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Mylar versus Aluminum Radiant Barriers - Page 2

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Posted by davehinz on August 14, 2003, 7:10 pm

Be careful with foams.  Most (all?) give off very toxic gasses in
a fire.  I don't mind losing a couple R per inch, to not die of
hydrogen cyanide poisoning in a housefire.  Not saying don't use
it, just that you should consider it in your decision.  

Dave Hinz

Posted by bherms on August 24, 2003, 3:41 pm
In a rural setting, where even if the fire department gets notified,
it could well be too late...  I'm thinking the wet blown cellulose
products seem like a good choice in my 2x6 framing.  It's supposed to
have good fire retardance (and bug killing abilities as well, also
very important in wooded termite areas).

It also would fill gaps in imperfect framing and around outlets.  I've
heard fiberglass, while not combustable, allows air and heat and fire
to move through it. (And it's hard to avoid breathing it without an
awkward respirator.)

Does that sound right?  
(I'm thinking you were (are) a volunteer fireman Dave)


On Thu  davehinz@spamcop.net wrote:

Posted by Dave Hinz on August 24, 2003, 4:06 pm
As a firefighter, I've seen a lot of this blown cellulose insulation that has
burned.  It's treated with a fire retardant, yes.  But, after cooking in
a wall/attic/whatever for how many years, it's not all that fire retardant
after all.  It is shredded paper; keep that in mind.

With a fire in a structure with cellulose insulation, there is a phenomenon
called "tunneling" where the fire gets into the insulation, and smolders.  It
will find a little chunk of paper nearby that it can burn, that smolders...this
continues, leaving burned trails looking like snakes, through the cellulose.
If a fire does start near the stuff, you could have this burning going on for
hours or even days and not know it, until it finds something that's more
eager to burn.

When we see that stuff in a fire, we have to pull the wall or ceiling, digging
along the tunnels, until we find a foot or so of un-affected insulation.  I've
personally seen it 20 feet from the end of the visibly burned part of a house -
if we hadn't found it, we would have been back later for a rekindle.

It's just not worth it, especially if your intent is to get fireproof insulation.

Dave Hinz

Posted by on August 24, 2003, 8:00 am

Park it in the shade.

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