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How Are You Insulating Your Storage?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Cebulskig, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. SIERRADMAX

    SIERRADMAX Feeling the Heat

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    I've worked on large chiller change-out, complete HVAC renovations, Steam Station renovations on large commercial buildings. I've seen professional insulating contractors insulate ALL hot water components with fiberglass. I can't remember which product line carries it but we had a 36" diameter hot water expansion tank that was wrapped with the product. Typically, you can buy roles of the adhesive back foil tape (white). All of their products have an ASJ (all service jacket) that inproves its thermal value. Any exposed insualtion was treated with Childers CP-10 mastik.
    http://www.metrosupplycollc.com/Insulation_Mastic.html

    I remember wrapping a tube style steam to hot water heat exchanger with 2" fiberglass. The system was brought online, tested the relief valve by seeing the HW climb to 200 degrees and the insulation was warm to the touch.

    Here's their website.
    http://commercial.owenscorning.com/applications/pipe/

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I have 8" of Poly iso under my tank, 20" of fiberglass around it and Capped with 1.2" poly iso and osb.

    gg

    Attached Files:

  3. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    The spray foam I had applied has a fire retardant in it.

    Huff
  4. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    That's good to have. I've never heard of it being flame retardant. Was that extra cost, or the type they allways use ?
    what type of foam is it ?
  5. dogwood

    dogwood Minister of Fire

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    RobC, what type of spray foam is the Dow Froth Pak. Do you know if it is closed cell or high temp? How about the flame retardent type you used Huffdawg"

    Mike
  6. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    #1 How Insulation is Made

    Blown in Cellulose Insulation Fiberglass Insulation
    Blown in cellulose insulation is made mostly from shredded newspaper and mixed with a variety of chemicals (up to 25% by weight) to reduce its flammibility. Fiberglass insulation is made by jetting molten glass through tiny heated holes in a high-speed stream. The resulting fibers are drawn very thin and to great length. The fibers are then
    collected into a matte to produce fiberglass insulation.



    #2 Blown in Cellulose vs Fiberglass Insulation in Performance

    The R values between blown in cellulose insulation and fiberglass insulation are the same but the thickness varies. On average, blown in cellulose insulation is 2-3 inches thinner than fiberglass insulation when both have the same R values. Both blown in cellulose insulation and fiberglass insulation perform well to insulate your home. However, regardless of which insulation you choose, the performance of the insulation varies greatly on the quality of workmanship. This is generally true more so for cellulose insulation than fiberglass insulation. in addition cellulose insulation could cause some corrosion on metal that it touches but can also insulate the entire cavity of the wall and flow around wall studs while fiberglass insulation may not cause corrosion but it can not flow around wall stubs as it has to be placed there. However, this is generally not done.



    #3 Home Insulation and Fires

    Blown in Cellulose Insulation Fiberglass Insulation
    Blown in cellulose insulation is treated for fire retardancy. If a fire occurs, the blown in cellulose insulation, combined with its fire retardants, can slow the fire from spreading and can create a "2-hour firewall". Scientists at the National Research Council of Canada report that, blown in cellulose insulation increases fire Fiberglass insulation is inert, ages well and is extremely difficult to ignite. However, once fiberglass insulation has been ignited, it may burn fast, hot and could emit toxic gases. Also, fiberglass insulation should be kept away from, light fixtures, chimneys or exhaust flu's to reduce heat build-up and potential fire hazards.
    resistance by 22%-55%. When Blown in Cellulose insulation does burn, it generally doesn't emit toxic chemicals.



    #4 Insulation Installation

    Blown in Cellulose Insulation Fiberglass Insulation
    When Installing cellulose insulation you will need special cellulose insulation equipment such as a cellulose insulation blower. Blown in cellulose insulation easily flows around obstructions and penetrates odd shaped cavities and it easily conforms around wires, electrical boxes and pipes. However, cellulose insulation is mixed with water and can take anywhere from 72 hours to over 1 year to completely dry. The drying Some fiberglass insulation facts on installation are: it has to be installed carefully, small fibers can cut your skin meaning you must wear protective equipment. Having to cut the fiberglass insulation to fit around wires, electrical boxes and pipes can be difficult and time consuming. Fiberglass batts are currently the standard insulation attributed to savings in residential and commercial buildings throughout the U.S.
    time depends on the installation mix, moisture retarder, temperature, climate and when the drywall is installed.



    #5 Blown in Cellulose vs Fiberglass Insulation Air Infiltration

    Blown in cellulose insulation is 2-3 times denser than fiberglass insulation. Studies comparing Blown in cellulose insulation Vs fiberglass insulation show that cellulose insulation was 38% tighter and required 26% less energy. A Princeton University study shows, a group of homes with blown in cellulose insulation in the walls had an average of 24.5% reduction of air infiltration compared to fiberglass insulation, with only the walls insulated. A similar study, the Leominster MA Housing Project for the Elderly found that, a building with blown in cellulose insulation compared to a building with R-13 fiberglass batt insulation in the walls and R-38 fiberglass batt insulation in the ceiling, had 40% lower leakage. However, when it comes to air infiltration, sheathing and drywall are better air barriers than any cavity insulation. Air infiltration barriers such as high-density polyethylene membranes are installed for this specific purpose.



    #6 Insulation and Moisture

    Blown in Cellulose Insulation Fiberglass Insulation
    A Blown in cellulose insulation vapor barrier is a must. Due to its chemical content, cellulose insulation may be more moisture resistant than fiberglass insulation. However, blown in cellulose insulation is mixed with water and if it is not given a proper drying time before the wall cavity is sealed up, studies show that it could retain the moisture in the insulation for over a year. Fiberglass insulation construction, allows water vapor to pass though its fibers. However, when water leaks through your wall with no drainage, fiberglass insulation may absorb the moisture and cause sags and gaps in the wall. These sags and gaps can allow heat in your house to escape. The end result would be, your r value is lower and your heating costs are higher.
    There are currently no clear and reliable drying guidelines for cellulose insulation.



    In genreal, insulation loses its r value when wet. Just 4% moisture can lower thermal effiecency, in that area, by up to 70%. Cellulose insulation fibers are naturally "hygroscopic". This means they are very effective at absorbing and retaining moisture. Moisture problems such as rot and mildew growth can occur when moisture remains above 20-25% for extended periods of time. It's recommended that you use a vapor barrier with both blown in cellulose insulation and fiberglass insulation applications. Preventing moisture/water leaks is a key factor in getting the best results for you home insulation. it's also important to allow internal moisture to escape. Dimpled membrane not only stops water and moisture from entering your home, but it allows water and moisture to escape. This dual action helps protect and lengthen the life of both blown in cellulose insulation and fiberglass insulation by letting your home breathe. No matter which insulation you choose, has you protected.
  7. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    I wonder about the part on corrosion in paragraph 2
  8. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    Spray-in Foam
    Spray-in or spray-on polyurethane foam expands to fill cracks and voids to form a tightly sealed barrier. Foam's biggest advantage is it virtually eliminates air infiltration. In most cases the foam is mixed on site, where trained professionals do the installation. “The spray-on foam is a pretty popular option,†says Michael Kwart, executive director of the Insulation Contractors Association of America, “but it requires higher skill training.†Spray foam is used in attics, ceilings, walls, and floors. When applied, it expands to 100 times its volume to seal cracks and crevices. It also maintains some flexibility as the home ages.

    Depending on the product used, foam can provide the highest R-value per inch of the three forms of insulation discussed at 3.6 per inch. “We use an expanding foam in closed-cell application that has an R-value of 6.5 per inch,†says Joe Ann Hurst, president of Astro Insulation in Chicago. “It is a very effective air barrier.†It is also fairly expensive. Depending on the region and market, spray-foam insulation can sell for $1.30 to $3.50 per square foot. In most home markets, this type of insulation is considered an added home value that will pay back over time and in the sale of the home
  9. Cebulskig

    Cebulskig New Member

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    nice info huff
  10. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    The spray foam guy will bring me a label on his product tommorrow. But I did go outside and lit a small 2x6 sized chunk of the foam. It did catch fire when holding the map gas torch to it but went out immediatly after removing the torch.

    Huff
  11. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    :bug:
    I have over a facecord right beside my boiler . I guess the foam is the least of my worries WM.
  12. RobC

    RobC Minister of Fire

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  13. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    I watched a demo where the guy held a torch to the foam and a torch to the cellouse the foam burnt the cellouse didn't.
    I don't think the wood would light as easy as the foam, but maybe I'm wrong.
  14. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    Did the foam go out after taking the torch away .if I ignited the wood with the torch it would mostly likely keep on burning.
  15. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I have spray foam on my tank and it is about 3' from the rear of my boiler. It is even further away from the loading door. I also put wood in my boiler room. Nice and warm in there. Dries out a little more while it is waiting to go in the boiler. It is also at least 3' feet from the boiler. Even further from the loading door. The boilers really do a good job of containing the fire. I do not believe the concern of fire is worth the arguement as far as which insulation to use. Certainly not on how good the insulation will work.
    mainedyi likes this.
  16. Willman

    Willman Minister of Fire

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    Don't forget rock wool insulation. Fireproof waterproof higher r value than fiberglass. The stuff is carve able to boot.

    http://www.roxul.com/
  17. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I am late this thread but did want to mention one detail I incorporated on my basement storage. I have unpressurized tank that sits on the concrete floor. Before the tank went in I installed a Drycore pad down on the floor. If you are not familiar with dry core, its typically used to finish basements and consists of interlocking 2'x2' chipboard panels with a raised plastic waffle pattern adhered to one side. The chipboard seems to be sealed with some sort of waterproofing. By installing the tank on top of dry core (with the plastic side down) it allows vapor from under the slab to work its way out from under the tank. It is also insurance that if there is a water leak in the basement that water doesnt get trapped underneath. My concern with just putting down a tank base without dry core is that water could inevitably get under the tank and could go stagnant causing mold and odors. I expect spraying closed cell foam directly to the floor would seal things up as well but I see a lot of designs where someone builds a box and fills it with cellulose or fiberglass and this could be a issue over the long term As the temp difference between the tank box and the ground will create a flow of vapro from the ground to inside the box. A plastic vapor barrier would help on the vapor transport but water may collect underneath it and go stagnant.
  18. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Peakbagger. I was also concerned about moisture coming threw the floor. I put a vapor baarrior under the cement and one on top the cement before I blew insulation. The slab stays warm all year so there is no condinsation. Same in the shop. I put down a good vapor barrior and keep the floor warm I have no noticable moisture come threw the floor. I can set stuff right on the floor with no moisture under it when I pick it up.
  19. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    Upon further research of the spray foam 2045.2.0 which is what the guy used today I found that it does not have a fire retardant in it . But he still claims that his supplier adds it to the mixture. Another draw back with spray foam is it is very hard to apply in tight spaces . he needed at least 2' from wand tip to do a nice job.
    Huff
  20. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    I j
  21. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    The space needed to apply foam was one reason I didn't use it. Building was erected around the tank.

    Gg
  22. Mushroom Man

    Mushroom Man Member

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    Most of the R-factor comes from straw bales. In straw bale construction, builders say that straw bales provide R-48 to R-52.
    I used 2 layers of pink fibreglass (R-19 x 2 = R38) under the straw bale. I don't really know what the cumulative effect is. I still lose heat. When the tank is at 170F its 2 degrees hotter over the tank than it is in the rest of the basement. That is OK with me because the master bedroom is above the tank and it is the furthest room from the forced air furnace. It used to be slightly cooler than the rest of the house but now has warm floors when I step out of bed.

    I am likely losing heat more because of gaps than any R-factor considerations.

    The straw was a by-product of a wheat crop so the cost was close to nothing. Now my major concern is the lines to the tank. It is 100 feet from the boiler and passes through most of the garage and all of the basement. It's losing a lot of heat to those spaces. The problem is easily fixed but takes time and money.

    By the way, the tank is recessed in a space that I think the builder had allocated for a cold cellar. I had to excavate 3 walls and insulate with 2 layers of Dow Corning blue styrofoam panels (R-20) and then built the interior tank wall with cinder blocks, rebar and cement filling.

    Over the straw bales we store junk. The ceilings are 11 feet in the basement so height isn't an issue.
  23. Grapenut

    Grapenut Member

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    Tim,

    That is a great, cheap method of insulation, but I gotta ask: are you worried about a fire hazard at all with that hay in your cellar? I know its not near your boiler, but still....I'm sure the heat from the tanks will dry every bit of moisture out of it.
  24. Cebulskig

    Cebulskig New Member

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    This thread has turned out great! So much information available, and very different approaches... But in the long run its 6 in one hand and a half dozen the other... Seeking the same results

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