The Icynene Insulation System® is a complete insulation, air and moisture barrier system that windproof’s and seals wall, floor and ceiling cavities against air movement, including spaces around electrical outlets and light fixtures, at baseboards and where walls meet windows and doors. This means that outside air (either hot or cold) cannot seep through walls, causing drafts or cold spots. It also means that humid interior air cannot enter the walls and condense.
The system combines a material with a Certified Service providing any builder or homeowner with a truly cost effective method of energy efficient construction. The material is poly icynene foam (see Product Specifications ), an organic material developed from products of the petrochemical industry similar in composition to many that are already in home use today. The service is a custom installation on the building site by trained and Certified Installers, providing a custom insulation fit into any size cavity.
By virtue of its low permeability to air, its adhesion to other building materials and its flexibility, The Icynene Insulation System® becomes much more than just insulation. It provides superior air leakage control, moisture control and sound control in addition to insulation, thus becoming a one step insulation, moisture/vapor barrier, wind barrier system. The Icynene Insulation System® takes the place of building wrap, fiberglass, polyethylene vapor barrier, tape, foam and caulking, and eliminates the labor intensive work associated with air-tightness detailing when insulating with conventional insulation products.
Unlike ”loose fill” insulation methods that do not wind proof building cavities, the air sealing characteristics of The Icynene Insulation System® provide virtually the same R-Value in the field as it does in the laboratory where the R-Value is measured. Cold air in winter and hot muggy air in summer just cannot pass through poly icynene foam like it can through most other insulating materials.
The product was evaluated by the Canadian Construction Materials Center of The National Research Council’s, (NRC), Institute for Research in Construction. Health and Welfare Canada examined the NRC emissions tests. The Ontario Ministry of Housing, Materials Evaluation Commission evaluated it and the Council of American Building Officials National Evaluation Service also evaluated it.
Icynene® complies to the BOCA, SBCCI and the ICBO Uniform Building Codes and the Canadian National Building Code. It has been evaluated by the Council of American Building Officials National Evaluation Service. It has been the subject of research projects by the NAHB Research Center, Upper Marlboro, Maryland; Oak Ridge National Laboratories , Oak Ridge, Tennessee and the Florida Solar Energy Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Health problem concerns associated with other building products in recent years such as asbestos, urea formaldehyde and glass fibers, lead Canadian Authorities to dictate the ground rules for acceptance of new building materials. The Icynene® product became, to the best of our knowledge, the most extensively tested insulation material on the market today. The testing included the most sensitive emissions tests developed to date, tests that few other building materials have ever been through.
A foam that adheres to building materials, like Icynene insulation, must remain flexible in order to maintain its air seal. Buildings expand and contract with changes of season and temperature. If the foam is rigid, it will inevitably develop hairline cracks along the studs and ultimately the air seal will be destroyed.
As well as simplifying the construction process for the builder, Icynene® Insulation eliminates the major causes of building envelope problems, air-borne moisture movement and entrapment. Blower door tests have shown that a steel framed home insulated with Icynene® Insulation, and with no polyethylene vapor barrier, measures 1.2 ACH at -50 Pa. depressurization. This is well under the 1.5 ACH50 rating for the most energy efficient home. Heating and cooling costs are typically reduced by 30 to 50%, and smaller, less expensive heating and cooling equipment can be used.
For the homeowner the advantages are: Compared to other technologies, The Icynene Insulation System® is a less expensive method of building an energy efficient home.
Icynene® insulation is a water-based formula that contains no formaldehyde, CFC’s or HCFC’s. The insulation has the texture and look of angel food cake and is made up of millions of tiny cells. These cells are filled with air and provide permanent control of air and airborne moisture movement. There are no VOC’s detected in Icynene after 30 days. See Specification Tables for more physical data.
The foam is created in seconds after spraying. You can watch it expand within seconds to 100 times its original volume, literally before your eyes. It completely cures within a few minutes.
No, it looks like a sponge but it is actually hydrophobic, i.e., it repels water. If placed in water it will float and on removal it will dry rapidly and loose none of its insulating properties.
Icynene® Insulation is a breathing foam, and any moisture in the building’s concrete or lumber can escape through the insulation as the building dries out, thus eliminating any risk of rot or mildew.
No, it is inert. Its physical and insulating properties are constant.
No, the product is environmentally safe.
Icynene® Insulation contributes no fuel in the event of fire and it will not sustain flame upon removal of the flame source. However, like fiberglass, it will be consumed by flame, and gypsum board or other acceptable thermal barriers are required by applicable building codes.
Smoke from Icynene® foam, like that of all organic materials including wood, is a complex of many gasses. The major components in the smoke from Icynene® Insulation are carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. By the time the material is burnt, the fire will have been raging for at least 15 minutes.
Icynene® is safe for both you and the environment. Icynene® is water-based, and does not produce formaldehyde, CFC’s or HCFC’s. It has been extensively tested in both Canada and the United States and found to have no VOC’s detected after 30 days.
The product is in fact recommended for use in homes for many environmentally concerned or sensitive people. The Icynene Insulation System® has been selected for use in the American Lung Association Health House projects.
There are two different ways to install Icynene® insulation — spray it onto any open surface and studded wall or pour it into an existing wall cavity when renovating. An Icynene trained, licensed Dealer must be used in both cases.
With any open surface, Icynene® insulation can be sprayed on once electrical and plumbing services are in place. It then expands to 100 times its initial volume in seconds, permanently adhering to the surfaces of the surrounding building materials and sealing all gaps.
For retrofitting existing walls, a slower expanding formulation of Icynene is used during renovations. The material is simply injected into small holes drilled into plaster or gypsum walls, or from the outside of the wall.
Icynene® Insulation has been on the market since 1986 and is in thousands of homes across the United States. It has also been featured in segments of ”This Old House” and ”Your New House”.
No, Icynene® Insulation has been tested and is not a concern to electrical authorities.
No, Icynene® Insulation is non-corrosive. It is neutral, neither acidic or alkaline.
Icynene® Insulation offers no food value; therefore it does not support bacteria or fungal growth. It also does not retain water, making it an unappealing environment for pests.
Icynene® Insulation offers no food value, but it would not present a sufficient barrier to their entry if they decided to gnaw through it.
As an effective air seal, The Icynene Insulation System® eliminates the air gaps through which sound travels and is superior in controlling mid-range frequencies, which include the most common sounds, the human voice and stereo music.
No, Icynene® Insulation is stable. It does not shrink or sag. The reaction that creates Icynene® Insulation is irreversible and it cannot break down into its constituent parts.
R-value is derived from a controlled laboratory test of an insulation’s resistance to conductive heat flow. Icynene’s R-value is 3.6/inch, similar to fiberglass.
Unlike foams filled with CFC or HCFC, the R-Value of air filled foam does not decline as it ages.
R-Values of insulating materials are measured in laboratories and are designated a nominal R-Value per inch. In the wall or ceiling of a building, most factory made insulation materials suffer a reduction in performance due to air leakage and infiltration. The insulating value of many building components may be as low as 50% of the nominal R-Value of the insulation they contain.
By contrast, the insulation of a wall containing Icynene® Insulation will perform closely to the laboratory tested R-Value of the material and seal the wall cavity from air infiltration as well.
The Icynene Insulation System® is particularly suited to steel frame construction. Icynene® expands 100:1 as it is installed, adhering to surrounding building components. It completely seals joints, crevices and voids, including difficult-to-insulate spaces such as steel stud ”U” and ”C” sections, double studs and non-standard stud locations. A continuous air/vapor barrier is formed around the building structure in a single application.
The Icynene Insulation System® is installed after the windows, doors and roof 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.
Talk to your builder early and let him know that you would like to have The Icynene Insulation System® installed in your home. Icynene® can provide a builder demonstration videotape and technical support so that The Icynene Insulation System® is an available option for your home.
Spray foam insulation is sprayed on as a liquid which reacts and expands in place. This expansion action also seals all of the cracks and crevasses in your wall’s exterior sheathing. The result is that air can no longer slip in: your building will be less drafty and more comfortable. Air leakage can also introduce moisture into the wall cavity, resulting in wet insulation and mold and mildew. With the sealing effects of spray foam insulation; this will not be a concern.
A thermal barrier is a covering on the surface of the spray polyurethane insulation which will protect it for at least 15 minutes in the event of a fire. ½-inch gypsum wall board, such as Sheetrock®, is an approved 15 minute thermal barrier.
Building codes require the installation of a thermal barrier between foam plastics (such as spray polyurethane insulation) and any occupied space. Exceptions apply in some cases; review local codes and/or confer with your local building code officials. The building code provides for an exception to the thermal barrier requirement in attics and crawl spaces where entry is made only for the service of utilities. In such cases, the spray polyurethane insulation must be protected from ignition. Several manufacturers offer a spray-on or hand applied ignition barrier coating for these areas
Normally spray foam insulation is installed at the same point in the construction cycle as other types of insulation. That is, using traditional building techniques, spray foam should be installed after the rough plumbing, electrical wiring, and heating and air conditioning ducts have been installed. If you decide to seal the entire exterior shell with spray foam insulation, it may need to be installed in some areas before the entire job is completed; ie. behind showers/tubs, behind electrical panels.
Spray foam can be applied directly to electrical wiring. Recessed lights or other fixtures may require a certain amount of air circulation around them for cooling purposes. In these cases, a box can be build around the fixture with gypsum wall board; then spray foam can be sprayed directly to the outside of the box.
Your building does need to be ventilated in order to maximize the quality of indoor air (moisture levels and contaminant levels). Most design professionals will advise you to seal the structure as tight as possible and provide the necessary ventilation through the heating and air conditioning system. Many systems employ a highly energy efficient “air exchanger” which is designed to pre-condition (either warm or cool) the incoming outside air with the outgoing exhaust air. In this manner, you can build an extremely energy efficient exterior shell using high performance spray polyurethane foam while still providing controlled and energy efficient ventilation.
A two-part mixture is applied by trained professionals to the surface to be insulated. The spray mixture expands rapidly to fill all cracks and voids, completely and permanently adhering to wood, masonry, metal, concrete, and most other construction materials.
Closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is an excellent option for you. Closed-cell SPF is listed as a Class 5 Flood Damage-Resistant Material per FEMA. This means it is “Highly resistant to floodwater damage, including damage caused by moving water. These materials can survive wetting and drying and may be successfully cleaned after a flood to render them free of most harmful pollutants.” It is the only insulation material that meets this classification. You can read all about it in the FEMA Technical Bulletin 2. It would be an excellent idea to install closed-cell SPF into your basement walls the next time you have to open them up.
Your building does need to be ventilated in order to maximize indoor air quality (moisture levels and contaminant levels). Most design professionals will advise you to seal the structure as tight as possible and provide the necessary ventilation through the heating and air conditioning system. Many systems employ a highly energy efficient “air exchanger” which is designed to pre-condition (either warm or cool) the incoming outside air with the outgoing exhaust air. In this manner, you can build an extremely energy efficient exterior shell using high performance spray polyurethane foam while still providing controlled and energy efficient ventilation.
Spray foam insulation is professionally installed at the same point in the construction cycle as other types of insulation. That is, using traditional building techniques, spray foam should be installed after the rough plumbing, electrical wiring, and heating and air conditioning ducts have been installed, but before the interior walls are completed in new construction. In some cases spray foam also can be applied in older buildings or structures, to the inside of roofs and under floors after construction has been completed.
Normally spray polyurethane insulation is installed at the same point in the construction cycle as other types of insulation. That is, it should be installed after the rough plumbing, electrical wiring, and heating and air conditioning ducts have been installed. If you decide to seal the entire exterior shell with spray polyurethane, spray insulation may need to be applied in some areas before the ductwork is installed.
Not practically. Spray foam application requires complex equipment and a skilled installer with training in the safe and proper installation of the polyurethane system.
Unfortunately for you DIYers, spray polyurethane foam (SPF) equipment is not for rent. Installation of SPF needs to be done by a well-trained installer. It’s not as easy as it looks. There are some small kits on the market, but they are made for very small projects like sealing joints and cracks.
We have a ceramic floor above the garage and in the winter, the floor would often be 18 degrees colder than the room temperature. After removing the fiberglass and adding Icynene, the temperature difference is now less than 2 degrees, and we no longer have frozen pipes.
We were living in our 2 car garage while building our 3200 sq ft house with Icynene. We are now living in our home and using the same amount of fuel to heat and cool the house as we were using in the garage.
I had no idea that any one product could do so much for our homes as well as benefit the clients. We were able to reduce our energy consumption dramatically, which reduced our energy bills.
After re-insulating my attic with Icynene, my home is significantly cooler in summer & warmer in winter.
With Icynene in our townhouse, our energy bills are 35% less than our neighbors who used fiberglass. And with the addition of an air filter, our son is having less asthma attacks.
I am SO glad I decided to use Icynene to insulate the entire envelope of my house. We did a full-renovation, and the 100% air barrier has been fabulous. Ameri-spec tested our house for the federal renovation grant, and said we were more heat efficient than most of the new “green” homes going up on the west side. Icynene definitely contributed to the $3800 rebate we got.
Sunny South Insulators is the #1 spray foam insulation company in Calgary, Lethbridge and surrounding areas. We specialize in home and commercial insulation, attics, basements, garages, steel buildings, renovations and mudjacking. Contact us for information.