As of 2016 there is a new regulation in New Orleans and/or Orleans Parish to be if any more specific that requires blower dower testing on new construction homes as well as any renovations that would be considered 50% of the existing structure.
With this said, spray foam insulation is the best way to seal a home from top to bottom. One of the most important areas of concern is spray foaming the subfloor on the exterior underside. Spray foaming sub floors in New Orleans has been quite the topic over the years, mainly on what is considered what’s right and what is wrong.
In a nut shell, 9/10 if you are insulating an elevated home’s subfloor in New Orleans you should be using a 2 pound closed cell spray foam. Every home is different so you should always go with an experienced company to make the proper call, but with our high humidity and constant wet grounds you can bet closed cell will be the answer.
Now back to the original point I was trying to make about blower door testing and how insulating your subfloor will have the largest affect on these test results.
The inspiration for this post comes directly from a job we happened to do today 1/18/16. We were setting up to insulate a personal renovation home that belongs to a past colleague of mine. The home was fairly typical, it had old New Orleans style wood flooring as well as being constructed ballon style.
In short, ballon construction is a way homes were built before central heating and cooling was invented to maintain a constant air flow throughout homes to keep them cool in the hot summer months.
Anyways. I decided to write this because over the years I’ve found and fixed hundreds of homes that were not sealed properly by other companies. Whether the company wasn’t aware of the importance or the sprayers weren’t educated on this type of construction. Either way it can cause major issues instantly and with more to come later down the road. I just wanted to make the average customer or individual interested in using spray foam in the future aware of what to look for since testing will soon bust a lot of these improper applications.
What to look for? The obvious things to look for is a good consistent average of foam throughout the entire sub floor. A inch and a half to a two inch average is ideal. Some contractors request to completely coat the floor joist but my personal opinion based off experience and checking back on applications that go back about ten years is it’s not really necessary and doesn’t preform any better with or without. Personal preference is all it boils down too, if you are willing to pay the extra bucks to have it your way more power to you my friend.
The most important thing to look for while inspecting is obviously making sure the balloon construction openings are properly sealed. You can find these vents above the exterior ceils, they can also be found above inner ceils as well. These vents basically allow air to flow from under the home up the walls and into the attic. Now because we are trying to seal the home it is very important to ensure all these vents are closed off so the humidity and warm/cold air does’t travel up. This can cause condensation which can develop mold or support live for unwanted insects and rodents.
Okay, I think I covered everything I was shooting for. If you have any further questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be more than happy to help. If you are interested in an estimate for home or business you can request a quote using the contact form found on every page of my website. Thanks