How would you handle this problem after receiving this response?
Here are the facts about this house first;
The home is vacant and contains no household chemicals, furniture or paint cans, etc. Empty as it can get for many month's now. The consumer purchased the home many month's ago and wanted to make the home energy efficient. The home is conditioned meaning, heated and air conditioned. House is @1400 sq ft single floor with an attic. The contractor of record convinced the consumer open cell spfi was the best solution. The spfi contractor removed all of the existing visible cellulose and installed open cell spfi during the early winter of 2014. (New England on the shoreline.) Area's sprayed included the attic roof, gable ends and bedroom walls. The product was sheet-rocked over in the bedrooms and the attic received an intumescent paint covering. The intumescent paint was not installed in accordance with the manufacturers coverage specification. (mil thickness, leaving the foams natural color exposed in the folds) The spfi had retracted from the sheathing but, remained in tact with the rafters and studs and is off gassing a sweet musty chemical odor. Large sections removed clearly showed spray lines on the back side of the foam, voids, 1/8" pinholes and spider legs. (spider legs meaning...when you spread glue on a floor to install a vinyl floor and when pulled back showing glue legs remaining.)
The response below was sent to the consumer after this major chemical manufacturer inspected the home and retrieved their own samples.
As we discussed, __________ does not have the capability to perform gas phase analysis and so our evaluation of your foam samples was limited to visual inspection and any obvious residual odor in the samples. Our inspection resulted in the following observations: 1) foam quality: good, no indication of improper mixing or improper spraying, 2) no abnormal odors were detected in the foam samples. Based on these simple evaluations, we saw nothing to suggest a problem with the spray job.
> We also had core samples bagged and sent to ____for similar evaluation. Their message to me was that the coating was fully cured, and they smelled nothing abnormal in the foam sample.
> I pointed out in our recent phone conversation, that since you had indicated a sweet smell in the attic air, the source of that odor was likely not originating in the foam. I also indicated that sometimes paints can contain coalescing agents that can have a sweet smell. I have no reason to believe that this sweet smell was coming from the ____ coating - especially after they evaluated their core sample. The source of the sweet odor is truly a mystery.
> I should point out that when a space is air sealed, as has occurred when spray foam was applied within your attic, other household odors that went previously undetected due to the higher levels of fresh air infiltration, can sometimes now be detected. These odors can come from the HVAC system, via kitchens, pets, laundry rooms, hobby rooms, garages, basements and the like. Some of which may provide a source of sweet smells such as cooking, antifreeze, hobby paint or the like - pure speculation and brainstorming here - I'm not pointing fingers at anything without data.
> I hope this information helps to eliminate your concerns.
Posted Aug 28, 2014 11:59 PM ET
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