RetroFoam FAQ’s

retrofoam insullation common faq's
How does the RetroFoam licensed installer know when a wall cavity is completely full of foam?

Timing the cavity fill, methodical placement of the insertion holes, and with back-pressure on the insertion hole, we are able to ensure a cavity is completely full. We are as concerned with over filling.

RetroFoam contains water when it is first installed. Where does it go? Will it damage the walls?

Initial water content of the foam is approximately 4% by volume, too low to affect a buildings structure. The partially open-cell nature of the foam means the insulation dries out quickly (in approximately 2-3 weeks) and once dry, RetroFoam resists re-absorption of water. In most cases the foam dries out before Mold can grow. Additionally, prior to insulation, a technician will assess your home for existing moisture issues that could extend dry time.

Will RetroFoam cause dampness?

No. When RetroFoam is exposed to water it is hydrophobic – meaning it sheds water rather than holds it. Even when immersed in water, RetroFoam absorbs only a small amount of water which quickly evaporates once it is removed from water. As with most insulation materials RetroFoam will become water-logged when exposed to water over a long period of time.

Is it safe to fill the cavity of a brick veneer home (this is called the Wythe cavity)? I thought there needed to be a ventilation space between the brick and wood framework?

This is partially correct, however the primary purpose of this gap is to keep moisture traveling through the brick, which is porous, from touching the wood and sheathing. If the wood is in contact with brick it will take up moisture which causes the wood to rot. RetroFoam is breathable, but also repels water. The foam fills the whole cavity space providing a suitable thermal barrier, without transferring moisture to the wood.

Will installation disrupt my home?

Installation takes approximately 1-2 days, so there is minimal disruption to your home. We ask that pictures be removed from walls

Will I need to be home?

It’s preferable but not necessary. We do ask that our crew members have access to the home to monitor for problems during the foaming process, as well as to check outlets once the drilling is complete.

Will RetroFoam cause a fire hazard in the wall?

No. RetroFoam has a Class I fire rating which means it is non-combustible. Even in intense heat, RetroFoam will not burn or melt, however it will char, lose weight and disintegrate.

Does RetroFoam corrode the plastic coating on the electrical wires inside the walls?

No. unlike some plastics, RetroFoam will not react with plastic coated cabling/wiring.

Will RetroFoam shrink and deteriorate with age, thereby losing its insulation properties?

To a small degree (maybe as much as 1-3%), some initial shrinkage is normal, but tests have shown that RetroFoam maintains its physical and insulation properties. Often the void space from shrinkage is less than what can be achieved when installing fiberglass bat insulation.

What does it feel/look like?

When first installed, RetroFoam feels similar to a shaving cream. It needs a semi-fluid consistency in order to seal the entire wall cavity and flow evenly around various barriers. It begins drying almost immediately, although it takes between 2-4 weeks to cure. Once dry, it becomes firm, but remains malleable at all times, and can be gently removed and reinstalled.

How much does it weigh?

300 grams per gallon

Is it open or closed cell?

RetroFoam has a unique classification of 60% closed cell. This allows for quick drying.

Does it contain Formaldehyde?

No more than .016 ppm, which is well below EPA restrictions. Formaldehyde is also naturally produced in very small amounts in our bodies as a part of our normal, everyday metabolism and causes us no harm. It can also be found in the air that we breathe, the food we eat, and the products we put on our body.

What if my dog eats it?

RetroFoam is safe, although we don’t recommend it for consumption.

Will they drill through/damage my siding?

No. Our goal is to leave the outside of your home exactly as we found it. However, depending on the type of siding there may be noticeable cosmetic changes.

How much siding will they remove?

As little as necessary to ensure every cavity is properly filled. Typically 1 to 2 rows per wall

Will it damage my interior walls?

No. It is non-expanding foam, specifically designed for retro-fitting purposes. As long as there are no pre-existing cracks or areas you’re concerned about, we shouldn’t have any issues. We ask that the house be accessible to our crew during the foaming process, to ensure we can monitor the interior of your home in case a problem arises. It’s important for you to identify any areas you’re concerned about so our crew leader can review them before installing the foam.

Will you paint my siding after the install?

No. We can apply wood filler to wood/cedar/hardboard/composite siding, but the homeowner is responsible for paint touchups. Siding will reinstall normally.

Will the mortar patch match the existing mortar?

We do our best. There may be a slight difference due to weathering, but on most homes, once the mortar patch dries the hole locations are difficult to identify. We salvage mortar dust from drilling for reuse and or color match

How do you install on a brick home?

By drilling 5/8” holes through the T-joint in the mortar. Our trained install technicians are careful not to damage any of the brick/stone veneer. They’ll drill three holes per cavity: low, middle, high. They’ll install RetroFoam from the bottom up. They’ll place a straw in the cavity directly above where they’re foaming. When the straw moves, the cavity has been adequately filled.

How large of a cavity can you fill?

That depends on the structure, but typically 6”. Anything larger will need to be inspected by a sales associate.

Can you work on a stucco/vertical siding exterior?

Depends on the texture and structure, but often yes.

Do you work on new homes?

Yes, we have other methods of install. A net applied to studs, or drilling holes thru new drywall before drywall finishing begins.

Will it seal around my windows?

Yes it can, We’ll fill every cavity we can access. We can drill ¾” holes around window frames. This should be addressed on a case by case basis.

What can I, as the home owner, do to make sure my RetroFoam in the walls cures properly?
We strongly advise every Client to make sure their home interior space has a 50% or lower humidity level the day of install and for two weeks after install date. You can normally purchase an inexpensive Hygrometer at the local hardware store for less than $20.

See AcuRite Digital Humidity and Temperature Comfort Monitor Model #00619HD

RetroFoam cures within a few days after install date. Some homes may have a vapor barrier on exterior along with a thick paint or vinyl wall covering on the interior walls which could possibly slow down the evaporation process…If this condition is too left high, such can encourage mold growth. Be sure and ask us how you can help make sure this condition is not present.

And last but not least…how much does RetroFoam cost.

Well…it depends on many variables based on the type siding material and the type interior wall covering material. It depends on the level of repair a client wants done to their walls.

The lowest amount a client has paid us for injecting RetroFoam in all the exterior walls in a smaller home is about $2180 and it was within a hour drive of our office. The most a client has paid us is about $6350 for a RetroFoam installation for a larger than normal home.

We only keep track of the last few years or so.
Our average job in 2014 was $4,208.00 as we did some larger than normal homes that year.
In 2015 it was $3370.00
In 2016 it was $3800.00
In 2017 it ran about 3950.00
In 2018 it averages about $4100.00

Now you know about how much RetroFoam cost. But how much does it save you? Most clients report a 30 to 50% decrease in utility cost. With RetroFoam in exterior walls, every room can become close to the same temperature, the air conditioner or heater equipment runs a lot less and you don’t hear the neighbors dog barking much anymore. RetroFoam can pay most home owners back in 3 to 6 years in utility cost savings. RetroFoam can increase any homes marketability as future home buyers are becoming more energy conscious with rising energy cost.

Thanks for considering our work and we really appreciate your interest. We look forward to helping you start saving money with RetroFoam.