DIY Foam- it can be done. The following post is direct from a customer of the Home Energy Store. The results are amazing. Dr. Tim Taylor walks us through what it takes to complete an extensive foam job!
Thank-you for your assistance on my home energy efficiency project, which cut my electric bill in half, made my house incredibly quiet by blocking exterior noise and made my home interior temperature much more uniform.
Here is the project summary for my 1800 sq ft house:
Commonwealth Building Sciences energy audit: $325.
caulk and weatherstripping for doors, windows, electric outlets, wall switchplates : $120
window solar film: $400
single-component 16 oz spray cans for sealing pipe and wire penetrations of walls, ceilings, crawl space, floors: $80
two-component closed cell foam for sealing attic, crawl space, storage room: $ 3354.67
energy auditor recheck after insulating and air sealing: $75
Virginia Energy Efficiency Rebate: -$595
income tax: IRS Residential Energy Credit estimated: -$400
I put in about 80 hours of work, installing all the above materials myself.
My electric bill for the month before the project, July 2011, was $553.
My electric bill for the month after the project, August 2011, was $299.
Time to recover investment: about 1 1/2 years.
My advice to homeowners:
This project requires little skill. The project requires time, concentration, attention to detail and willingness to sweat profusely in protective clothing.
Practice wearing the protective gear before working with the foams. I had a lot of experience with protective gear in my medical work, home chemical use and winter sports, but you will find this gear hot and awkward unless you practice.
Before you suit up, be sure to use the toilet and then drink 24 ounces of water to prevent lost momentum due to potty breaks and dehydration.
Before you suit up, rub your entire body and your hair with bath oil to reduce the amount of spray foam that sticks to you.
Wear head sock, Tyvek suit, safety glasses, organic vapor-rated respirator mask, head lamp, gloves, socks, shoes you will discard after the project.
Put on a pair of shorts with pockets over the Tyvek suit so you can carry paper towels, spare spray nozzles, spare gloves, spare safety glasses.
After 2 hours of work, to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion, you should strip off, shower, drink 24 ounces of water and cool down before suiting up again.
Wear a triple layer of latex disposable gloves so that when one glove gets a build-up of foam, tears or gets glued to something, you can quickly tear off the glove and have protection underneath it.
Buy spares of all protective gear. The foams do not come off! Buy several safety glasses so you can throw one away when it gets clouded by foam specks, then quickly put on a new pair.
Tyvek suits can be re-used many times and are machine washable. Do not put them in the dryer. The suits shrink in the dryer.
After the project, immediatly take a shower, then sit down with a tall, cold drink and enjoy the quietness and uniformly comfortable temperature of your newly-sealed home.