Charlie: Robert in Memorial writes to us, he says, “I’m one of the Westsiders with 54 inches of water in my house for 12 days and my helpers removed all the sheetrock and the backer board, and I’ve heard you say the problem, this is a problem on the rebuild, and every contractor comes out, tells me the opposite of what I’ve heard you say. They say I can just put up closed cell insulation, then sheetrock it and I’m good. Is that true? ‘Cause I’m certain I’ve heard you say no. Not just no, but hell no. The contractor-
Charlie: “-the contractors are uniform in saying this about the styrofoam. Tom, I’m hearing this from people all over the place, right? Where can you find some information on this?” You’re in luck. I’ve got Tom sitting here. He says, “Because I wanna make sure that we get this done right.”
Tom: Let me just explain something to people. If you wanted to use the closed cell foam in the wall cavity, without it touching the brick, and the air space between the brick and the wall was still there, and you’re only going to use a couple feet at the bottom, I wouldn’t really have a big problem with that because you’re not doing the whole house like a refrigerator and you’re keeping your air space. What they’re asking people to do is spray right up to the back of the brick. Now this is a problem. In fact, I gotta call last week on the show. The guy’s brick is all exposed and they had a rain storm, a heavy rain storm last weekend. He couldn’t believe the amount of water that was dripping through that brick and down the backside to the weep holes below. That amount of water would sit on top of that foam and either find its way in the home, or it’ll just sit there and saturate and just start to leech down into that foam. It’s not gonna stay dry. You’re gonna have a wet mess.
Now people are saying, “Where do I find more information about it?”
Charlie: Where do you?
Tom: You can’t. This has never been attempted before. This is the first flood where foam is available and people are trying to sell it to you as a way to fix your problem. What you’re gonna find five, ten years from now, the people that did this are gonna have more problems. I can guarantee it but I cannot prove it. I just know it’s gonna happen. I’m gonna leave it at that and like I always hear at Home Show Radio, we’re always five, ten years ahead of the game.
Charlie: So these people who I have in my neighborhood, who are saying that they’ve got these styrofoam sheets that they’re putting in, as long as you leave an air space between the brick and that sheet, it’s okay to use.
Tom: I have no problem. You cannot jeopardize the air space for the water to come behind the brick.
Tom: That is what I’m concerned about. Now a lot of people say, “Tom, you say don’t use foam in a home.” No, in a new home I wouldn’t foam the whole thing up like a styrofoam container, but we’re talking two to maybe six feet of wall most around some of the homes. Six feet would be pretty extreme. I don’t see a big issue with it as long as you don’t ruin the integrity of the air space behind the brick.