A Summer Home Near the Jersey Shore’s Long Beach Island Park Gets Insulated with Closed-Cell Foam
By JUAN SAGARBARRIA
The only thing that’s better than having a summer home that allows you to kick back by the beach is the feeling of absolute tranquility when you know your private abode is equipped to handle any natural hazards that the summer might bring. Despite the devastating turmoil that Hurricane Sandy brought on the East Coast, an important lesson in home protection was learned. The Jersey Shore remains an ideal place to vacation, but it’s important that homes in proximity to the ocean are designed or renovated to combat high winds and moisture infiltration.
An example of a new home with disaster mitigation in mind was recently built on the Jersey Shore’s Long Beach Island. Since the three-story home in question was constructed right next to the beach, the owner decided to heed the lessons of the past and outfit the new home with the air and moisture barrier and structural integrity provided by closed-cell spray foam insulation. He hired Coastal Insulation Corporation for the application, which entailed insulating the home’s basement, underside of the roof, and the exterior walls with closed-cell SPF.
“The home was located steps away from the beach,” said Coastal’s John Achille. “Spray foam was definitely the ideal choice to prevent moisture and air infiltration, which are prevailing conditions in homes that are in close proximity to the water.”
When the three-man Coastal crew arrived onsite, the frame of the home had been constructed and the interior walls, windows, ductwork, and HVAC units were already in place. The living space started on the second floor, which featured a 20-foot arched cathedral ceiling. There was a hallway that resembled a small tunnel in the middle of the home that connected the main living space on the right side of the home to an adjoined cabana room on the left side of the home. The exterior walls in the hallway and the cabana room were included in the SPF project. According to Achille, it would’ve been a difficult task to fill the cavities of curved sections of the roof with batt or blown insulation, confirming that anything other than spray foam wouldn’t have been feasible to properly insulate the home. Furthermore, he pointed out that the basement ceiling of the first floor needed to be sprayed with foam to seal between floors.
To prep the home before the foam application, the Coastal crew erected scaffolding to access the third floor roofline from the second floor. They opened all the windows and had large fans going to achieve crossed ventilation in the home. The crew also covered the window openings, doors, subfloors, mechanical units, and ductwork with plastic sheeting to mitigate overspray damage. The Coastal crewmembers wore full-face, fresh-air respirators, Tyvek suits, and gloves for the duration of the project.
For every designated spray area, The Coastal crew installed MD-C-200, a 2 lb. closed-cell spray polyurethane foam formulated by Icynene. They installed five inches of foam to the roofline, overhangs, and exposed floors, providing an R-34 value to each area. To the 2×6 exterior walls of the main living area, the crew applied three inches of foam, which provided an R-20 value. The crew also applied two inches of foam to the 2×4 walls constituting the link and the cabana room. A total of 13 sets of foam were installed during the application, which comprised a spray area of nearly 15,000 square feet. Achille said that there was no need to apply a thermal barrier coating to the foam because sheetrock was later installed by a subcontractor.
“These homes on the ocean don’t typically have any attics, and this one was no exception,” said Achille. “They usually maintain the cathedral ceiling throughout the entire home, so sheetrock becomes the typical type of thermal barrier for these structures.”
Following the spray foam application, the Coastal crew installed a micro-caulking package, which involved caulking each stud in the home together to increase the airtightness of the building envelope. The Coastal crew also installed fiberglass insulation to the interior walls and in between the floors for sound deadening purposes.
The Coastal crew’s rig was equipped with a Graco Reactor E-30 proportioner, a Graco Fusion air-purge spray gun, and 310 feet of hose. Because of the home’s size, the crew was able to park their rig in the center of the home and access every area of the home without moving their rig. It took 14 working days for the crew to complete the spray foam application. Achille noted that the home’s occupants will be able to relish their vacation time, knowing that their home is protected with robust and energy-efficient insulation.
“This is a fairly large home, yet it’s going to be as energy-efficient as it can be with regard to its thermal envelope,” said Achille. “It will provide the occupants with protection from moisture and air infiltration. When it comes to potential hurricane activity, which this particular area saw firsthand with Sandy, the increased racking strength and the unvented attic assembly derived from the spray foam will provide additional strength to the home, so it can weather those types of events. They will also benefit from reduced energy bills given the energy efficiency that the spray foam provides. All these benefits lead to a comfortable home by the beach… now that is always a good deal. I’m sure that the owner’s family is looking forward to the anticipated savings and comfort during the upcoming summer beach season.”
For more information, please visit www.coastalinsulationcorp.com.