Frequently Asked Questions
The Icynene Insulation System® is a complete insulation and air barrier system that seals wall, floor and ceiling cavities against air movement, including spaces around electrical outlets and light fixtures, at baseboards and where walls meet windows and doors. This means that outside air (either hot or cold) cannot seep through walls, causing drafts or cold spots. It also means that humid interior air cannot enter the walls and condense.
The system combines a material with a Certified Service providing any builder or homeowner with a truly cost effective method of energy efficient construction. The material is polyicynene foam (see Product Specifications), an organic material developed from products of the petrochemical industry similar in composition to many that are already in home use today. The service is a custom installation on the building site by trained and Certified Installers, providing a custom insulation fit into any size cavity.
The product was evaluated by the Canadian Construction Materials Center of The National Research Council's, (NRC), and Institute for Research in Construction. Health and Welfare Canada examined the NRC emissions tests. The Ontario Ministry of Housing, Materials Evaluation Commission evaluated it and the Council of American Building Officials National Evaluation Service also evaluated it.
Icynene® complies with the BOCA, SBCCI and the ICBO Uniform Building Codes. It has been evaluated by the Council of American Building Officials National Evaluation Service and has been the subject of research projects by the NAHB Research Center. Health problem concerns associated with other building products in recent years such as asbestos, urea formaldehyde and glass fibers, dictate the ground rules for acceptance of new building materials. The Icynene® product became, to the best of our knowledge, the most extensively tested insulation material on the market today. The testing included the most sensitive emissions tests developed to date, tests that few other building materials have ever been through.
A foam that adheres to building materials, like Icynene insulation, must remain flexible in order to maintain its air seal. Buildings expand and contract with changes of season and temperature. If the foam is rigid, it will inevitably develop hairline cracks along the studs and ultimately the air seal will be destroyed.
As well as simplifying the construction process for the builder, Icynene® Insulation eliminates the major causes of building envelope problems, air-borne moisture movement and entrapment. Blower door tests have shown that a steel framed home insulated with Icynene® Insulation, and with no polyethylene vapor barrier, measures 1.2 ACH at -50 Pa. depressurization. This is well under the 1.5 ACH50 rating for the most energy efficient home. Heating and cooling costs are typically reduced by 30 to 50%, and smaller, less expensive heating and cooling equipment can be used.
Icynene® insulation is a water-based formula that contains no formaldehyde, CFCs or HCFCs. The insulation has the texture and look of angel food cake and is made up of millions of tiny cells. These cells are filled with air and provide permanent control of air and airborne moisture movement. There are no VOCs detected in Icynene after 30 days. See Specification Tables for more physical data.
The foam is created in seconds after spraying. You can watch it expand within seconds to 100 times its original volume, literally before your eyes. It completely cures within a few minutes.
No, it looks like a sponge but it is actually hydrophobic, i.e., it repels water. If placed in water it will float and on removal it will dry rapidly and loose none of its insulating properties.
Icynene® Insulation is a breathing foam, and any moisture in the building's concrete or lumber can escape through the insulation as the building dries out, thus eliminating any risk of rot or mildew.
No, it is inert. Its physical and insulating properties are constant.
No, the product is environmentally safe.
Icynene® Insulation contributes no fuel in the event of fire and it will not sustain flame upon removal of the flame source. However, like fiberglass, it will be consumed by flame, and gypsum board or other acceptable thermal barriers are required by applicable building codes.
No. Flame retardants are used in many products from carpets to computer casings and recently certain flame retardants called PBDE's (poly-brominated diphenyl ethers) have become a growing concern. Icynene is a 1/2 pound, all water blown foam that does not contain PBDE or any other brominated compound.
Icynene® is safe for both you and the environment. Icynene® is water-based, and does not produce formaldehyde, CFCs or HCFCs. It has been extensively tested in both Canada and the United States and found to have no VOCs detected after 30 days. The product is in fact recommended for use in homes for many environmentally concerned or sensitive people. The Icynene Insulation System® has been selected for use in the American Lung Association Health House projects.
There are two different ways to install Icynene® insulation — spray it onto any open surface and studded wall or pour it into an existing wall cavity when renovating. An Icynene trained, licensed Dealer must be used in both cases. With any open surface, Icynene® insulation can be sprayed on once electrical and plumbing services are in place. It then expands to 100 times its initial volume in seconds, permanently adhering to the surfaces of the surrounding building materials and sealing all gaps. For retrofitting existing walls, a slower expanding formulation of Icynene is used during renovations. The material is simply injected into small holes drilled into plaster or gypsum walls, or from the outside of the wall.
Icynene® Insulation has been on the market since 1986 and is in thousands of homes across the United States. It has also been featured in segments of ''This Old House'' and ''Your New House''.
No, Icynene® Insulation has been tested and is not a concern to electrical authorities.
No, Icynene® Insulation is non-corrosive. It is neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline.
Icynene® Insulation offers no food value; therefore it does not support bacteria or fungal growth. It also does not retain water, making it an unappealing environment for pests.
As an effective air seal, The Icynene Insulation System® eliminates the air gaps through which sound travels and is superior in controlling mid-range frequencies, which include the most common sounds, the human voice and stereo music.
No, Icynene® Insulation is stable. It does not shrink or sag. The reaction that creates Icynene® Insulation is irreversible and it cannot break down into its constituent parts.
R-value is derived from a controlled laboratory test of an insulation's resistance to conductive heat flow. Icynene's R-value is 3.6/inch, similar to fiberglass.
The Icynene Insulation System® is installed after the windows, doors and roof are in, the electrical, framing and plumbing inspections are complete, and after any other electrical or mechanical system located behind the drywall is installed. It is the last installation to take place before drywall installation.