Eye Diy

Disaster strikes!

By Ryan Shervill September 14th, 2011

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Well, not really disaster…but a fly in the ointment for sure. Remember how I said I made the sink removable? Well…I had pulled it out from the wall to prep for the next step, unhooking the drain and trap but leaving the flex-supply lines hooked up……and one of the guys helping me decided to wash his hands. Having no drain line hooked up meant the torrent of water hit the floor…then found an opening…to the basement….DIRECTLY over my 60” Plasma TV
The first casualty of the Maximum Makeover…..RIP

But now it starts to get fun!

After seeing Deb and Donna at Lowe’s, we had a full set of detailed plans, so I was able to shift any electrical boxes to the exact correct positions, wrap them with poly and get ready for the next step…


This house offered some unique challenges insulation wise. Being a 70’s Viceroy, and designed as a cottage; let’s just say that r2000 specs weren’t even on the radar.

Faced with 2X4 walls and 2X10 cathedral ceilings, there was only one logical choice for insulation: Spray foam. Once again I turned to Lowe’s, and once again I wasn’t disappointed. The store set me up an appointment with their spray foam contractor, Insta Insulation and they came out and gave me a quote. We went over the details of what foam would do for me, talked about the eco-energy rebate program (WELL worth looking in to!), and went over the prep that I would have to do (clean up and get the family out of the house for 24 hrs….that’s about it), and booked my “spray-day”.  Why spray foam? Well….going with regular batt insulation would have given me an R value of 12-13 for the walls, and even worse, about R22 in the ceilings….not good. Especially when you live up here Ice dams were the norm…as were high heating bills. Time to change that.

With the spray foam I ended up getting about R 7.5 per inch, which meant my walls ended up about R 22 and my ceiling? About R42! You just can’t hit those R values any other way….and the fact that it fills every void AND creates it’s own vapour barrier makes it even better.

The crew rolled in first thing in the morning, and proceeded to mask absolutely everything that wasn’t being foamed…..the doors, windows, beams….even the old fridge.

And then foam baffles were installed for added airflow up to the ridge vent. Now there is some debate in the spray foam world about whether venting is really required when you are dealing with the R value and sealing offered by foam. In my case, it was a matter of “Well, the ridge vent is there, why not use it?”

Once all the baffles were run to the peak, they then proceeded to stuff the soffit area with batt insulation. This prevents the foam from going into the soffits, and when foamed over makes an air-tight and well insulated wall cap (a difficult area to insulate normally)

With the masking done, the soffits stuffed, and the pets and family relocated, it was time to spray!
The walls were done in a single pass, while the ceilings were done in two layers. By only going 3-4€³ or so thick in each pass, the foam cures faster (read: Instantly) and doesn’t generate as much heat. Speaking of heat: I was amazed at how much the temperature went up as a result of the foam curing…the walls were actually borderline hot to the touch.
Anyway, a bunch of “in process shots” of the spraying.


Ceiling first pass:

Ceiling second pass:

While the spraying was going on, another team member followed along behind removing any high spots that happened to project out beyond the face of the framing. Also called “scarfing”, there was very little that needed to be done (maybe 4-5 spots) but it sure makes it easier to drywall with the high spots removed.

With the scarfing done and the foam all sprayed, the floor was a mess:

Which they cleaned up immediately:

They pulled all the masking, swept every surface, and made sure the only purple in the house was where it belonged, and left me with a clean space (that just happened to look like Barney exploded in it).

In all seriousness, I would HIGHLY recommend this process for anyone who is looking at insulation. I mean…I literally went from a drafty, leaky, severely under-insulated cottage to an air-tight R22 and R42 + house in ONE DAY! The team was thorough and very professional, the work was done quickly and neatly, and apart from the purple in the wall cavities, there wasn’t a trace of them being there. I’m pretty picky when it comes to trades, but these guys rate 100% in my book.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: The day after the foam was done, my air conditioning shut off….on a 35 degree afternoon….something that has NEVER happened in the 7 years that it has been in. I’m (almost) looking forward to winter now.

Thanks for looking everyone. Tomorrow it’s time to cover up all that purple with drywall…see you then.


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