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Question about insulation

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  • #740317

    I am a home inspector in Arizona and recently ran across a new variation on attic insulation. The home was owned by a stucco contractor who used 1 inch thick Styrofoam, that is used when applying stucco to a house, as attic insulation by breaking it up into small pieces no bigger than 2 inches across and filling the attic space to a 4 to 6 inch depth with the material. My question is, how effective is this for an R-value ? I would guess that the Styrofoam pieces that are loosely stacked leave too much air space between the pieces to provide a good insulation material. Am I right or wrong ? Thanks in advance for any answers

    #740318

    I am a home inspector in Arizona and recently ran across a new variation on attic insulation. The home was owned by a stucco contractor who used 1 inch thick Styrofoam, that is used when applying stucco to a house, as attic insulation by breaking it up into small pieces no bigger than 2 inches across and filling the attic space to a 4 to 6 inch depth with the material. My question is, how effective is this for an R-value ? I would guess that the Styrofoam pieces that are loosely stacked leave too much air space between the pieces to provide a good insulation material. Am I right or wrong ? Thanks in advance for any answers

    Welcome to BTP , I know that here in Montreal Quebec, it’s definitely not to code , I’m pretty sure it’s not a typical practice either.



    @Chad
    @Miamicuse and anyone else who might be able to answer your question.

    #740325
    RonW
    Moderator
    Holladay, Tn

    Can’t say I have seen it done.
    And don’t believe foam used in this way would offer much in the way of insulation. I would agree that unlike a solid piece, broken pieces of foam provide no resistance to air flow. I doubt it would provide much of an R-value, since air can easily pass through the broken/cut pieces of foam.

    Ron

    A Working Pro since 1994!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #740361
    roninohio
    Pro
    New Franklin, OH

    Maybe if it was broken into really small pieces but not 2 inch chunks!
    Like Ron said air would just flow thru .

    #740367
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Can’t see this being a very good insulator at all.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC
    (and also the World's Fastest Poster)

    #740372
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    In the past I have seen expanded polystyrene used as attic insulation but in more of a pour-able bead form. While the chunks will provide some insulation, and R-value, they will provide little resistance to air flow. He probably would have been better served to lay the pieces in place before breaking them up and fitting them as tight as possible in layers.

    At this point i am not sure what to recommend as a fix other than removal of the material or possibly of sealing over the top of the whole assembly with a layer of spray foam.

    #740388
    Sprokitz
    Pro
    Eastern shore of, Pa

    I’m on board with the other replies. Minimal R-value when broken up in chunks

    #740696

    Thanks for the replies. It seems that my initial thoughts are about right. I will tell my client that what he has in his attic is probably not doing him much good R-value wise. Thanks again

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