As a home owner the sound of saving money makes us all raise an eyebrow. With our amazing insulation R values and easy instalation methods it is simple to start saving.
Most homes can be retrofit-insulated with airKrete® in one day. Since it doesn’t produce dust or off-gassing, homeowners don’t have to move out of the premises during installation.
The retrofit process is as follows:
- Sets of up to 2-inch holes are drilled into the interior walls between each set of studs. (Depending on the building’s layout and construction, holes may also be drilled from the outside).
- airKrete® insulation is mixed in drums outside the home.
- The insulation – which has the consistency of shaving cream – is then pumped through hoses into the house and “foamed” into each drilled hole using low-pressure (2 lbs.) air.
- When completed, interior holes are patched with drywall compound and exterior walls are patched with mortar. In new construction, airKrete® is installed at the same time as the vapour barrier (a requirement under national and provincial building codes).A special mesh is used over the studs to hold the foamed-in insulation in place. Once airKrete® dries (usually within 24 hours), drywall can be installed normally over the studs.
The Benefits of using Spray Foam Insulation
- Costs the same as other forms of insulation
- Reduces your energy costs resulting in further savings
- Keeps your family safe from harmful chemicals
- Prevents airborne pollutants and pollen from entering your home
- Protects the environment
10 Fun Facts about airKrete®
After Al Gore, caped crusader against climate change and recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, was rather inconveniently called to task for the massive energy use of his Tennessee home, he remodeled. To make his home greener the updates included Air Krete along with solar panels, geothermal energy, fluorescent light bulbs and LEDs.
The addition of Air Krete helped the home cut 11% off the previous year’s summer energy bill in a time when most area houses went 20 to 30% over the previous year’s bill due to a heat wave. Perhaps if we all followed Al’s example and installed Air Krete, there would be fewer of these summer heat waves.
Like many modern foam insulations, Air Krete is blown into place. Unlike most foam insulations, however, it can be blown into walls from the outside, minimizing disturbance to finished, inside spaces — a definite plus if you’re remodeling an existing home.
When it comes to the look and feel of the material itself, Air Krete is also unique, and it changes as it’s applied. The consistency of Air Krete is similar to that of “shaving cream” upon application. Once it dries, its consistency is more like a “thick pudding”. Some also describe it as having a pumice-like consistency when dry.
Once your insulation is in place, you want it to stay in place. The problem with some insulations being put into your walls to keep the heat in and the cold out, or vice versa is that they tend to settle into a little mass at the bottom of your wall cavity.
That tends to defeat the purpose. All it takes to hold Air Krete up is a lattice as flimsy as chicken wire. And once the material sets, it doesn’t settle. Its initial dried form is the form it keeps for many, many years.
In the construction industry, the term R-value refers to a material’s thermal resistance. Basically, if a substance can hold very different heats on either side of it, it has a high R-value. The quantity is measured by the inch — the more insulation you stack, the greater it’s combined R-value. It would take quite a stack of traditional concrete to equal a single inch of Air Krete.
For Air Krete, the R-value is 3.9 per inch. Compare this to R-values of 0.8 for concrete without the trapped air, 1.45 for straw bales and around 3.1 for most types of high-density fiberglass batts, and Air Krete comes out on top.
As you might expect of a super-hard, super-tough substance that sprays as a liquid and thus plugs any available route within walls, Air Krete presents an impenetrable barrier to pests. But the mechanism isn’t what you might think.
Air Krete dries to a porous, almost pumice-like consistency, trapping air bubbles inside the same way traditional insulation uses a latticework of fiberglass fibers to trap air. It’s this “air” and not the “krete” that actually does the insulating. When dry this pumice stone like lattice keeps very dry and absorbs any moisture from the wall.
In a video to the right a demonstrator is taking a gas torch to a penny that sits on a chunk of Air Krete. The penny melts, but the Air Krete is completely unaffected.
To prove the material’s fireproof qualities, a contributor to a green design forum described how, after he started a fire in the living quarters he had built in an old barn, the fire completely gutted the living space. But that’s where it stopped.
The living quarters were insulated with Air Krete, which the local fire department credited with blocking the fire’s spread to the barn structure.
The New York City headquarters of the Audubon on the 3.15-acre enclosed space of Biosphere II building opened in 1991 was also insulated with Air Krete, in what the building’s architect called a “massive thermal shell upgrade” that allowed the 1890 sq ft building to save $100,000 in energy costs per year [source:Croxton Collaborative Architects].
This is to say that not only is Air Krete environmentally sound enough for use by even the most demanding environmental organizations, but also that its functionality has been proven by major corporations.
Used by both the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and Neil Young’s recording studio in Santa Cruz, Air Krete was used as a very effective sound barrier in addition to providing insulation.
This is because sound waves depend on vibrations transmitted from air making anything in its path vibrate, which then transmits the vibration to sound waves on the other side and finally to our ears.
Once it’s dried, Air Krete is simply too rigid to vibrate and therefore makes a great sound barrier.
By volume, Portland cement is the most common manmade product on Earth; it’s a component of concrete, mortar, stucco and grout. In the year 2000, the manufacture of Portland cement also added 829 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. That’s 1.25 tons of CO2 for every ton of cement produced.
However, the manufacture of Air Krete releases only 20 to 40% of the CO2 of traditional cement, mostly due to the source of Air Krete’s primary component being as plentiful as the waters of the ocean rather than mined as limestone from mountain hillsides.
Air Krete’s makeup is unique, and it does not contain harmful materials. It’s made from air, water and magnesium oxide (MgO) cement. When seawater reacts with limestone, it creates magnesium hydroxide, or Mg(OH)2. This is milk of magnesia, and while it might be great for your upset stomach, it’s not so good for the R-value of your walls.
However, the process of electrolysis splits off a water molecule, creating H2O and MgO, which is, in fact, good for the R-value of your walls when it’s blown in, allowing the paste to trap bubbles of air. And because MgO is used in many vitamin supplements, it is also safe for you to breathe in. *Source How Stuff Works