Great Stuff to Keep in Your Rig

Great Stuff to Keep in Your Rig
Canned foam is perfect for use in sealing the gaps around doors and drafty windows
Magazine View

Spray Foam Magazine – Summer Issue 2021 – The gaps around a window or door frame can provide an open invitation to unwanted air into a home. Some contractors have reported their usual foam may cause an unnecessary mess when applying it to these smaller spaces. The question therefore arises; is there an alternative foam for these smaller spaces?

Minimal-expanding foam with a low pressure-build, like Great Stuff and Great Stuff Pro™ Window & Door Foam Sealants, can be used in these applications and contractors may even keep a can as a backup in their rig. Spray foam professionals don’t use these canned foam products on major jobs, but for smaller, more delicate areas like window and door frames and even around wiring, these products can and will work.

Great Stuff Pro™ Window & Door offers the same flexible foam option, but with a larger size (20 oz) for greater yield. It comes in both straw- and gun-applicator options to dispense foam, however, contractors can save on cost and time by pairing with Great Stuff Pro™ Dispensing Guns. The dispensing gun is designed for professional contractors to provide precision applications, high-yield, no-drip dispensing with up to 30 days of product reusability. These products are by no means a way to replace, but instead to complement the big jobs the contractor sprays.

Spray Foam Magazine’s Notable Talent Winners of Winter 2020 offered their opinion on using canned spray foam:

Nate Abdelmaseh // Owner of Spray Right Foam Insulation LLC (East Longmeadow, MA)

Do you carry canned foam in your rig? Yes, we use canned foam brands specifically formulated for doors and windows or that are fire rated.

Jennifer Edwards's son, Sam Williams, helps Glenn Insulation LLC clean up job sites and seal after the foam is sprayed. Here he is spraying Great Stuff to seal a window frame.

Why do you think having canned foam in the rig can actually be a benefit? I believe canned foam can be an installer’s best friend when it comes to sealing up penetrations through a wall, but other than that, there should only be four major uses of canned foam:

  • to seal the gap around doors and windows
  • to seal the tiny crack between double studs
  • to seal any penetrations through to the exterior so there is a backer for when we foam the cavity, and also so that foam doesn't spew to the outside as the cavities are sprayed
  • to seal any penetrations between floors with fire-rated foam per code

Nate Abdelmaseh seals a tiny crack between double studs.

Great Stuff

Canned foam can help seal any penetrations through to the exterior so there is a backer for when foam is applied to the cavity, and also so that foam doesn't spew to the outside as the cavities are sprayed.

Anything else you would like to add? So, when I was first asked these questions, I actually had to google ‘other uses of canned foam.’ Shocking right? I’ve been spraying foam for around 15 years and never once heard of canned foam being used in wall cavities. The only benefits I see for the one-part canned foam is what I previously mentioned. However, those two-part small tank systems, or froth packs, can be beneficial to a foam company. When it comes to board footage and cost of materials it is always beneficial to use your rig. But when it comes to those jobs that you have to run all 300 feet of your hose out through walls, up the stairs, and into the attic, and then the homeowner decides to add more foam after it has been sheetrocked and the hose doesn’t reach, then those two-part froth packs come in handy.

Jennifer Edwards // from Glenn Insulation (Charleston, MO)

Why do you think having canned foam in the rig can actually be a benefit? It is convenient in many areas on our jobs and works well.

Where do you use it and why? Windows, doors, outside outlets, and around any outside fixtures that may allow air passage through that we may not be able to use our actual SPF gun on. We also use can foam to close off cracks and wiring holes to keep our regular SPF from possibly making a mess on the outside of the structure when needed.

Have you ever used Great Stuff? Yes, this is the only canned foam we use.

It is understood that professional spray foam installers do not use canned foam for the majority of the jobs, but how can it help out on the smaller jobs?

As an SPF installer we have to use every option we have available to complete the job to our full ability and the customer’s satisfaction. Using can foam allows us to fulfill every small aspect of the job to have a complete seal.

Jeremiah Stringer // from Rite Way Insulation Services (Lufkin, TX)

Do you carry canned foam in your rig? Absolutely! It is essential in sealing up small holes and gaps in residential and commercial jobs.

Why do you think having canned foam in the rig can actually be a benefit? Sometimes you need to address small places that using the usual foam would make more of a mess and cleanup, causing you to lose time.

What do you use it on and why? Cracks, gaps, fill in ribs on metal buildings prior to spraying, windows, and doors.

Have you ever used Great Stuff? Yes, it’s a quality product.

Do you think spray foam installers should be open-minded when it comes to using canned foam on small jobs? Yes, though it isn’t an acceptable replacement for cavities or large areas, it is great for gaps and cracks.