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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.

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The Unsung Heroes of Insulation

Light switches and electrical outlets are small but significant sources of air leaks which may often cause an increase in outlet sealerthe cost of energy.

The easiest way to reduce heating and cooling costs within your home is to insulate your electrical outlets. The gasket sealants work by sealing off the wall cavity behind outlets and switch areas from the living space which prevent drafts from coming through. By retaining the heating and cooling of your home, electrical outlet insulation can ultimately save you 20% on your heating and cooling bill. The price of electrical outlet insulation is also inexpensive, so installing it is very cost effective.

All that is required to install gasket sealants are the outlet insulation and a screwdriver. You must first start off by making sure that the power in the area you are working is turned off. To install, remove the cover plate, line up the holes of the electrical outlet gaskets to the electrical outlet, and then carefully reattach the electrical outlet cover. In a few easy steps, you will prevent air leaks and conserve energy.

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Use Q-Lon Weatherstrip to Prevent Energy Loss from Doors

Q-Lon Weatherstrip
Q-Lon Weatherstrip

A door’s weather seal can wear out over time, causing cold and costly drafts to flow into your home. A simple way to check if your doors have this problem is through a sight test. While the sun is out, if you can see light coming in through the door when it is closed, you definitely have an air leak on your hands.

You could also use a smoke pencil to identify drafts and air leaks.

Installing a q-lon weatherstrip is beneficial for a number of reasons:

  • Seals up to ½” gaps. Sealing air leaks from the door can reduce home energy loss up to 11%.
  • Reduces energy loss eases the burden on the heating/cooling systems, thus lowering bills.
  • Limits unwanted air exchanges in the home and provides more control over home temperatures.
  • Acts as both a sealant and a door stop.
  • Fits standard doors, but can be cut to fit smaller doors.

This type of door weatherstripping is comprised of polyethylene-clad urethane foam that remains flexible through temperatures as low as minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The foam is secured to an aluminum (metal/steel) or vinyl (PVC), carrier. The type of carrier that would be ideal for your home depends on the door that the weatherstrip will be installed on:

  • Aluminum: Heavy duty carrier that is ideal for metal or wood doors.
  • Vinyl: Suitable for use on doors that are not metal, steel, or wood.

Weatherproofing doors with a q-lon weatherstrip is an easy, inexpensive way to save on energy costs for your home.