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Thread: DIY Spray Foam Kits - prelim results

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario

    DIY Spray Foam Kits - prelim results

    Hey folks,

    Back in February, this foam kit was on sale at Lowes
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    It was $100 off, and after some thought, I grabbed one.

    Well I finally got to the point that I was ready to spray on Friday night + Saturday. I bought this to re-do the insulation in the header space of my basement shop. My house dates from 1984, so it did have fiberglass up there, but only bare fiberglass and no vapour barrier. When I ripped out the insulation, a lot of it had black on it, which I believe is from moisture?

    I chatted on the phone with another WW'er I know, about his experiences. I knew that he had tried out a tigerfoam kit and he passed on some good advice.

    First, you need to tarp/sheet everything!
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    Second, you need to carry a rag in your second hand. This is because every time you release the trigger, the gun will form a blob of foam at the tip which will fall off. Check out all the blobs on my plastic sheeting:
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    He was right. EVERY SINGLE TIME you release the trigger, it blobs, and since I was spraying into header space, I was releasing the trigger a lot. I caught a lot on the rag, but even so a lot of blobs hit the plastic, which would have made a mess if I hadn't tarped.

    Third, you need to cover up. The instructions warn you about this also. My kit did not come with a coverall, but I have read that some do come with a tyvek coverall. Instead I wore old clothes, tucked into socks, and a respirator, goggles, and a bandana over the back of my head, tucked under a hat. There really wasn't that much bounce-back of foam onto my person, but I still got a blob on my wrist the first time. So the second time I made sure to duct-tape my sleeves to the gloves.

    I sprayed in two sets. Here are the results after the first session:
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    You are only supposed to spray about 2" at a time, due to the heat generated (exothermic reaction) as it hardens and dries. I think they are being VERY cautious in the instructions, as I did not really notice the foam being much more than a few degrees warmer than room temperature. It does dry FAST - I was touching the foam with my bare hands within five minutes of spraying.

    Still, at the end of the room, where the joists are parallel to the wall, there was a 10-12" pocket up there, so I was careful, and sprayed in two sessions.
    Here are the shots after that, with the header areas pretty much full up:
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    Note the wiring that disappears into the foam? Yeah, that. DO make sure that any wiring you want to do is done FIRST. Once that foam hardens, getting in there to do renovation work is going to be a lot harder than when the bay was wide open.

    Oh yeah, the stink... I was wearing a respirator, so I noticed almost nothing. I had two windows open in the basement, each one with a fan. One was blowing in, one was blowing out. After spraying when I stepped out of the room and took off my respirator I did notice a smell, but really not bad, and it cleared out entirely within 90 minutes. It might have been worse if I was spraying more rooms? Or maybe this kit just uses a "nice" propellant? I'm not complaining! (My friend had reported that the tigerfoam was really bad, and that I might want to vacate the premises after spraying.)

    [aside: really weird to see the shop so empty. It hasn't been this empty since we moved in back in '98.]
    There's usually more than one way to do it... ........

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    looks tight and sealed now art one thing also that yu may not be aware of is that mice will chew threw it if they have a mind to..makes a toasty home for them but the differnce in heat loss should be noticeable asset
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Santa Claus, In
    Good timely post. I am thinking real hard about doing my shop attic with this.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you don’t know what tool to buy next, then you probably don’t need it yet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    Mike Holmes would be proud.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Oliver Springs, TN
    When we built in 05 I looked into the different kits to spray the band around the house. For the heck of it I called a contractor to get and estimate to spray it for me. The cost was a wash between the kits I priced and the contractor. I decided to go with the contractor. It looks like you did a good job. The foam works great for those hard to reach places.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Good job and a wise move, particularly since it was a fairly small monetary investment. It will pay off.
    Reminds me of the Fusco Free Enterprise Flop #248. (I'm almost up to #500 ). In 1972 I went to some kind of business exposition and saw a house foam insulation business. It looked like a great opportunity for me. At the time I had a clothing store that catered to women and children. For day to day operations I was kind of unneeded in there and another business venture was intriguing.
    However just before I was going to write the check for the foam business I saw a report of a preliminary study that suggested the formaldehyde formula for the foam might be unhealthy and dangerous. I did not proceed.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    Mike Holmes would be proud.
    Yeah, that is what I was thinking too!

    Looks good!

    Can you reuse the gun and hose with a new canister...?

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Can you reuse the gun and hose with a new canister...?
    The whole thing is intended to be disposable. They sell it in kit form with a hose + gun already attached, and with about 8 tips.
    The tips are where the foam mixes, so they are wrecked after each session, since the foam hardens inside after 60 seconds of not-spraying.

    They also tell you that you have to use it all within 30 days of first opening the can. Not only that but the whole shebang has an expiry date stamped on it of November 2011 --- and I bought it in February. So I wonder if the material left in the hoses might somehow degrade also?

    Here is the company web page. Doesn't seem to me that they offer it without a set of hoses.

    I have to confess I dislike how disposable our world is, so I wrestled a bit with this purchase, but the economics of this vs trying to hire someone for such a small job made this a win. And at least the cans make up the majority of it and they should be easy to melt down, leaving just the hose + gun as the trash part of it.
    There's usually more than one way to do it... ........

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