Foam Upshot (insulation pt. 2)

JM: So it’s been a couple of weeks since the application of the spray foam on the interior of the steel shell and I have to say – I’m psyched! I feel a great relief that all the bolt and nuts are safely buried under there and I suddenly  got the feeling that this structure could actually house something or someone. The light bouncing in that now reflects off the creamy surface is beautiful, but you know what else bounces off? THE HEAT! When I put my hand against the surface of the end wall, I feel NOTHING but the warmth of my own hand.

So, here are some facts:

THE KIT: The 600 board feet of the Touch’nSeal Kit pretty much did what it said it would do though I feel like I would have gotten a better output on a hotter day. Even though my infra-red thermometer read 75 degrees on the tanks and some of the steel panels in the sun over 90 degrees, it’s obvious that the foam reacts way more to hotter temperatures. The tanks tend to slow down their output as they empty out and get colder. The closed-cell foam doesn’t bubble up as much as the open cell so it’s not as dramatic a process. The kit gives you several nozzles to work with and I was surprised at how sensitive the trigger was: you can really control the stream from the nozzle. I had to go over several areas a couple of times as the instructions recommend you don’t let more than an inch build up at a time. You don’t want the reaction to create too much heat. Here’s a little of what the process was like.

 

THE MESS: I’d already been warned; the stuff is CRAZY messy. If you wear glasses, get a few pairs of goggles, because my goggles were covered within 10 minutes and I had to take them off. Don’t bother with the cheap nitrile gloves – get good long kitchen scrubbing type glove to cover your wrists and arms. I got a cover-all painter’s suit, cheaper than the Tyvek one and definitely a one-time use deal. The NiOSH respirator is recommended in the instructions if you don’t have adequate ventilation – I’m not sure how you would do without it in ANY condition. I had fans a blazin’ (now also speckled with foam.)

THE VERDICT: Overall, I’m pretty happy with the product though even if I was better at math, I still wouldn’t calculate it to cover more than 90% of what you think you need. There were definitely a lot of nooks and crannies that made the application tricky so I may eventually go back and fill some areas where it appears a little thinner than the rest. But I’d say I have a good 2″ on a majority of the arches and one end wall (the other side with the door and windows is getting 3″ of polyiso foam board. More on that in Part 3 (Whew!)

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