Open Cell Spray Foam - ATTENTION

  • April 18, 2019 3:54 PM
    Message # 7293089

    Hello all,

    First off I'd like to introduce myself. I'm the president and owner operator of PWSF INC. group of companies. Comprised of Cold Country Spray Foam, originally but now dissolved Prairie Wide Spray Foam, and Concrete Lifting division Slab-Jack Kings. I have been working with foam for the last 6 years mainly closed cell on both small and large residential, commerical, and industrial projects.

    I'd like to address an issue that has arisen with a client. We were contacted by a home owner in the St. Boniface area with a home built in 2015-2016. Due to the install of fiberglass insulation and improper vapor sealing on the basement foundation frost walls the home owner has now had to remove all insulation from the basement due to mold, condensation and moisture issues. To our finding we have seen now a home builder using open cell spray foam in web joist pockets through the perimiter of the basement. The open cell does not pass adhesion test, with now a large pocket or void behind the foam itself. A major area for moisture and condensation build up. May it  have been applicator error, sprayed on wet substrate, to hot, not mixed properly. The foam thickness varies between 2-8 inches through out the web joist pockets. An intumescent coating most likely DC315 used as a thermal barrier was applied on the Open Cell SPF. Lack of mil thickness, proper coverage and no primer most likely was in the process. 

    Most know open cell is sponge like properties and must be covered by an approved vapor barrier. TO my knowledge there is no CCMC or ULC CAN listed coating based as a thermal and vapor barrier that can be applied over SPF. Open cell should not be used in joist pockets as it has an impossible way.of treatment as a vapor barrier in a web joist application. For this reason the home owner is faced to remove the applicated foam from the joist cavities. Because of improper product and application the home owner will and could be faced with detrimental issues to both the structure and building envelope in the future. We have not yet addressed the second floor joist cavities but I'd assume it's the same. 

    If someone can enlighten and discuss this with me further I would appreciate the insight to help solve this issue. To my personal opinion, open cell has it's place but not in a Manitoba building envelope but mainly for sound and acoustic application. I could not count how many homes maybe 40 may face the same issue within the development but I would consider 15 years from now there could be a major major problem. I truly believe there could be a large problem with this area and it could develope a bad name on SPF insulation if not addressed properly.

    If anyone would like to contact me directly, I can be reached at the following:



    Chris Lenchyshyn 

    1 file
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