Log in or Sign up. Joined: Oct 29, I am remodeling a section of my house and am looking for some advice on what type of insulation would be the best bang for my buck to insulate the 2x4 walls.
When I went to apply for my permit they said I needed an R for my exterior 2x4 walls. I was wondering if the foam board R-Max with 2 foil faced sides sold at Home Depot would be a good alternative rather than the typical fiberglass batts. I was thinking a 2"thick foam board R-Max says an R-value of Would this be a better option Foam board option will be pretty expensive than a Roxul R batt or an owens corning compressed R batt compressed R gives R in 2x4 wall I saw a chart somewhere that said this.
Ive gone to the trouble to caulk all my stud bays to try to achieve an air tight situation. NobodyOct 29, How does your homes rain screen and vapour barrier work?
In Vancouver you need both. A 2lb spray foam can be installed in a 3. Batt insulation does not cut it for 2"x4" walls anymore and the wall needs to be furred out so 2"x6" Batts can be used. You better check with your local city hall - these requirements are very struck and closely inspected in the Pacific North Wet. Joined: Jan 14, Location: Cutting up foam board for cavity fill is a waste of good foam-board due to the thermal bridging of the framing.
Putting in 3" of 2lb foam would get you that performance but it's a waste of good foam too. With a 3" thermal short through the wood instead of 3. Worse yet, most 2x4 studs back in were doug-fir which is only R1. The result is that while it may be Rish at center cavity, it's "whole wall" thermal performance is less than R0.
What's more the vapor permeance of 3" is about 0. Foil faced board foam would be even worse. And the HFCfa blowing agent used with 2lb foam has a global warming potential about x that of CO2, and in your climate the carbon savings over the lifetime of the house may never get the climate damage back to zero if you're using 3" of the stuff.
Open cell 0. If you then put sheet rock with latex paint on it the drying capacity would run in the 1. In a Seattle climate with cellulose insulation, with your stackup you do not need an interior side vapor retarder- the cellulose itself buffers and redistributes any moisture that finds its way to the sheathing either from the exterior or the wintertime interior. With fiberglass or rock wool you would need something but sheet poly is a two-edged sword.
The best solution would be to use a "smart" vapor retarder such as Intello Plus or Certainteed MemBrain, but worst-case you can do just fine with "vapor barrier" latex primer on the wall board, which runs about 0.
If code inspectors insist on a vapor retarder even with cellulose cavity fill, either a smart vapor retarder would still work great, but v. The house is really better off without it if using cellulose especially if you installed half-inch unfaced EPS under the gypsum the vapor retardency of standard latex paint perms is better than 0.
It usually has thin polyolefin facers that bring it down to 0. Any interior side foam should be glued to the studs with foam board construction adhesive for air tigthness, and the seams should be taped with housewrap tape, then overlaid with a thin layer of duct mastic which sticks better than the tape adhesive.
Prior to insulating the cavities, seal the sheathing to the studs with a bead of caulk- acoustic sealants are the best, but a good exterior rated acrylic is way better than nothing. If going with R15 batts rather than blown cellulose, take care to install them to near-perfection. Split the batts where they go around wiring or plumbing, and sculpt them to fit around electrical boxes, etc.
NEVER use foil faced goods in an assembly without doing the full moisture migration analysis on the stackup, since like 6-mil polyethylene, the foil facers are true vapor barriers, which blocks drying paths.
What insulation for 2x4 exterior walls
DanaOct 30, Joined: Sep 25, Location: IL. Since closed cell spray foam is expensive, would filling the center of an area with equivalent foam board and follow up with the closed cell foam to fill the gaps and seal the edges be effective and cost-effective?I'm in the design process of building a home in SW Michigan. My builder is planning to use 2x4 exterior wall studs with open cell spray foam insulation. I asked about 2x6 studs and he explained that the value of the foam maxes out at about 3" so the larger stud wasn't needed as it doesn't provide any additional structural integrity, only aesthetic appeal with a larger window sill.
Any thoughts as to if it would be worth it use the larger studs and increased insulation? The amount of garbage info from builders at times is frustrating. I have heard so much BS from builders, inspectors etc regarding insulation that I would just nod your head and ignore them as generally non experts on the issue. Ok rant done. More insulation is always better for several reasons - energy use and comfort are the most important.
In SW Michigan, a 2x4 wall with open cell foam is not code compliant unless you have rigid foam somewhere in the mix. Now Michigan may not enforce modern codes yet - there is always a delay.
So it is possible but unlikely that it is code compliant in your jurisdiction but it is also likely that local inspectors fall for the foam concept. Open cell foam is R value 3. The framing component of the wall has zero foam and wood is about R 1 per inch.
Foam salesman and the builders who believe them will claim that foam is about more than R value. That is true when it comes to air sealing but R value is R value and code specifies R value.
The R value of 9 that I quoted above is the "clear wall" which is factoring in framing component. It gets more confusing when sometimes people quote with the small addition of sheathing, drywall, siding and air films - another or so.
Code compliant is the minimum that you are legally allowed to build. Not generally something to strive for. So the biggest question and most important factor is the amount of rigid foam on the outside of the studs.
In NC zone 4 but 10 miles from zone 3I am doing 2x6 with cellulose and R-3 foam on the outside. Obviously a milder climate than you.
I am doing 2x6 with 24 inch O. Sound is a big factor and this will be a quiet house. Cellulose is generally considered better than foam or fiberglass for sound - it is heavy. The thicker walls also allow additional foam to be placed at the window headers - large framing component. The cost for 2x6 was essentially zero since going with 24 O. There is a slight shrinking of the house which actually "costs" a decent amount.Wheelchair symbol text copy
Exterior rigid foam is the way to go, in my opinion. It provides a great thermal break, allows you to extend the insulation down to the footing, and you can use 2x4 or 2x6 studs. Finding a contractor who is used to doing that and doesn't overcharge for the additional effort can be a challenge. Flash and Batt insulation Need advice on insulating a concrete block house. Closed Cell Spray Foam insulation and old construction. Cellulose or spray foam? In a 2x4 wall you can use spray foam but it has to be closed cell not open cell.
To meet R requirement if that is what code says in your location.Insulation is rated in two ways, R-value and U-value. The R-value is a calculation which measures the flow of heat through an insulation product, or its resistance to heat. The U-value is a calculation which measures the amount of heat which escapes from insulation material. If insulation material has a high R-value and low U-value, it is a better insulator.
Different types of insulation have different properties and R-values. Fiberglass vats are the standard insulator for 2-inch by 4-inch wall framing, and are rated R through R In order to achieve the higher insulation R-value of R a different type of insulation will be required.
Polyurethane rigid foam is a closed-cell insulation, which means the cells in the insulation are densely packed and filled with a gas. Polyurethane rigid foam insulation is expensive compared to fiberglass batts. It is delivered in 8-foot-long bundles, and each rigid foam batt is sized to fit in between the studs with standard 2-inch by 4-inch wall construction.
Another option is to use a foam-in-place technique with open cell polyurethane foam.Riaa preamplifier
This process must be completed before the drywall is installed, but after the exterior sheathing, and all of the electrical and plumbing work is completed. Foam-in-place is sprayed as a liquid onto the channel between studs; the liquid polyurethane reacts dramatically with the air and rapidly expands outward.Virox shield
It hardens within minutes, and is trimmed with a long blade held across two studs, which is pulled in a downward motion. This process trims away excess insulation. Open cell foam is different from closed cell foam, because the cells in open cell foam are less densely packed, and they are filled with air instead of gas.
Open cell foam is less energy efficient than closed cell foam, but it is still an effective insulator. Closed cell polyurethane foam-in-place is applied using the very same application process as open cell foam.
The only difference between the two is the foam itself. Closed cell polyurethane is the same material that is used in closed cell polyurethane rigid foam bats. Producing a tightly packed cell structure with gas-filled cells, closed cell polyurethane foam is the best insulator available.
This foam is an expensive initial investment, but if you amortize that expense over time, calculating the energy savings you achieve, it pays for itself in just a few years. When you choose to insulate 2-inch by 4-inch walls to achieve an R value, there are options available to you.
Only one option is appropriate for the average do-it-yourselfer to try and tackle, and that is polyurethane rigid foam. This material is easy to work with, and installation is not difficult. If you choose to insulate with one of the foam-in-place options, hire a contractor. Unless you have actually worked in the trade, you will not understand the nuances of the application process, and more than likely, you will need to call someone in to repair your mistakes when you finish.
Fred Howe, a writer sinceholds a B. A retired correctional officer from Pelican Bay State Prison in California, Howe has also worked as a sous chef and catering manager. By Fred Howe Updated December 19, About the Author. Related Closed Cell Vs.Closed cell spray foam has the advantage of not requiring a vapor moisture barrierand it also sports a very high R value, making it an ideal choice for insulating basements and first and second floors alike. A frequent question many homeowners ask is how much R value do different spray foams provide?
Open cell spray foams are between. R values are additive, so you can multiple the number of inches of insulation thickness times the R value to arrive at a total insulation value. This R value is similar to that of R13 fiberglass batting; however, fiberglass generally does not provide as tight a seal as a foam product would, since it is unable to achieve as tight of a seal. Open cell foam is relatively easy to cut, which allows installers to fill the cavity passed the edge of the studs and to cut off the excess.Hp designjet t520 manual
Common Applications: Open cell foam is generally used above grade in walls and sometimes in attics. Price: More than R13 fiberglass; less than closed cell foam. Closed cell spray foams are between 2 and 4 lbs.
They sport an R value of 6. Just like for open cell foam, R-values are additive. Two inches of closed cell foam will provide R12 — R14 of insulation. Three inches will get you over R20, more than sufficient for exterior walls even the coldest climates in the United States. Common Applications: Closed Cell Foam can be used throughout an entire house. It has the advantage of forming its own vapor barrier, and it can be sprayed to any thickness.
The only drawback of closed cell foam is the price. Price: More than open cell foam; one of the most expensive insulation options. Before you commit to a spray foam installationcheck with your installer to confirm the R value of the product. Question, our builder told us that, using open cell foam, after the first 3 inches of open cell foam the R-value does NOT increase. Basically, the R-value would stay the same whether you used 3 inches or 6. Is that true? Please clarify this for me.
Adding more foam is a waste of money. I stumbled across your blog looking for info on closed cell spray foam insulation.
I also wondered if you had considered putting foamboard insulation around the basement walls and foaming over that. Jeff, good questions. Closed cell foam dries rock hard.Originally published by : Fine Homebuilding — July 24, The following article was produced and published by the source linked to above, who is solely responsible for its content. As a consequence, SBC cannot vouch for the validity of any facts, claims or opinions made in the article.
Open-cell spray foam has an R-value of about R If you want to install spray foam in a stud wall, and price is no object, then it would seem to make sense to specify closed-cell spray foam, right?
Well, not necessarily. What really matters is the R-value of the whole wall, not just that of the insulation. Closed-cell foam is so dense that it is difficult to trim.
Once cured, the soft foam is easily trimmed flush with the studs. To calculate the whole-wall R-value of a wall, we have to divide it into areas, each with distinct R-values.
To calculate whole-wall R-value, you first need to calculate the whole-wall U-factor. When stud bays are partially filled with closed-cell spray foam, the exposed portion of the studs reduces their R-value in comparison to a wall that is totally filled with open-cell spray foam. As a result, the heat loss due to thermal bridging through the framing is greater in a wall with closed-cell foam than it would be in a wall with open-cell foam.
Closed-cell spray foam is expensive, and the incremental cost is mostly money down the drain. There are more cost-effective energy upgrades, such as exterior rigid foam or mineral-wool insulation, as I point out below.
That said, the table is useful. It demonstrates the calculation method and does a good job of estimating the incremental R-value attributable to an upgrade from open-cell to closed-cell foam. If rafter bays are completely filled with fluffy insulation except for a ventilation channel directly below the sheathingthermal bridging through the rafters will be less significant than when 4 in.
At this point, we need to consider the use of exterior rigid foam. The calculations for adding thicker continuous insulation on the exterior side of the wall sheathing are much more favorable to incremental investments than the calculations for insulation installed between studs. Additionally, unlike between-studs insulation, exterior high R-value insulation helps to minimize the thermal bridging effect of the studs.
Used properly, it also reduces the need for a vapor retarder by keeping the sheathing warmer than the dew point. Even though exterior rigid insulation requires extra detailing around windows and doors, it still offers excellent value for your money. SBC Magazine appreciates your input, and continually seeks to improve the value it provides to the market.
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Skip to main content. Energy Efficiency. Originally published by : Fine Homebuilding — July 24, The following article was produced and published by the source linked to above, who is solely responsible for its content. Whole-wall R-values To calculate the whole-wall R-value of a wall, we have to divide it into areas, each with distinct R-values. View Digital Edition. Features In the Eye of the Beholder. It Pays to Get Carried Away.
The Little Things Matter. Unbearable Conditions. Digitize Your Brand. Faces of the Industry: Blake Schwieters.How long has this type of insulation been around? Although spray foam has been around for more than 30 years, it has been perfected in the past 10 years and has now been made available in most major cities at very affordable prices. At what stage is the insulation installed? For new construction or renovations, the insulation is installed after the windows, doors and roof systems are in, the electrical, framing and plumbing inspections are complete, and after any other electrical or mechanical system located behind the drywall is installed.
It is the last installation to take place before drywall installation. On existing homes, the spray foam insulation can be installed to the attic, roof line, and sub-flooring to seal in the house. It is more cost effective to leave existing interior wall insulation in place. Wouldn't spray-foam insulation seal my house too tight? This type of design known as an unvented attic creates a true Thermal Envelope.
What is the R-value insulation value of SPF insulation?I guess spray foaming the shed is up to us :/
Ultimate Spray Foam Insulation has a few different foam products of different densities. Our open-cell foam product has an R-Value of 3. If the house is constructed with 2x6 studs, the R-value when insulating with open cell foam can reach a maximum of R Our primary closed cell foam has an R-value of 7.
Spray foam is the only insulation product that offers a true R-value because it is the only product that creates an air seal. To learn more about insulation and R-values, click here. How is the insulation installed? Spray foam insulation is sprayed into the wall cavity in between the wooden studs with specialized equipment. The foam is sprayed on as a liquid, but within 2 to 10 seconds, the liquid will turn to foam and expand up to times its original size filling every nook and cranny, sealing all gaps and permanently adhering to the stud cavity.
How does spray-foam compare with fiberglass batts? Spray-foam will STOP air leakage. However, this is not a true R-Value since there is no air seal.
Blown-in cellulose has an R-value of about 3 to 4 per inch but also no air seal. Our spray-foam has a true R-value of 3. Spray-foam completely adheres to the wood studs and sheathing resulting in a permanent sealed barrier against air penetration and leakage.
FEMA now requires homes in hurricane-prone areas to be constructed with spray foam insulation to withstand powerful winds. I hear different opinions on open-cell vs.We no longer worry about our customers being unable to receive.
Recommended Home Insulation R–Values
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2x4 vs 2x6 exterior studs with spray foam insulation. Better Option?
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