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Jim Baird

Celluloid spray stuff

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So often see weird stuff.

24 yr old crawlspace.

CMU foundation etc.  No floor insulation, but CMU walls sprayed with chewed up newsprint or something.  Termite guy happened to be there with me and he took lots of umbrage.

My thinking is insulator arrived and offered a lower cost alternate to floor insulation.

Photo shows buried water supply lines.

Comments welcome.

P1010251.JPG

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Wet-spray cellulose is occasionally used in CMU commercial buildings here.  Haven't seen it in a residence yet.  Properly applied, it adheres very well.   It's borate treated and has a class 1 fire rating.  Usually contains a high percentage of recycled material.

In these parts, I'd rather see insulation on the foundation and perimeter of the floor structure than between joists.

 

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Thanks for the reply, Bill.

"In these parts, I'd rather see insulation on the foundation and perimeter of the floor structure than between joists."

My quick research shows about R-3 per inch of this stuff, vs R-19 for 6 inches fiberglass between joists.  The termite guy was not sure he could issue a letter with all the obfuscation the cellulose presents.  I don't think the seller has the receipts for the install, so how does anybody know it is borate treated?

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It's confetti made from recycled newspapers and cereal boxes. The boric acid treatment is a fire retardant and makes it pest resistant. Without the treatment, it's kindling and pet bedding. 

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3 hours ago, Jim Baird said:

I don't think the seller has the receipts for the install, so how does anybody know it is borate treated?

I hadn't ever considered that there was a lucrative market for counterfeit thermal insulation.  If you suspect he made it in his shed and managed to spray it on, there's a couple ways to check the possibility of it being treated.  Take a match to it or see if it helps clear up a yeast infection.

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We have seen lot of applications.  Apparently a local company kinda pioneered it - Applegate Insulation.  The binder often was a cornstarch with a borate.  tolerate water better than you would think. 

 

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I appreciate the replies.  Local termite licensee refuses to issue "termite letter".  Buyer is asking seller to remove the material from the foundation walls and remove it from site.

Clue, seller has occupied home but only as a second home and only after 9 months.  They jacked price 60K over what they paid then.  Only upgrade they made was vinyl plank floor throughout, and I think granite countertops.  Don't think they know who/when cellulose was sprayed.

I think the issue may be a deal killer.

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Well I know that you can make anything an issue and often it is just buyer remorse.  I suppose it could be removed and recycled.  I can just about guarantee 6-8 new houses were wet sprayed today in Mid-Michigan.

I own a Pest control company and would not hesitate to sign off if warranted.  Maybe more going on then they are telling. 

 

I have known the Applegate family for generations.  Very nice people.  I have inspected for many family and corporate members

Edited by Les
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Thanks for the reply, Les.

I looked at Applegate site and they showed install between studs and talked about attics, but not about crawlspaces.

This application was on inside of crawlspace walls.  BTW the same termite man told me on site that they do not touch contracts with plastic foam sealed/conditioned crawls, which are very rare here.

I think what we are seeing is diffs in termite infestation zones.  Here in the Georgia piney woods we are very vulnerable to termite infestation.

The further south you go the worse it gets.  A friend rehabbed a 10th floor condo in San Juan, Puerto Rico many years ago.  Even on the tenth floor he had to be sure that every stick of wood he used was treated.  He took me on a drive and pointed out termite nests on palm trees that were forty feet off the ground.

My termite inspector, who makes an annual visit to my home, has told me that chemical treatments through time have backed off from toxicity in the direction of safety to such a degree that his company will not offer a warranty for more than about five years.  My original contract with them was a 20 yr repair guarantee.  Now we just have a "control" contract where they will treat infestations they may find, but any repairs needed are my problem.

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