Serving Southern Ontario

Insulation Frequently Asked Questions

In older homes, how can we check to see if there is already insulation in the wall cavities?

One easy way to determine if there is insulation in the wall cavities, or if they are empty, is to remove an electrical receptacle cover. Turn off the power to the circuit. Take a kitchen butter knife and carefully slide it along the outside of the electrical box and in the open cavity. If there is any insulation, you should be able to feel it when you slide the knife on the outside of the electrical box.

If there is no insulation present, how can we insulate without tearing out all the walls?

By drilling a small 1 inch (2.5 c.m.) hole between the studs and installing cellulose fibre blown insulation. Our knowledgeable applicators, with specialized equipment to deliver the required amount of air pressure, will blow the dry insulation into the wall cavities tight enough so you will have little or no insulation sagging over years to come. (See Photo)

How do you insulate walls with brick facing?

At Lambton Insulation we drill 1 inch (2.5 c.m.) holes between brick joints, starting one and half bricks from the corner, using a masonry bit. This may be followed by a wood bit if wood is present behind the brick. Once the cavity is opened, we use a stud finder to find the next cavity and mark it. Each successive stud gap is found and professionally filled with cellulose fibre blown insulation

Single storey houses require one row of holes near top of eve edge and under the windows. One and a half story houses require two rows. Full two storey houses will require two to three rows of holes.

Can you insulate vinyl sided homes without damage or holes showing?

Yes you can. At Lambton Insulation we lift up the vinyl siding and all the holes are drilled behind the siding. A special tool is required for this application. We place small blocks behind the siding to hold it upwards and start holes, approximately eight inches (40 c.m.) from the corner of house drilling holes between studs and filling the cavities with the same equipment as used in brick houses. Once the cavities are full the siding is replaced with no notice or interruptions on the exterior of the house.

What about Mansfield and aluminum sided houses?

Again, this process is done by drilling holes but, through the siding between every stud with a 1 inch (2.5 c.m.) carbide drill bit, starting approximately.eight inches (40 c.m.) from corner of house wall.

What can we do about the attic insulation?

This area can be done by the home owner using conventional batt insulation. Check you national building code for minimum R-values required. Lay the first layer between rafters and the second layer of batts crossed over the first layer. This will minimum heat loss between the cracks of the batts.

Lambton Insulation provides the customer with attic blown insulation, this save you time, and is less expensive, even with the labor included! This also provides a seamless layer of insulation through out the attic to reduce heat loss. There are a variety of different types of blowing insulation on the market today. They include cellulose fibre, fibre glass and rock wool blown insulation, just to name a few. (See Photo)

Our one-and-a-half storey home has an attic areas on each side, not just at the ceiling. What are they, and how do we insulate them?

These areas are called knee walls and to insulate them, you can place an R-13 batt between the vertical inner wall studs, followed by an R20x23 batt, nailed across, for R-32 total.

To provide a total seal, we suggest spraying the wall areas with icynene foam insulation. The floor areas in the knee walls should then be blown with loose insulation to minimum code or better.

The floors of our house are very cold. how can we fix this problem?

In the basement or crawl spaces of your house, all outside walls need to be insulated with Icynene or Poly-Urethane foam insulation. This type of insulation provides a total seal to keep out that cold air that is cooling down your floors. Batt insulation does not work in this situation because it will not form a seal in the header areas. Ground temperature in southwestern Ontario is approximately 54 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 13 degrees Celcius) and basement walls need to be insulated to the floor when heating above these temperatures or you will be spending your hard earned dollars heating the outdoors. (See Photo)

Do not insulate the underside floor areas with batt insulation or you may end up with moisture problems, which could result in wood rot on floor joists.

We are building a new house. What do we need to know about insulation?

First of all, you must comply with building codes in your area. Here are the steps required:

  1. Outer walls need styrene foam or glass clad insulation on the outside of house with R13x15 insulation in 2 x 4 stud walls. -or-
  2. Outer walls can get R20x15 fibre glass batt insulation between 2 x 6 stud walls.
  3. Install foam around the outer windows and doors to seal air drafts.
  4. Place vents in every other rafter for air flow over wall and attic plate area.
  5. Install R-20x23 batts cut into three pieces and place them over the wall plate in the attic.
  6. Sky lights should be sprayed with a foam insulation. (see Poly-Urethane or Icynene foam insulation applications)
  7. Knee walls need a minimum of R-32 with two layers of batts.
  8. Install 6 mil poly-plastic on all ceiling areas first.
  9. Place a bead of acoustical caulking along floor wall plate and header.
  10. Staple 6 mil poly-plastic on the warm side of all outer walls against acoustical caulking.
  11. Tape around all outer wall outlets to reduce drafts.
  12. When drywall or finished product is installed on all ceilings, install blown insulation on top of finished product to recommended R-value or greater.
See Icynene foam insulation for alternatives and cost saving measures for new house wall cavity insulation. "Sooner or later every home will have it". (TM)

What is Icynene Foam Insulation?

(for additional information see;

Icynene Foam (see photos)is a two part system consisting of Polyicynene MDI and Polyicynene Resin. The two are supplied to a 1:1 proportioning unit, which hydraulically supplies a mixing gun with equal amounts of each material. Triggering the gun allows the material to be released to the substrate, where it reacts from the mixture and expands to 100 times liquid size, turning into a foam material (Icynene Insulation) which fills all cracks and open cavities in seconds.

Icynene foam insulation is an open celled foam insulation which helps to seal the building envelope. This allows the owner to manage the interior air, using controlled ventilation and eliminates 99% of the unwanted outside air-pollutants. Icynene foam insulation has no CFCs, HCFCs or formaldehydes and is incapable of supporting bacteria or fungus. In fact, Icynene foam insulation is endorsed by the Envirodesic® Building Program, which is sanctioned by the Lung Association.

Nothing performs like Icynene for filling cavities, nooks, and crannies.

Can we use Icynene in our new house or building? What are the advantages?

By insulating the house with Icynene foam, you eliminate the need for house wrap on the outside of your home and plastic electrical boxes around your outlets. Going from 15 inch stud centers up to 24 inch centers eliminates lumber. You can downsize your furnace and air conditioning needs. Now that you have sealed your house from air infiltration this makes your new home very energy cost effective, year after year (see Figure).

A blower door test can be done to see if all cracks around the windows, doors etc. have been total sealed. This gives our customers total satisfaction. It also ensures the house will meet R-2000 standards (1.5 air changes per hr.).

Just remember you can buy appliances anytime, but you can only insulate once!

Poly-Urethane Insulation

Poly-Urethane Insulation is applied in the same manner as Icynene foam insulation, but expands to only 30 times its liquid size. This enables the foam applicator to put on lighter thickness in such places as barns and drive sheds to deterrent rodents from tunneling or distroying the product. It also provides a total seal to the substrate. (see Figure).

Poly-urethane insulation for flat or low slope roofs provides a seamless membrane on the exterior part of the roof. This reduce the chances of leaks combined with a elastomeric coating over the foam insulation, which ensures years of satisfaction to come. It provides you with a new roof plus insulation all in one.

Cellulose Fibre Blown Insulation Specifications

C.G.S.B. certification # 83012
C.C.M.C. certification # 9217
Thermal resistance K =22.3 R = 4.03
Density 1.6 lb/cu.ft.
Flame spread Pass (ULC-S102-201977)
Smoulder resistance Pass (UCL-S130-M87)
Fungi resistance Pass
Flame Spread Pass
Colour Gray
No Formaldehyde
No Carcinigenic
Moisture No loose-fill product should be allowed to get wet, however it will dry out quickly.
Sound transmission Reduces sound transmission.
Air barrier Reduces air infiltration through ceilings and walls also stops convection currents in these areas.
Blanket CoverCovers irregular ceiling joist, leaving no cracks or joints for heat loss.

Icynene Foam Insulation Specifications

CFCs or HCFCs None
Formeldehyde None
Corrosiveness Negative
VOCs after 30 days aging None detectable
Flame Spread ASTM E84 <20
Smoke Developed <350
Fuel Contribution zero
Oxygen Index 23
Density 0.5 lb/cf
Thermal Resistance R-3.66/in.
Heat Flow Reduction Through 1 inch72.7%
Heat Flow Reduction Through 3.5 inch92.2%
Heat Flow Reduction Through 5.5 inch95.0%
Heat Flow Reduction Through 10 inches97.3%
Air Permeance - 5 1.01/sM2 @75 pa
Vapour Permeance - 5 10 perms
Sound Transmission Class 37
Noise Reduction Coefficient 70

Fibre Glass Blown Insulation Specifications

Flash Point not applicable
Auto-ignition temperature not applicable
Inhalation wear dust mask to reduce irritation of respiratory tract
Skin Contact wear long sleaves and pants to reduce itching and irritation.

Poly-Urethane Insulation Specifications

Density 1.8 lb/cu.ft.
R-factor 6 per in.
Closed Cell Content 97%
Water Absorption 0.48% by volume
Water Vapour Permeability62 ng/Pa s m2
Flame classification 100 ASTM E-84
Shear strength 264 kPa
Tensile strength 385 kPa
Flexural strength 230 kPa

For more information about insulation please contact Jeff Van Moorsel.

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