Spray foam insulation comes with many benefits to the contractors who use them and the homeowners who get it installed in their living spaces. It has high thermal resistance, which makes it better than most materials for home temperature control. The material itself is relatively easy to apply, especially because it expands to fill gaps and cracks. Depending on the type that is used, it can seal air leaks, prevent flooding, and dampen sound, among other functions.
With that said, people can only receive all the perks of spray foam insulation if the job is done well. Getting it right the first time is also essential because once spray foam cures and hardens, it is difficult to remove. To help you make sure that you handle the project properly, we have compiled our best advice in this article. If you look over these tips before embarking on your next project, then your projects may produce better results than ever.
- Choose the Best Type of Foam for the Project
The first and easiest step to success with spray foam insulation is making sure that you are using the best product for the task. There are two major types. On the one hand, you have open-cell spray foam, which contains countless tiny pockets of air within the material. On the other hand, you have closed-cell spray foam, which is so dense that no air gets in at all. The latter is much firmer than the former. However, the former can expand by as much as 100 times over, compared to the latter’s 40 times over.
Each type of foam comes with its own advantages. The open-cell variety is better for interior work due to its extraordinary expansion rate, allowing it to plug more holes within the walls. It also has better soundproofing capabilities and is often more affordable. The closed-cell variety prevents moisture and water from penetrating the walls, making it invaluable for outdoor projects. Its density also gives it greater strength and durability.
Ultimately, neither type of spray foam is necessarily better than the other. The decision of which one to use for an insulation project is up to you, and your choice may vary depending on the project’s circumstances.
- Check for the “Best By” Date
Just having the best product at hand is not enough. It should also be in the best condition possible, or at least still viable for the job. To be clear, spray foam is not exactly perishable. However, like many foodstuffs that do expire, it does have a “Best By” date. Many people with an interest in DIY home renovation are unaware of this information, which can easily be found printed under most spray cans. They should be aware, or their work may not be as effective and long-lasting as they would like.
If you only purchase spray foam as preparation for an imminent insulation project, then you probably do not need to worry about this matter. If you own multiple products for whatever reason, then you should check all their Best By dates. Use the oldest one that has not yet gone past its date. You bought it for a reason, and you should not let it go to waste.
- Keep Yourself Covered While Working
Spray foam can be a pain to remove from furniture, floors, and other parts of the house. It can be even more irritating if it lands on your person. Disposable gloves are indispensable for protecting your hands. When preparing to work with a sprayer, you should also wear clothes and shoes that you would not mind throwing out afterwards. They may get heavily stained, and those marks do not come off in the wash. Cover as much skin as possible.
These simple measures apply specifically to DIY types handling relatively small work. Contractors and other people may require more protection while conducting bigger projects at a professional scale. When one uses a lot of spray, the threats of particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOC) become quite serious. The term “personal protective equipment” (PPE) is commonly associated with medical professionals. However, people should use protective gear — chemical resistant gloves and clothing, plus a full-face respirator — for large-scale insulation work.
- Beware of Excess Spray Foam
We repeat: when spray foam dries, it stays dry. Once it hardens, it can be a hassle to remove. Even if you think you were completely accurate in your spraying, a spot-check may reveal that some of the foam expanded to unwanted areas. Before you wrap up for the day, look for any excess foam. If it is still wet, you could dissolve it with a little acetone. If it is hardened, take a flexible knife to the material.
Excess foam can also get onto the floor, a table, a chair, or any spot where you set down the can. Foam can hang and drip from the nozzle after each spray, and the sprayer cannot inhale it back inside. If you care for the cleanliness of your home, then avoid setting the can down just anywhere. Instead, place the can on top of something that you would not mind throwing out later.
- Use High-Quality Spray Foam Insulation Products
All the tips explained throughout this article are intended to improve the results of spray foam insulation projects and keep people safe while doing them. Insulating a home’s interior and exterior should not be a half-baked effort, and using this method over others can provide so many benefits. Applying the best practices and making informed choices can help ensure that you experience all those benefits with minimal risk.
With that said, following our advice to the letter may not substantially improve your home if the products you use are lackluster. Spray Foam Parts and Supplies offers a diverse line-up of high-quality spray foam insulation products. These include spray foam guns and parts, as well as a wide variety of equipment and supplies. If you are interested in using only the best items for your projects, then check out our online store today.