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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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Attic Stair Covers Save Energy and Improve Air Quality

Most attics are not well insulated, which depending on the time of year, causes them to be either extremely hot or attic stair cover1extremely cold. Attic doors are also not generally insulated, which allows for a tremendous amount of energy loss throughout the year. Even the tiniest gap around the attic door perimeter — as small as 1/32 (0.08 cm) — is like leaving a 5-square inch opening or window open all year!

Insulating the attic door with an attic stair cover is a light-weight, simple, and cost-effective way to reduce the amount of unwanted air infiltration from the attic into the home. It also improves indoor air quality by reducing allergen and dust flow from the attic.

The Attic Tent is easy to install. You just need to secure the Attic Tent in place with staples to the surface, and then add a bead of silicone caulk around the seam to create an airtight seal. It  provides an R-value of 6.6 and has been proven to reduce air transfer up to 76%. This means, your Attic Tent will pay for itself in one year, and save you money each year thereafter.

The Battic Door Attic Stair Cover Kit includes the rigid box (stair cover), rubber gasket, a reflective shield and optional R-50 insulation. The stair cover fits between trusses and is available in 3 sizes to fit most pull down ladders.  All kits include durable stair cover and weatherstripping and is easily installed in minutes with no tools. It is made in the USA from recycled materials.

Attic stair covers are an easy, affordable way to save energy and improve the air quality in your home.

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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.

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Spray Foam Insulation from Attic to Crawl Space

spray foamSpray foam insulation saves on energy costs and lowers utility bills. Studies by the US Department of Energy show that 40% of a home’s energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways. Buildings treated with spray foam insulation typically insulate up to 50% more than traditional insulation products.

Closed cell foam insulation is denser than open cell. It has a smaller, more compact cell structure. It is a very good air barrier as well as a water vapor barrier. It is often used in roofing projects or other outdoor applications, but can be used anywhere in the home, from your attic to your crawl space.

When the foam mix is sprayed onto your walls, floors, ceilings, and crawl spaces, the shell of your home becomes protected. This protection 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 addition to building temperature and moisture control, spray foam insulation is often used to reduce noise.

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DIY Air Conditioner Covers Can Lead to Big Savings

When summer is over, the window air conditioner is a gateway for cold air to come into the home and for warm air to escape. If you prefer to leave your air conditioner in the window, rather than lifting it out and storing it for the winter, you will want a cover that fits snugly over the unit to protect against air leaks.

There are a wide range of creative options like these:

 

air conditioner coversHowever, if you don’t have a lot of time for a big DIY project, you can purchase an attractive fabric window ac cover for less than $15.

Made in the USA, Endraft air conditioner covers are a beige, washable poly/cotton fabric and come with a 100% wind blocking liner, a roll of removable vinyl tape and a set of installation instructions. Endraft is unconditionally guaranteed to stop all cold drafts, dirt, and allergens that blow through idle room air conditioners.

air conditioner cover beige

With its high energy efficient insulating qualities, Endraft replaces non-insulating outdoor covers and can lengthen the life of an air conditioner. Exterior covers used alone cut off air circulation and trap the indoor heat. The heat then collides with the cold outside air and can cause condensation, rust, and damage.

Endraft has been tested by an independent laboratory, CON EDISON, and the LONG ISLAND LIGHTING CO., and its use has been suggested to many utility customers as a major way to reduce overhead. CON EDISON told one large cooperative complex in New York City that if it covered all of its room air conditioners with Endraft, it would save $70,000 per year in heating bills!

This easy and inexpensive DIY weekend project will save you a noticeable amount of energy and money each winter.

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What is 2-Part Spray Foam?

2-part spray foam
2-part Spray Foam

Spray polyurethane foam (2-part spray foam) is 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 foam both when retrofitting 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.

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

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The Many Uses of Venture Tape

venture tapeVinyl tape, which is commonly known as Venture Tape (manufacturer), is good for weatherization as well as many other things. Vinyl tape is an insulative weatherization tape widely used for seaming vinyl faced fiberglass insulation in metal buildings and for water heater blanket insulation. Often used by electricians, vinyl tape is typically made of slightly stretchy PVC vinyl, and is backed with a pressure sensitive rubber-type adhesive and is available in a variety of other colors (like red, green, yellow, green, and white) that can be used for color-coding. It helps keep insulation securely in place, and once applied, it can stand weather conditions just as well as the insulation that it is being used on. This tape is made to be durable and withstand extreme temperatures, including high heat and humidity. Although this tape is supposed to be used for a specific purpose, it has many benefits and can be used for a lot more:

Here are some other ways people use vinyl tape to their benefit:

Other Uses:

  • Patching up tears in insulation
  • Protecting wire splices
  • Temporarily holding bandages in place
  • Drummers in bands tape their finger to help stop blisters and use colored tape to wrap their drum sticks, making them more durable and giving their performance a flashy look
  • Athletes use tape to stop shin guards from slipping
  • Rugby players pin back their ears to keep them being pulled by the opposition and to prevent cuts and abrasions
  • Stagehands use tape to secure stage lighting cables
  • Actors mark stage floors with tape to help them recall stage positions
  • Cricket players will wrap it around tennis balls to create makeshift cricket balls
  • Organized people can use the tape for color coding and labeling purposes
  • Artists can use it to create unconventional wall art and sculptures
  • Some people even use the tape to replace the stickers on their Rubik’s Cube®

3″ Vinyl tape is a strong and solid tape that clearly has many benefits and can be used on many types of insulation.

Shop for venture tape>>>

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Does A CPDS Spray Foam Machine Need Special Foam?

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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Plastic Storm Window Kits vs. Plastic Shrink and Seal Window Kits

Weatherproof Windows
Weatherproof Windows

Weather proofing your windows is key to maintaining both a comfortable and energy efficient home in the coming winter months. But as you sit huddled in your overstuffed arm chair, bundled in blankets, trying to escape the chilly draft sneaking its way into your home, you may find yourself wondering where to begin. Plastic Storm Window Kits and Plastic Shrink and Seal Window Kits each offer their own pros and cons. But before you make your choice, let’s see how the two stack up in factors of cost, time, investment, and reuse.

Think of the weather proofing of your windows like buying a new winter coat. You can buy the bargain coat and it will do the job, but you’ll probably find yourself purchasing a new one as next winter approaches. Invest in a sturdier, slightly more costly coat and it will last you countless winters to come. Plastic Shrink and Seal Window Kits are the bargain buy of window weatherization. These offer a lower price than their counterpart, but only a single season of sealed windows. These kits come in the form of a plastic film that covers the windows surface, eliminating drafts, energy loss, and frost build-up. With just a little bit of trimming and a common household hair dryer, you’ll increase the R-value of your windows up to 90%. That’s more thermal resistance, for just a few dollars and a few minutes of installation time. If you’re looking for a quick fix at a low price, Plastic Shrink and Seal Window Kits may be the product for you.

Plastic Storm Window Kits are the investment winter coats of window weatherization. They’re slightly more costly upfront, but can be used for more than just the current chilly season. This kit includes a plastic spline and a channel system to produce the seal in the front of the window. Because of this process, the installation time is a bit more involved than for the speedy, bargain option. But with that comes the ability for them to be reused. With an investment of your time and money, you’ll be well on your way to saving anywhere from 10% to 15% on your energy bills. Because Plastic Storm Window Kits are sturdier than their Shrink and Seal counterparts, you’ll be able to enjoy their benefits for many winters to come.

Just like picking out a new winter coat, the choice between the Shrink and Seal versus the Plastic Storm Window kits is a matter of preference. Whether you’re in the market for a one season bargain or a pricier investment, you can rest assured, warm and comfortably, that your home will be more energy efficient. You’ll feel the difference!

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DIY Insulation: Closed Cell Spray Foam Kits

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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