WJM Architect
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Queen Anne 1870 restored traditional
 

Queen Anne 1870 restored

WJM Architect
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http://www.wjmarchitect.com

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November 28, 2014
donna43068 wrote:
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donna43068
Because you put the hvac in the attic, is it necessary to insulate?
1 Like    Bookmark   November 30, 2014 at 6:45AM
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WJM Architect
Not required, but it just makes sense to do this. If you don't insulate at the rafters and you have HVAC equipment in the attic, In the summer your unit is baking at 155 deg while it tries to make cool dehumidified air. Proper insulation of the rafters and side attic walls will save big on energy usage, extend the life of the unit as well as make your home much more comfortable in the summer and winter.... I talk about it in this video (question 16) http://wjmarchitect.com/askwjm.htm
    Bookmark   November 30, 2014 at 10:18AM
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June 4, 2014
Holly Daley wrote:
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Pataya Flooring & Stone Supply, LLC
The Dangers of Using Spray Foam Insulation

In recent years, spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation has become increasingly popular in both residential and commercial construction. More energy efficient than traditional fiberglass insulation, SPF insulation is used to create a moisture and vapor barrier in perimeter walls, crawl spaces and attics.

However, despite claims from manufacturers that SPF is “green” or “environmentally friendly,” the same can’t be said of its effects on workers. SPF insulation contains chemicals called isocyanates that can cause skin and lung sensitization as well as irritation to the skin and mucous membranes like the eyes. Sensitization means that workers can develop an allergy to a certain chemical after being exposed to it. Once sensitized, workers can quickly develop asthma, even if they have never had symptoms before. The following symptoms can appear during or immediately after exposure to isocyanates:

Wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing
Irritation of the eyes and lungs
Fever
Stuffy nose
Sore throat
Tightness in the chest

Once the lungs or skins are sensitized, it’s possible for symptoms of asthma to be triggered by exposure to everyday substances such as dust or cold air. It’s estimated that between 15-30 percent of asthma in adults is caused by occupational exposures. Isocyanates have been reported as the leading chemical cause of work-related asthma.

Workers are most commonly exposed to isocyanates in SPF by breathing them in or getting them on their skin during the installation process. Until polyurethane products such as spray foam harden or cure completely, they can still release isocyanates. Once cured, polyurethane products can release isocyanates if they are heated, burned, cut or abraded. Workers should also be aware that isocyanate exposures can occur from adjacent areas – the harmful chemicals in SPF have been shown to travel throughout large buildings during installation.

Working Safely Around Isocyanates

Controlling and eliminating on-the-job exposures to chemical sensitizers such as isocyanates requires putting the proper protections in place. Employers should consult the safety data sheet (SDS) for any product that could contain isocyanates and find safer substitutes if possible. Barring that, employers can use ventilation to reduce the concentration of isocyanates in the air, restrict access to areas where isocyanates are present and provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Workers using products containing isocyanates should wear the following PPE to protect themselves from exposure:

Cover all exposed skin by wearing a disposable dust suit
Wear neoprene, nitrile or butyl rubber gloves
Wear chemical safety goggles to protect the eyes
Use a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) when isocyanate-containing materials are being heated or sprayed

When using respirators to protect against exposure, always use an organic vapor cartridge and change it regularly. Because isocyanates are odorless and colorless, they don’t present warning properties to alert workers of exposure. NIOSH has documented several case studies of workers who have died from acute exposure to isocyanates.

What to Do If You’ve Been Exposed to Isocyanates

Developing work-related asthma could make working on some kinds of job sites difficult – jeopardizing or cutting short a career in the construction industry. Permanent asthma can develop as quickly as a few hours after exposure to isocyanates depending on the level of exposure and an individual’s sensitivity. If you think you may have work-related asthma, see your doctor as soon as possible. Bring copies of any available safety data sheets along with this OSHA factsheet, which was designed to be shared with your health care provider.

For further information on isocyanates, visit OSHA’s Isocyanates page. California’s Department of Public Health created this guide about work-related asthma, which includes information on isocyanate exposures in other industries such as construction, hospital work and custodial work.

[Nick Fox] http://www.lhsfna.org/index.cfm/lifelines/december-2014/the-dangers-of-using-spray-foam-insulation/
    Bookmark   December 4, 2014 at 8:50AM
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Holly Daley
Thank you very much for this health related information. Holly Daley
    Bookmark   December 4, 2014 at 8:53AM
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What Houzz contributors are saying:

Mariana Pickering (Emu Architects) added this to Insulation Basics: Heat, R-Value and the Building Envelope
Thermal insulation is only one part of the puzzle. But it’s a pretty big one. It may help to try to imagine your home like a balloon full of hot water; the balloon is the building envelope. You can feel the heat trying to escape through the material (this is conductive heat loss). If you wrap the balloon in a towel, it may take longer for the water inside the balloon to lose all of its heat. But if there’s a hole in the balloon, all of that hot water will leak out at a much faster rate. A home’s envelope is similar. You can add insulation to the roof or attic, the walls and the slabs, but if you have an air infiltration around your window frames (a very common problem in many homes), the effectiveness of that insulation that you added will be somewhat negated because all of the heat will just go out the window frame.This is why the installation of your insulation is perhaps even more important than the material you select. In fact, ease of installation is one of the major reasons that spray foam insulation (seen here) is so popular in the United States.
Mariana Pickering (Emu Architects) added this to Insulation Basics: What to Know About Spray Foam
Why is SPF so popular in the United States? Spray foam has the potential to tackle air leakages better than many other insulation options. Because it is sprayed into place, the foam can fill up cavities and block any small holes that could compromise your building envelope. It can be applied to vertical or horizontal surfaces to act not only as thermal insulation, but also as an air barrier. It’s synthetic and does not attract rodents or insects. When applied properly, spray foam can contribute to a successful energy-efficiency strategy.As with many aspects of the building market, there are variations in what is considered common around the world. Here in Italy, for example, spray-foam insulation has not taken hold of the market as it has in the U.S., for a variety of reasons outside the scope of this ideabook. As a result, it is more difficult to find installers here, although there are versions of SPF available on the European market.

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Closed-cell and open-cell spray foam. These are the two kinds of spray-foam insulation. Open-cell SPF is the lighter, less dense option; it is the cheaper of the two but has less insulating power (or a lower R-value). Closed-cell SPF is denser and more expensive, can provide a bit more rigid support to certain structures and can act as a water vapor barrier, because it is less permeable.
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Why is SPF so popular in the United States? Spray foam has the potential to tackle air leakages better than many other insulation options. Because it is sprayed into place, the foam can fill up cavities and block any small holes that could compromise your building envelope. It can be applied to vertical or horizontal surfaces to act not only as thermal insulation, but also as an air barrier. It’s synthetic and does not attract rodents or insects. When applied properly, spray foam can contribute to a successful energy-efficiency strategy.
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Keep in mind wrap all ductwork joints. Should all ducking be wrapped with insulation. Spray foam attic ceiling?
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