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Old 10-12-2009, 08:57 AM   #1
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Spray foam around windows/doors


I picked up some of the "Great Stuff" spray foam formulated for use around (roughed in) windows and doors. Has anyone used this product for this use? I have heard a lot of nightmare stories about doors not closing as the foam expanded and the like. It sure would be be faster and easier than stuffing insulation around the windows and doors. I have nine rough openings to do in my garage converted to living space. Thanks.

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Old 10-12-2009, 09:09 AM   #2
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Spray foam around windows/doors


The issues you describe are ones that occur when the wrong foam is used by people who don't know what they're doing.
The correct foam will be fine, just don't overfill the space.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:10 AM   #3
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Spray foam around windows/doors


Great Stuff makes at least three different foam formulations, one of them is for small cracks, one is for large cracks, and one is for windows and doors. The difference is that the windows and doors formulation does not expand nearly as much as the other two, hence is not as likely to bow out your jambs. Make sure you use the correct formulation. I have used it for several doors in exactly the way you intend, no problems. I have also used thesmall crack formula to insulate against the rim joist, and it seems to exert a large amount or pressure, and would almost certainly be big trouble in a door or window application, but I have not done the experiment.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:49 AM   #4
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Spray foam around windows/doors


I have used "Great Stuff" for many projects. I always try to keep a couple of cans around. If you are using it in a particularly dry climate or when the humidity is low you need to mist the area with a little water before applying the foam to get the fastest cure time. It seems (at least to me) the quicker it expands the less pressure it exerts on the materials you are applying it to as long as it has somewhere to go. I always lightly mist the area with a spray bottle of water, just enough to make the material damp. This also help the foam adhere to dusty or dirty material.

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Old 10-12-2009, 07:36 PM   #5
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Spray foam around windows/doors


Get the one that has minimal expansion after initial application - saves bending things.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
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Spray foam around windows/doors


What "vsheetz" said, if you want your windows and doors to function properly. It's really not that tough to "chink" the spaces with regular fiberglass insulation. You probably have scraps left over......
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:52 PM   #7
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Spray foam around windows/doors


For the "For What It Is Worth" department: I just returned from a five week stay in Fairbanks, Alaska. My daughter bought another home, built in '76, and it needed a few minor things done to it. And Yes! I certainly wanted to visit my daughter and grandson. While I was there I was asked to replace an older door unit with a new, energy efficient type. There were some contractors working on a home in the area, so I went over and asked them about particulars of installing doors in this area. One thing I was told, it is code in Fairbanks to use an expanding foam between the door frame and rough-in, no loose/fiberglass insulation is allowed. The door project went well. The non-expanding GreatFoam was used, the door frame did not move, and all is well. I learned valuable lesson on having different codes for different parts of this country, and a new experience replacing an exterior door in 27 weather.
Thanks, David
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:56 AM   #8
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Spray foam around windows/doors


The over expansion problem can come from spraying too much foam or getting a product with high expansion rate.

Also be mindful about how much product you are spraying into the crevice. Just a simple one over will do the trick. If you go with a polyurethane spray foam it will expand and contract to fill the space providing the ideal insulation

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Old 05-29-2013, 06:09 PM   #9
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Spray foam around windows/doors


as mentioned. for windows and doors you HAVE to use low expansion foam.. the other thing is to not fill the void fully only fill it 25% because it will expand. what i do is spray a very light bead of foam to the back of the brick mould on the unit.. this will give a seal layer to prevent air leakage.. let that sit for 30 minutes. make another quick pass around it..thats all you really need,,


if you do over fill hte void, take a recip saw blade and use it by hand to gough out the foam so the window or door can go back to its normal state.. occasionally you will have to add extra screws in the door frame to suck the frame back over to the framing so the door will operate
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:24 PM   #10
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I find it's better to use a hand saw, the back saw kind, to trim the expanded foam. A sawzall (aka destroy-zall) recip saw could certainly do it but it's overkill.

Like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Shark-Corp-10-.../dp/B0000224U3

I just had our new house spray foamed and did some touch-up around a few windows, doors and other places. The blue can (for windows) tends to puff out quite a lot, but without putting pressure on the door/window jambs. The red can tends to put a lot of pressure as it expands. The black can tends to stick to itself and other surfaces better, to help in filling a larger void. It does this without exerting as much pressure as the red can, but more than the blue.

Once the foam expanded I went around with the back saw and trimmed it. The long handle on it helped get to all the high and low points. The flexible blade made it easy to trim just the foam flush with the framing without cutting the wood too.

You WILL need more cans that you expect. It's easier to return the unused ones to the box store than it is to go back for more when you run out...
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:45 PM   #11
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Spray foam around windows/doors


Quote:
Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
I find it's better to use a hand saw, the back saw kind, to trim the expanded foam. A sawzall (aka destroy-zall) recip saw could certainly do it but it's overkill.

Like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Shark-Corp-10-.../dp/B0000224U3

I just had our new house spray foamed and did some touch-up around a few windows, doors and other places. The blue can (for windows) tends to puff out quite a lot, but without putting pressure on the door/window jambs. The red can tends to put a lot of pressure as it expands. The black can tends to stick to itself and other surfaces better, to help in filling a larger void. It does this without exerting as much pressure as the red can, but more than the blue.

Once the foam expanded I went around with the back saw and trimmed it. The long handle on it helped get to all the high and low points. The flexible blade made it easy to trim just the foam flush with the framing without cutting the wood too.

You WILL need more cans that you expect. It's easier to return the unused ones to the box store than it is to go back for more when you run out...

i didnt say to use a recip saw.. i only said to use the blade and cut it by hand.. a demolition blade can fit in their much easier and has an aggressive tooth pattern that wont clog up from the foam as easily.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:55 PM   #12
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Spray foam around windows/doors


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Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk View Post
i didnt say to use a recip saw.. i only said to use the blade and cut it by hand.. a demolition blade can fit in their much easier and has an aggressive tooth pattern that wont clog up from the foam as easily.
Yes that would be less worse. But you'd lose the reach of a saw with a handle and the flex. Both came in very handy when touching up the areas around our windows. We've got 10' ceilings and it'd have been a lot of extra effort to schlep the ladder around just to trim the few points where the short insulation crew missed by the tops of the transom windows. I found the rougher pattern on the pull saw most useful on the red & black can foam. The finer pattern worked better on the blue can and some of the places where fireblock had bubbled out.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:43 PM   #13
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Spray foam around windows/doors


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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Yes that would be less worse. But you'd lose the reach of a saw with a handle and the flex. Both came in very handy when touching up the areas around our windows. We've got 10' ceilings and it'd have been a lot of extra effort to schlep the ladder around just to trim the few points where the short insulation crew missed by the tops of the transom windows. I found the rougher pattern on the pull saw most useful on the red & black can foam. The finer pattern worked better on the blue can and some of the places where fireblock had bubbled out.

how would i. most windows only have 4" - 5" of recess into hte opening. depending on the framing detail. most people use a 9" recip blade. i only buy 12" milwaukee axe, and wrecker blades. this method was shown to me by a window service technician whose been at it for 25 years
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:11 PM   #14
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Spray foam around windows/doors


This might sound strange and amateurish, but I use a serrated bread knife to trim the cured foam. Works like magic, and less destructive than a saw blade.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:31 AM   #15
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Sure, that'd work too. It'd depend on how much you're doing and how wide the sections are that need trimming. A short serrated bread knife would work, as would any similar sort of short hand saw. I liked using a flexible back saw as it gave me more reach for trimming the stud bays on 10' walls.

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