Now for some notes about building a freezer
inside an icebox
1) if your boat is old like mine and there is existing foam insulation
Check First if it is Wet!!
A) many have told me to just drill into the sides of the box and spray foam in there: I think it's a bad strategy.
B) if the foam is wet - it has been wet for years - and will never dry out. Trust Me On This One. I have not used my box for many years, always had a smaller cooler inside the box. This water
in the foam is residual. Take a core
sample with a hole saw and check your foam. My foam was so bad you could squeeze water out like a sponge!
C) I'm amazed at how long the old foam retains water. This should be an indicator of the risk involved with a poor installation
of new insulation for your project.
D) the foam in the side walls seems to be dry on my icebox. Only the foam underneath the icebox was wet, mostly due to poor design.
2) seal your new foam that you are now installing with paint and tape
A) the aluminum
foil cover on r-max is paper with aluminum
paint on it. I bet it has a half life. When you use some form of paint (I used Rustoleum leak-seal) it strengthens the edges and faces. It's expensive, but I can feel the difference. The reflectix tape sticks better to the rubberized edges instead of a bunch of dusty foam. Double tape the cut edges with overlap (see pictures). Time will tell if I'm on the right path, and this is all new engineering for me. But, I now know from what I pulled out - I have to seal the foam...Otherwise it's a complete mess.
3) there seems to be two ways to approach keeping the foam dry: either to seal, or "vapor lock" the chamber around the foam, or seal the foam...
A) I think you need to prevent water vapor absorption from two fronts: most important, seal the foam as your first priority
i) I've been told to even epoxy
the r-tape on the exposed edges: I may test the theory with west systems, will advise.
B) then seal the foam chamber, as a whole, as much as possible.
C) but what about drainage for the chamber?
i) this is something I've yet to figure out...but just for the sake of common sense - shouldn't there be some drainage holes to drain underneath where the foam on the bottom plane of the refer box is? Just for the condensation
that could drip down and collect there? ...not sure about this yet.
4) use thinner gauge 1/2" panels for radial edges
A) You can stack them 10 deep or more and achieve the same r-factor, and still bend them into weird areas.
...suggestions will be much appreciated! Thanks!
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