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barb fiedler
foam insulation

We recently bought a house built in 1953 and removed paneling which was over plastered walls. After removing the paneling, we found holes in the plaster walls where foam insulation was inserted probably long ago. What precautions are required to remove the plaster walls and foam insulation so we can drywall?

Re: foam insulation

I would recommend using a respirator when removing the foam, as this will make a huge mess. If the foam that is in the walls soft, or rigid?

Why are you removing the foam if i may ask. If it is the soft foam, you can re-insulate with rigid foam. The rigid foam has a much higher R-Value and will add tremendous structural integrity to you home.

Re: foam insulation

I was owner of a home with U.F.F.I. foamed in place insulation. It was installed through the brick from the exterior. It was an old "balloon framed" home with the horizontal framing in the interior of the walls directly behind the lath and plaster. In many ways different from your install but I will offer my thoughts.
As previous writer asked... is it rigid or crumbly? Has it shrunk within the cavity space to permit airflow around it? How strong is the stigma of your particular insulation in your housing market?
Wear a mask for any work of this nature, filling the holes near flush with a quick set product followed by drywall mud should prepare it for paint. Or demo and re-drywall.
My foam was still rigid and had very little shrinkage (this product was mixed as it was installed) so I left most of it in place and sealed the exterior envelope of the house from the inside. Never heard of structural insulation though.

Re: foam insulation
Barkus wrote:

Never heard of structural insulation though.

It's one of the huge advantages of a rigid spray foam insulation. Besides all the other advantages, while filling & sealing even the smallest gaps that air, water, & other outdoor contaminants might otherwise enter your home through, they also penetrate into the pores of your building materials making for a "glue like" hold that is ultimately up to 400% stronger (against pull-out) than nails.

Robert Stackhouse
Re: foam insulation

My first question would be, " Is the foam insulation intact and completely covering the exterior walls"> If it is, I would recommend that you leave it in place. Foam will seal the wall and provide a good insulation. If it is coming appart, you want to talk all precautions when removing. Use a resporator or other suitable mask. The system should contain a HEPA Filter for your protection. Bag the foam in heavy plastic bags and remove to the dump!
Good Luck!

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