If you’re doing your own spray foam insulation job it’s important to understand how to effectively use your foam insulation machine. Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind before you get started.
What Is Spray Foam Insulation
Before we get started it’s important to know exactly what spray foam insulation is. Spray foam is excellent as an insulator because it is resistant to water, insects, and mold. It expands to fit every crevice to ensure that even the tiniest cracks are sealed to prevent energy loss. Overall, this type of insulation will give you benefits that will last for decades.
How To Use Your Foam Insulation Machine
When it comes to using spray foam insulation equipment, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
- Safety. Spray foam can be hazardous to your health if inhaled or otherwise contacted. Always wear the proper safety gear when using your spray foam equipment, this includes a full suit, gloves, eyewear, and respirator. It’s advisable to tape the opening of the gloves around the arm of your suit to ensure nothing leaks in while you’re spraying.
- Moisture. Before using your spray foam rig, always ensure the surface you will be spraying isn’t damp, as the foam won’t adhere correctly. A moisture meter can help you gauge this. If the surface is over 20% moist, put off the job until it dries further. If you know for certain that the surface hasn’t been exposed to any moisture then you should be good to go; however, if you have any doubt always double-check.
- Planning. Before loading up your foam insulation machine and getting down to business, form a plan of how you’re going to apply the layers. You only will have a 30-second window after you stop spraying before the foam in the nozzle will harden and prevent additional spraying. While it’s an easy fix, it can slow you down if you have to keep changing nozzles. To prevent this, plan out how you’re going to apply the foam, and let down step stools if you need help reaching higher places. This will help you apply more seamlessly without stopping.
- Covers. Make sure to cover the spaces you don’t want to be sprayed with plastic. This makes it easier to spray without worrying about accidentally getting insulation in places you don’t want it.
- Technique. When you start using your foam insulation machine, outline the cavity of the wall and allow it to expand. Once everything is outlined, fill in the rest and add additional layers as needed. This technique helps ensure all cracks are sealed.
- Removing Overspray. If you accidentally overfilled an area, use a curry comb to gently remove any of the excess material until it’s at the level you need.
- Additional Insulation. Some people outline the wall cavity with spray foam and set the middle with fiberglass insulation. This is an easy and effective way of cutting costs without sacrificing coverage.
Using a foam insulation machine doesn’t have to be overly difficult. The main things to focus on are technique and application plan. Make sure you apply as evenly as possible and let the layer expand before adding additional foam. Also, remember that each time you stop spraying you have about 30 seconds before the nozzle will be clogged.
If you need to, to a few practices sprays against a box or other covered surface to practice application. In no time flat, you’ll have securely insulated walls that you can rely on.