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Mike Yosha
Posted: Nov 26, 2014 04:13 PM
I have a metal pole barn in central Indiana. The building is about 1200 square feet ( 12' high) with a cement floor. I plan on keeping the building temp controlled about 60 to 70 degrees year round with natural gas and air and with a fresh air vent. It will be a repair shop. I also plan to build 8 or 9' walls but leave the ceiling open. I have had a few contractors come out however one says to only use open cell and the other says never use open cell only closed cell. My million dollar question is should I use closed or open? Does it really matter or is it personal preference? Obviously it would be much less expensive to use open cell if I can get away with it but I want to make sure I do it right. Any comments would be very helpful and thanks!
Bob Silverman
Posted: Dec 04, 2014 01:13 PM
I would assume that it being a shop, that you are going to be bringing equipment in to work on year round? In the winter, much of that equipment will have snow on it that will melt. This will create times of high humidity and that humidity will create a vapor drive. The vapor drive WILL force its way through the open cell foam and condense when it gets close to the outside. This will saturate open cell foam and cause a reduction in R-value which will lead to the condensation occurring more towards the inside, compounding the issue. Closed cell foam is the way to go and if you have someone telling you to use open cell, ask them to give you a written guarantee that they will remove all of the open cell when there is an issue and replace it with closed cell on their dime.
John Shockney
Posted: Dec 08, 2014 09:59 PM
Well having been a spray foam contractor here in east central Indiana for the last 8 years and an hvac contractor and service man for 30 years before getting into the foam business.

I would be the first person to tell you that closed cell foam is the best product. It has the highest R-value per inch of any insulation and adds strength to the building.

But we have sprayed a lot of open cell foam in a lot of shops just like you are describing. You can get double the R-value for the same cost of the closed cell foam. If you have enough moisture in the building to have enough moisture drive to cause condensation inside the open cell foam water would be running down your doors and windows, where the insulation will be the weakest! And no matter what anyone tells you more R-value is better! And open cell will still seal the air leaks your building has.

We spray open and closed cell both and try to use the best product for the application understanding that all buildings are a compromise between what we would like and what we can afford. If money was no problem you would be putting in marble floors right?

Also whatever heat source you use needs to be properly vented. Burning hydrocarbons creates H2O adding water to the building.

You can email me if you like at Airpro@gotsky.com and I may be able to help you more.

Mark Mouton
Posted: Dec 09, 2014 02:43 PM
What I'm fixing to say is second hand information. The man that told me about it said it actually happened.
He and I we're talking about moisture drive in cold weather states. He said moisture is attracted to cold metal like a magnet.
He told me of a sprayfoam contractor who got a job using a 1.2 lb, half open and half closed cell material on a metal building.
It was a very large warehouse building. He installed the material @ 3-4" thick.
Some time later, one of those blue northerners y'all have up there blew through and the moisture that was in the building drove through the foam, froze to the metal and pushed the all the foam off.
mark moyer
Posted: Dec 14, 2014 06:25 PM
airpro is dead on

"you cant put in half as much and expect twice as much in return" foamdude

in a "pole building" with the horizontal nailing purlins for the tin & liner,,,shudoggy mrfoamsdale you gotz upwards of 8+ inches of space for insulation..the cheapest construction element in the structure...so like mr airpro..if the building is to be lined i would propose a 7 lift of open cell,,so you gettin out to r30 of an airimpermiable insulation affording great contact with a large percentage of the frameing members to reduce the dreaded thermal bridging effect...
ah the wonder...ah the glory!!!
and this for 30% less money to the customer,,,ccR to ocR...
what would Cheapsus do?
it is a solid system....

remember "you cant but in half as much,,of anything,,and expect twice as much in return"

ancient foamdude proverb:

dude :)

foam-it!-on the wild side?

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