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Recycled Rigid Foam Insulation - Correct Use?


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Mary's Forum Posts: 101
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By Mary in PA on 3/2/2010


Hi all,

As part of ongoing bargain shopping, I've come across a source for used rigid-foam insulation and I'm trying to figure out it this would work for our applications. I'm shopping out ahead of the start of construction and don't have a sub or GC I can ask... Oh, that's right. I forgot - I'm the GC. Yikes!   ;-)  I know many of you have used this type of product in your projects. If you've got the time to review below or would  just like to comment on what you know about this type of product and how you figured out what you should use in your application, I surely would appreciate it. I'm wondering about minimum compression strength of foam boards under insulation and facing on foam board for exterior-wall insulation.
Thanks!

I have two underslab areas and two wall insulation areas where I will need this foam. I will need a good bit of it, which is why I'm trying to figure out if I can use the recycled source I happened to find.:

1) House basement & attached garage: under slab with DIY radiant
2) House & attached garage: between framing and exterior siding (likely vinyl, possibly cement board)
3) Machine shop: under 4" slab with DIY radiant
4) Machine shop: between framing and exterior metal siding

The seller of the recycled foam doesn't know much about it, except that it came from a commercial-building roof application. From a photo I can see it is a Dow Corning product. The boards are 2'x8' by 3" thick. I believe I'll be able to get a closer look at the product and hopefully will see a product name that will enable me to look up more info. I've checked out the link below to get some background... I think I want to stick with a closed-cell product. But not sure about compression strength and possible facing for wall applications.

building.dow.com/building/foundations


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By Mary in PA on 3/29/2010


I thought I would drop back in on this thread. I missed out on the deal listed above. In fact, I didn't even get to look at it, so I'm not sure if it would have suited my use or not. I found another listing on Craig's list last week, but after talking with the seller I determined the product was EPS and not the XPS I'm looking for. The link below has an article on rigid foam that I found really helpful in trying to decide if these recycled offerings are what I need or not.
greenbuildingadvisor.com/green-basics/rigid-foam-insulation

I've also been looking at Insulation Depot but I don't really need a full tractor trailer of the material. I considered buy it anyway and then reselling what we don't need for the shop, garage and house... but where to store it? Grrrr. I've already got surplus windows stored in my living room and bedroom and geotextile and exterior doors stored in the garage. A tractor trailer load just won't fit!

Still watching Craig's list and looking at local auctions... but in the meantime, I'll be putting in to the Pro Desk at the local Big Box stores to see what, if any, discount could be had on a largish quantity of the stuff.


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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 3/29/2010


I didn't use rigid foam, but I will share my experience with insulation. This was an exception in that I found insulation cost was roughly the same regardless of who did the installation. What I mean is that when I called several insulation subcontractors to get bids, I found that installed cost was roughly what I could get the material costs from the big-box suppliers. And when I asked them to upgrade from R-30 code to R-50, the cost increase was ~10% for almost twice as much insulation. This certainly made me do a double take.

The conclusion I drew was that in the quantities the large outfits buy it, this stuff is dirt cheap. I used their economy of scale, and purchased this installed, with them providing the material. Anytime I can get a subcontractor to come in and bid the completed task for just the price I pay for material, that is a slam dunk.


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