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

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PUR Foam
PUR 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 polyurethane foam to good use.

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What is 2-Part Foam?

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2-Part Spray Foams

Spray polyurethane foams (2-part foams) are made by mixing chemicals to react and create a foam, which happens very quickly. When this reaction occurs, the chemicals expand to create a foam that is excellent for gap filling, insulating and flotation. The mixture is also great for air seals and providing a moisture barrier. SPF insulation  resists heat transfer well, and usually provides a solution in reducing unwanted air infiltration through cracks, seams, and joints.

Spray polyurethane foam is made by combining two liquids during a chemical reaction to form a foam. The two liquids come in different containers. These two containers are generally referred to as the “A” side and the “B” side. The “A” side of the  system is typically methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (pMDI). The “B” side of the system is typically a blend of polyols, catalysts, blowing agent, flame retardant, and surfactant. Polyols are part of the chemical reaction to make the foam. The other ingredients in the “B” side serve help control the creation of the foam bubbles (“cells”) in the best way, and to provide the various characteristics of the finished product.

Homeowners use spray polyurethane foams both when retro-fitting or choosing insulation for a home because it saves on energy costs and improves comfort. Once the spray is applied, a cellular plastic forms and acts as a continuous barrier on walls, corners and contoured surfaces. SPF insulation is generally described as a high pressure foam or a low pressure foam and is available as “open-cell” or “closed-cell” foam, which have several major differences. Although they both have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the desired application requirements one will be best suited to your project. Here’s some comparisons between the two:

To learn more about how to buy the right spray foam for your project, view our buying guide.

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Does A CPDS Spray Foam Machine Need Special Foam?

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CPDS Spray Foam Dispensing Machine
CPDS Spray Foam Dispensing Machine

We were recently asked by a customer if they could use a 55 gallon drum  of foam material with the CPDS series 2 – the Constant Pressure Dispensing System Foam machine from Touch n Seal. It’s a valid question – he was probably trying to get the most foam dispensed and so the bigger the canister the better. However, the answer is NO. You need to get specific foam that will work with the manufacturer spray foam dispensing machine. In this case the manufacturer is Touch n Seal, and you would need to use either the 750 board foot fire retardant closed cell foam or the 1200 board foot open cell foam. Both come with an A and B tank which contains chemicals that are formulated to work specifically with the CPDS. So you can’t use this foam on its own.

Also the accessories such as gun dispensers and hose assemblies to be used with the spray foam machine are brand specific. So you would have to purchase ones made by Touch n Seal designed to work with the CPDS.

So when deciding to invest in the CPDS machine for your next spray foam project, be sure to make a list of all the components you would need and where you would source them.

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How Does High Expansion Foam Differ from Low Expansion Foam?

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

You may be considering using spray foam insulation, but are unsure what type to use. High Expansion and Low Expansion Foam are the two primary types. Here are the main differences between them.

Uses

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

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

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 spray 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 low expansion foam.

Dispensing Method

Since high expansion foam is used for larger jobs and requires separate tanks for the two components, the dispensing systems are 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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DIY Insulation: Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits

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Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits
Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits

If you live in North America, you’re probably experiencing record breaking cold temperatures this year. Related to that, you’re probably also seeing shocking energy bills. Lack of insulation is the main cause of high energy usage in homes and buildings. Spaces that don’t have insulation are the main trouble spots for loss of heat in the winter and also gain of heat in the summer. So do you hire an insulation contractor and shell out thousands of dollars? A good low-cost solution to insulating your home is via Do-It-Yourself Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits.

A spray foam kit comes with everything you need to insulate those trouble spots in your home or building. It contains a dispensing gun hose assembly as well as cones and nozzles to provide more control over the way it is sprayed. There are 2 types of spray foam available: closed cell and open cell. In closed cell foam, the cells of the chemical are closed and hence have a rigid and denser structure. Open cell foam by contrast has a more open cell structure and therefore has a more sponge like texture. As a result, closed cell foam has a higher R value than open cell foam. Another difference is closed cell foam acts as an air and water vapor barrier, whilst open cell foam is only suitable as an air barrier. Therefore, open cell foam is not recommended for use outside.

Closed Cell Spray Foam is very useful for insulating places such as: garages, rafters, walls and floors as well as roofing and outdoor projects. DIY Spray Foam Insulation comes variety of sizes such as 600, 200 and 15 Board Foot. Board foot just means that one 600 board foot kit will cover a 600 square foot area with 1 inch of foam. So whether you need to insulate a whole wall in your basement, or you just need to insulate a small area, there is spray foam size for your need. Another advantage of closed cell foam is that it comes in a Fire Retardant formula. This is useful because some city codes require insulation to have fire retardant formulas.

So if you’re looking for a low cost, do it yourself solution for insulating those cold areas of your home, Closed Cell Spray Foam is a great option. And if you’re unsure if you’re up to the task, there are plenty of instructional guides and videos available to help you.

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Understanding the Types of DIY Foam Insulation

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DIY Foam Insulation
DIY Foam Insulation

You don’t need to be a conservation specialist to understand foam insulation; more importantly you don’t need expert knowledge to install it. Whether sealing large areas, small areas, or openings in-between, understanding the types of DIY spray on insulation will go a long way towards raising the comfort level in your home.

R-Value and What it Means for Foam Insulation

Insulation material needs to resist heat to be effective: this is R-value. R value is measured based on the density, thickness, and type of material (spray foam) and it tells us if the material holds a high or low amount of thermal resistance. Both types of foam, closed and open cell, offer different R-values and benefits for insulation.

Closed cell foam

The cells in closed cell foam are packed tightly together, so it insulates better. Because the cells are packed so tightly, the foam is also has a high resistance to heat and water – meaning that is boasts a high R-value. Though the R-value is high, over time that number can decrease.

Closed cell, or high expansion foam, better insulates large areas like attics, basements, and garages. FYI: A little goes a long way with high expansion DIY foam insulation – spray only 1″ of this to see it expand 30x.

Open cell foam

The cells in open cell, or low expansion spray foam are loosely packed and the R-value is lower, but – installed in the right place – this is not a disadvantage for insulation. Open cell foam works as a air barrier, and unlike closed cell foam the R-value of open cell foam will not change over time.

Low expansion DIY spray on insulation expands by only 10% of the initial spray size, so it’s best used in small areas, like cracks and gaps in floors, walls, windows, etc.

It only takes a little information, the right type of foam, and the right amount to properly insulate your home.

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Get the Most Out of Polyurethane Foam Insulation

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Polyurethane Foam
Polyurethane Foam

Polyurethane foam has been around since the 1970s, but its use has recently exploded with more and more people jumping on the conservation bandwagon. DIY spray on insulation is a simple, cost-effective solution to air leaks in the home, blocking air intrusion and escape at the same time. In order to get the most out of foam insulation, here are a few bits of information to keep in mind.

What Foam Do you Need?
The biggest factor to consider when deciding which foam to use is simply this: how much area do you need to cover? Both the high expansion foam and low expansion foam expand to cover the area where sprayed, but they differ in a few ways as well.

High Expansion Foam
High expansion foam covers larger gaps, cracks, and the like than low expansion foam.  It also expands 30x when sprayed at 1″ thickness, so I’d advise against spraying liberally.

Low Expansion Foam
In contrast, low expansion spray foam is best used on smaller gaps and only expands by 10%.

How to Use the 2-tank Foam System
The 2-tank foam system makes installing foam insulation an easy do-it-yourself project, so as with any DIY project, make sure to wear protective gear.

In the 2-tank foam system, Tank B must be warmed up to make it the same creamy consistency as A; this allows for an even stream of foam. A few methods for warming Tank B include:

  • Keeping it in a warm room
  • Putting it in a tank warmer
  • Warming the tank in an electric blanket

The 2-tank system uses high expansion foam, so remember that spraying 1″ of thickness will expand 30x.

Which Rooms Need it the Most?
When installed in the most drafty, gap-ridden areas in the home, polyurethane foam insulation can save you up to 20% on cooling and heating costs alone. So which areas have the most potential for energy loss?

Attic and Garage
These areas typically suffer from poor insulation, making it easy for winter and summer to wreak a lot of havoc. Attics and garages can sometimes reflect (and even magnify) the temperature outside. Their main source of insulation problems come from the ceiling and walls; check there first before going over the rest of the room for any missed gaps and cracks.

Basement
Basements often deal with humidity, which can lead to mildew and mold. First, make sure the basement receives proper ventilation, then seal all the air leaks. For basements, air leaks can be found around areas that lead outside, like air vents, ducts, and pipes.

Home Exterior
It may not seem like a big deal, but exterior gaps can cause just as much insulation problems as the ones inside. Dryer vents and water faucets (with hoses) are unexpected culprits of air leaks and can also contribute to that inflated energy bill you see each month.

Applying polyurethane foam insulation will help you control the temperature in your home and finally get a better grasp on the outcome of your energy bill.

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How and Where to Use Black Foam

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Black Foam
Black Foam

Need an outside solution to poor insulation? If you’re a fan of DIY projects that take less time, require less energy, and cost less money than your weekly commute, consider black foam – an easily installed, quick and efficient sealant.

How to use Black Foam
A foam applicator gun is required to apply this foam. Can sizes vary, but you can typically expect a 750 ml canister to provide enough foam to insulate 2,820 cubic inches (or 1,200 linear feet) when dispensed at 1/2″ bead. Within 10 minutes it’s tack free and ready for trimming in 30 minutes.

Where to use it
As a closed cell, low expansion, rigid foam, it’s most often used to seal cracks and other small openings from home exteriors. Black foam is generally considered an outdoors sealant because:

  • Its black color makes it easily disguisable outdoors
  • It never gets dirty (a quality many prefer indoors as well)
  • It can stop gas, insects, pests, smoke, water and much more from entering your home

Though this type of foam is usually used outdoors, it can be used in attics, basements, and to seal up doors and windows.

Advantages
Among the many reasons to use black foam, it:

  • Can be purchased for under $20 per unit
  • Can be painted and sanded to match surroundings (painting can actually extend its life)
  • Resists solvents and water
  • Puts up a good fight against getting hard over time

The biggest advantage of using this type of foam is that it properly insulates your home, and that allows you to save money on energy costs while creating a comfortable environment in your home.

 

You’re getting a high quality product for less than you spend on coffee in a week with this foam; it isn’t just a simple DIY product. Many professionals such as contractors, roofers, and even pest and wildlife control specialists use it to create a properly insulated environment along with stopping bugs and rodents from becoming unwelcome guests.

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5 Things You Should Know About DIY Spray Foam

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DIY Spray Foam
DIY Spray Foam

Spray foam is to your home like a cap is to a bottle of soda – keeping air from leaving and coming out, but the mysteries of spray foam don’t begin and end there. In addition to sealing air leaks (and unlike a soda cap), spray foam also works to insulate the home. Making sure you don’t lose your head while navigating the waters of spray insulators, here are 5 things you should know about DIY spray foam insulation.

1. It’s an Insulator

Spray foam keeps your home from being uncomfortable to live in year round (at least where temperature is concerned). Basically it acts as an insulator by blocking cracks and gaps where air can get in or out. Installing spray foam:

  • Protects your home from extreme cold in winter
  • Protects your home from extreme heat in the summer
  • Limits entrances for critters

2. Spray Foam Measured in Board Feet

Spray foam kits are measured in board feet, or square feet. A 600 board foot kit will cover 600 square feet at 1 inch thickness or 300 square feet at 2 inches thick; a 200 board foot kit will cover 200 square feet at 1 inch thickness, and so on. What makes spray foam a smart investment is that it expands, so a little goes a long way as it expands rapidly. So to calculate how much spray foam you would need for your project, calculate the square footage to be covered first. Then decide on the desired thickness to achieve you desired insulation level. e.g. for closed spray foam the R Value is 7.12 per inch.  If your area to be sprayed is 580 square feet and you want an R value of 14, then you would need (2) 600 board feet spray foam kits to finish your project.

3. Where You Should Use It

There are many areas where spray foam can be of use, but these places make the overall top 3-5 list:

  • Attics and Garages – Most attics and garages are poorly insulated areas, always either overly hot or overly cold.
  • Basements – Basements fall prey to humidity, breeding mold and mildew when not properly insulated.
  • Walls, Ceilings and Floors – Air leaks are at home in the cracks/gaps found in walls, ceilings and floors.

4. How to Use Spray Foam

To get an even stream of foam, the DIY spray foam “B” tank needs to be warmed up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit before use. The warming makes it the same, milky consistency of the “A” tank. Tank can be warmed by:

  • Storing it in a warm room
  • Covering tank with an electric blanket
  • Using a tank warmer

Spraying 1″ thickness expands 30 times, so be a little conservative with spraying the foam.

Finally, always wear protective gear (goggles, gloves, disposable coverall) when completing DIY projects.

5. It Saves You Energy and Money

Spray foam protects the energy in a home from escaping and prevents outside air from breaking through, giving you – not air leaks and the gas company – control over the temperature in your home and the results of your heating bill.

Energy

Proper insulation makes it easier for the air system in your home to work the way it was intended to, preventing the need to adjust the heating/cooling system throughout the day.

Money

During winter, heating costs alone are 2% on every degree you raise the thermostat. That’s money spent on energy flying straight through all of those gaps and cracks. You can reduce your energy costs by up to 20% by using DIY spray foam and other energy efficient tools.

Ultimately, the comfort of your home and ease on the wallet make using DIY spray foam a smart, energy and cost efficient solution to your heating and cooling woes.

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DIY Spray Foam Insulation: A Cost Effective Way to Insulate

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With the intense rise of heat and humidity, energy conservation for homeowners is more significant than ever. Homeowners are finding an increase in their energy bills and are unaware that they can reduce costs by installing spray foam insulation inside of their homes.

One of the most economical and useful ways to insulate your home is using a unique product called spray foam. DIY Spray Foam Insulation is beneficial by preventing heat increase in the summer and heat decrease in the winter, and also, lowering the costs of your monthly energy bills! If you think that is great, it gets better. Since spray foam is easy to install it is a great DIY product that any homeowner can use. So there is no need to worry about contracting anyone to do the job for you. Furthermore, this will guarantee that both your home and your wallet are protected from unnecessary expenses.

How It Works:

When the Touch ‘N Seal Foam mix is sprayed onto your walls, floors and ceilings, the shell of your home becomes protected. It’s this protection that blocks heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter, thus preventing dramatic temperatures changes in the home. Correctly installed, insulation delivers comfort and lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year. In fact, if you seal air leaks with caulk before you insulate, you can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling*, as insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it.


Benefits
:

  • Durable
  • Easy to Use
  • Flexibility (large or small projects)
  • Keeps energy costs down

So if you’re looking to take on an insulation project this fall, consider doing it yourself with a Spray Foam Insulation Kit. If you’re still not comfortable with making that investment, then test it out with an inexpensive 15 Board Foot Spray foam kit. At $45 it’s a great way to get your feet wet with spray foam insulation.