Using Spray Foam Around Your Home
Spray foam is a great insulation option, but it is especially demanding to apply because it is sticky and drys quickly. The instructions that come with spray foam have to be followed exactly in order to achieve optimal results. In fact, it is incredibly important to study the instructions before you buy a spray foam so you can avoid how not to use spray foam in your home. Here’s what you shouldn’t do when using spray foam in your home:
1. Buy Expired Spray Foam
Like food, expanding foam is best when it’s fresh, or at least not expired. So always make sure you’re getting a fresh batch by checking the ‘best by’ date on the bottom of the can before you purchase it.
2. Leave Your Hands, Arms and Eyes Exposed
Expanding foam is nearly impossible to keep off of your hands, and once it’s there, it’s equally hard to get it off. So unless you want to wear the foam until it wears off, put on gloves. Disposable vinyl or nitrile gloves are a good choice. And make sure to wear old clothes because you’ll probably get foam on those, too. When working on larger insulation projects like sound-proofing, disposable coveralls with a hood, and gloves, a face mask, and eye protection should be worn.
3. Use Spray Foam Around Electrical Boxes
When there is no insulation between the back of an electrical box and an outside wall, it may be possible to add some insulation behind it. However, be careful not to get the foam inside the box because it will jamb up parts and many spray foams are flammable. To avoid this problem, use low-expanding foam behind the electrical box, which fills gaps without applying force.
4. Use Spray Foam Around Recessed Ceiling Canister Lights
These lights are a prime area for heat loss, but be careful about some types of spray foam insulation around the top of ceiling light boxes. This can trap heat and increase the danger of fire. So make sure recessed canister lights are rated for close contact with insulation before enclosing them in this way. However, you can still fill air gaps around the electrical boxes for recessed light fixtures with an appropriately sized gasket.
5. Spray Foam Around Windows and Doors is A-Ok
Sealing around windows and doors is one of the most common uses for expanding foam. But it can actually push the jamb inward, making them impossible to open. Avoid this by using minimal expanding foam. It’s formulated to fill the space around windows and doors without excess expansion. Look for cans labeled for use on windows and doors. Another good idea is to fill the space with two layers. Push the applicator tip all the way to the back of the space and move it quickly along as you pull the trigger. Let this first layer expand and cure. Then add another if necessary.
6. Set the Can Wherever
A problem with expanding foam is that sometimes it expands when you don’t want it to, like when you’re done foaming and set the can down. One way to avoid this is to keep a cardboard box handy and always set the foam can in the box to catch the drips and to prevent a big mess.
7. Wipe Away the Foam Mess Immediately
When foam goes where you don’t want it, you’ll be tempted to wipe it up. DON’T (With the exception of eyes and skin)! You’ll only spread the goo and make the mess worse. Instead, let it harden completely and then scrape or sand it off. A serrated knife with a flexible blade is perfect for cutting off excess foam.
We all know spray foam is an insulation powerhouse, but here are some genius uses for this useful product that you may not have considered. Check out these 12 brilliant uses for spray foam that will blow your mind.