Handi-Foam Buyer's Guide
Handi-Foam products include foam sealants, sub floor adhesives, window and door sealant, construction adhesive as well as a variety of Handi-Foam kits for various applications. Use these products to help winterize your building in order to help lower energy costs, seal cracks and voids to prevent rodents and insects and to create a strong, permanent bond between building materials.
Handi-Foam Spray Foams are designed to fill and insulate large voids and surfaces. Handi-Foam Spray Foams are dispensed using the patented Handi Gun Dispensing Unit for accurate and precise applications. Handi-Foam Spray Foams are available in a variety of sizes, from small aerosol kits to large refillable systems.
Handi-Foam Spray Foams are chemically cured systems and the cure process occurs very quickly generally within minutes. Due to their excellent adhesion properties they provide a continuous air barrier with excellent insulating and sound deadening properties. Handi-Foam Spray Foams are available in a variety of specific formulations to meet ASTM, HUD/FHA and Code of Federal Regulations requirements. There is a Handi-Foam Spray Foam to meet your insulating needs.
Can you tell me a little bit about Handi-Foam products and explain what each one does?
Straw foam is used to fill, insulate, bond and seal. It is UL classified and includes a straw applicator. The typical R-value is 4-5 per inch (.03 w/m.k.) and it will be tack-free in approximately 10-20 minutes, cuttable in one hour and cures in 12-24 hours. Once it has cured completely it can be sanded or painted.
Gun Foam is UL listed and will fill, insulate, bond and seal and is applied to surfaces with a dispensing unit. It has a typical R-value of 4-5 per inch (.03 w/m.k.) and is designed to be used for professional applications. Within 10 minutes it is tack-free, cuttable within an hour and cures within 12-24 hours. This type of foam displays superior cold weather flow and yield characteristics.
Cylinder Foam is designed with the professional user in mind. It fills, insulates, bonds and seals and is available with different types of dispensing units. It is tack-free in 10 minutes and cuttable within one hour; cures in 12-24 hours.
Handi-Flow Slow Rise is a slow rise, pour-in-place foam ideal for filling blind cavities. It is recommended for enclosed (multi-faced) cavity-filling applications, rather than spray-on surface applications. It is tack-free and has a rise-time of 60-90 seconds and an in-place density of 2.0 lbs. per cubic foot; R-value of 6-7 per inch. Handi-Flow Slow rise flows to fill cavities more efficiently due to slower expansion rate; non-ozone depleting, nonflammable HFC propellant. Not intended for overhead or vertical applications due to slower cure time.
Handi-Stick is ideal for bonding building materials. It can be applied with different types of dispensing units. This type of foam will help to reduce noise and add insulating value. Does not contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and is not harmful to polystyrene board. Tack-free and cure times are engineered for specific applications.
Handi-Seal has low expansion pressure and is closed-cell so it does not absorb water and will not sag when wet. It seals windows and doors quickly and easily and features a distinctive gray color. The thermal barrier will improve the seal of installed windows and doors.
Dispensing Units serve as durable applicators that are used to apply Handi-Foam and Handi-Foam Stick products.
Handi-Foam Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner is used to remove uncured foam and to extend the life of your dispensing unit or two-component dispensing nozzle.
Use Handi-Foam and Handi Seal to seal and insulate attic hatchways, ceiling floor, window frames, recessed light fixtures, soffits, plumbing vent stacks, corners of joining materials and window frames. Handi-Foam two component foam can be used to level, fill and insulate beneath tubs and showers.
What is the difference between one component foam and two component foam?
One component foam is used to fill gaps less than 3" (7.6cm) in size. It will extrude from the container the size of your pinky finger and expand to the size of your thumb. By shaking the can the polyol and isoyanate contents combine to create a polymer. When dispersed, pre-polymer reacts with outside humidity. The result is cured foam that is tack-free in approximately 10 minutes.
Two component foam is utilized in spray applications and for large void applications. This method utilizes two canisters each containing different agents. When the two components meet in the dispensing unit the nozzle mixes the two components and causes them to quick cure as rigid foam that is cuttable in 2-5 minutes and cures in less than an hour. It has an R-value of 6.2 per inch.
Handi-Foam Multi-Purpose Foam Cleaner is recommended to effortlessly clean uncured gun foam or two-component foam from the nozzle applicator or dispensing unit.
How are one component and two component foam typically used? What are some common applications?
One component applications include window insulation, door installation, skylights, air barriers, electrical outlets and fixtures, sealing around HVAC equipment, sealing agricultural structures, fixing small holes and other damage, sealing wall-ceiling joints, sealing wall-floor joints, plumbing, recreational vehicles, sealing vent penetrations and use as an air barrier. Additional purposes include adhering styrene panels, EPS foam to foam, adhering drywall and subfloor decking.
Two component foam is used in full home insulation, sound deafening, stage design, architectural molding, plumbing reinforcement, hot tubs/spas, pre-insulated pipe, recreation vehicles, structural support, cold storage, OEM, concrete block, bridge insulation, agricultural applications, metal buildings, transportation and hopper car sealing. It is also ideal for taxidermy, tank insulation, marine floatation, air barrier, sealing SIPS and building panel construction.
Use Handi Stick Subfloor Adhesive to adhere subfloor and reduce squeaks. Handi Seal helps to seal wire, pipe and other penetrations to help control the spread of fire between rooms.
For my one component projects is it better to buy straw foam or gun foam?
Gun foam works in conjunction with foam dispensing unit which is sold separately. While the upfront cost is higher the dispensing unit is reusable and it affords the user far greater control and metering. This means that the end result is as polished and professional as possible.
Straw foam is slightly less expensive than gun foam and it comes complete with everything required for product application. For a user who has a small area to cover or a one-time project this is an ideal and economical choice.
How can Handi-Foam products help make a home more energy efficient? Where should it be applied?
Handi-Foam products work to create a continuous air barrier to help make a home more energy efficient. For builders this means reduced energy costs and HVAC equipment size. It can assist in attaining an Energy Star rating and potentially allow for Energy Efficient mortgages. For insulators the fast application reduces labor costs and the variety of products allows for a wide range of applications.
For homeowners utilizing Handi-Foam products means that you are creating an effective air barrier which can significantly lower heating and cooling costs and help prevent condensation which greatly reduces instances of mold growth.
Handi-Foam can be used in the basement to seal sill plates, duct, plumbing, gas line and wire penetrations, electrical outlets, exhaust fans and to seal dryer vents.
What about rodents? Will mice chew through the foam I've applied?
Handi-Foam can be used to fill small spaces in order to prevent rodents and other unwanted household pests from entering a dwelling. Since foam has no nutritional value, mice and other animals will not chew on or eat it.
How do I calculate how much foam I'll need for my application?
Downloadable PDF charts are posted on all of our Handi-Foam product pages.
What about safety, do I need to use protective clothing or gear?
Protective clothing, impervious gloves and goggles are required. When working in an enclosed area use a respirator.
Before you begin using Handi-Foam please consult the product packaging for full application information and safety instructions.
Can Handi-Foam, Handi-Stick, Handi-Seal and Silent Seal products be reused if I don't use the entire can for my project?
Yes. When using straw foam leave the straw attached to the aerosol can and trim off the tip to reuse. Be sure to use the remaining product within 30 days. For gun foam leave the pressurized can of foam attached to the gun during storage and use it within 30 days.
When I'm done with my two component slow rise kit how do I dispose of it?
Be sure to relieve the pressure from the cylinders by fully dispensing the unit and dispose of the kit in accordance with your local regulatory guidelines.