Q - What is ICYNENE™?
A – ICYNENE™ was invented in 1986 to overcome the problems experienced with closed cell foams of that era, namely out gassing and mold issues. Icynene™ has a long proven track record and is the standard to which others are held. ICYNENE™ is so respected in the architectural and building communities that it has become the name they use when discussing spray foam insulation. Remember there is only one ICYNENE™ and there are many unproven imitators, so why take a chance on something so important?
Q - What is ICYNENE Classic Max™ Spray Foam Insulation?
A - It is an open cell, 100% water blown, light density, flexible soft foam insulation containing no ozone depleting blowing agents. It is sprayed onto walls, gables, crawl spaces, and the underside of roof decks by trained technicians. It is sprayed as a thick liquid, in seconds it expands to more than 100 times its volume to create a superior insulation and air barrier. Every crack, crevice, electrical box, and exterior penetration is effortlessly sealed to reduce energy-robbing, random air leakage. The building envelope seal remains intact over time and is ideal for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional indoor applications.
Q - Is it safe?
A - Yes it meets all the building codes including AC377 fire test, smoke development and flame spread. Within hours of application VOC emissions is 100 times better than the safe concentration level (TLV).
Q - What’s the difference between open cell and closed cell foam?
A - ICYNENE Classic Max™ Open Cell Foam is 100% water blown, has an R-Value of 3.7 per inch and has a nominal weight of 0.5 pounds per cubic foot, it is air tight, not a moisture barrier and is flexible. The R-values are listed by thickness in the International Code Council Evaluation Services Evaluation Report, for Classic Max™ it is ESR-1826.
Closed Cell Foams are typically blown with HFCs (hydro-fluoro-carbons), have an R-Value of 6.7 to 7.2 per inch, weigh a nominal 2.0 pounds per cubic foot, are air tight, a moisture barrier, semi-rigid and add structural reinforcement. They are used for both residential and commercial applications and are principally the accepted standard for commercial applications. For the same R-Value, closed cell foam is roughly 2 times the cost of open cell. We do offer both types and each has its place.
Q - What is its R value?
A - R-value is used as a reference point for the consumer; however we must be careful in using R- value as the only acceptance criteria when selecting insulation for your new home. The test procedure for determining R-value measures resistance to conduction and does not give a true fit for service rating of insulation’s effectiveness in your home. Convection or the flow of hot air thru an insulation plays a very important roll in energy efficiency. Studies have shown a conditioned attic plus air tightness along with R’s = maximum energy savings performance. There is a point of diminishing returns with spray foam insulation thicknesses; increasing the thickness from 6" to 12" doubles the cost and provides only a modest 2% increase in heat flow reduction.
Q – Can I use it for soundproofing interior walls?
A - YES, sound attenuation is one additional benefit you get with - ICYNENE Classic Max™ spray foam and air barrier material. - ICYNENE Classic Max™ has a Noise Reduction Coefficient of .70 (an NRC of 0 indicates perfect reflection; an NRC of 1 indicates perfect absorption). We use it in theater rooms or for privacy in other areas. Your whole house will be quieter.
Q – What is a conditioned attic?
A – The conditioned attic was the result of research by the US Department of Energy using Oak Ridge National Laboratories to make a more energy efficient building envelope. The attic becomes conditioned space by simply moving the insulation barrier from the floor of the attic to the underside of the roof deck forming a thermal break blocking roof deck heat from entering the house. The insulation seal on the underside of the roof deck joins the insulation in the exterior vertical walls, making the building near airtight with a continuous insulation seal. It has no ridge vents or soffit vents. The temperature in the attic will be within 3 – 10 degrees of the living area, resulting in significant cooling cost savings. In 2006 the conditioned attic became part of the residential building code it can be found in section R806.4 this is the detailed requirement for the conditioned attic.
Q - Does my house need fresh air?
A – Being airtight does not mean “no ventilation”. A requirement of an airtight building is to draw in fresh air into the HVAC and mechanical ventilation system from outside the home; this mechanical intake must be done on a controlled basis, whereby you now regulate when the air is brought into the building, filtering, and scrubbing it with a germicidal air cleaner is now possible, eliminating dust, pollen, and other allergens - making for a healthier indoor air quality environment.
Q - Do I need to do anything differently when using spray foam insulation?
A – YES, there are several things you can do that will make the process easier, save you money and assure that you are in compliance with the fire, safety, and building codes. Contact us and we will show you what they are. We are the experts and we can make the process easier for you.
Q – Will it destroy my asphalt shingles?
A – NO, it will not. Manufacturers of asphalt shingles who offer competing insulation products will tell you this, but the truth of the matter is there are plenty of manufacturers who allow the spraying of foam directly to the roof deck from the attic. It won’t harm your roof nor cause condensation problems. It provides a thermal break, preventing heat from the roof entering the attic. It allows moisture from roof leaks to drain by gravity through the foam facilitating identification and repair.
Q- How much does it cost relative to fiberglass?
A - There is not a true apples to apples comparison. Fiberglass uses your grandfather’s old fashioned 1940’s attic design, allowing heat to build up in your attic, today it is considered an entry level insulation. We are providing an airtight building envelope assembly that includes a conditioned attic assembly using 21st century building science. We actually air seal the building and insulate areas that fiberglass doesn’t; eliminating many elements of cost required for that out dated hot box called the ventilated attic assembly. We don’t manage the attic heat we eliminate it.
It just doesn’t make good sense to place your inside AC unit in an attic that can reach 150 °F ,
in our hot Texas summer, and expect energy efficiency.
With a conditioned attic in many cases the HVAC system tonnage can be reduced. An oversized unit will short cycle failing to properly de-humidify the house; therefore it is most important to have your system sized properly using approved load calculation software such as the Manual J .
The superior thermal insulating properties of an Icynene® building assembly gives you a significant energy savings each month, that can result in a monthly positive cash, resulting in a favorable ROI.
An Icynene® insulated building will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions with the additional benefit of making your living environment healthier, quieter, and more energy efficient. Think of it as maximizing your new home investment for continued savings that begins on the day the meter is transferred to your name and continues each and every month thereafter.