Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation Used as Moisture Barrier in Lake Front Home’s Crawl Space
New Spray Foam Rig Tackles Difficult Moisture Problem under Lake Front Home in Denmark, Maine
Denmark, Maine – July 21,2010 - This lakefront home has been suffering from a continuous moisture infiltration problem through their crawl space. Upon further inspection, the fiberglass batt insulation, in the floor joists was completely saturated with water. Left untreated this becomes yet another problem in itself, which can lead to mold and structural damage.
Daniel and Merlin Bahr from High Efficiency Spray Foam Insulation in Westbrook, Maine were called in to address the problem using higher performance spray foam insulation.
The cottage is located in Denmark Maine directly on Moose Pond. The house is situated approximately 50 yards away from Moose Pond, a several mile long deep lake spanning four to five miles long from Denmark up through Bridgton Maine.
Most waterfront properties face some type of moisture issues, but even more challenging is that the cottage is at the base of a very large mountain called Pleasant Mountain, which is also home to Shawnee Peak Ski Resort in the winter time. As most of us already know, Maine is very cold in the winter and the ground is covered in several feet of snow all winter. In the spring thaw, the melting snow and water roll off the mountain and into the lake. The massive directional flow of surface and ground water keep the ground very wet and moisture laden even through the middle of summer.
The home owner has complained about the ground moisture infiltrating through the floors and causing issues inside the home. Many spray foam applications in crawl spaces are applied directly to the underside of the floor joists and either terminate at the rim joists, or continue down the block cinder walls depending on the specific application, building codes, and owner preference.
In this particular application the spec called for a medium density closed cell spray foam to be applied to a rubber-like sheet on the floor and the walls of the crawl space. The rubber sheet good material is a proprietary system used by ‘High Efficiency’ to serve as the moisture barrier. Eight (8) to ten (10) mil poly sheet is another common material used as a crawl space moisture barrier.
The crew from High Efficiency applied three (3) inches of Bayer’s BaySeal closed cell spray foam supplied by SprayFoam Distributors of New England, Lincoln New Hampshire. They applied the foam on both the walls and the floor to completely encapsulate the 1200 square foot crawl space and create a rigid, insulated barrier from the ground and the underside of the home.
The job did not go without a hitch, however. During the application of the foam to the block walls, they discovered the walls to were still too saturated with moisture. During the first few foam passes, they noticed the foam was not sticking to the walls. They did some moisture tests and determined that they needed to dry out the walls more so before further application. They brought in a dehumidifier, dried out the area some more and finished the application with success.
High Efficiency Insulation is owned and operated by Daniel and Merlin Bahr from Westbrook, Maine. They apply spray foam insulation throughout Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.