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Smoke & Mirrors/Junk Science? - You Decide


hausdok
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Hi Bruce,

Actually, UFFI was not the mess it was made out to be by the media. It turns out that in the end it off-gases for about 3 weeks and then after that has less UF in it than most other building materials and other things that we're regularly exposed to. It was just a big media scare that wiped out a lot of legitimate businessmen - just like the mold hype is doing today.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike,

Well.. Heavy sigh. My parents had UFFI installed at my suggestion in the late 70's. They didn't have any health problems from it but the paint fell off of the redwood siding in sheets. I know now that the house has to breath and that is what I was referring to in my post. If there is no ventilation designed in to any product it’s just going to cause problems and not solve them.

I still need more info about a lot of questions that the paper didn’t address.

Once I liked being first on my block with everything, still do with some things (infrared scanning for example) but now I don't mind learning from some one else's mistakes once in a while. (We don't do mold or lead testing with an XRF and I'm glad)

Bruce

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Originally posted by Bruce Thomas

(snip)My parents had UFFI installed at my suggestion in the late 70's. They didn't have any health problems from it but the paint fell off of the redwood siding in sheets. I know now that the house has to breath and that is what I was referring to in my post

Bruce

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Hmmm,

That's kind of interesting, 'cuz there's tons and tons of UFFI in homes around here that hasn't caused any paint problems. Was the home brand new by any chance? Was the redwood siding backprimed? Was the redwood siding properly conditioned and prepared for painting? Was it installed direct to studs or over sheathing?

Redwood, like cedar, has extractives that can be paint unfriendly and needs to be carefully prepared and primed before painting.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike,

I can't answer all of your questions but the home was built in the 40's and had never had a paint problem before the insulation was added to the empty wall cavities.

My concern with the ceramic paint is that it will seal an area like plastic wrap like the spray on siding. That may not be the case so it deserves a closer look.

Bruce

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My 6 brothers and sisters and I grew up in a 100+ year old house with UFFI-stuffed exterior walls. All athletes, almost all graduated from college, and most have advanced degrees. My brother, my Dad, and I replaced nearly all of the siding on the house with backprimed cedar clapboards and painted it in 1986-7. Because Mom complained the color was fading, Dad finally had it repainted last summer. There was virtually no peeling after 15+ years.

From the annals of science,

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My old house had UFFI as well, but when we pulled the siding it was probably only 50% of its original dimension. There was just enough of it to be a royal pain to dispose of (it doesn't burn, don't try it)but certainly not enough to be of any insulative value.

The best way to get rid of it is to stick a kid with a respirator in a trash can and have him/her stomp it as you feed in product. Roughly two square can be compressed to fit in a a contractor's garbage bag.

I read about the ceramic paint and remain quite skeptical.

My preferred method of leaving it on the ground hoping for high winds was nixed by my wife.

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  • 2 years later...

In the late 70's, I was the foamer (the guy who had the gun on his back with the 2 lines attached (the foaming agent and the resin). The product was called Rapco foam insulation.

The biggest problem was companies weren't mixing the foaming agent & resin correctly.

I had to conduct 3 tests/measurements twice on every job to ensure the correct mixture.

If installed correctly, it was a great product.

Darren

www.aboutthehouseinspections.com

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Ceramic coatings are a highly effective reflective insulator. They are used to line the insides of industrial furnaces, rocket nozzles, and they keep the space shuttle from burning up on re-entry.

They have a proven and effective track record when sprayed on metal roofs and CMU walls of large industrial and commercial buildings. A 7 mil dry thickness is equivalent to an R value of about 19. The payback period is good when you are in a hot climate and the reduction in solar gain results in savings on air conditioning costs. I don't know enough about them to judge the payback period in cold climates.

I'm not familiar with the application of these coatings in residential construction. I think that just spraying it in places where you would normally find fiberglass insulation could cause trouble and should be carefully considered.

Fiberglass insulation slows the passage of heat while the ceramics reflect it. In residential construction we have wall and roof assemblies with layers of many different types of materials. I suspect that where the reflective layer is placed within those assemblies could be very important, and if it was in the wrong place, it may adversely affect the service life or performance of those other layers. Like vapor retarders, it's also possible that the best place to put the reflective layer might vary based upon what climate zone you are in.

Brandon

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Hi Brandon,

Did some reading a few years ago about these coatings and I recall that they're actually made up of very tiny beads of ceramic that slow down the movement of heat/cold through them. So, a house with this stuff painted on the roof takes substantially longer to heat up during the day from solar gain and then longer to cool off at night when it's cooler outside and that solar gain is trying to move in the opposite direction.

I can see where there's an advantage in the very hot deep south, but I don't think they're going to be much good during the winter in the northern climates and I don't think that the folks that develop these products expect them to be effective in those northern climates.

I was just wondering whether anyone down Texas way knew anything about whether this guy was seeing the savings that he wsa hoping for. If I get some time today I might call the utility provider and ask them, because according to the article it looks like they'll be monitoring things closely.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't like anything you spray on or completely coat a house with without allowing a pathway for the escape of moisture that might get in thru small gaps, crevices, etc. Sounds like trouble if not applied right. With a background in materials, I have trouble accepting the r-value claims.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are numerous web sites for companies marketing ceramic "insulating" paints. I'll reserve my opinion regarding these products until I see test results from independent and certified laboratories and/or testing agencies indicating that these products have not only been analysed for durability, adhesion, fade-resistance, etc. under accelerated weathering and aging conditions but also demonstrate that their touted "insulating" properties have been verified in comparison with conventional insulating materials taking into account all of the factors which go into analysing thermal insulation, i.e., solar exposure, degree days, air infiltration, total glass area, etc.

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