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  1. #1
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    Default Closed Cell Spray foam

    Did a crawl space today that would have had issues but they covered the entire area including the ductwork, subfloor, joists and piping with closed cell spray foam. Aside from covering up the deficiencies, is this a practical thing? I know it is in attics but some of the spray foam was at ground level. How about Termites?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MURPHY View Post
    Did a crawl space today that would have had issues but they covered the entire area including the ductwork, subfloor, joists and piping with closed cell spray foam. Aside from covering up the deficiencies, is this a practical thing? I know it is in attics but some of the spray foam was at ground level. How about Termites?
    What about leaks, supply, drain, Waste oh My !

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    No it is not correct. Foam should not be in contact with the soil. Yes, Termites!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    Reminiscent of the discussions over foam on the underside of roof deck in attics. Is there any evidence or documentation that this use is bad? They put insulation batts on foundation walls where termites could easily do their dastardly work hidden from view, too.

    The solution might be to cut and remove the bottom few inches of the foam to expose the bottom of the foundation wall to monitor for termite activity.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    What about leaks, supply, drain, Waste oh My !
    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Reminiscent of the discussions over foam on the underside of roof deck in attics. Is there any evidence or documentation that this use is bad? They put insulation batts on foundation walls where termites could easily do their dastardly work hidden from view, too.

    The solution might be to cut and remove the bottom few inches of the foam to expose the bottom of the foundation wall to monitor for termite activity.
    .
    Do not encapsulate anything carrying water.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  6. #6
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    Billy,
    Spray foam insulation is also used in walls of newly constructed homes. In this application, water distribution lines and drain systems are typically encapsulated. This fulfills the requirement to insulate lines in exterior walls. However, with your statement to not "encapsulate anything carrying water", how would you handle this construction?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrel Hood View Post
    Billy,
    Spray foam insulation is also used in walls of newly constructed homes. In this application, water distribution lines and drain systems are typically encapsulated. This fulfills the requirement to insulate lines in exterior walls. However, with your statement to not "encapsulate anything carrying water", how would you handle this construction?
    Noted Encapsulated Water Distribution and Waste lines any leakage could be more difficult to located with potential for extensive damage.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MURPHY
    Did a crawl space today that would have had issues but they covered the entire area including the ductwork, subfloor, joists and piping with closed cell spray foam. Aside from covering up the deficiencies, is this a practical thing? I know it is in attics but some of the spray foam was at ground level. How about Termites?
    Jim,

    I think you're being a bit presumptuous in your statements (red).
    If you know there are issues you should state them. If you think there are issues you should also state them (with clarifications), If you can't see any issues then you should not assume anything or tell your client that you assume anything.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Noted Encapsulated Water Distribution and Waste lines any leakage could be more difficult to located with potential for extensive damage.
    .
    This argument about leakage is made every time this topic comes up. It's a good one, but I haven't found any documentation of this being a major problem. Several months ago, someone claimed to have been involved in replacing many roofs ruined by foam insulation but never delivered any evidence.

    But on the underside of a floor, I can see the potential for more problems than in an attic. Roofs are designed to shed water but not so for floors. People spill water on floors all the time. Plumbing in kitchen and bath cabinets regularly develop subtle leaks. Water works its way to the decking joints and into the crawlspace, unless trapped by the foam. I think it's reasonable to have concerns about trapped moisture leading to delamination of the floor decking or rot.

    I wouldn't crawl the entire floor with my moisture detector, but I'd be testing for soft spots in the floor as I walked around. I don't think any of the municipalities around here have codes preventing using foam like this.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Summerville, South Carolina
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    110

    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MURPHY View Post
    Did a crawl space today that would have had issues but they covered the entire area including the ductwork, subfloor, joists and piping with closed cell spray foam. Aside from covering up the deficiencies, is this a practical thing? I know it is in attics but some of the spray foam was at ground level. How about Termites?
    Did they have a dehumidifier in the crawlspace?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam


  12. #12

    Default Re: Closed Cell Spray foam

    I know some of what I am adding may be redundant but…

    I looks like they are intending to make the crawlspace a closed crawlspace?

    When foam is applied in the southeast there should be a visual break near the top of the foundation for view and to inspect for termites. Sometimes we see the foam run into grade and below.

    This foam appears to be the lightweight stuff that is vapor permeable and not a good vapor retarder.

    If the entire space is insulated did they close the vents and provide conditioned air for positive pressure? I am seeing more of this in the Carolina's but in our area they are much neater and clean…was this s retrofit?

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

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