low-expansion-foam-fireblock-foam3

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.

low-expansion-foam-fireblock-foam3

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.

Save

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.

low-expansion-foam-fireblock-foam3

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.

low-expansion-foam-fireblock-foam3

Using A Green Loan for Home Efficiency

brown wooden table and chairs

“Creating a green home is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint right where you live, while at the same time placing money right back into your pocket.”

Our homes are responsible for approximately 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. While some may want to add energy saving upgrades, many have held back because of the costs. Adding energy and water efficiency products to your home or building just got a little bit easier. Using a green loan, you can easily get started on completing those projects that will increase the overall efficiency and savings in your space.

How does a green loan work?

This type of loan can be used to complete major renovations, such as installing tankless water heaters, solar panels and energy efficient doors and windows. Additionally, the funds can also be used to make faster green improvements, including:

  • Low-flow showerheads
  • Low-flow aerators
  • Eco toilets
  • LED lights
  • Adding or updating insulation
  • Programmable thermostats

When searching for products that meet energy and water efficiency requirements, look for the Energy Star and WaterSense labels.

How much can I save?

The products installed and projects completed with a green loan can certainly help lower your utility bills. At the highest level, LEED-certified homes can save an average of 15% on the cost of energy annually. Taking into account that the average family in the United States spends between $2,000-$3,100 on energy and water bills every year, that can equal savings of roughly $300-$465.

Creating a green home is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint right where you live, while at the same time placing money right back into your pocket. Check with your local bank or credit union to find out more information on getting started with one of these loans.

low-expansion-foam-fireblock-foam3

4 Tools in Energy Efficiency Kits That Also Keep You Warm

Brown Wooden House during Snow

With the changing seasons, a lot of us find ourselves playing the temperature game with the thermostat. This constant battle not only wreaks havoc on the energy usage, but the bills as well. Keep things warm inside, and the chill on the outside with energy efficiency kits. These kits – like a swiss army knife for combating drafts – are packed with supplies that properly insulate doors, windows, and other unintentional air entryways.

Foam Switch Gaskets, Outlet Gaskets, and Child Safety Caps

Unless every outlet is in use all the time (and I hope not, cause phantom energy loss can account for 5% of your home’s energy usage), those tiny slits in the wall are letting outside air slowly creep into your home. Along with outlets, the surrounding area behind the outlet and light switch plates also offer a way in for air. These leaks make the house colder than it should be and can cause energy loss of up to 20%.

Plastic Window Kit

Windows can let air in even when closed, but cold weather also makes them vulnerable to frost build-up and condensation. Plastic window kits, also known as shrink and seal window kits or window insulation kits, are installed over the entire window to provide airtight insulation from outside air. Kits are installed from the inside, and require a hair dryer (or some form of blowing heat) to “shrink and seal” film over the window. This method of insulation works on any type of window, is easy on the budget, and can increase R-Value (insulation level) by up to 90%.

Rope Caulk

Nearly every energy conservation kit features rope caulk, a substance is so easy to install a 5-year old could do it (we’re not kidding, just watch). Rope caulk is primarily used to combat cracks, gaps, and openings of every kind. Simply clean the area being sealed (remove dust, dirt, etc.), peel of the amount needed, and stick it into the open area. I think of it as 2-minute insulation.

The benefits of rope caulk don’t stop at insulation:

  • It’s cheap!
  • It’s durable through most weather conditions, so you don’t have to worry about it cracking during cold months
  • Just as easy as it is to install is how easy it is to remove (and clean up after), making this an easy insulation answer for renters

Door and Window Foam Tape

Foam tape is best used with sliding or swinging doors and windows. The tape blocks outside air by sealing the open space between the edges/side of doors and windows. Foam tape installs easily and is very cost effective.

Putting energy efficiency kits to good use – the gaskets, child safety caps, plastic window kits, rope caulk, and foam tape – will go a long way towards stabilizing the temperature in your home, saving energy and preventing energy loss, and allow you to subtract a few dollars from that energy bill.

low-expansion-foam-fireblock-foam3

How A Reusable Face Mask with Filter Reduces Waste and COVID-19 Transmission

As businesses, schools, and universities are looking forward to welcoming employees, customers, and students back to their facilities, many of us are faced with the same problem. How can we create a safe environment for everyone, while maintaining the closeness that we’ve all been missing during this time? One of the easiest ways to get this done is to provide a reusable face mask with filter. While the N95 masks of course are being saved for healthcare and front-line workers, washable poly-cotton masks are a great way of providing such security while we’re still in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis.

Limiting Transmission

Many of us have learned that it is possible to be a carrier of the novel coronavirus without even knowing it. When wearing a face mask, you can immensely reduce the chance of transmitting the virus, as well as the likelihood of getting it from another person. This graphic from the Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Odisha easily illustrates how wearing a face mask can greatly impact your health with regards to contracting the virus.

Limiting Waste

A major positive that has emerged from the virus and stay-at-home orders has been the impact on the environment. Across the world, water and skies are appearing clearer, and the impact of climate pollution has tremendously dropped. We can help maintain this by continuing to reduce the amount of waste piled onto the earth. Having a washable face mask let’s you continue this work by not only keeping you safe and aiding your health, but allowing for reuse time and time again with a simple wash. The ability to wash your face mask also saves money that would be used on purchasing disposable masks that have to be discarded after every use.

While we are all excited to resume the human interactions we’ve missed due to COVID-19, we can’t stress enough the importance of doing so responsibly. Using a washable, reusable face mask with filter gets us started on the track to doing just that.

low-expansion-foam-fireblock-foam3

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

low-expansion-foam-fireblock-foam3

Cost Effective and Easy to Install Weatherization Options

To prevent cold air from entering your home during winter, and hot air from flowing in during summer, you need to close up the gaps in your windows to create a tight seal.

Not only will your home feel more comfortable, you will also lower your monthly energy costs with these inexpensive window weatherization tools.

Rope Caulk

Caulking is a method of weatherstripping that targets the crack, gap, hole, or opening that allows air to seep through. Basically it’s like sticking silly putty in the exposed area to seal it off. However, rope caulk provides a better stick, can weatherproof windows in any weather condition, and blends in with your decor. rope tape

Installation:

  • Clean, clean, clean the area where caulk will be used.
  • Peel of a lay of the rope caulk “beads” and divide it based on how much you need.
  • Press to seal.

Foam Tape

Foam tape is used to seal windows that slide or swing. It sticks to the edges or bottoms of windows to prevent air leakage when windows are closed.

Installation: Foam tape is easy to install and at less than $3 it is an inexpensive weatherization solution.foam tape

  • First, clean and dry the area  where the tape will be applied. If the area is dirty, wet, and/or cold, the tape won’t stick properly or it will easily loose its stickiness factor. It must be more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the amount of foam tape needed based on the length of window sides/bottom.
  • Remove the adhesive backing then press the tape into place to cover the area in need of sealing.

Shrink and Seal Window Kit

If you have scissors, a blow dryer, and $4 you can easily weatherproof windows with a Shrink and Seal Window kit. This kit will seal the whole window from the inside and increase the R-value, or insulating power, of the window by as much as 90%.

Installation: window kit

  • Again, you need to clean and dry the area before applying any sealing. You should also clean the insides of windows because you won’t be able to clean that area again until you remove the shrink film.
  • Cut the amount of shrink film needed. Cut enough film to cover the entire window (including some of the frame area).
  • Remove the backing from one side of the two-sided tape and stick it to the top, bottom, and sides of the window. After installing the tape, remove the adhesive backing from the other side.
  • Apply the shrink film around the window, gently stretching it as you work your way from one corner of the window to the other.
  • With the blow dryer on the highest setting, slowly move the dryer across the film to tighten it over the window. Don’t stand too close to the window while doing this, otherwise you’ll melt the shrink film.
  • Trim any film that’s left over.

Save

Save

Save

low-expansion-foam-fireblock-foam3

5 Reasons to Buy Energy Saving Kits from Conservation Mart

energybloggraphicConservation Mart is a minority, certified woman-owned business and thanks to our extensive product line and unsurpassed service, we’ve had the honor of supplying an impressive lineup of well-respected organizations. Through serving thousands of customers, we have built a substantial knowledge base of how to realize energy and water savings. We truly enjoy working with organizations to help them find just the right products for their customers. Here are five reasons why Conservation Mart is your best choice for energy saving kits:

1. Experience – Conservation Mart have been assembling Energy, Water, and Weatherization Kits since 2009 and have had the honor to serve hundreds of customers such as Utilities, Water Departments, Weatherization Agencies, and Corporations.

2. Customization – We have both energy and water kit assortments based on items that customers have ordered as well the ability  to do custom kits.

3. Packaging – We offer a variety of packaging options such as Ziploc bags, boxes, or canvas bags.

4. Inserts – We can include any inserts that a customer wishes to provide. Most customers opt to provide their logo and contact info which we include in our kit insert. We have also printed bilingual inserts, with English on one side and Spanish on the other side.

5. Include your Logo – We offer a selection of personalized, eco-friendly promotional products. You can have company’s logo printed on many items, such as a shower timer, temperature gauge, water ruler, or LED nightlight.

Our customer service team, located just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, makes your satisfaction our first priority. Call our toll-free number: 1-800-789-8598, and you will be greeted by a live person who will be able to give you a quote and help you build your kits.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save