Sabre did a pretty good job with the ice box insulation, but at less than 3″ all the way around, I wanted more. I looked into removing the counter top and adding Dow blue board. Too much work to complete, and I was afraid that I would’t be able to keep the teak and counter looking original. I needed a different option.
I have read a lot about people adding one part foam (Great Stuff spray foam) to the icebox without much success. The issue with using this product is that it’s not a closed cell foam. After sitting in a marine environment for awhile, this foam will soak up moister and lose all it’s R-value.
After searching the internet for other options, I came across Dow’s Handi-Foam Slow Rise pour in place. It’s a true closed cell foam, low pressure (won’t bow out the surrounding cabinets), and is formulated for filling cavities just like I have. Here is their list of uses:
Ideal Applications for Handi- Flow Pour In Place
- Filling and Insulating Uninsulated Wall Cavities (R-21+ in a 2 x 4 stud wall)
- Repairing/Replace Boat Hull Insulation/Flotation
- Fill and Insulate Concrete Block Walls
- Insulating Cooler walls and doors, Cold Storage facilities
- Repair and Replace insulation for Hot Tubs and Spas. (More details on the Insulation4US homepage here)
- Soundproofing large resonant cavities, ducts and pipes and walls.
- Injection Molding of custom shapes, architectural pieces etc
- Filling Pontoons for buoyancy control.
This sounded like just the stuff I needed. Unfortunately, the smallest size I could buy was 100 board feet. After doing some quick math in my head I thought I would use a lot less than half. Hey, for the $300 buck shipped, I should be able to sell the remaining for a few bucks!
I needed to wait for a 75 degree day to give this a shot and unfortunately, this took about 5 weeks before the right day came along. On a perfect Sunday in October, we were able to finally do this project and check it off our to-do list.
I first started by inverting a piece of plastic gutter over the top of all the wires and hoses that run under the fridge. I knew one day they would need to be replaced, and I needed a way to still get through this area.
I then added a layer of reflex foil insulation to hull to help eliminate conductive heat from coming through the hull.
Now comes the fun part…. drilling into my perfectly good fiberglass fridge and teak 🙁
I drilled about 9 holes on each side to mask sure there were no voids in the foam. On one side I was able to drill into the settee’s back instead of having to remove the evaporating unit and drill from the other side.
I added a 1/4″ tube to the spray foam nozzle so it could get further depth into each hole.
The spraying of the foam actually only took about 3 minutes. I started in the lower hole and filled it until the fluid started to push out the other holes. It worked great and filled all cavities.
I still have to finish off the holes I drilled and paint the inside of the fridge, but everything else worked better than expected.
Things that went wrong:
1) The conduit (plastic gutter) that I used still got foam in it. I should have taped this down, but it was easy enough to get the rest of the foam out.
2) I used a lot more than I thought. The tank weighted 27 pounds when I got it, and after it was used, it was down to just 14 pounds. With the weight of the tanks, and everything else figured in, I probably used most of the foam in the tank.
Here is a chunk of a broken off foam to show what it looks like.