Updating Wall & Attic Insulation with Spray Foam

Expert advice from Details Insulation

We often get asked about upgrading existing wall insulation without the need to remove the drywall. Unfortunately, this is not possible with spray foam insulation. In order to remove the existing batt insulation and replace with spray foam, full access to the wall cavity is needed. We tell our customers to imagine that they were going to be painting the area with spray paint – the amount of access they would need to do a nice job of it and make sure it all got painted, is approximately the same as we need for application of the foam.

That said, there is another option… During the summer months, we work with a number of Edmonton and Area General and Exterior Contractors to upgrade walls, from the outside of the home, while new siding is being installed. Generally, these homes have 2×4 walls, minimal insulation, and an inadequately sealed vapour barrier. In short, the poorly insulated walls are drafty and allow cold to enter and heat to escape.

When is it a good time to upgrade to spray foam insulation?

When siding is being replaced, it is an ideal time to consider upgrading your insulation. After the siding is removed, the sheathing and existing insulation can be removed. With the wall exposed, we can install 3-3.5″ of closed cell spray foam insulation. In this application, spray foam insulation provides a perfect air and vapor barrier, as well as stops over 95% of conductive heat loss, a massive improvement from the original fiberglass/poly.

This Edmonton home underwent a full exterior upgrade (siding, soffit/fasica, windows/doors, and new shingles). Just before the wall insulation upgrade, we removed the existing wood chip insulation, with our Insulation Removal vacuum system, so that we could also spray foam the attic. The vapour barrier in the attic was poorly sealed, so we installed 2″ of spray foam to achieve a perfect vapour barrier, and then installed JM Climate Pro fiberglass to achieve an R50 rating.

Spray foam insulation being installed from the exterior. Next, the studs are scraped clean, acoustical sealant is installed, and the masking is removed. Lastly, a sweep of the work area is completed, and then the siding crew starts installing new sheathing.

One of the advantages that Details Insulation offers is that we provide a full range of services and products in house. In this example, we provided insulation removal, spray foam insulation, and blown fiberglass insulation. Typically, contractors or homeowners would need to contact and coordinate two or three contractors to complete an insulation upgrade like this; with Details Insulation, that is not the case.

If you have any questions or want to update your insulation, contact Details Insulation!


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