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Does anyone know anything about "Smart Foam" used for insulating walls and attics?

There is a company out of Nebraska that claims smart foam has an R value of 10 and is the best for attics and walls.

Asked by Parker Lahti
Posted Sep 11, 2012 7:59 PM ET
Edited Sep 12, 2012 6:40 AM ET

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2 Answers

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1.

Parker,
"Smart Foam" is a brand name used by Smart Foam Insulation of Blue Ash, Ohio. They sell foam manufactured by a company called cfiFOAM, Inc. of Knoxville, Tenn.

The Smart Foam website is a little vague, but their product is basically a type of retrofit foam used for closed stud cavities and closed cathedral ceilings, not for attic floors.

The company claims, "Smart Foam Interior Foam Insulation is designed for enclosed cavities such as stud walls and cathedral ceilings. It is ideal for use in new and retrofit construction, both residential and commercial. Smart Foam Interior Foam Insulation is a 2-component foam product that is installed using compressed air. A kiln-dried, water-based powder resin is combined with foaming agent catalyst to produce a freshly mixed product for each project."

According to a page on the Smart Foam website, this insulation has an R-value of R-4.6 per inch.

If a company in Nebraska claims that Smart Foam has an R-value of R-10 per inch, they are lying. Such exaggerations are a violation of the federal R-value Rule.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Sep 12, 2012 6:46 AM ET

2.

It's a non-expanding injection foam similar to TriPolymer or CoreFill500 etc. Most of these have relatively high vapor permeance, and theirs is no exception- the spec claims 10.6 perms at some unspecified thickness (probably 3.5") and it would still need an interior vapor retarder in cooler climate zones, unlike closed-cell polyurethane.

In most situations retrofitting dense-packed cellulose would be cheaper, safer from a moisture point of view, and about as effective from a thermal point of view, despite a modestly higher center-cavity R with the injection foam- the thermal bridging of the studs robs high-R foams of performance. Going with the foam adds less than R1 to the whole-wall R with the framing factored in.

Answered by Dana Dorsett
Posted Sep 12, 2012 12:27 PM ET

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