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REtroFoam Insulation
Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions, and we are always happy to answer. If you can't find the answer to your question reach out and we will be excited to talk foam.
We get a lot of questions, and we are always happy to answer. If you can't find the answer to your question reach out and we will be excited to talk foam.

General RetroFoam FAQ's

Retrofoam is a tripolymer based resin that creates an odor-free, non-toxic foam insulation. Retrofoam doesn’t off-gas, is class-one fire rated, and is safe to have in your home. Sounds fancy, right? 

The crew shows up at your home and has two hoppers in their trailer. The hoppers have a resin in one hopper and a foaming agent in the other. When the two meet in the hose and air is added, we have foam! It comes out of the hose looking like a cool cross between shaving cream and  whipped cream but it sets up as a stiffer foam.

The quick and short answer- not necessarily.

Why? Think of your middle-market cooler that keeps your food or drink at an acceptable temperature for an hour or two. Now, think of a top of the line cooler that keeps your food or drink the temperature you want for hours on end. 

Home insulation is very similar. It can either make your home act like a middle-market cooler or a top of the line cooler. The builders who built your home did it to the specs of the “old cooler” your family used to have. RetroFoam of the Carolinas turns your home into a top-of-the-line, efficient, and energy-saving “cooler” you and your wallet need it to be.

RetroFoam homes are sealed better. They trap the cold in and block out the heat of the summer. And in the winter, of course, the reverse is true – the heat stays in, and the cold stays out.

RetroFoam customers have reported that they save up to 50% on their monthly energy bills after installing foam insulation. The amount of their savings depends upon factors such as the age of their home, types of windows in the house, construction methods, thermostat settings, and lifestyle preferences. It also depends on what type of insulation you want us to install. Just the exterior walls? Or do you want us to seal up the attic, the walls, and the crawl space?

RetroFoam of the Carolinas can install foam insulation in both new and existing homes. We install foam insulation to pole barns, cargo vans, attics, walls, crawl spaces, basements, and use foam to level your slab. Seriously, we love foam.

Sure you can. But there is a bigger picture we think you ought to consider. It’s essential to look at your home as an entire system. If you focus on just one wall, you will likely not get the results you want. The beauty of RetroFoam is its ability to air seal the walls of your home – and that is where you will see the most significant difference when working with the walls. Add to it the sealing of the attic and crawl space; now you’ve closed the loop on what building scientists call “the building envelope” and are not only keeping the energy in but are also keeping pollens and allergens out.

Absolutely! RetroFoam of the Carolinas can insulate interior walls with injection foam. Some homeowners and business owners choose to do this to reduce noise from room to room.

We recommend taking off an outlet cover or a light switch and taking a quick look inside to check for any existing insulation. You can also drill a hole somewhere inconspicuous to look for existing insulation. Just make sure that your circuits are off, so you don’t get shocked. If you’d like, our Project Manager can look for you.

When our installers inject Retrofoam into the walls, the old fiberglass just compresses as the foam fills the cavity and pushes into every nook and cranny.

If your home has the pink stuff or the old yellow stuff or the old shredded up newspaper-looking stuff in your crawlspaces and attics, stained with water and rust and animal… stuff, yeah, we are willing to bet that you want that out of your house. We would like that too! But don’t worry, you don’t need to do it. We have giant vacuums that suck that stuff right up and out of your home! And the guys love doing it! They like doing it so much that they can’t believe that we pay them to do it!

So yes, we will come in and remove the existing attic, crawl space, and rim joist insulation so that we can install the foam insulation.

But what about the existing in-wall insulation? Don’t worry about it. When we inject insulation into the existing, closed-up walls, the Retrofoam compresses the existing insulation as it fills the cavity.

For the in wall injection foam, it typically takes about half of a day.

For spraying in the attics, it just depends on our access areas to the attic. We go to great lengths to cover the work areas and the walking routes to the attic in plastic so that your only way of knowing we were ever there is from the lower energy bills. That being said, in most situations, a house can be insulated in a day or less. There are situations where it could take two days, especially if old insulation needs removed from a large area.

When we are injection foaming your exterior walls, it is fine to be home, and we encourage it!

If we are spray foaming your attic or crawl space, most homeowners choose to stay at home. We use a low odor foam, so it does not take long for the smell to dissipate, and we add extra ventilation to pull the smells out of the home even faster. Some homeowners choose to run errands while we work. The odor is typically gone within 2-4 hours. If a customer has asthma, we will recommend that they leave the house for 24 hours.

Once you speak to our project manager regarding what type of foam insulation we will be installing, they will also discuss the appropriate amount of time, if any, you should anticipate being away from home.

An injection hose is run all of the ways to the top of the exterior wall cavity and then all of the ways to the bottom. If the hose runs into obstructions the crew member will drill another hole above or below it, and more foam will be injected to make sure that the cavity is completely filled.

But we can’t see everything. We don’t skimp, and our installers know that it is their job to hunt down every crack and crevice, but even so, there are blocks and braces in the walls that we cannot detect. So, let’s say you are having work done in the future, and you find a tiny spot that is missing foam? Just call the concierge team and let them know, and we will send a crew out to fill it free of charge!

Absolutely! We spray and inject a lot of this stuff, so we wouldn’t want to be around it otherwise! Both injection foam and spray foam insulation are safe to have in every area of your home. The spray foam insulation we use is certified Gold Green and has a low VOC. RetroFoam injection foam is completely non-toxic and has no off-gassing.

The cladding (fancy term for the outermost layer of siding, whether it be brick or vinyl) does affect installing the inwall insulation.

In existing homes, foam insulation is installed by removing a siding piece from around the house. Holes are then drilled in the sheathing between the studs, and the cavities are filled with the RetroFoam injection foam. Once the cavities have been filled, the hole is plugged, and the siding is replaced.

Foam insulation can also be installed when the siding is brick. Small holes are drilled in the mortar joints at three different levels per stud cavity. The crews can install the foam into the wythe cavity (The 2” air space between the brick and the sheathing), or they can penetrate in through the sheathing and fill the stud cavity, or they can fill both. The project manager can discuss this option and price it accordingly during your visit.

Sure! Our crews can install foam insulation from the inside of the home. Of course, drilling a 2” hole in an interior wall is a bit more intrusive than an exterior install and requires more prep work.

We ask that everything within 6 feet of the walls is pulled back out of the way. Our crews will cover all surfaces, including the floor and furniture, to ensure they are protected.

Holes are drilled into the drywall between the studs, and the foam insulation is injected into the cavities. Once the cavity is full, a plug is put into place, and a rough coat of drywall mud is applied over the top of it.

So why would anyone opt for this? Many homeowners who are remodeling their interiors and have a decent sheetrock repair and paint crew will have us do an interior install since they will be touching up the drywall and painting anyway.

No one likes to hear their neighbors anymore. Or, don’t want their neighbors to hear them! Yes, we get many calls from clients that want us to add foam to their walls to help deaden the sound. Our injection foam is an open-cell foam that is a softer material that helps to reduce sound waves. On new construction, we also use open-cell spray foam that is great at deadening sound waves. So if your neighbor’s son is going to learn the drums this summer, foaming your home will have benefits well beyond heating and cooling! But if little Jimmy wants to rock, he’s going to rock, and if your houses are close together, you’ll still hear a little bit, but it won’t be as noticeable as before. That’s a long way to say that while foam insulation will deaden the sound, it is not entirely soundproof.

While rare, this can happen. We typically see it when DIY’ers have used nails in the sheetrock instead of screws or have substituted thinner sheetrock than the standard. But don’t worry, we have trained team members that are accustomed to repairing the wall. It’s an easy process. It’s essential to address your concerns with your Retrofoam Project Manager so you are both on the same page on what will happen should this occur.

Yes indeed! Retrofoam is a soft and pliable foam, so fishing lines through the foam isn’t an issue. However, if it is possible, we recommend that you have all of your wiring work done before we do our installation. But in the event that you have an electrical need and have to fish wire through, the fishing tape will get through the foam just fine.

Most garages are not conditioned spaces so if that’s the case with your home, we would absolutely recommend insulating the space between the garage and home. Otherwise it becomes a source of air leakage – especially if your garage isn’t insulated.

Cost and Financing of RetroFoam FAQ's

Retrofoam of the Carolinas offers financing through Green Sky Financing. Your project manager will be able to help you qualify for funding if it is needed. It is a fast process, and the homeowner is typically approved while the project manager is with the homeowner.

The short answer is that the upfront cost of foam insulation is more expensive than fiberglass and cellulose insulation. However, due to fiberglass and cellulose’s inefficiencies and the wear tear on HVAC units over time, they are the more expensive options for home insulation.

Foam insulation from RetroFoam of the Carolinas is an entirely different way to seal a home and keep “bought air” inside the house and the outside temperatures out. It is a lot different than fiberglass insulation and cellulose insulation. Neither fiberglass nor cellulose insulations seal up the wall or joist cavities, and air and heat can more easily permeate the fiberglass and cellulose. When air and heat permeate, your money is leaving the house – or as my marketing guys say, “Your house is leaking money.”

Our foams are specialized chemicals that mix at the end of our tools’ nozzles and fill in all of the spaces and voids that the fiberglass and cellulose can’t fill. In other words, we can pack more insulating material into the same area as the other insulations, so indeed, there is a higher upfront cost than fiberglass and cellulose insulation.

Some comparisons show injection foam and spray foam can be about two times higher than blown-in cellulose and fiberglass, but remember – we are packing more product into the same cavity.

So why do it? Because the monthly savings on your energy bills makes it worth it. And with our financing options, Retrofoaming your home is an option for everyone.

The number one determinant of cost for foam insulation is the size of the area being insulated. Are we insulating the attic? The crawl space? The outer walls? How thick are the studs? Is it spray foam or injection foam? What is the required application thickness?

In injection foam, the type of siding on the home will also impact the installation cost.

A project manager visit is free of charge. Warranty visits also, of course, are free of charge. For an injection project, it is a minimum fee of $450 for us to send a crew out for an install. A spray foam project is a minimum fee of $1,150 – $1,550 for an install.