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DIY Spray Foam Insulation: Tips and Techniques

Leaks in the home occur not only where there is a faucet or tap, but through attics, basements, windows, and walls. These types of leaks are referred to as air leaks. Having unwanted air enter your home and wanted air leaving results in higher utility bills, as you may feel the need to turn up the AC in the summer and require more heating in the winter. Air leaks cause the average homeowner to spend more than $3,400 every 5 years. Properly insulating the home with self spray foam insulation can easily solve this costly problem.

What do I need spray foam for?

Spray foam insulation is used in a myriad of settings, from cold storage to construction. It is sprayed onto walls, providing a layer of protection from summer’s heat and winter’s heat losses. DIY spray foam insulation considerably diminishes the amount of energy expended for heating and cooling, allowing more control over the home or office temperature. If air leaks are sealed with caulk prior to applying foam, savings of as much as 20% on heating and cooling costs are possible. This is because the decrease in air moving around and through the insulation allows the insulation to work at its best.

Allow the chemicals to warm up

Successfully utilizing the foam requires dispensing an even stream of the chemicals found in each of the “A” and “B” tanks that are included with the system. While the chemical in the “A” tank is comparable to the texture of milk, the “B” tank contains a chemical with a texture similar to molasses. By warming up the “B” chemical you can acquire a texture similar to that in the “A” tank, thus allowing for an even flow of both chemicals. Even though the chemical in the DIY spray foam insulation takes a while to cool, its temperature must be adjusted before use.

You’re probably wondering exactly how you’re supposed to warm up this DIY spray foam. The simplest way to complete this task is to place the tanks in a warm room and use an electric blanket to help speed the process. Another way to warm the self spray foam insulation is to create an exceptionally insulated box, placing a light bulb in the middle of the tanks overnight. Remember to keep the core temperature higher than 70F. Neglecting to do this can make using spray foam insulation somewhat difficult during colder months.

Ready to apply the DIY Spray Foam?

Once the foam has been warmed to perfection, it’s time to apply. The gun hose applicator kit is necessary for any self spray foam insulation job. Use the gun to test a small area before insulating the entire room. This will help you familiarize yourself with the foam. In addition, you will gain a better understanding of how much should be applied in one area, and what application techniques work best for you. Once you are ready to insulate the entire room, take into account that the foam can expand up to 30 times once applied, drying in less than a minute. As a result, it is best to use the DIY spray foam conservatively. Using the gun, apply the insulation foam to all of the necessary areas.

Where should the self spray foam insulation go first?

You can place your hand to a window or an electrical outlet and feel air coming into the home; however, many are unaware that the largest sources of energy loss include the attic and basement. These areas should be attacked first when deciding to insulate the home. Keep these tips in mind when applying the DIY spray foam insulation and you will not only seal the air leaks in your home, you will save energy, and money on energy bills. Use that extra $3,400 to buy yourself something nice. You deserve it.

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