Situation:

For years a couple near Austin, Texas had worked on building their dream home. Bit by bit they erected a house that reflected their aspirations for an energy-efficient home on their large rural property near Austin. Part of their vision was to have an energy efficient home in a part of the country where heat can be brutal in the summer, leading to high air conditioning bills.

To help them achieve the energy efficiency they were looking for, the homeowners specified polyurethane spray foam (SPF) as insulation in the attic and the walls of their home. SPF provides excellent thermal resistance and most importantly a complete adherence of the foam to the substrate material, preventing movement of air into the house.

Solution:

The homeowners contacted Michael Healey at Austin Spray Foam and Coatings to advise them on their project and to spray the foam. Austin Spray Foam has extensive experience spraying both residential and commercial polyurethane foam. Healey chose to use GacoFireStop for the project, citing its one-step technology as readily accepted by code inspectors. He says, “With only one application instead of foam plus coating, the criteria for inspection were easier. And in eliminating a step we saved money.” With its AC377 Appendix X approval, GacoFireStop provides fire-resistant protection throughout the product, and it won’t fade, chip or crack.

And in addition to its superior capabilities, Austin Spray Foam saved approximately 40-45 cents a square foot by not applying coating. Michael has extra confidence in his expert employees, some of whom have engineering degrees. These experts noted that the GacoFireStop foam performed consistently, with performance and rise that were predictable and excellent. Michael Healey notes that, “Without GacoFireStop, this job wouldn’t have that extra level of safety with the fire retardant throughout the entire product. The alternative is to depend on a thin layer of coating that is not always consistent and fool proof.”

Unique Characteristics:

The spraying conditions were somewhat challenging, but GacoFireStop was up to the challenge. The substrate was plywood, with 6 inches of GFS sprayed in the attic and 3.5 inches in the wall. The biggest challenge came from the daily temperature range: 55 degrees in the shade in the morning and 105 degrees in the afternoon sun. GacoFireStop sprayed well throughout this temperature range.

Installation:

The GacoFireStop yields were consistently 14K board feet in the field, matching the laboratory specification. The yield was a very critical number in evaluating the job, allowing Austin Spray Foam to work with sustainable costs and be profitable. Michael Healey says, “We couldn’t have been happier with the product. It delivered what our customer wanted and it was easy to work with.”