Photograph of Moldy visible growing on a fiberglass insulation fiber  © Daniel FriedmanIcynene® Foam, Urethane Foam, Isocyanurate Foam

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Spray foam insulation product properties, installation, R-values: how to identify spray type foam insulation products: this article illustrates and describes foam spray insulation materials in buildings such as icynene® foam insulation.

This document assists building buyers, owners or inspectors who need to identify foam insulation materials in buildings by simple visual inspection. Our photo (page top) shows icynene foam insulation that oozed into an attic space after being blown onto the building gable-end wall. Fiberglass insulation is also visible at the left foreground.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Spray Icynene Foam Building Insulation Identification in buildings

Foam insulation sprayed in a crawl space - this is not mold - Daniel Friedman 04-11-01

Icynene® foam insulation (and similar products) is a spray-in-place, injected through openings, or pour-in expanding-foam insulation product. Other water borne foam spray insulation products, including some latex-foams, are available.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Article Contents:

Properties of Icynene® Foam Insulation Systems

Spray foam insulation products such as icynene® foam and some polyurethane4 and isocyanurate foam insulation products have these properties:

Foam Insulation Products and Risk of Wood Destroying Insect Damage: termites, carpenter ants, etc

The following comments pertain regardless of whether the foam insulation products we are addressing are sprayed foam insulation or solid foam insulating boards or panels.

Wood destroying insect effects of foam insulation: foam insulation is not an insect barrier; while these materials do not provide food for termites, they are easily penetrated by termites or carpenter ants (as are other insulating materials).

For this reason our opinion is that it is bad design to bring foundation insulating foam panels up into contact with building wood framing materials unless an approved insect barrier has also been installed.

What can we do to improve the insect resistance of buildings where solid foam board or foam spray foundation insulation are being applied? See our recommendations at Insects & Foam Insulation.

R-values of Icynene® Foam Insulation & Polyurethane Foam Insulation

Mold Resistance of Foam Insulation Spray or Foam Boards

Photograph of Moldy visible growing on a fiberglass insulation fiber  © Daniel FriedmanPlease see our main article on this topic at MOLD in FOAM INSULATION. Excerpts are below.

Sprayed icynene® foam insulation is not mold though a few people taking a quick look where yellow foam insulation product has oozed out of a building sill or attic top plate people have mistaken this insulation product for mold.

Though we sometimes find fungal growth in buildings that looks a lot like our photo this substance, it would be very odd for it to appear so extensively and so uniformly as the foam insulation shown in this photo.

The photos provided here are of a sprayed-on icynene foam insulation project that was completed in a crawlspace.

Because the work area was tight, it was difficult for the foam spraying technician to work meticulously but s/he did a pretty nice job.

Using a combination of visual inspection and smoke testing we found only two openings in the foam blanket that were permitting air movement from the crawl space up into the living space. Overall it was an effective installation.

Open-celled foam insulation compared with closed-cell foam insulation products

Foam insulation products (such as urethane foam insulation) are produced in both open-cell and closed-cell forms.

Finally, readers considering adding insulation inside or outside a basement foundation wall should


If you are insulating a crawl area not a basement, see CRAWL SPACE INSULATION RETROFIT.

Reader Question: Where can I get an install manual for the spray foam insulation Icynene 200

Do you know where I may download an install manual for the spray foam insulation Icylene 200 for research purposes. Thank-you for your time. - J.C., Illinois 6/18/2012


I am guessing you had a typo and that for Icylene 200  you meant Icynene. The installation procedures for Icynene spray foams vary by product type and the particular installation location,  such as in an unvented attic, a cathedral ceiling, crawl space, basement, &c. There are two medium density foam products with this name:

You can find installation product information for these specific products from the manufacturer, Icynene - though you'll find that the company does not post complete, detailed Icynene®installation instructions online. Most likely that is because commercial equipment and dealer training are required and the product is installed only by Icynene licensed dealers.

Icynene Corporation
6747 Campobello Road
Mississauga ON
L5N 2L7 Canada
In Canada and the U.S: 1-800-758-7325
Outside of North America: 1-905-363-4040
Fax Us From Anywhere: 905-363-0102


You'll see at that company's contact information that they want you to use different email links for different products.

Here is an excerpt from the company's 3-Part Specification document provided at the Icynene website:
EXECUTION [installation of Icynene MD 200 foam insulation]






Reader Follow-up: Yes, I have queries to Icynene too, but they do not seem too anxious to send a researcher info, that’s why I am looking for another source. I have contacted some installers as well. Joe

Reply: Try calling their marketing people, and convince one of them that you are a serious researcher, not someone out to steal trade secrets nor make trouble for them.

Reader Follow-up: A contractor contact did send me the install manual. Icylene customer service send me a nice e-mail saying that info not made avail to public. Pretty basic stuff, did not see any trade secrets, but helpful to me. I’m sure a liability issue, they don’t want some rogue get their hands on leftover components and attempt install on own. Joe.

Reply: Was there a significant difference between what was in the manual and the excerpt [shown above?]

Reader Follow-up: No.

If you are having trouble determining what type of foam insulation product has been installed in a building,
see How to Make a Sure Distinction Among UFFI, Icynene, and Latex Foam Insulations for more detail on the identification of these products in the field.

And we discuss the reduced risk of mold where icynene is in crawl spaces
at Mold risk in Icynene Foam Insulation.

Readers concerned about termite damage associated with foam, fiberglass, or other building insulation materials should also

and Insects & Foam Insulation.

Readers may want to review UFFI, the older foam insulating product that looks a lot like Icynene but has a more problematic history and which we discuss at How to Identify UFFI Foam Insulation.


Continue reading at FOAM SPRAY INSULATION TYPES or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



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