Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

A place to ask all your replacement window questions
Message
Author
User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4543
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#16 Post by Windows on Washington »

Quad on the inside...?

Bet that smelled nice. What part of the country are you in?

Eric

User avatar
HomeSealed
Posts: 2418
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:46 pm
Location: Milwaukee & Madison area

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#17 Post by HomeSealed »

Bingo on the lintels. Those shouldn't be capped. In most cases they are all caulked and painted with several coats etc so they may not be the end of the world, but it is technically not correct to cap them as they do provide a path for moisture drainage from behind the masonry in addition to supporting the brick above the opening. Given that you have this issue, that would be a place to start IMO. Have the top trim pieces removed and recapped with lintels left exposed.
www.homesealed.com

ebartgis6
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#18 Post by ebartgis6 »

I am not 100% sure what they used on the inside but it seemed just as thick and the same consistency as to what is on the outside.

I am outside Baltimore. I actually called you probably 6-8 months ago when we were shopping around because you were so active and helpful on this forum.

ebartgis6
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#19 Post by ebartgis6 »

I checked the sheathing inside the stud bay I have access to directly below the smelliest window. It is in perfect condition with no signs of water or mold damage.

Even after the caulking and spray foaming I did at each window earlier this week, the smell immediately came back when storms came through within the past hour. It was actually on different windows this time. The window that had the sill removed I was able to spray foam very well and the smell has not returned there. We will see if it does over the next 12 hours or so after all the rain that came through.

The one thing I did forget to mention before is we also have 2 windows that were installed on a bump out. These windows were not installed in brick, but on the painted wood bump out and there was a 1-2 week period where we had the same exact smell coming from those. There are no lintels on the bump out since it is not brick. It just seems weird that the smell is coming from any window with air leakage on multiple different exterior surface materials.

I had the contractor back out on Monday and he said the next step is to remove the capping from one of the windows and have a look. I plan to try to get him to uncap the lintels as well.

WindowsDirectCinci
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:46 pm

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#20 Post by WindowsDirectCinci »

Do you have a sensitivity to smells? Could you possible be smelling the foam or silicone? I know some people do have sensitivity to that.>>>>>> There are a few reasons to not cap over the steel lintel. Corrosion can occur when aluminum and steel are in contact with each other and as stated above you could be trapping in moisture when water gets in behind the brick (which happens more than homeowners realize)

ebartgis6
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#21 Post by ebartgis6 »

I don't have an over sensitivity to smells, but generally notice smells more than other people. I don't think the smell is just foam or silicone. I can go up to either of those and smell them up close and not smell anything. This smell only comes during rains and can be smelled across the room. My wife also smells it.

I will provide an update once one of the windows is uncapped by the contractor.

ebartgis6
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#22 Post by ebartgis6 »

The contractor had his guys came out and they pulled back the capping from one of the top of the windows at the lintel. They didn't remove all the capping from one window as promised. There was no moisture or signs of any issues or smells behind there. There are still some very minor smells when it rains, but we still have not reinstalled all the aprons and caulked them in place. I will be doing that this weekend. I think this will at least hide the smell.

We did however have water coming in above one of the windows in a recent rain storm. I have attached a picture of what the contractor believes the issue is: the J Channel. The other picture shows where the water was coming in.

Even if water is getting in through the J Channel, shouldn't the spray foam create a waterproof boundary around the window? I wouldn't be surprised if there is lacking spray foam insulation around this window, like we have seen in others. The contractor will be coming out to address it, but I assume he is just going to put some caulk on the J Channel.

Should I be asking the contractor to do more?

Image

Image

User avatar
HomeSealed
Posts: 2418
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:46 pm
Location: Milwaukee & Madison area

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#23 Post by HomeSealed »

The J channel is there to finish the edges of the siding and keep out "bulk" water. The window flashing, sealing, and integration with the wrb (housewrap) is the real "seal" there. While that j-channel could be better, there are issues underneath if that's where its entering... In addition, what about the openings in the brick?
www.homesealed.com

ebartgis6
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#24 Post by ebartgis6 »

This side of the house is all siding with no brick.

User avatar
HomeSealed
Posts: 2418
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:46 pm
Location: Milwaukee & Madison area

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#25 Post by HomeSealed »

ebartgis6 wrote: Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:34 pm This side of the house is all siding with no brick.
Understood. You are having issues in the windows that are set in masonry openings as well though correct?
www.homesealed.com

ebartgis6
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#26 Post by ebartgis6 »

Sorry I misinterpreted your question. We have had all of the smelling issues on the masonry side of the house. Now that I have spray foamed and/or caulked under the window sills from the inside, the smell has been dramatically reduced. I expect that once I reinstall the window aprons and caulk them in, the smell will be gone since there will be little or no air leakage from outside to in around the bottom of the windows.

I still think that both the smell and now water intrusion issues are related to insufficient spray foam. The contractor was supposed to uncap a window to see what was going on, but his team was not on the same page when they came last week.

I think I am going to ask him to uncap the window where the water came in, and if there is obvious spray foam or other issues, ask him to uncap and fix any issues at every window. Is this reasonable?

ebartgis6
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#27 Post by ebartgis6 »

Our smelling issues are coming back some. I think we have identified the main spot the smell is entering the house. There appears to be some flap/U-Shaped filler at the top of the windows that appears to have no spray foam insulation. I am curious if this filler piece is normal or if it something that was used because the windows weren't measure properly. I was able to fill this gap with spray foam in one area of the house, and the smell has not returned there. However, when I went to do another room, there was actually water and moisture in there. I would really appreciate some insight into whether installation was done properly and what could be causing this. I have attached one picture that shows the flap/U-shaped filler and another with the visible water when the flap is pulled away. Thanks in advance.
Attachments
IMG_0254.JPEG
IMG_0252.jpeg

User avatar
Windows on Washington
Posts: 4543
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:23 am
Location: DC Metropolitan Area-Maryland/Virginia/DC

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#28 Post by Windows on Washington »

That head section is called a "header expander" and is used for these type of drywall openings to accommodate for the out of square nature of drywall returns.

If the water is showing at the window head, you need to look above the window.

ebartgis6
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:36 am

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#29 Post by ebartgis6 »

Thanks for the response. I didn’t know there was any moisture in there until I pulled it back. It kind of seems like condensation moisture. Should there be spray foam in that gap? The windows with the moisture are on the brick side of the house where the lintels were capped. Any ideas on how to look above the window like you said and diagnose further?

WindowsDirectCinci
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:46 pm

Re: Spray Foam Insulation Air Infiltration

#30 Post by WindowsDirectCinci »

Looking above the window as in is there a window above that one? In my experience water intrusion near the top of the window isn't usually an issue with that window in particular but one above it, or possibly a gutter etc. You normally wouldn't have access to that cavity to foam insulate although it is possible to use fiberglass insulation in that cavity if you place the insulation on the top of the window then place the header expander on top of the fiberglass.

Post Reply