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Jean-Paul Miller
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 08:03 PM
spray under an enclosed porch
I have two heated enclosed porches, both using hydronic heat, in coastal Maine on the shore with no windbreak between the ocean and me. It has lots of wind exposure but it is far enough away from the ocean (1000 feet away on a 30-foot cliff) where it does not get ocean spray just massive winds. The porches have historic looking vertical 1x3 slats with a 1-inch gap to prevent critters. In the past, to keep in warmth in the winter, it was wrapped in plastic and painted plywood. This was a two-fold solution: to keep drafts out of the house and to help keep the area under the porch warmer.

I would like to leave the crawl area under the porch open all year for many reasons. One, because the sealing of the under area of the porch was in my opinion potentially bad for the wood slats and beams due to carpenter ants in the area. Two, if it is left open it can air out and stay drier. Three, the plywood and plastic is a pain to put up and take down. Four, it is bad for the environment and wasteful to throw away plastic ever year. Finally and least important, it is ugly to look at in the winter.

There is no insulation under the porch now and I am wondering if closed cell foam might be a good choice for insulation, or if the potential weathering/wind would cause problems to the wood beams or the foam in the space. I would not be against 'over' foaming to cover all exposed wood as it would be hidden and only give me more insulation.

My other idea/option was ridged foam board tightly fit and reflective bubble foil stapled to the bottom.

It would seem the spray closed cell foam has better insulation value and seals better from the wind. I am worried about longevity of the closed cell foam in the environment though. Any suggestions for a solution or knowledge of this type of climate’s effect on spray closed cell foam would be appreciated.

I also want to carefully rip out all of the interior walls and closed cell foam the entire house and vaulted ceilings over the next few years, starting with wind side first. It is over 100 years old and could stand to have a real rehab to include insulation and a good inspection/replacement of all the utilities and wood members to make it last another hundred.
Posted: Sep 13, 2012 09:37 PM
Closed cell foam is definatley the answer here. This sounds alot like a place I looked at a year or so ago on Vinylhaven. It was to cold (late in the fall)to do it that year. Give me a call and I will go over your questions one by one, 207-461-3686. If I don't service your part of the coast I can recommend someone who does. Skip

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