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Spray Foam Not Effective??

 
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:51 PM   #1
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Spray Foam Not Effective??


Hey everyone, needed some opinions and thoughts on whether spray foam is worth it. Here's the situation..
We are developing 2 RV parks, each has a metal building laundry room 12x12 in size with 8' ceilings. We had the whole interior spray foamed with closed cell and then sprayed it with paint. Then we threw in an overkill 350sq ft heat/ac window unit. Was about to spray foam the other building when we realized the first one is not staying cool. The big AC unit runs non-stop in the tx heat and can't get the temp low enough to cut it off. I really thought spray foam was better than that, maybe I am expecting to much.
We have a third old laundry room of same size that is old wood exterior and sheetrock with normal rolled insulation, same AC unit, and you can make it snow in there if you turned it down. Really considering framing the inside of the new laundry room and throwing the rolled insulation in it with sheetrock instead of dropping money on the foam. What do y'all think? Does the foam just need to be thicker or something? Or is it a waste of money compared to sheetrocking and fiberglass insulation?
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


what is the R-value of the foam you have?

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Old 07-04-2020, 07:11 PM   #3
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Did you spray radiant barrier 1st? My daughter is in Lubbock 98 today 100 here in S.A. Window units iffy. Any trees or wide open? Your not going to get over 18 degrees or so dig. in to out maybe less with window unit. Not a fan of foam
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:55 AM   #4
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Thanks for the replies. I'm actually not sure what the R-value is, and don't know anything about radiant barrier either. Since I don't know anything about foam, I just hired somebody to come do it all, assuming they knew how to do it correctly. It is wide open, no trees yet, which doesnt help the situation. The fact that the old wood building is staying cool while the new metal foam one cannot means either the foam just sucks compared to wood and batt insulation, or maybe the foam wasn't put on well enough. Not sure which.
I'm also thinking that part of the issue is the metal exterior soaking up heat. If I frame the interior and put normal insulation with sheetrock, it still may not compare to the old wood sided building.
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Needless to say metal is going to be like an oven. Spray in radiant barrier has to be sprayed inside 1st against metal. But in wide open Tx. heat again you won’t get more than 16-18 deg. difference in to out. The unit will run constant. Look for Mexican Sycamore trees. Fast growing 50 year or so life span. Huge shade tree give it room. Plant in fall keep well watered until established. Don’t buy big box go to reputable nursery. Plentiful here in Austin-S.A. 2nd choice Ash fast growing maybe 20 year span. Framing and adding more insulation will help no brainer
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:49 AM   #6
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


So you are comparing apples to oranges. You don't know anything about the way the foam was installed yet you come here to ask questions with no information to give us to help you. You immediately say the foam is the problem when you don't seem to have any knowledge of how it was installed other than I hired a guy that should know what he's doing.

You say this is a laundry room. I assume it has washers and dryers in there. Dryers produce copious amounts of heat when they are running. It all doesn't go out the vent tube. A lot of it radiates from the machines.

What is the R value. What is the R value of the walls vs the roof? You are going to get a lot of solar gain from a metal roof that is fully exposed to the Texas sun. Were there J calculations performed and followed. Sounds like you just threw an AC unit in there. You said it was suppose to take care of 350 sq ft. So what is the BTU or tonnage rating of the unit?

12x12 is 144sf. But you have dryers in there and it is for the public which means the doors are opened and closed constantly. Were these included in your calculations?

Lots of missing information in your post to be blaming the insulation. If they only put 1" of thickness of the closed cell it's not going to do very much. You don't even mention what the thickness is so we can guesstimate the R value of the insulation.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:26 AM   #7
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Leo’s right in such a confined space dryers, washers running constant in & out didn’t think about that, you probably won’t get much improvement 101 temp. here today. Sounds like you didn’t do much homework & paid cheap & got cheap. Now that I think about it I’ve never been in one that wasn’t a steam bath
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:58 AM   #8
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Now that I have the 5 year old twins out of my hair & can 1/2 way think you probably won’t even get 15 deg. difference in to out. Maybe in December. 5 years or so ago we hit 100 in February. My daughter is close to you & it’s as hot there as it is here
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:26 PM   #9
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Just played around on the interwebbything and a 350sf AC is a 8000 btu. That's a small room AC for residential. Stick an 18K BTU in there and see what happens. You never told us how thick they put the foam on. A small metal building like that probably doesn't have much wall thickness to work with, 3" maybe? Closed cell is about R6.5 per inch. So at 3" you are at R19 Which is equivalent to a 6" wall. R19 still isn't that much for that kind of heat. The major benefit of closed cell is the resistance to air movement because it effectively blocks leaks when it's applied. It does a much better job than any glass insulation would for air infiltration.

Not sure how your metal roof is setup on the inside. If it's cathedral that is going to be a big heat producer inside. The roof will heat and then it will radiate into the space. It'll feel like you are in a nice cold air conditioned car at a stoplight with the sun beaming though the window on your legs. It doesn't matter how cold the air is, your legs are still going to be baking.

Putting a drop ceiling with another 2" of foam insulation (styrofoam is fine) to block the radiant heat will do wonders. Make sure above the ceiling is vented properly so you have good airflow to keep that area as cool as it can be with a metal roof. Putting foam on the underside of the roof will help.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:33 PM   #10
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


My shop is a metal building. It's a 4 bay building and I have a middle and outside bay. I AC the middle bay so I have the benefit of only having 2 walls exposed to the outside. The roof is the biggest problem for me. The footprint is 1300 sf but it's 22' tall. Calculations by sf come up with about 2 ton (24KBTU). But I have a massive amount of solar gain because the insulation is only about R7. I put a 3.5 ton (42KBTU) unit in there and it does OK. If it's 95 and cloudy it has no problems. If it's 95 and full sun it struggles to keep it to 74. On top of that I have to make sure it comes on in the morning. If I let the shop get to 90 and turn it on it won't bring it down so it can cycle. On those days I wish I got a 4 ton.

So you either need to put more insulation in there or get a bigger unit to compensate. You can keep it 60F in there if you put enough insulation and BTUs into the equation.
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Old 07-05-2020, 02:29 PM   #11
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Metal transmits heat (and cold) much better than wood does, probably has a lot to do with it.........
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:41 PM   #12
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Thanks for the replies. No I don't know a lot about this, which is why I hired a professional and also came here to ask questions...
The new laundry room doesn't have anybody in it yet, or washers and dryers. It's just sitting there with the door closed. The old wood one is in use, people in and out and dryers running, yet it stays really nice. I think that's what surprised me. The roof is a slight gable, which does have some extra room up there, so the drop ceiling with a vent is probably going to be necessary . I think the foam is around 3" thick. I may see if they can do a bit thicker than that and also upgrade the AC unit like you mentioned.
Not knowing anything about insulation and seeing the wood room do 20x better than the metal one was a real surprise, but the metal being like an oven and the foam thickness compared to wall thickness calculations makes it make sense. I may just go the extra mile and build walls on the inside after the foam is done as well. The extra cost might suck to finish it out like a house, including the drop ceiling, but it will look a lot better when that electric bill comes in for sure.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:50 PM   #13
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Why would it be a surprise that a wood building is cooler than a metal building? Wood is an insulator and heat is an extremely good conductor of heat. Not even close to rocket science. Just putting drywall on the inside should improve things.
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:18 PM   #14
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


Quote:
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Why would it be a surprise that a wood building is cooler than a metal building? Wood is an insulator and heat is an extremely good conductor of heat. Not even close to rocket science. Just putting drywall on the inside should improve things.
I guess because I constantly hear people carrying on about how foam is the new big thing that's better than ever and how they sprayed it inside an airport hanger and now it snows in there in the summer. ( A little exaggerated, but people here really do hype the hell out of it). I know that a metal building is going to be hotter than wood, but people here just talk like foam is supposed to be the whole solution and how the metal doesn't even matter once you foam it. People talk about foaming their metal barn and "now it stays so nice in there all year". So either the people didn't do the foam correctly in my building, or everybody is just full of sh**, which obviously seems to be the latter one. It makes sense, I just wanted to see if anybody else had these "such amazing results"
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:12 PM   #15
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Re: Spray Foam Not Effective??


i know a guy that has this bridge for sale?...

interested???....

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