Posted on: 25 March 2020
In most cases, buildings are insulated using closed-cell spray foam, which is applied by professionals using large rigs and powerful equipment. The spray foam you can buy in pressurized bottles at the hardware store is a bit different. Known as open-cell spray foam, it is not quite as insulating or waterproof as its closed-cell cousin. However, it can be really great for sealing and insulating small areas, such as the space around pipes and electrical cables. Plus, you can apply it on your own rather than having to hire a pro. That being said, there are a few tips you should follow when applying open-cell spray foam.
1. Stick to small spaces.
Sometimes homeowners buy can after can of spray foam insulation and try to insulate a big space, such as the back of a wall, with these cans. This is not advised. Open-cell spray foam is really not intended for this purpose. When used in such a large space, it may trap moisture, and its low R-value does not really make it adequate. Hire a pro to insulate big spaces. Only insulate small areas like gaps around pipes and door frames with open-cell spray foam.
2. Wait until temperatures are moderate.
Applying open-cell spray foam when it is too hot or too cold outside can cause it to expand and cure improperly. Check your spray foam's can for more specific recommendations; some products must be applied in a fairly narrow range. In the summer, this might mean you have to wait for the evening, when it is cooler, to apply the product.
3. Make sure the surface is clean prior to application.
Spray foam adheres to the surfaces you spray it on. If these surfaces are not clean, it may not stick very well. Wipe off the surface prior to application, and then let it dry thoroughly. If you are applying the spray foam to a smooth surface, such as a PVC pipe, you may want to take a little sandpaper and rough up the surface a little before you spray the insulation on. This will help it stick better, too.
Open-cell spray foam can be quite effective, but only for certain applications and with the right application techniques. Reach out to a spray foam manufacturer to learn more.
To learn more, contact a supplier that carries open-cell spray foam or a local contractor who works with the product.Share