Using Spray Foam Insulation to help address 'Sick Building Syndrome' (Part 3)
By controlling air leakage and understanding moisture management, spray foam insulation is an economical and effective way to control ‘sick building syndrome’, improve indoor air quality and minimize the chance of mold growth. As discussed previously moisture can enter a building envelope through a variety of means including air leakage.
Icynene’s open-cell and closed-cell products both work in different ways to address moisture management and air leakage and each have their own unique set of performance characteristics that are suited to mold control. For instance, Icynene’s LD-C-50 is vapor permeable so it can support bi-directional drying of assemblies. It also has very low water wicking characteristics. On the other hand, Icynene’s MD-C-200 is a closed-cell material that can reject bulk water and is also a Class II vapour retarder.
The flexibility of LD-C-50 allows movement with the rest of the building envelope to ensure a constant air seal. The continuous air seal supports indoor air quality by blocking air infiltration and mass transfer of moisture that may cause mold. This is also true of MD-C-200.
Controlling air leakage through an effective material such as spray foam insulation helps significantly lower the latent load on air conditioners. By doing so, this could reduce the required total cooling capacity significantly up to 35%.
Understanding moisture management and mold and how to address them aids in tackling the issue of ‘sick building syndrome’. With improved indoor air quality the chances of occupants experiencing poor concentration, losses in productivity and illness are reduced.
Understanding moisture management and using spray foam insulation can help address and rectify mold issues such as this found in traditional insulation type.