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Handi Gun

The Right Foam for Your Climate

Follow the steps below to determine the proper foam to use for your application and climate.

STEP 1: Determine your Climate Region

The Department of Energy's Building America program has defined several distinct climate regions in the US.  Use the chart or link to identify which zone you are in.


  THE US CLIMATE REGION
US Climate Zone Map
Click the map for larger image.
  • Hot - Humid: (Zones 1, 2, part of 3)
  • Mixed - Humid: (Part of zone 3 & 4)
  • Hot - Dry: (Part of zones 2 & 3)
  • Mixed - Dry: (Zone 4B)
  • Cold: (Zones 5 & 6)
  • Very - Cold: (Zone 7)
  • Subarctic: (Zone 8)
  • Marine: (Part of zone 3 & 4)

(IECC Zone)


You can also use the Building America Guide to help determine your climate region by county.


STEP 2: Identify your Application

Find the application and description below that most closely matches your project.  Use the apropriate chart to determine the type and amount of foam to use for your project.  Scroll down to find your application or click on one of the following categories.



 Exterior Walls

A.  EXTERIOR WALL CAVITY (FOAM ONLY)

One of the most common uses for foam is spraying exterior wall cavities.  In this application, foam is used as the only insulation in the wall cavity.

B.  EXTERIOR WALL CAVITY (HYBRID)

In the hybrid application, a layer of closed cell foam is first sprayed in the wall cavity to provide an air seal.  Next another form of insulation such as fiberglass or cellulose is added to fill the remainder of the wall cavity.

C.  EXTERIOR WALLS (BELOW GRADE)

Exterior walls below grade level.  Foam is sprayed in a wall cavities. (See below for Basements and Crawl Spaces)

D.  EXTERIOR WALLS (MASS WALLS)

crawlspace without stud wall

Walls made of block or concrete insulated on either the exterior or interior side.

  WALLS - FOAM TYPE AND THICKNESS CHART

Exterior WallsMalls Walls
Climate RegionR - Value*A.B.
(hybrid)
C.R - Value**
(ext / int)
D.
Hot - HumidR-13OpenClosed
0.5" max
ClosedR-5 / R-8Closed
Mixed - HumidR-13OpenClosed
0.5" max
ClosedR-5 / R-10Closed
Hot - DryR-13OpenClosed
0.5" max
ClosedR-5 / R-8Closed
Mixed - DryR-13OpenClosed
0.5" max
ClosedR-5 / R-10Closed
ColdR-19ClosedClosed
2" min
ClosedR-15 / R-19Closed
Very - ColdR-21ClosedClosed
2" min
ClosedR-19 / R-21Closed
SubarcticR-21ClosedClosed
2" min
ClosedR-19 / R-21Closed
MarineR-20ClosedClosed
0.5" max
ClosedR-13 / R-17Closed

* R-Values as specified in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009.

** Use the first value if insulation is on the exterior side of the wall, the second if on the interior side.

Closed Cell Foam Kits   Open Cell Foam Kits  

 Basement and Crawl Spaces

D.  BASEMENT / CRAWL SPACE WALLS

crawlspace without stud wall

Spraying the interior side of unvented basement, crawlspace or foundation WITHOUT a stud wall.  Always use Closed Cell foam for this application.

Note: It is recommended to install a qualified Vapor/Radon Barrier over any exposed earth.

E.  BASEMENT / CRAWL SPACE WALLS (STUD WALL / FOAM ONLY)

basement with stud wall

Spraying the interior side of unvented basement, crawlspace or foundation WITH a wood stud wall.  Always use Closed Cell foam for this application

Note: It is recommended to install a qualified Vapor/Radon Barrier over any exposed earth.

F.  BASEMENT / CRAWL SPACE WALLS (STUD WALL / HYBRID)

basement with stud wall - hybrid

Spraying a layer of foam the interior side of unvented basement, crawlspace or foundation WITH a wood stud wall and adding additional insulation to fill the cavity.  Always use Closed Cell foam for this application

Note: It is recommended to install a qualified Vapor/Radon Barrier over any exposed earth.

  BASEMENT / CRAWL SPACES - TYPE AND THICKNESS

Basement / Crawl Space
Continuous - No StudsApplied Between Studs
Climate RegionR - Value*D.R - Value*E.F.
(hybrid)
Hot - HumidR-5Closed
(~1")
R-13Closed
(~2")
Closed
(0.5" min)
Mixed - HumidR-10Closed
(~1.75")
R-13Closed
(~2")
Closed
(1" min)
Hot - DryR-5Closed
(~1")
R-13Closed
(~2")
Closed
(1" min)
Mixed - DryR-10Closed
(~1.75")
R-13Closed
(~2")
Closed
(1" min)
ColdR-15Closed
(~2.5")
R-19Closed
(~3")
Closed
(2" min)
Very - ColdR-15Closed
(~2.5")
R-19Closed
(~3")
Closed
(2" min)
SubarcticR-15Closed
(~2.5")
R-19Closed
(~3")
Closed
(2" min)
MarineR-10Closed
(~1.75")
R-13Closed
(~2")
Closed
(2" min)

* R-Values as specified in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009.

Closed Cell Foam Kits   Closed Cell Foam Kits (E-84)

 Floors (over open or vented spaces)

G.  FLOOR (FOAM ONLY)

crawlspace without stud wall

Spraying the underside of a floor above unconditioned or vented space.  Always use Closed Cell foam for this application

H.  FLOOR (HYBRID)

crawlspace without stud wall

In the hybrid application, a layer of closed cell foam is first sprayed on the bottom of the floor to provide an air seal.  Next another form of insulation such as fiberglass is added to bring the total R-Value to desired level.

  FLOORS - TYPE AND THICKNESS

Floors
Climate RegionR-Value*G.H.
(hybrid)
Hot - HumidR-13ClosedClosed
(0.5" min)
Mixed - HumidR-19ClosedClosed
(1" min)
Hot - DryR-13ClosedClosed
(1" min)
Mixed - DryR-19ClosedClosed
(1" min)
ColdR-30ClosedClosed
(2" min)
Very - ColdR-30ClosedClosed
(2" min)
SubarcticR-30ClosedClosed
(2" min)
MarineR-30ClosedClosed
(2" min)

* R-Values as specified in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009.

Closed Cell Foam Kits   Closed Cell Foam Kits (E-84)

 Interior Walls & Floors

I.  INTERIOR WALLS (SOUND)

interior walls

Spraying interior walls mainly for sound reduction.  It is best to use Open Cell foam for this application

J.  FLOOR (BETWEEN HEATED SPACES)

Spraying interior floors (between heated spaces) mainly for sound reduction.  It is best to use Open Cell foam for this application

  FLOORS - TYPE AND THICKNESS

Interior Walls & Floors
Climate RegionR-ValueI.J.
Hot - HumidN/AOpenOpen
Mixed - HumidN/AOpenOpen
Hot - DryN/AOpenOpen
Mixed - DryN/AOpenOpen
ColdN/AOpenOpen
Very - ColdN/AOpenOpen
SubarcticN/AOpenOpen
MarineN/AOpenOpen
Open Cell Foam Kits  
Energy Efficient Solutions LLC

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