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Old 04-08-2024, 12:08 AM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
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Is this spray insulation thick enough?

Hi all,

Very excited to be posting after lurking for months... I am renovating the interior of a 1981 Excella in Melbourne Australia, so I will have a lot of questions.

My first one is - I have started removing the interior skin and the spray foam insulation doesn't fill the cavities. Should it? It is thicker close to the ribs and thinner in the middle which makes sense but not sure if I should pack out the thinner parts...

Also, there is discoloring around the top windows, it looks like rust but hoping someone can confirm?

Thanks in advance,

Gail
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Old 04-08-2024, 06:03 AM   #2
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IMHO, i would spray it so that is deeper than the ribs.
then use a std insulator installers knife to trim them so that they are level
us the two ribs and the depth indicator
finally add a vapor barrier product and use the red tape to seal the seams

be sure to run any wires and pipes in the wall first
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Old 04-08-2024, 07:51 AM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums!

Is that original spray foam, or something you have put in place?

Either way, I would say that the entire volume of the wall needs to be filled with whatever insulating material you use. With conventional insulating materials (foam being one of them), the thicker the insulation, the higher the R value. Not having the wall cavity completely full just doesn't make sense.

good luck!
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Old 04-08-2024, 04:47 PM   #4
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Thankyou! This is what I found when I started to take the skin off (not finished)., so the original insulation.

It was my feeling that it should fill the cavity so good to have that confirmed.

Sounding like i will be topping up the insulation when the time comes…. Or pulling it out and starting again.

Got a lot to do before then but helps in planning.
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Old 04-08-2024, 06:10 PM   #5
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That is not the original insulation. Airstream used pink fiberglass insulation in the walls. Somebody has added that after removing the interior. Be careful if you decide to add more spray in insulation, as if it not the same product, there could be a potential chemical reaction between the 2 different foams. There is also a possibility that the foam you have is a formaldehyde mixture, which is toxic, but was used for many years until banned.
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Old 04-08-2024, 06:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
That is not the original insulation. Airstream used pink fiberglass insulation in the walls. Somebody has added that after removing the interior. Be careful if you decide to add more spray in insulation, as if it not the same product, there could be a potential chemical reaction between the 2 different foams. There is also a possibility that the foam you have is a formaldehyde mixture, which is toxic, but was used for many years until banned.
Thanks CBWell - I mis spoke meant not newly put in by me but yes, the last renovator put it in.

That is a great tip about adding more though, which i dont really want to do anyway but definitely not if it won’t work with the old foam.

Will take care whatever I do if it may be toxic, appreciate the heads up.
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Old 04-09-2024, 09:10 AM   #7
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You don't really have to add more spray foam, you could just fiberglass batting, and split it down to the right thickness to fill what space you have.

good luck!
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Old 04-09-2024, 09:32 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone, that is all really helpful.

At this point I am thinking I will add more insulation [batts] to fill in over the spray foam as suggested. It's a little way off so let's see what happens!

Much appreciated.
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Old 04-10-2024, 07:05 AM   #9
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The discoloration is likely aging from ultraviolet sunlight exposure - a couple thin coats of exterior grade wall paint should arrest any further accelerated aging, just the first 16-inches around openings where trim rings etc. let day glow into the foam. Titanium Dioxide, the white pigment used in white paint, should last near forever.
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Old 04-11-2024, 04:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
The discoloration is likely aging from ultraviolet sunlight exposure - a couple thin coats of exterior grade wall paint should arrest any further accelerated aging, just the first 16-inches around openings where trim rings etc. let day glow into the foam. Titanium Dioxide, the white pigment used in white paint, should last near forever.

Thanks Wabbiteer, great intel .
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Old 04-14-2024, 07:18 PM   #11
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Foam application thickness

Use care when applying new foam.

A good thick layer of foam sounds great, unless the foam is designed to go on in thin layers, allowing it to transition from a gooey liquid to a properly expanded and well insulating foam.

Applying it in one thick layer may result in an unpleasant surprise when you shave off the unwanted high spots and reveal the still-liquid sticky gooey mess beneath the surface.

Having said that, I have had good success just filling up cavities between exterior and interior steel body panels on a double-walled van. Maybe it cured correctly, maybe it didn't. But it kept the van comfortable through Las Vegas summers.
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Old 04-14-2024, 08:02 PM   #12
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I disagree that filling it thicker is necessary or even particularly helpful. The insulating properties of that existing foam is adequate…and it is largely sound-proofing anyway. I’d leave it in situ if it were mine.

You insist on more insulation..?? add fiberglas batting. IMO.
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Old 04-16-2024, 05:07 AM   #13
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I guess I would have to agree with Boxite. If you were to fill the cavity, it would be "better" insulated, but you might not see any difference. I performed an experiment back in 2021 when deciding what to install in my '62 Ambassador. I did not include foam in place, but the results of using various insulations demonstrated you need something, but types and amounts didn't much matter.

To see the details of my experiment, click on the "1962 Ambassador" link in my signature and go to post #133. - Mark
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Old 04-16-2024, 10:23 PM   #14
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Thank you both, I love that 'do nothing' is becoming an option! I will check out your test steinVT.
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Old 04-16-2024, 10:39 PM   #15
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Remember - an air gap on the inside has insulating properties of its own. So, I wouldn't go through the hassle of adding more. What I would do is to find a very thin rubber based tape to cover the ribs before adding them back to act as a thermal break to prevent the aluminum skin touching the outer portion of the rib transferring the cold or heat to the inside skin that is touching the raw rib that is carrying the thermal load from the outside to the inside. I've never understood why the factory doesn't do this.
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