The 3 Dos and Don'ts of Using Canned Foam Insulation
Canned foam installation is best for small insulation projects such as sealing cracks in the windows or the doors, or sealing gaps, holes, or crevices. Since foam insulation prevents the entry of air inside the home, it provides a cost-effective way of saving a lot of energy. Some insulation materials, such as fiberglass, do provide cheaper cost, but not in the long run because they tend to produce air gaps that can reduce the R-value of the insulation. When using canned foam insulation, here are some dos and don’ts to consider.
1. During Preparation
Remember that can foam insulation applications require some preparation from hazards or accidents so take into consideration careful preparation before proceeding with the application. Do wear eye protection because the chemicals in the foam insulation can cause blindness if it comes in contact with the eyes. Do not wear new clothes because contact with the foam can and will ruin your new clothes. Make sure to wear old clothes or, better yet, wear disposable clothing. The foam is a very strong adhesive and it can easily adhere to anything it comes in contact with, unless the foam already dried up, so do provide protection to shoes and pants as well. It even bonds to skin so do use rubber gloves. The rubber gloves will also protect people allergic to some of the components of the product.
Make sure to provide ventilation on the working area to allow the fumes to escape as it may cause respiratory problems after prolonged exposure. When working in a closed space, use a respirator.
2. During Application
Do read the instructions on the spray can before using it. The manufacturer will also include important safety tips that will be useful during the application. There are different types of spray foam that come in cans, so make sure to know the differences between them, and choose the right product that is well suited for your specific project and its intended application.
Canned spray foam insulation is only to be used for small insulation applications. Never consider using it for larger projects that require the insulation of larger areas. Make sure to spray the foam evenly on the holes or crevices. In addition, do spray only halfway through cracks and gaps because the foam will expand to fill in the other half. Spraying too much will put the extra foam to waste.
Aside from cracks on doors and windows, spray foams that come in cans may also be used for other applications. Do use it to fix gaps or cracks in pipes, tanks, and any other material in need of proper repair. It's not a bandage. Know that spray foam can bond to any type of material such as glass, metal, wood, and just about anything but it will not stop a gas or water leak.
3. During Disposal
Do not dispose of spray foam cans that are not empty. Use up all the contents of the can before throwing it into the garbage. If the can is not yet empty, let the excess foam come out of the can before throwing it. Do not spray the contents of the can in an open flame as well because the fumes that are diffused from the chemicals are toxic.