Show Notes: Expanding Foam Insulation Tips – On the House

Show Notes: Expanding Foam Insulation Tips

By on July 22, 2017

Are you planning on using expanding foam insulation to close up the pest, rodent and air leaks in your home before winter?  We have some “need to know” tips for you  when working with expanding foam.


Most Common Building Material in the World
Building materials are used around the world to construct the homes we live in, the buildings we work in, and the structures and monuments we idolize and use on a daily basis. Here are some of the most common building materials still used to this day across the world:


The skeleton of most large buildings, steel reinforces all other building materials and allows structures to take forms not possible without the help of a super strong and time resistant material. Manufacturers across the world create cold drawn steel bar that go into homes, factories, bridges and other large building objects. Imagine what cities would look like if there was no steel!


You may think woods as a building material is primitive, but it is anything but that. Many log siding homes use wood to create beautiful log cabins with gorgeous interior wood designs.


The cheapest and one of the strongest building materials, stone is used across the world as a practical and easy way to build a structure. It’s greatest weakness is it’s inability to be shaped or molded, but it is also what gives it its beauty. Combined with mud, or some other binding agent, stone structures can last for thousands of years (look at the pyramids).


Crazy For Shiplap Decorating? What Is It?

Shiplap is being used indoors for the rough or rustic look that it creates when used as paneling or a covering for a wall or ceiling by home renovations hosts everywhere. “Shiplap” is often used to describe any rabbeted siding material that overlaps in a similar fashion.

Shiplap is a type of wooden board used commonly as exterior siding in the construction of residences, barns, sheds, and outbuildings. It is either rough-sawn 1″ or milled 3/4″ pine or similarly inexpensive wood between 3″ and 10″ wide with a 3/8″ – 1/2″ rabbet on opposite sides of each edge.[1] The rabbet allows the boards to overlap in this area. The profile of each board partially overlaps that of the board next to it creating a channel that gives shadow line effects, provides excellent weather protection and allows for dimensional movement.


Ways To Master Expanding Foam Insulation

Despite the obvious drawbacks-it’s messy, sticky and impossible to remove once it cures-there’s nothing better than expanding foam for sealing energy-wasting air leaks. These are our best ways to use foam on energy-saving projects, plus tips for getting the most out of a can, and some other ingenious uses for this versatile product.

Check the Expiration Date

Like food, expanding foam is best when it’s fresh, or at least not expired. So always make sure you’re getting a fresh batch by checking the ‘best by’ date on the bottom of the can before you purchase it.

Wear Gloves or Wear Stains

Expanding foam is nearly impossible to keep off your hands, and once it’s there, it’s equally hard to get off. So unless you want to wear the foam until it wears off, put on gloves. Disposable vinyl or nitrile gloves are a good choice. And make sure to wear old clothes because you’ll probably get foam on those, too.

For Pre-Cure Cleanup

Acetone is a solvent that dissolves uncured polyurethane foam and can be used to clean up foam before it cures. Acetone-based nail polish remover will also work to remove uncured foam. Unfortunately, these products don’t have any effect on cured foam. Once it cures, you’ll have to scrape or sand off unwanted foam.

Dampen for Fast Curing

Expanding polyurethane foam requires moisture to expand and cure. If you’re applying foam to dry wood or other dry surfaces, or working on a day with little humidity, misting the area first will help the foam expand and cure faster. Be careful, though; you want to dampen the area, not wet it. Foam won’t stick well to a wet surface. You can also mist the foam after it’s applied to maximize expansion and speed up the curing process.

Leave Accidents Alone

When foam goes where you don’t want it, you’ll be tempted to wipe it up. DON’T! You’ll only spread the goo and make the mess worse. Instead, let it harden completely and then scrape or sand it off.

Cut Cured Foam With a Bread Knife

A serrated knife with a flexible blade is perfect for cutting off excess foam. Just make sure the foam is completely cured and firm all the way through or it’ll stick to the blade.


For National Curb Appeal Month:

Trees To Grow Curb Appeal

Easy-care trees with looks that stun

Sugar Maple

Not picky about soil and doesn’t mind wide ranges of temperature. The hardy sugar maple can be a good replacement tree for an ash or elm tree taken by disease. Bonus: eye-popping fall foliage, and you can tap the sap and make your own syrup.

Smoke Tree

Smaller in size (10-15 ft. high, 12 ft. wide), it does well in groupings, hedges, or windbreaks. They like hot, dry weather and thrive in all types of soils.

Saucer Magnolia

Does well in clay soil but would prefer rich, well-draining loams. Its fragrant white and purple flowers 


Figs are less fussy (and messy) than apple or citrus trees. Grow near a wall or building to protect them from wind and cold. Prune so every branch is bathed in sun.


Squirrel  Shenanigans

If you can’t beat ‘em, you might as well feed ‘em

Squirrels can be persistent pests at the bird feeder. They steal seed, damage your feeders, and scare off the birds. If you’ve tried everything to keep them out of your feeders your next step may be to create a zone away from the bird feeders where squirrels have easy access to their own favorite foods.

Go nuts and you just might have some fun while you’re at it!

  • Serve peanuts, hazelnuts or a critter food blend in an easy access “munch box”
  • Spike an ear of corn onto a comical feeder. Squirrels can be set up to look like they’re at the dinner table, driving or any number of other hilarious tricks.
  • Hang a bungee style feeder from a tree branch. Eyebolts screw into dried ears of corn. The squirrels will entertain you when they pounce and hang on for dear life to the bouncing bundle of corn cobs.
  • Screw a spinning windmill style holder into a post or railing. Spike ears of dried corn onto the feeder and watch squirrels climb and cling to the food.

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