly surprised!

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Rainmaker
2,704,764
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Good morning Jay,

Wonderful way to start the day, a post that shows everything done right...and, AR members that get to work with one another.  It's a "win-win"!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Mar 23, 2012 09:18 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

All true Lisa.  Karen and I have been together a few times!

Mar 23, 2012 09:26 PM #8
Rainmaker
2,886,291
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Rogers, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Jay I could see that smile of your even getting larger when you notice such things.  We are all glad to see and hear about a job well done 

Mar 23, 2012 09:34 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It did James, and I mentioned this practice more than once during the inspection!

Mar 23, 2012 09:59 PM #10
Rainmaker
455,517
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Jay - It's always good to see builders/remodelers doing things right. And when they go beyond what is required it confirms that there are still some who take pride in their work.

Mar 24, 2012 08:21 AM #11
Rainmaker
86,952
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Hey Jay,

That is a nice job. Here in New York I have not yet seen spray foam insulation in homes I've inspected, everyone uses the pink stuff.

Mar 24, 2012 12:39 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

John - right, and for me it is worth mentioning, and posting in the Best Practices group!

Eric - I have had a few foam posts and so far it is impressive.  But not cheap!

Mar 24, 2012 08:16 PM #13
Rainmaker
684,209
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

In my opinion, the rim joist should always be spray foam insulted on any new house or as an upgrade on existing homes. 

Mar 24, 2012 11:28 PM #14
Rainmaker
579,727
Chris Smith
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage - New Tecumseth, ON
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta

Jay, this use of foam insulation will dramatically reduce leakage.  I should investigate doing this in my home

Mar 25, 2012 01:07 AM #15
Ambassador
2,079,669
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Jay - So glad to hear that there are builders out there that actually take insulation seriously and do it correctly!

Mar 25, 2012 03:34 AM #16
Rainmaker
2,755,955
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Jay - Thank you for sharing detailed quality information on foam insulation, especially as a best practice.

Mar 25, 2012 04:01 AM #17
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Jim - I have never looked into it, and still could do it on about 1/3 of my rim joists.  I think I am going to call around.

Chris - it would certainly improve the basement's ability to retain heat during your winters.  Would it pay you back financially?  Probably not, but that isn't the motivation.

Barbara-Jo - at least this one does!  I loved seeing it.

You're welcome John.  It certainly is a best practice, which hopefully soon will become a common practice.

Mar 25, 2012 09:35 AM #18
Rainmaker
233,461
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

That's great to see!  I'm sure you'll be seeing more and more foam :)

Mar 27, 2012 11:49 AM #19
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It seems to be making its way into our area Reuben.  They recommend the open cell here, due to our humidity during the summer.

Mar 27, 2012 07:01 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,223,695
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Jay:  Until we started watching Holmes on Homes ... I had never seen such great usage of the spray foam insulation.  You just prove with your post, that it has many great uses beyond what I've seen so far.  And it looks so easy to apply.  I've done insulating and always come away scratching afterwards.  This sure would alleviate that ... so I'm giving it a big thumbs-up ... and your post too ..

Gene

Mar 28, 2012 06:12 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Gene.  They use a different product in Canada than we use here.  That foam is closed cell, but it is foam nonetheless!  It is easy to install yes, and not cheap!

Mar 28, 2012 08:32 AM #22
Rainmaker
217,052
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

That's great to see, The builder obviously got some good advice from someone. They need to stop compressing that insulation though. Good start for others to follow.

Mar 28, 2012 10:06 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Rob.  I wonder if this is the new wave around here.  Hope so!

Mar 28, 2012 10:08 AM #24
Rainmaker
217,052
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Jay, It is here since builder are trying to meet the 2006 IECC which might be adopted by the county soon. I usually only see the extra effort in energy retrofits.

Mar 28, 2012 01:04 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,843,565
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

If it was done in my house as a retrofit I could only do about 1/3 of my basement Rob.  Many houses it would be less than that.

Mar 28, 2012 06:23 PM #26
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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