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Did a house built in 1973 today and all was going well until I poked my head in the attic.

I saw the sprayed on type insulation. Now I've seen this alot in new construction in the walls but this is my first time to see it int he attic. I was wondering if it was Icynene.

Anybody got any problems with the application of this stuff. I explained that I had not seen it used as insulation for the attic and told my clients I would do some research.


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It looks like Urea Foam Formaldehyde Insulation (UFFI) to me. Did you touch it? Icynene is hard, but you can turn UFFI to dust just by pinching it.

If installed properly, UFFI is a great insulation. If there was too much formaldehyde in the mix, the excess off gassed, often into the house, and made people sick.

If it was done properly, there were no problems. If it was done improperly, it was a problem 25 years ago, but it stable now. You should Google it up.

Anyway, it's hard to tell from that photo, but that what it looks like to me.

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Does not look like UFFI to me, but Jims pinch test is usually 100% accurate. If you google it up you will find forty million opinions on both sides of issue. In Michigan and Canada it must be disclosed by seller and usually has a negative effect on selling price. Let your client make the decision.

Personally I don't like anything that is still controversial after forty years of discussion.

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Ditto what Jim and Les said about the pinch test.

I'd be surprised if it were UFFI, only because it looks far too clean to have been there for 32 years. Not sure I agree that icynene is "hard". You can squeeze it and it will rebound a little bit but not completely. If it's closed-cell foam it will really be hard and rigid.

I don't worry about UFFI. It completely off-gases in several weeks. After more than a quarter of a century it isn't an issue. Go to the Carson-Dunlop site and download their research paper on UFFI.



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Thanks guys, I think it is probably the Icynene and a newer install than from 1973. There was some remants of rockwool insulation in a few places. It was not completely hard, more like a stiff foam rubber, in all places. I was walking on the rafters and it would smush alittle and sorta spring back.

It did have some issues concerning the b-vent that needs to be fixed.

I just e-mailed the clients with a couple of web sites. I told them I had limited experience with it in this type of installation, but, from what I have read since last night and this morning it should be okay.

Merry Christmas!


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Originally posted by kurt

I remember installing a lot of UFFI; I still think it was a really good product that got a totally unfair rap.

Unfortuneately, the onus is still on it in the Midwest.

Until this year, one of the few things sellers were required to disclose was the presence of UFFI in a house. When a prospective purchaser's lender found out there was UFFI in a house, an IAQ study was required and the State DEP required a copy of the report. The last report that linked high formaldehyde to a bad UFFI install was in the late 1980's.

Fresh carpets, cabinets and dry cleaning are the sources of just about all of the indoor formaldehyde now.

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