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Weather Proofing Windows on a Budget

weather proof windows

When it comes to weather proofing windows, most people think they have to spend an arm and a leg. But in reality, this can be done on a budget. Whether you’re trying to make your home more energy efficient or just want to keep out drafts from a cold winter night, there are plenty of ways to weather proof your windows without breaking the bank. In this blog, we’ll explore some simple and cost-effective tips for weather proofing windows so that you can enjoy a cozy and comfortable home without spending too much money.

Weather proofing windows with plastic film

If your windows are old and drafty, you can weatherproof them with plastic film. This will help keep the cold air out and the heat in. To install the film, first clean the window surface with soap and water. Then, cut the film to size and attach it to the window frame with double-sided tape. Once the film is in place, use a hair dryer to shrink it so that it’s tight against the window. Finally, caulk around the edges of the film to seal it in place.

Weather proofing windows with sealant

When it comes to weather proofing windows, sealant is one of the best options available. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, but it also does an excellent job of keeping out the elements.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using sealant, however. First, make sure that the surface you’re applying it to is clean and dry. Otherwise, the sealant won’t adhere properly and will eventually peel off.

Second, apply the sealant in a smooth, even layer. If you’re not experienced with using sealant, it might be helpful to practice on a scrap piece of wood or glass first.

Once you’ve applied the sealant, allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before exposing it to the elements. This will give the sealant plenty of time to set and create a strong barrier against the weather.

Weather proofing windows with caulking

Caulking is an important part of weather proofing windows, as it helps to seal up any gaps or cracks that might let in air or moisture, and it’s relatively easy to apply. To install:

First, remove any existing caulk or paint around the window frame.

Then, use a chisel and hammer to open up any cracks or gaps in the frame.

Vacuum out dirt and dust before applying the caulking.

Cut the end of the tube at a 45-degree angle and place it into a caulking gun.

Apply a line of caulk around the entire edge of the window frame, making sure to press down firmly as you go along so that it adheres properly.

Smooth out excess caulk with a wet finger or putty knife as needed.

Allow 24 hours for it to dry completely before painting over it if desired.

Once you’ve applied the caulking, you should also apply some weatherstripping around the edges of the window. This will help to create an additional barrier against drafts and leaks.

Weather proofing windows with an AC Cover

A window ac cover is made of a durable waterproof material that can be easily installed and removed when needed. It helps to keep the rain out and protect your AC unit from the elements. The cover also helps to insulate the air conditioner, keeping it running more efficiently, which can help save you money on energy costs.

When to weather proof your windows

Most people think about weatherproofing their windows in the fall, before the cold winter months set in. But did you know that you can actually save money by weatherproofing your windows in the spring? Before you get started,

Inspect your windows and doors for any cracks or gaps. These can be filled with caulk or weatherstripping.

Check to see if your windows need to be resealed. You can do this yourself with a simple kit.

Make sure that your window screens are in good condition and free of holes. If they’re not, replace them.

Conclusion

Weather proofing windows on a budget can be done with relative ease, as long as you are willing to put in the effort. Start off by doing some research and finding out what materials you need for your specific climate conditions. Then use caulk and weather stripping around your windows to seal up potential air leaks. Finally, add some window insulation film to help keep the heat or cold from entering your home throughout the year. With these tips, you should be well on your way to protecting your windows without breaking the bank!

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5 Things to Know About Spray Foam Insulation

When it comes to insulation, there are many options available on the market. But if you’re looking for an effective and long-lasting solution, spray foam insulation is the way to go. This type of insulation is growing in popularity due to its many benefits, which include its ability to seal tight spaces, its high R-value (which means it’s great at insulating), and its environmental friendliness. If you’re considering spray foam insulation for your home or office, here are five things you should know before making a decision.

What is Spray Foam Insulation?

Spray Foam Insulation
Spray Foam Insulation being installed in attic space

Spray foam insulation is a type of insulating material that is sprayed onto a surface to provide a barrier against heat loss or heat gain. It can be used on both walls and ceilings, and is often used in crawl spaces, basements, and attics as well.

It is made up of two main ingredients: polyurethane and isocyanate. When mixed together, these ingredients work to expand to fill in any voids or cracks in the surface being sprayed. This expansion helps to create an airtight seal that prevents heat from escaping or entering the space.

Spray foam is among the more effective types of insulation, especially when compared to cellulose and fiberglass, as it does not settle over time in the way fiberglass does. Furthermore, spray foam can help make your space more energy efficient, in turn reducing heating and cooling costs.

Additionally, it provides a higher R-value than other types of insulation. The higher R-value makes SPF better at resisting heat flow. This makes it an excellent choice for use in areas where extreme temperatures are common, such as attics and crawlspaces.

The Different Types of Spray Foam Insulation

There are two main types of spray foam insulation you need to know about: closed-cell and open-cell. Closed-cell spray foam is the most common type used in residential and commercial construction. It has a higher R-value per inch than open-cell spray foam, meaning it provides better insulation. It also forms a tight seal against air and moisture, making it ideal for use in areas where leaks or drafts could be a problem.

Open-cell spray foam has a lower R-value per inch than closed-cell spray foam, but it’s also much more permeable. This means that it allows water vapor to pass through more easily, which can be helpful in some situations (like if you’re trying to prevent condensation on cold surfaces). However, it also means that open-cell spray foam is less effective at blocking out unwanted noise and heat transfer.

Low GWP foam is available in both open-cell and closed-cell varieties. Low GWP foam has a reduced global warming potential.

How to Install Spray Foam Insulation

Here are some basics to know when it comes to installation:

1. Choose the Right Location

Consider both the climate and the type of building you’re working with. For example, if you live in a warm climate, you’ll want to avoid installing spray foam insulation in an attic or other enclosed space that could cause the material to overheat and degrade.

2. Prepare the Area

Before mixing and applying foam, it’s important to thoroughly clean and prepare the entire area where you’ll be using the spray foam. This includes removing any dust, debris, or dirt that could prevent the material from adhering properly. Once the area is clean, make sure it’s dry before proceeding.

3. Mix the Foam Insulation Material

Next, it’s time to mix together the components of your spray foam. This typically involves combining a liquid resin with a gas activator, which will start the chemical reaction that causes the material to expand and harden. Be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions when mixing your particular components.

4. Apply the Foam Insulation

Once the insulation material is mixed and ready to go, it’s time for application. This can be done with a traditional sprayer or a handheld spray foam gun. Be sure to work quickly and evenly, as the material will begin expanding almost immediately.

5. Let the Foam Insulation Cure

After the spray foam insulation is applied, it’s important to give it the appropriate amount of time it needs to properly cure before moving on. This typically involves a 24-hour wait for the material to completely harden. Once cured, you can then proceed with any additional steps needed to complete your project, such as cutting.

How Long Does Spray Foam Insulation Last?

When making any sort of adjustments to a home or office space, it is important of course to know how long those adjustment will last. Spray foam insulation is a tremendous insulation type, as it has a very long lifespan, typically lasting usually around 50 years.

How to Buy Spray Foam Insulation

There are a few things you want to keep in mind when shopping for spray foam insulation. First, you’ll need to decide what type of insulation you need. Second, you’ll need to determine how much insulation you need.

Type of insulation:

Closed-cell spray foam has a higher density and is heavier than open-cell spray foam. It is also the more expensive option. Open-cell spray foam on the other hand is less dense and lighter than closed-cell spray foam. It is also more affordable.

How much insulation is necessary?

The amount of insulation you need depends on a number of factors, such as the amount of square footage you want to insulate, the climate you live in and the R-value of the product you choose. Remember, R-value is a measure of thermal resistance.

Conclusion

Spray foam insulation is an excellent option for those looking to add insulation to either a residential or commercial space. It is important to know a few things about SPF insulation before you start, however, including the different types of spray foam insulation, how much it costs, and how long it lasts. With this information in hand, you can make an informed decision about whether or not spray foam insulation is right for your space.

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Maximum Safety Fireblock Low Expansion Foam

Insulating your home or building is a top priority whether you’re starting a new project or upgrading an existing structure. Fireblock foam is a low expansion foam that takes this just a step further. In addition to reducing energy loss and costs, it also works to limit the spread of flames, toxic smoke, and harmful gasses.

How Does Fireblock Foam Work?

The foam is designed to expand ever so slightly to properly fill in cracks and gaps in areas where it is required. The expansion alone makes it a much more effective tool for fire blocking than other standard materials. Additionally, the bright orange color provides clear visibility to inspectors as a Type V construction approved fireblock foam. Once bonded, it blocks air from entering the intended space, helping to fend off the free passage of smoke, flames, and other by-products of combustion between floors, rooms, and wall cavities.

fireblock foam

Fireblock foam is a low expansion foam that protects residential and commercial spaces from smoke, flames, and other by-products of combustion between floors, rooms, and wall cavities.

Properly Sealing with Low Expansion Foam

When working with polyurethane foam or other sealants, be sure to wear eye and skin protectants. This includes goggles or protective glasses with shields, nitrile gloves, and protective clothing. Once ready, make sure to apply the foam in a space that is well-ventilated and with certified respiratory protection or a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR). Each manufacturer of polyurethane sealants creates a detailed Safety Data Sheet (SDS) with specifics that should be carefully read before applying foam.

Fireblock foam is typically applied with a foam gun or straw. When applied, it is:

  • Tack-free in approximately five minutes
  • Cuttable in approximately one hour
  • Fully cured in 12-24 hours

To achieve the best results, make sure the foam being used is ICC compliant for fire blocking, and has been tested with modified ASTM-814 and UL-1715. Fireblock foam that meets these requirements withstand the pressure of flames more than twice as long as other competing foams, providing precious additional seconds to a dangerous situation.

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How Does High Expansion Foam Differ from Low Expansion Foam?

High Expansion Foam vs. Low Expansion Foam
High Expansion Foam vs. Low Expansion Foam

This blog has been updated from previous version published in 2014.

You may be considering using spray foam insulation in your home or commercial space but are unsure what type to use. High Expansion and Low Expansion Foam are the two primary types that are used. Here are the main differences between them.

Uses

Low expansion foam only expands about 10% larger than the output size, so it is used for smaller jobs like:

  • cracks and gaps around windows and doors too big for traditional caulk
  • plumbing, HVAC, and electrical penetrations
  • seams and small openings in framing

Because it expands as much as 5 times the output size, high expansion foam is primarily used for filling big voids, such as:

  • rim joists, roof/wall joints, or big gaps in framing
  • blind corners
  • wall/ceiling intersections
  • around boxes over can lights
  • Rim joists
  • Attics, basements, crawl spaces
  • Foundation walls
  • Stud cavities

Curing Method

High Expansion foam has two components stored in separate tanks until mixed at the time of spraying. After spraying, it typically cures in less than 2 minutes.

Low expansion foam comes in a single tank or container, and relies on moisture in the air to cure, usually in about 20 minutes. In extremely dry conditions, you may need to use a spritzer to properly cure this type of foam.

Dispensing Method

Since high expansion foam is used for larger jobs and requires separate tanks for the two components, the dispensing systems are typically larger and have two tanks, each with a line connected to the spray gun.

Low expansion foam is typically in smaller containers that can either attach directly to the spray gun or have a single line connecting to a separate, single tank.

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low gwp spray foam

Understanding Low GWP Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation has been used to insulate both commercial and residential spaces for decades. This form of insulation traditionally contains blowing agents called hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), which allow the polyurethane to change from a solid into foam, providing the insulation with both its form and R-value. However, this heat trapping chemical also contributes to the depletion of the earth’s protective ozone layer. When insulating, low gwp spray foam provides the same quality of protection, without the added harmful emissions.

Measuring Global Warming Potential (GWP)

Across much of North America, regulators have introduced requirements to gradually eliminate HFCs, and limit their use, thus reducing their contribution to climate change. The measurement basis for these regulations is called Global Warming Potential (GWP). With carbon dioxide as the reference gas (assigned the number 1), researchers compare the impact different gasses have on the atmosphere. The higher the GWP number, the greater the possibility of a gas warming the earth in comparison to carbon dioxide.

Low GWP Spray Foam

While the HFCs in traditional spray foam lend to exceptional form and R-values, even a miniscule amount being released into the atmosphere can have significant consequences on the ozone layer, and rising sea levels to name a few. Low gwp spray foam provides the same excellent insulation without harmful HFCs. Not only does this foam meet changing government requirement, these foam systems also:

  • Deliver a consistent stream of polyurethane foam
  • Contain an R-Value of 6.6
  • Cure in approximately 1 hour
  • Great for sealing attic, crawl space, floors, ceiling, walls, and basement

Reducing the global warming potential of the substances we use in building projects will help reduce the impact we are having on our atmosphere. Contractors, home, and building owners can now feel confident when using low gwp foam to seal and insulate spaces.

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Conservation Kits Provide Instant Savings

As the climate crisis on our planet has become a climate emergency, a lot of us are looking for different ways to improve our carbon footprint. While this may initially seem like a daunting and expensive task, it truly isn’t. There are many small ways to start saving both energy and water around your home or building that won’t break the bank. Conservation kits are prepared with these types of savings in mind, and the items they contain provide instant savings once installed.

Improving Energy Efficiency

According to Time.com, “On average, remote workers have seen a $40-50 monthly increase in their energy costs—or as much as $600 a year.” With energy bills steadily on the rise, employing measures that can produce savings right away is even more pressing. Common items you’ll find in conservation kits include:

  • LED Light Bulbs, which use up to 80% less energy than their incandescent counterparts
  • Closed Cell Foam to limit drafts and heat from entering through doors
  • Outlet Gaskets that block air leaks from outlets
  • Rope caulk to seal air from entering through windows
tidy room filled with furnitures

Help Me Save Water

Each day, the average home in the United States uses approximately 80-100 gallons of water at home. A surprising number, right? When you consider the amount of times we wash our hands and dishes, flush the toilets, and even shower, this number really begins to take shape. Let’s take a step back, and see how we can bring this number down.

  • Low flow aerators reduce the amount (but not the pressure) of water coming from faucets. Their flow rates range from 0.5-2.0 gallons of water per minute.
  • Low flow shower heads follow this same concept, except with the shower. Many of these shower heads are also self-cleaning.
  • A toilet tank bank is placed in the toilet tank to limit the amount of water used per flush.
  • Outdoor water savers allow you to expand water savings outside of the home and into your gardens.

Saving energy and water at home, or in your building, can actually be quite simple. With a few quick installations of items found in conservation kits you can be well on your way to helping the climate and your wallet at the same time.

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Benefits of Q-Lon Door Seal Installation

Q-Lon Door Kits
Q-Lon Door Kits

The door of a home is where we let in and welcome family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s also where we let in air leaks, insects and moisture. Unlike loved ones, these can come into the home through doors even when they’re closed. The older the home, the more likely it is that you have a door (or a few) that could benefit from being properly sealed. Installing a q-lon door seal is a quick and cost-effective way to solve these problems, save energy, and ultimately lower energy bills.

Passing the Test

The simplest way to check for air leaks is to look at the door during daylight hours. If you see sunlight peeking through the door, it needs to be sealed. If you notice moisture at the door when it rains, it needs to be sealed. If by chance, you catch an insect trying to sneak into the home, the door needs to be sealed.

Sealing Gaps

Q-lon is designed specifically to be used on the top and sides of doors. It seals gaps that measure up to 1/2″ in size. If your air leak is smaller, no worries. A q-lon door seal can be cut to fit smaller doors and seal smaller spaces. It is made up of polyethylene-clad urethane foam, and contains a special backing for use on specific door types. The exact one you’ll need depends on what the door you’re sealing is made up of:

  • Metal doors – Use the aluminum q-lon weatherstrip.
  • Wood doors – Use the wooden q-lon weatherstrip.
  • Vinyl – Use the vinyl (PVC) q-lon weathertrip. This is the most commonly used type for residential doors.

Comfort and Savings

If you left the oven door open while baking, it would take considerably longer to reach the right temperature. The same concept can be applied to all doors. When inside air leaks out, and outside air comes in, regulating the temperature becomes increasingly difficult. Installing a q-lon door seal gives you back some of that control. It does so without you having to spend hundreds, or even over a thousand, on a replacement door. The material is industrial-grade, strong enough to seal gaps for years, and costs under $13 a piece. Installing this weatherstrip lets you start realizing savings without having to reach into your savings to get it done.

Narrow Q-Lon Door Weatherstripping Kit with Vinyl Carrier - Brown DS060-BR-N
Narrow Q-Lon Door Weatherstripping Kit with Vinyl Carrier – Brown DS060-BR-N

Q-Lon Door Kit with Vinyl Carrier Door Weatherstripping White
Q-Lon Door Kit with Vinyl Carrier Door Weatherstripping White

Q-Lon Door Kit with Aluminum Carrier Door Weatherstripping Brown
Q-Lon Door Kit with Aluminum Carrier Brown

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Expand Your Business with Touch ‘n Seal’s CPDS

The Touch ‘N Seal CPDS Series 2 Machine combines convenience with efficiency by applying spray foam up to 2.5 times cpds spray foam kitfaster than the standard spray foam kit. It is a portable, constant pressure dispensing machine used to install Class I fire-retardant polyurethane foam. The foam is both insulating and sound attenuating. With a minimal investment, the CPDS Series 2 Machine provides a great opportunity for services looking to expand as well as start-up insulation businesses.

This machine offers high profit with little maintenance, and eliminates the need for use of a bulk system with a mid-sized project (rehabs & renovations, repairs, room additions and “call backs”). Its yield is 20% greater than with the standard disposable polyurethane foam kits. This machine is also a more economical choice, with the cost for each board foot is less than that of the standard spray foam kit. Replacement parts for this machine are available.

This spray foam equipment comes ready to use. All that is needed are the “A” and “B” polyurethane foam tanks. Included with the CPDS Series 2 are the tools necessary for application: a 30′ chemical delivery hose set, 50 disposable spray nozzles, 2 foam applicators, an operational DVD, and a set of manuals for operation and manuals. Chemical foam cylinders are available for both 1.75 pcf and 1.00 pcf Class 1, Fire Retardant polyurethane spray foam.

The CPDS Series 2 is easily handled and transported by a single individual. It is ideal for those situations where a rig or bulk system is too much or disposable kits are too little.

In this video, Joel Few with Carolina Aire and Mold Solutions discusses how he expanded his business with Touch ‘n Seal’s Constant Pressure Dispensing System (CPDS). The CPDS has made his business profitable and at the same time he is able to provide his customers with an air sealing solution that saves them money and increases home comfort level.

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Prevent Air Leaks and Insects in Your Home with Pur Fill Foam

Low Expansion Foam
Low Expansion Foam

For the times when you only need to insulate small areas, like gaps and cracks that bugs and other critters can crawl through, consider using Pur Fill Foam. Pur (short for polyurethane) foam is a low cost, low maintenance solution for insulation.

What is Polyurethane Foam?

Polyurethane is a plastic material that can be manufactured for various purposes, including as: adhesives, furniture cushioning, insulation, and even as the soles of your shoes. This multipurpose material is easy to manipulate, which is why it works as a solution to insulation in both high and low expansion varieties.

Low or High Expansion Foam: Which do I need?
The difference between low and high expansion foam is simply how much area the foam covers.

High expansion foam is used on large cracks and gaps. It can grow, or expand, by 30x when only 1″ of thickness is used.

Low expansion Pur foam differs in that it expands by 10%. For insulating small spaces, the best type of foam to use is low expansion.

Benefits of Low Expansion Foam

The ultimate goal here is to properly insulate the home, but it helps to be able to accomplish this goal with material that offers a bit more. The benefits of using low expansion spray foam include:

The cost
For less than $20 you can purchase a 750 ml (32 ounces) can of this low expansion foam.

Easy installation process
The foam is easy to install and apply. Just load the can of foam into the application gun and spray it into the area you want sealed. For tips on how to use the form, Todol has a number of training videos.

Money saved from insulation
Not only does Pur Fill Foam close up those cracks and gaps, but you’ll shave off 20% from your energy bill with proper insulation. Air leaks create a temperature imbalance in the home, increasing the amount you spend on energy every month.

Where to Install Polyurethane Foam

Air leaks can be anywhere, but there are generally some places that you can always expect to find gaps that need to be sealed.

Attic and Garage
During summer and winter months, the attic and garage often mirror and at times intensify the temperature outside. When looking for open holes in the attic or garage, start with the ceiling and walls.

Basement
Air leaks in the basement can be around air vents, ducts, and other places that lead outside.

Block air leaks and the invasion of bugs, rodents by putting low expansion foam to good use.

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Backdraft Dampers: A Must Have for Ventilation Systems

Backdraft dampers allow air to efficiently flow through exhaust ducts to the outside, yet prevent the unwanted flow of air into a house when the exhaust fans are off. damper2They stop cold air from coming in, allowing a more comfortable temperature in your home. These dampers are most often used in bathroom exhaust systems, clothes dryer vents, kitchen range hoods and microwaves.

Fantech sensitive spring-loaded backdraft dampers provide a good seal against backdrafts. They are easy to install and work without noise or vibration.

The Cape Damper from Tamarack is made of a metal duct with a fabric sleeve attached. It is a one way air flow valve, designed to overcome the inefficiencies and limitations of traditional gravity or butterfly dampers. It is quiet and can simply be installed in either a vertical or horizontal position.

Either option will help prevent outside air from leaking into your home and allow you to save on energy costs.