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Old 03-27-2008, 10:43 AM   #21
Kevin54
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

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I have a brick home circa 1930 with L&P walls that was killing me on heating costs. I had a contractor blow all the exterier walls in my house with a material that looked similar to a mixture of shredded paper and cloth is the best way I could describe it. I really cannot say what the name of the material is because I do not know.
It's blown in cellulose. And it actually is ground up paper, fiber and then mixed with a fire retardent chemical. Quite a few years ago they used what they called rock wool which looked about the same. But it did settle more than what the cellulose does. AND the cellulose WILL settle. There is really nothing to hold it up but it's own weight and consistancy. Our house was built in '88 and had blown in insulation in the attic. Over a period of about 10 years it had setled to the point where it was just at the top of the 2x4 in the truss. So I blew in another foot on top of that. One of the NASTIEST, DIRTIEST JOBS I have done. I could taste that stuff for a week. I think the dust gets in through your pores and you definately need a respirator. So it is best to leave it to a professional. One word of caution....if they blow it in from the inside out, be prepared to put up with the wifes nagging for a few weeks. Dust everywhere. LOL!!!
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:52 AM   #22
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

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One word of caution....if they blow it in from the inside out, be prepared to put up with the wifes nagging for a few weeks. Dust everywhere. LOL!!!

Nope, not my Mrs. she was just as grateful as me to get some relief from the heating costs! Well worth the inconvenience and mess!
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:03 PM   #23
NWOhioChevyGuy
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

I was talking to the Fuel Oil truck driver yesterday when he brought us MORE fuel oil and he mentioned a customer not to far from here, with a similar house, that had a foam blown in between their double brick walls and his delivery schedule to them has gone from weekly to monthly since.

If I could gain access from the attic to this cavity maybe I'll look into insulating that space in addition to the 2x4 cavity, I'm no going to drill through my brick.
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:00 PM   #24
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

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I was talking to the Fuel Oil truck driver yesterday when he brought us MORE fuel oil and he mentioned a customer not to far from here, with a similar house, that had a foam blown in between their double brick walls and his delivery schedule to them has gone from weekly to monthly since.

If I could gain access from the attic to this cavity maybe I'll look into insulating that space in addition to the 2x4 cavity, I'm no going to drill through my brick.
The holes drilled in all the exterior walls do pose a bit of an inconvenience regarding filling, sanding, painting but well worth the time and trouble considering the monthly fuel cost difference! Even if you cannot do the attic route and have to go the route that I did you will have no regrets!
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:19 PM   #25
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

Yeah, I'm 99.9% sure I'll blow the walls full of cellulose before next winter. But if I would of found that the walls were not insulated before the wife painted everything it would be a more popular option.

Thanks for all the input, I just wish my efforts were going into a garage addition.

Probably not this summer but hopefully in 2009.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:31 PM   #26
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

Hello all, I'm new here, first post actually, but I can add some personal experience to this discussion.

Last fall, we had Retrofoam come out and insulate our 1350 sq. ft, 1920 Craftsman Bungalow and the cost was $2800-3000, can't remember exactly. I was home the day they came to do the job. I was sitting in the "parlor" and could feel the difference when they got done with the two outside walls in that room. The biggest difference is that there are no longer cold spots int he house. It's an even temp all over the entire house. We previously had no insulation in the walls and minimal in the attic. Last winter, we saved an average of $150 a month heating our house. The furnace is old and it runs about $400 a month down from about $550.

No worries on the foam blowing out the walls. With the exception of my kitchen and bath, the entire house is plaster and I gained not so much as a crack from the insulation. In fact, I was finishing up a kitchen remodel about the time they did it and the insulation oozed from a couple of the new receptacles and onto the kitchen counter. Let it dry, pulled it away from the wall/counter and wiped up the mess with a damp sponge. It's a lot like shaving cream when it dries out. Very light and airy and won't support much weight. Another good thing about it is that they will come out and do any touch ups if you ever happen to need them. Like if you re-side your house and knock some out or have to open a wall for some reason. You couldn't even tell they had been there with the exception of a few bits of insulation that were on the lawn. I'm very happy with it.

-Rikk
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:32 PM   #27
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

Thanks for the reply RK-REX, however I don't think at that price I could do it, our house is nearly 2600 square foot.

We will keep it in mind, I never did get a reply or call from sending them an inquiry on their website.

When I get to the point of doing the project I will revisit it and call the local installer and have a quote done.

Man I need to get my other house sold, then I could actually start working on this place more than the little things.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:18 PM   #28
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

I run a spray foam insulation company. Not in your area but if you have any questions I would be happy to offer suggestions. I have experience with open and closed cell spray foam as well as retrofoam type foam...ask away!

Tim
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:06 PM   #29
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

I had Retrofoam of Michigan install it 2 years ago. I believe they were out of Birch Run. My house is a 1-1/2 story built in the mid 50's. All brick on the lower portion with aluminum siding on the 1/2 story. I've noticed a huge difference in the house comfort. It's no longer drafty and the noise level from outside was significantly reduced. They just did the lower 8-9ft portion of the house. The upstairs was going to be renovated so I decided to wait on that and just install fiberglass up there. My house is 27ft x 35ft. The cost was $2000. They sent a crew of 4 to do the job. It took about 6 hours to complete. Two guys drilled through the mortar joints while one sprayed the foam and the other followed filling the holes in the mortar. You have to really be looking for the patches to see them. They are about the size of your finger tip. I'm happy with the job they did. I did notice some of the foam made its way into the joints of the register ducts. No big deal. Once it dries just sweep it up. I have not had any cracking of the walls either. Then again, I have two layers of 3/4" drywall on the walls.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:43 PM   #30
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

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Originally Posted by NWOhioChevyGuy View Post
Thanks for the reply RK-REX, however I don't think at that price I could do it, our house is nearly 2600 square foot.

We will keep it in mind, I never did get a reply or call from sending them an inquiry on their website.

When I get to the point of doing the project I will revisit it and call the local installer and have a quote done.

Man I need to get my other house sold, then I could actually start working on this place more than the little things.

Something I did forget, they are more than willing to only do half of your house, or just a portion if you have a particularly cold spot. I'll look and see if I can find the number, but I think I had the same group out of Birch Run.

-Rikk
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:05 PM   #31
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

Has anyone actually every seen a MSDS sheet on retrofoam. I have from a few years ago.

Not the tech sheet they put up on the websites and give to customers, the actual MSDS sheet.

Notice one very important thing missing from the tech sheet. I could not find anywhere that is says, "does not contain formeldahyde or Urea Formeldahyde". That is pretty much the number 1 thing that should be stated.

Things may have changed since the MSDS sheet I saw, but if so then why will no one send me a current MSDS sheet, or even acknowledge my requests for the past 2 months.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:19 PM   #32
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Talking Re: Retrofoam ???

UPDATE - Great finds

Well, I started exploring more into my insulation needs and found the following.

A) Upstairs drilled hole into exterior wall in my office (spare bedroom) and found fiberglass inside the new drywall & poly vapor barrier!

B) Upstairs drilled hole into exterior wall in my daughters bedroom, different construction, non-remodeled room in house, and found blown in insulation in those walls!

C) Downstairs drilled hole into exterior wall in music room (den) and found fiberglass inside the new drywall & poly vapor barrier!

This post was originally started when I thought I had NO insulation in the side walls, as when I was installing an electical box in the bath room I found no insullation. I guess I will have to ensure that the bathroom is insulated elsewhere, maybe they just missed a cavity when doing the remodeling.

I did pick up 70 bags of cellulose insulation that I will be blowing into my attics this weekend after I get the attic air baffles installed. That will net me an R value of 57 in addition to the very small amount of insullation already present.

Next I will have to increase the soffit vents and place ridge vents when I do the roof.

I hope to see the Fuel Oil truck alot less this winter.

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Old 02-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #33
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

Just an update on Retrofoam. In Canada, Retrofoam has been banned as of Feb 2009 because it is a UFFI product. Guess my deductions were correct.

Here is a link

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/s...t,703370.shtml
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:13 AM   #34
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

Great... so now what do those of us who have it need to condemn our houses or what? If it's bad for the environment, ok, fine I can deal with that, it's already done, but if it can cause harm to my family, I am concerned. Anyone know anything about this?
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:17 AM   #35
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Default Re: Retrofoam ???

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Just an update on Retrofoam. In Canada, Retrofoam has been banned as of Feb 2009 because it is a UFFI product. Guess my deductions were correct.
Oh man, that's just nuts! How can this happen in this day & age. Don't we learn anything from history?

I have first hand experience with this mess. In the '70's I used UFFI to insulate the wall cavities of my home at that time - it was originally built in the late 1890's using "balloon" frame type construction. I had a local reputable contractor install the stuff - they drilled holes through the plaster & lathe and injected it into the walls from the inside becaause the exterior was cedar shingles.

Then the UFFI ban came along. Eventually I ended up having to strip all the P&L off the inside exterior walls. Since the original construction was not done on the now standard 16" centers, the contractor repaced it for me with urethane foam (at N/C). I had to absorb the cost of UFFI removal & disposal, stripping the P & L and disposal, re-drywalling and finishing. The stuff had to be handled very carefully as well due to health hazards when disturbed (read carginogen!).

Never again - I should have just set a match to the place. Stay away from this stuff.
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