DIY Spray Foam Insulation
With all the news of credit crunches and environmental problems, it’s a great time to look into how your house is insulated. Insulation saves money, makes the home more eco-friendly and saves the time that may be spent fiddling with the thermostat.
Instead of making the effort of getting a professional, it is a great idea to do the insulation on your own. Spray foam insulation is a particularly good solution since it is very easy to apply and almost anybody can do it. The process starts with buying a do-it-yourself kit that will typically contain the gun, hose, and the actual chemicals you will spray in containers. There are two chemicals in two containers, one of which tends to have higher viscosity than the other. This is the biggest and really the only thing you need to pay attention to when doing spray foam insulation yourself. The chemicals get mixed in the spray, so you have to warm them up to achieve an even mixture so you get better insulation. To do this, you have to heat both containers so they are at least 70°F. Any lower would make it hard to spray and reduce the insulating factor of the foam. The best way to do this is to simply put an electric blanket over the containers.
When it comes to spraying, you have to bear in mind that once it has dried, the foam expands by around 30%, so you have to be careful when applying it to allow for this expansion. A bit of practice can help; it is highly suggested that you first try spraying the insulation over a small surface to get confortable with how much is needed. Then, do the rest of the work in whichever manner you feel most comfortable with.
This may all seem rather tedious, but it is something that you would need to do once or twice in a lifetime at most. And while you may not be aware of it, there are air leaks in the house that are raising your energy costs. An important thing to remember is that, in most cases, the biggest leaks are in the attic and basement, so those areas should be covered first.