Foam / Guides

4th generation blowing agents for spray foam
Insulation and soundproofing

New HFO blowing agents for spray foam will make it over 1,000 times less harmful to the climate

...foam has an R-value of 6.3 per inch; when used at an 8-inch thickness, the foam has an R-7.4 value per inch, which exceeds the performance of any foam insulation currently on the market. The installation of spray foam requires the mixing of chemicals on site, and that reaction generates a lot of heat. So spray foam b...

Is EPS foam eco-friendly? Exterior home insulation rigid foam panels
Insulation and soundproofing

Does plastic foam or Styrofoam insulation have a place in green building?

...foam products on the market, when in reality it isn’t actually as bad as people think. They are easily distinguishable from each other, see below: EPS - Expanded Polystyrene rigid foam insulation, aka 'beadboard foam insulation'. this is NOT 'Styrofoam'. XPS Extruded Polystyrene rigid foam insulation - this...

Installing foam panel insulation, which is best?
Insulation and soundproofing

Rigid insulation panels: which ones to use for different applications

...foam panels was compared to the same assembly using 2" of EPS foam and was found to be losing 30% more heat in this study (see below)! XPS - Extruded Polystyrene Foam Panels - The blue, pink or green ones (eg. Styrofoam): XPS is Rated at R5 per inch, but it will off-gas and lose some insulation performance over tim...

How to Fasten Cement Board Facing to slab on grade insulation
Slab on Grade

Finishing the exterior of an insulated slab-on-grade floor

WATCH MORE sustainable building VIDEOS Once a decision has been made to choose between a crawlspace or a slab foundation , you need to know how to finish the edge off durably. Typically the exterior edge of a slab on grade is made of EPS foam and can be parged. Having used rigid Rockwool panels meant we needed a...

Insulating crawlspaces as part of home renovation
Crawl spaces

How to insulate crawlspaces properly as part of renovating an older home

...foam will keep it from being in contact with the ground and absorbing moisture. Spray foam is then applied to the walls behind the studs and into the cavities, you can leave enough room to do any wiring if required. Spray foam insulating basement walls © Bala Structures The foam needs to then be covered with dr...

Roxul mineral wool batt insulation in LEED Homes
Insulation and soundproofing

Choosing the right insulation: the pros, cons and applications for walls, slabs & basements

...foam panel insulation Cellulose rigid foam insulation is a greener choice than styrofoam UPDATE: A new environmentally-friendly rigid foam insulation board made from cellulose nanocrystals is a viable alternative to Styrofoam - according to researchers at WSU... This product has us really excited, because it'...

How to Insulate Exterior Walls from the Outside US Canada Ecohome
Walls and Roofs

The easiest way to insulate walls from the exterior in older homes

...foam if you choose (spray foam is our least favorite but it can be done so we mention it, though we always encourage readers to choose spray foam with the safest blowing agents ) Larsen truss walls can be made in a variety of thicknesses, which is a really nice advantage to the design as it can be done in a way that ...

Recycled building materials
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Where to buy and sell used building materials

...foam insulation boards © Michel Chenier As an example, the above stack of XPS foam insulation was purchased through an online classified website for $3 a sheet, whereas purchased new in a building supply store they would retail for about $40 a sheet. It doesn’t take a calculator to know that that’s a pretty...

Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew
Healthy indoor air quality

Why are basements moldy? How to fix or Prevent a Moldy Basement

...Foam must be covered by drywall for fire protection. Don't install an additional vapour barrier behind drywall ; latex paint will act in this capacity. Spray foam or SPUF being installed correctly on basement walls © Bala Structures There have been a few nightmare cases reported where a SPUF installation we...

Frost in Attics: What causes Attic Ice? How to Fix it?
Roof assemblies - renovation

Why is there frost in my attic? Is ice in roofs a problem & How do I stop it?

...foam may be the only solution. We've generally steered our readers way from spray foam products in the past due in part to health concerns, but mostly to the very high Green House Gas emmissions from spray foam blowing agents. However 2020 has seen great news about the reduced global warming impact of spray foam, a...

Ice dams on roofs & how to fix them
Roof assemblies - renovation

What causes ice dams and how to fix them

...foam is closer to R6 per inch. The high ecological cost that comes with spray foam stops us from recommending it except for very urgent circumstances and this can be such a case. For existing homes with limited space over the top of walls, replacing a lower-R value per inch with a higher-value insulation like spray f...