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What are Spray Foam Insulation Kits?

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  • Written By: J.M. Densing
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2016
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Spray foam insulation kits consist of the components necessary for insulating a building, usually a home, with a do-it-yourself method of application. These kits allow homeowners to apply their own spray foam insulation, which is considered a more energy efficient, greener alternative to fiberglass batting or cellulose. The kits usually include two tanks containing the chemical components that form the foam, along with hoses, a spray gun, nozzles, and complete instructions. To use spray foam insulation kits, homeowners simply follow the instructions; the process is relatively simple and similar to applying spray paint. The foam is sprayed directly onto the area being insulated where it will adhere and dry in place.

Adding insulation can make a home much more energy efficient, or green. When properly applied, spray foam insulation is a choice that can add value to a home while saving money on energy bills. The polyurethane foam that results is supposed to be less harmful to the environment than fiberglass batting or blown cellulose and to last longer. It apparently has a higher r-value, or resistance, to heat flow, per inch (2.5 cm) thickness than other insulating materials. It is also supposed to provide a better air seal because it is applied directly to the wall or other area being insulated. The substance then expands, thereby filling up any cracks or gaps that may be present.

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Most spray foam insulation kits include all of the components necessary to complete the installation as a do-it-yourself project. There are two steel cylinders or tanks, each of which contains one of the foam components that must be mixed together just before application. Also included are the hoses, spray gun and nozzles, along with complete instructions for use. The homeowner usually only needs to supply safety equipment, such as eye protection to wear during the spray foam application, and a thermometer to check the temperature.

Before using spray foam insulation kits, make sure to clean the surface being insulated. The temperatures of both spray foam tanks and the surface to which the foam will be applied needs to be checked next; for proper installation, the temperatures should be between 65° and 80° Fahrenheit (18.3° and 26.6° Celsius). If the temperatures are too cool, the area and the tanks can be warmed with a portable heater; if too warm, the installation should be postponed until the temperatures cool off. The homeowner should assemble the spray foam insulation kit according to instructions, attaching the hoses to each tank and to the spray gun with a mixing nozzle. After that, the spray foam is applied to the desired surfaces, usually by spraying around the edge of the area, filling in the middle using a thin layer, and then allowing it to expand and dry.

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