Insulation

We're at the point of insulating our house addition.
Our general suggested we use the blown in foam type that is then cut off flush to the studs. He says there is less air infiltration, and that this company also pays particular attention to details such as caulking around windows and doors etc.
My question is about down the line. This spray encapsulates the pipes and wires. Later on, if one wants to break into the wall for any purpose, doesn't this make access a little harder? And more to fix?
Or is this a good type of insulation versus the fiberglass batts?
We have a slight pitched roof, so will have to use batts put up from below because of no crawl space in the attic. No attic.
Thanks.
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

Hi, Where do you live? Foam is Pita when and if you need to work on wiring or plumbing. On the roof, I'd use rigid styrofoam panels(higher R value) Here in Calgary Alberta, ceiling needs R60, walls R20, basement walls R12 minimum. We use 2x6 studs for outside walls. Most new houses use triple pane windows.
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Fiberglass is R 3.5" foams are R5" to R7" for GE foam. Foam seals best for air infiltration and is the best. Worrying about future need to open a wall is backwards.
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SteveB wrote:

The spray in foam is certainly very good from an insulation/vapor barrier perspective, but it does preclude easily pulling new wires and whatnot into the wall cavities in the future. It is possible to bore through the foam with the long flex drill bits if needed, and if you are willing to open up the whole cavity then it's easy to cut / dig out the foam in the area you need to work in. Hopefully you don't have many pipes in exterior walls anyway.
Personally if I were building a house / addition, I would use the spray foam insulation, however I would run all my electrical and plumbing (PEX tubing) in conduit (separate electrical and plumbing of course) so that only the conduit is encapsulated in the insulation and I can add / remove wires or tubing as needed in the future.
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Batts would preclude (or seriously hinder) any fishing as well. Either way, you'd be tearing down wallboard, so you might as well have the better performing insulation installed.
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If you're thinking ahead, then put the wiring into condiuit, or leave an empty conduit to add later.
Are there horizontal wood braces between studs? That's going to be more of a problem than the insulation.
But really, consider your costs/benfits. I think better insulation far outweighs the potential problems for later changes in wiring and piping.
samurai
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it's not a problem at all to fish a wire through fiberglass bats. done it dozens of times.
s

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Robert Barr wrote:

I've never had an issue pushing my steel fish tape through fiberglass batt insulation, nor blown in cellulose insulation.
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closed cell foam is the best but pricey option, it cuts air infiltration to near nothing which cuts sound transmission too. at R6 per inch or more you end up with a warm quiet home. plus you dont need any vapor barrier.
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Yes, use blown in place cellulose. you can check out the facts at www.centralfiber.com and you can view the fire retardantcy video at : http://www.cocooninsulation.com/homeowners /
it trims off like the foam, but you could still fish a wire through it if you wanted to.
s

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Corbond makes a spray-on foam insulation that's just great. And, the room will be super well insulated from not only the outside heat/cold, but the noise as well. Better than fiberglass in that respect.
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