Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or interested in finding the best tools for the job, you'll find that expanding foam is one of the indispensable ‘invisible' tools in your arsenal. It lets you fill minor holes, cracks and gaps between windows, doors and skirting boards without worrying about plastering, securing the product in place, or more.
What is expanding foam?
Expanding foam is an amazing little product that expands into cracks then ‘air cures' (dries under normal conditions) and can then be trimmed or cleaned to the appropriate level. It can be used to fill minor cracks, especially around frameworks such as windows and doors and can stop drafts, or make a surface level for decorating. Depending on the foam type it can be expanded to a certain amount, can be waterproof, and have limited flexibility or more. Some can double as wood glues, attaching items like skirting boards to the wall, while others are designed to ensure that they are fireproof, retardant or more.
One of the most traditional uses for expanding foam is to seal gaps – either caused by damage in fitting windows or doors, or an uneven area to install them into, to fill gaps because something has been mis-measured. It can fill holes caused by accidental damage, or to fill in gaps that filler can't or doesn't work in. Expanding foam can be sanded easily and used to blend in underneath many things, including accidental damage caused by bumping, animals or insects. While it's important to be sure what sort of foam is suitable for the job, as there are so many types on the market, you can be sure that there's plenty of scope and choice. Foam can even be used in damp environments in some circumstances, so if you've got a hole to fill in your bathroom, you may find expanding foam works far better than other filler based materials. Crucially, foam can contain and spreads mould retardant far better than traditional products, as the ‘air drying' process might actually suck some of the moisture from around it.
Using expanding foam as an insulation layer
While expanding foam can be used to repair cracks and gaps in walls or around the frames of doors or windows, some people have gone one step further and used it to insulate the insides of their buildings. Imagine a material that expands to conform to a space, is an insulation and lightweight – it's the perfect product for insulating the walls of a building. And that's why some building companies or insulation companies now use expanding foam rather than polyurethane or other types of balls. It's important to remember that these products have been designed and tested to work well with the way they're being used, so it's not as simple as buying expanding foam and filling up your walls!