Spray Foam FAQs

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What are the R-values of the products you install?

The R-value of Icynene LD-C-50 is 3.7 per inch thickness. The R-value of
Icynene MD-R-210 is 5.5 per inch thickness.

Does spray foam insulation require a vapor retarder?

Because all spray foams form a complete air barrier when installed, they stop the vast majority of moisture problems that can occur due to condensation..up to 99% according to many studies. While Icynene LD-C-50™ is an excellent air barrier, it is not a vapor retarder. According to the state of Wisconsin building codes, a separate vapor retarder may still be required. A low vapor retarding paint/primer (perm rating below 1 perm) is recommended to be applied to the finished surface of the drywall to fulfill these requirements.

Because of its lower vapor permeance, Icynene MD-R-210™ will generally not require any type of separate vapor retarder.

What is Icynene® made of?

Icynene LD-C-50™ is an open cell, soft foam material similar in feel to foam used in pillows and mattresses.

Icynene MD-R-210™ is a higher density, rigid foam more similar in feel to sheet or board foams sold at hardware stores.

Unlike other spray foams, all IcyneneR products use trapped air as the insulating gas. Most other spray foam insulations use a trapped synthetic gas that will continue to offgas after installation. Always be sure to compare the long term or "aged R-values" of different foam insulations when coming to a decision on the correct product to use.

Is Icynene a “green” product?

Icynene is about as “green” as it gets. First, Icynene is up to 50% more energy efficient that other insulation materials because it forms such a complete air barrier. This means less consumption of fossil fuels and fewer pollutants being put into the atmosphere. Second, Icynene is a water-based foam. There are no CFC’s, HCFC’s, HFC’s or VOC’s that will offgas over time and harm the quality of your indoor air. Also, Icynene is extremely effective at helping to prevent condensation that can lead to mold and mildew, ensuring a healthy home for you and your family.

Can my house be “too tight” with Icynene?

You cannot have a house that is “too tight”. Ideally, you want your house to not leak any air at all. However, you can definitely have a house that is under ventilated. A quick way to tell if your house is under ventilated is if you see condensation or frost on the windows in the winter. When a house is sealed well, you need an exchange of air to purge moist, stale, polluted air out of the house and bring fresh air back in. The way to do this, though, is not through a leaky house. It is through mechanical ventilation.

For new homes, the best and most reliable way to do this is with an air exchanger, also called a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). This is a balanced ventilation system that will bring the same amount of air into the house as it is exhausting out. The advantage to HRV’s are that they will actually capture the heat from the outgoing air and use it to heat the air that it is bringing back into the home. An HVAC contractor would be able to provide you with more information on these systems.

For existing homes, a ventilation system may simply require adding some higher volume or longer running exhaust fans in the bathrooms and/or kitchen areas. These will help to expel the moisture and pollutants from the home.

Will Icynene absorb moisture?

No, Icynene is referred to as hydrophobic. It repels water rather than wicking water like a sponge. However, if Icynene is submerged in water for an extended period of time, water will force its way into the cell structure of the foam. The beauty of Icynene is that the water will continue to drain out. For example, if Icynene is applied on the inside of a roof and there is a leak, the water will eventually come directly through the Icynene by gravity. The source of the leak can be identified and repaired. Then, as long as the Icynene has an opportunity to dry out, there will be no loss of performance.

Can Icynene be applied directly to the underside of a roof without ventilation behind it?

Yes, Icynene is approved by the state to be directly applied to the underside of a roof. The reason for this is Icynene's ability to form a complete air barrier and prevent airborne moisture from getting to the roof decking and condensing. More traditional types of insulation materials require soffit venting, ridge venting, and installation of “vent chutes” to carry air from the soffit to the ridge. With Icynene, this task and expense can be eliminated. Also, because there is no need to install vent chutes, the space that was previously occupied by the vent chute can now be used for the foam. This often means that a smaller rafter can be used, increasing headroom in many attic conversion type projects.

Does Thermal Comfort provide free estimates?

Yes, please contact us by phone or email and we will be happy to look at your project and provide you with a free quote.

How long has Thermal Comfort been in business?

We have been installing Icynene Insulation since June of 2001. We are one of the most experienced spray foam insulators in all of southeastern Wisconsin.

How is Thermal Comfort different from other insulation contractors?

Thermal Comfort uses building science principles to provide customers with the most energy efficient, durable and mold free homes on the market. We recognize the importance of properly air sealing a home to guard against infiltration of air, moisture and pollutants. We prefer to take a “whole house” or “systems” approach to insulating. A change in one component of the system will affect other components in the system. For example, insulating and air sealing a house will lead to a more energy efficient structure. However, thought must also be given as to how moisture will be expelled from the house now that the structure is tighter.

In addition, our employees regularly attend continuing education courses to increase their knowledge in not only in the insulation field, but also building science in general. Having informed, educated installers provides a sense of security to our customers that the job is being done correctly.

Please contact our insulation business at: (414) 358-1255 for more information on our services or to request a quote.

Thermal Comfort: 8648 W. Kaul Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53225
Milwaukee, Waukesha, Madison, Racine, Sheboygan, Kenosha, Mequon, Fond Du Lac, Glendale, Brookfield, West Allis, Wauwatosa, Cudahy, Caledonia and Racine, Wisconsin.