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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020
     
    With apologies to all the “pro’s” on the GBF but I would just like to say what a fantastic piece of kit this is and to recommend it to any other amateur DIYers on here!

    Thanks to the lockdown I have finally got around to sealing up the ends of the openings between the floor joists on the first floor of our dormer bungalow. These openings provide a nice wind tunnel effect from one side of the roof to the other which on cold windy days must be whipping away the heat rising from the ground floor.

    This effect must have been mitigated by some extent by my ramming small rolls of fibreglass quilt in there – but this was only meant to be a temporary measure several years ago! The bedrooms upstairs are not heated and the room temperature never drops below about 16C even in midwinter. However the give-away is that the floor boarding always creaks on cold windy days as you walk around!

    I have now sealed the open ends using 50mm Celotex boards butted up against 25 x 25mm battens and foamed into place. First attempts using ordinary expanding foam in an aerosol can were a disaster with uncontrollable amounts of foam blasting all over the place. Subsequently now using a newly bought professional foam gun with low expansion foam and – what a revelation - so controllable. With about half a can of foam I have done almost the whole of one side of the bungalow. Just thought it would be useful to share this!
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020
     
    thanks for expanding - glad you got the solution your rafter :devil:

    gg
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020
     
    I agree Jeff they are good, however, if they have one problem, it's keeping them clean.
    Make sure you buy a few cans of gun cleaner and get used to dis-assembling it and washing all the plungers, springs and barrel once you've finished. If you just attach and squirt the gun cleaner through, and then leave, there's still enough foam residue to gum up the works for next time.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: gyrogear</cite>thanks for expanding - glad you got the solution your rafter<img src="/newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/devil.gif" alt=":devil:" title=":devil:"></img>

    gg</blockquote>

    Thank you gg. Yes, it made an otherwise foamidable task much easier! :wink:
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020
     
    Thanks for the tip Owlman. There are no instructions on how to take it apart but after cleaning through several times with the solvent I have removed the nozzle and soaked that separately. The spring mechanism seems to be in the handle end of the gun with only the needle valve inside the barrel, so I don't think the gunk ever gets in contact with the spring? I gave it a second flush through about 2 hours after the first flush and it came through nice and clear so I'm hoping that's done the trick! Tomorrow will be the "acid test" then!

    https://bond-it.co.uk/product/professional-gun-foam-applicator/
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020 edited
     
    Hi Jeff, As you've discovered the precision application of even the tiniest bead makes them a dream to use. The wife of one of my clients almost begged me to remove the one I,d lent her husband, in her words " There's bl..dy foam squirting from every damn hole and crack in the house". I guess he'd got carried away. :bigsmile::wink:
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: owlman</cite>Hi Jeff, As you've discovered the precision application of even the tiniest bead makes them a dream to use. The wife of one of my clients almost begged me to remove the one I,d lent her husband, in her words " There's bl..dy foam squirting from every damn hole and crack in the house". I guess he'd got carried away.<img src="/newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/bigsmile.gif" alt=":bigsmile:" title=":bigsmile:"></img><img src="/newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title=":wink:"></img></blockquote>

    I can understand the temptation to have a go at eliminating any/all potential draught causing areas especially when you have the gun already loaded! One question I have about this (and to which I cannot find a satisfactory answer on the web) is, is the Soudal low expansion foam ok to be used around electrical cables? I guess the best bet would be to consult with the tech people at Soudal - I notice their technical data sheet makes no mention of this aspect.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeMay 12th 2020
     
    "to which I cannot find a satisfactory answer on the web"

    is this satisfactory enough ? !

    https://www.installation-renovation-electrique.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/tableau-electrique-mousse-expansive-fuite-air.jpg

    gg
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    The problem with electrical cables is specifically to do with EPS I believe (and maybe XPS?), so I don't think expanding foams are a problem.
  1.  
    Yes, it is XPS too. I was insulating in an apex void once and there were some XPS sheets lying around from some previous attempt to slide insulation tightly down the sloping soffits(doomed to failure!). I tried to lift one out of the way. I came up a bit, but then stopped. Some confusion, not helped by poor lighting, but it turned out that the XPS was 'glued' to a lighting cable. Really really stuck.

    As far as I have been able to find out expanding foam is OK with cables, though I have often heard the EPS/XPS caveat applied (wrongly, as far as we know) to expanding foam.

    I do like the Illbruck FM330 air-tight foam. First time I bought it I paid about £10 ea in a box of 10 or 12. Second attempt brought it down to less than £7 ea IIRC.
    • CommentAuthordereke
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    I can totally see why you started a thread on foam guns, they are amazing.

    Posted By: owlmanI agree Jeff they are good, however, if they have one problem, it's keeping them clean.


    I've not had a problem cleaning them. Mostly because I don't clean my gun. I've had it for nearly 3yrs now. Never cleaned. It is always attached to a bottle of foam so never gets dry inside.

    Actually I guess I do clean the application end but I do that when it is dry. I just take a Stanley knife and cut of any foam that was stuck to it. Takes about 30seconds and is mess and solvent free.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: gyrogear</cite>"to which I cannot find a satisfactory answer on the web"

    is this satisfactory enough ? !

    https://www.installation-renovation-electrique.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/tableau-electrique-mousse-expansive-fuite-air.jpg

    gg</blockquote>

    No not really, unless the photo is used by Soudal as part of their publicity info! What a mess!
    • CommentAuthorBeau
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: derekeI can totally see why you started a thread on foam guns, they are amazing.

    Posted By: owlmanI agree Jeff they are good, however, if they have one problem, it's keeping them clean.


    I've not had a problem cleaning them. Mostly because I don't clean my gun. I've had it for nearly 3yrs now. Never cleaned. It is always attached to a bottle of foam so never gets dry inside.

    Actually I guess I do clean the application end but I do that when it is dry. I just take a Stanley knife and cut of any foam that was stuck to it. Takes about 30seconds and is mess and solvent free.


    I have found leaving the foam can on best. Had no end of problems when leaving it with cleaner in it.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    Posted By: derekeI can totally see why you started a thread on foam guns, they are amazing.

    Posted By: owlmanI agree Jeff they are good, however, if they have one problem, it's keeping them clean.


    I've not had a problem cleaning them. Mostly because I don't clean my gun. I've had it for nearly 3yrs now. Never cleaned. It is always attached to a bottle of foam so never gets dry inside.

    Actually I guess I do clean the application end but I do that when it is dry. I just take a Stanley knife and cut of any foam that was stuck to it. Takes about 30seconds and is mess and solvent free.


    dereke - thanks for your reply. In my case it is highly unlikely after this present "campaign" that I will use this gun again. If I do it would be on the very rare occasion, so probably imperative that I give it a good clean before I put it away in the workshop.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    Me too, my mate never uses cleaner, swaps foam cans as and when sometimes leaves it for two months and it still works.

    I would ( Reading DraughtBusters) would be very keen to see any pics of the joist sealing, well done with that only another 10 million homes to do now
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    Nick - I went for Soudal as it was the only low expansion foam that my local Screwfix had in stock! It was just shy of £9 per can, so not too bad. I bought 2 cans which in hindsight is probably going to be far too much judging by the way it's gone so far.

    Currently using up a can of MegaStick (Bond-It) which I have had for a while, together with the Bond-It gun, ready for the current job. I have only used half a can and have done almost half the job already!

    I notice that the Bond-It gun has some bizarre reviews on Amazon. People either love it or hate it, it seems. (roughly 2:1 ratio). It seems a pretty solid piece of kit to me and first impressions are excellent. BTW: other guns are available and I have no personal interest in Bond-It!
    • CommentAuthorLF
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2020
     
    Great stuff as it glues and stops things moving and re cracking when decorating as well as sorting out draughts. Tony's guides have been very useful to me over the years.

    I am sure the bond-it gun that I bought and clogged up first go and could never revive
    Leaving foam connected seems like what I should have done - I did use gun cleaner on it and could never figure out what I had done wrong. I think I snapped tube trying to unscrew to clean out the inside.

    I have been happy with Soudal low expanding foam - genius can things. I like the plastic straw for getting into gaps that are only a few mm wide ... they keep for severals weeks between uses. Trick seems to be bending the straw back into clip and then putting a cap on the end of the straw.
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2020
     
    Yep. foam guns are the dogs. It's worth paying the extra pound or two for a teflon-coated one so it's easier to get overspray off. I leave the cans on too. Done it for up to a year I guess. I actually have two guns+cans on the go at any one time: one loaded with glue, one with normal foam.

    I do find that eventually they get stiffer and stiffer so you have to screw them off as well as on.
    After 12 years and a lot of cans I'm on my 4th gun. One snapped in the middle and one just got too tiresomly stiff to use - it was a joy to use the new one where you could just let go of the trigger and have it stop!

    I only realised about a month ago that the cleaner-can has the same thread as the foam can and can be threaded onto the gun to clean! Doh! Interesting to hear that that doesn't always work.

    Now how many tales do people have of failed can-change attempts where you end up wasting a whole can in to the bin or spraying it all over the garden/room? I think I've had three over the years. Messy.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2020
     
    Yes, the gun cleaner can has the same thread as the foam can, so I am using the former after every foaming session. Having only ever been used to the push button valve aerosol-can variety in the past I still have that "must use the whole can in one session" mentality! Not that I ever used expanding foam much - usually to seal waste water pipes where they pass through external walls.

    The gun I have was bought from a small local hardware outfit some time back but like a lot of things I have only just got around to using, thanks mainly to being subject to lockdown (being a geriatric!). Unusually for me I did not do any research into what is available in the marketplace but so far, so good. At about £12 not a ridiculous amount of cash to lose if it proves to be problematic down the line.

    Meanwhile, happy as the proverbial sand-boy with my new toy!
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2020
     
    Who said DIY wasn't fun, Jeff ?:bigsmile::wink:

    Wait till you get the nail gun and compressor, or the strip fed automatic screwdriver, the construction versions of an UZI.
  2.  
    I rarely use gun-cleaner and hardly ever take a can off till it's empty (and please define 'empty' - yes, I have had a few 'foam-all-over-the-place moments!).

    My method of keeping the gun going is not aesthetically pleasing but seems effective (-ish - I probably buy a new gun every couple of years! I have several waiting for me to retire and take them apart!):

    Leave the gun as it was when you stopped foaming, even if it's got foam gunged over the end of the tube.

    When wanting to use the gun again pare off the cured foam, paying particular attention to the end of the 'grease nipple'.

    Use again. I have left a gun for many months - probably as much as a year - without a problem.

    I am very shy of taking off a non-exhausted can as the valves do not always seal. Removing foam from long hair and beard requires patience. *Don't* try to remove it before it's cured (same goes for any other surface). Pull, comb or cut out when cured.

    Beware of throwing tools into a bucket when clearing off a job if you happen to have put the foam gun in first. How do I know? Well... Imagine the conjunction of a non-retractable Stanley knife and the thin-walled can....

    Finally... When a can is 'empty' (no more pressure, no nothing) it can, unexpectedly, 'recover' pressure if you leave it a while. So don't 'check it's empty', leave it half an hour and then unscrew the can. *Check it again first*. Again, how do I know?.... It goes a long way.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2020
     
    Posted By: owlmanWho said DIY wasn't fun, Jeff ?http:///newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/bigsmile.gif" alt=":bigsmile:" title=":bigsmile:" >http:///newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title=":wink:" >

    Wait till you get the nail gun and compressor, or the strip fed automatic screwdriver, the construction versions of an UZI.


    Would love either of these but I would have a struggle to get approval from my financial director on the grounds of limited use. Whilst talking about useful gadgets which I wish I had bought years ago....this has been an absolute boon recently when laying concrete blocks. Can pick up the block and position precisely with one hand.
      block lifter.jpg
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2020
     
    Nick - thanks for the tips - useful to know!
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2020
     
    Great for putting down and taking up,slabs too
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTime3 days ago edited
     
    Posted By: tonyMe too, my mate never uses cleaner, swaps foam cans as and when sometimes leaves it for two months and it still works.

    I would ( Reading DraughtBusters) would be very keen to see any pics of the joist sealing, well done with that only another 10 million homes to do now


    Tony - please see photo attached. I was a bit heavy handed with the foam on occasion as you can see! (And this was the low expansion stuff too). Don't know why but the photo is upside-down.
      Foam in action.JPG
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTime3 days ago edited
     
    This may be a useful tip for anyway else contemplating doing the same job. I found using the gun in this confined space was quite tricky* so I attached a flexible pipe (as supplied with the gun) to the tip (secured with a jubilee clip). In this way I could hold the gun in one hand and operate the trigger whilst holding the pipe in the other hand and bending it into the correct position to dose the foam.

    *especially as the fibreglass quilt is in position and had to be rolled back to get access. I should have done this job several years back before I added the extra fibreglass!

    Photo upside-down again - what's going on?!!
      Foam gun.JPG
    • CommentAuthorSilky
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    +1 Teflon coated ( the 'professional' teflon coated gun I got from Amazon also has a nice adjustment )
    +1 Leave the gun on

    Warning : 'Flexifoams' can be a bit of a nightmare, block the gun, don't mix up well, get stuck when adding an extension as shown above, but probaby a better product when you can actually get it applied, had no problems with standard foams
  3.  
    ''Photo upside-down again - what's going on?!!''

    What's going on is GBF's Forum software is ensuring that the gun is only shown in its 100%-correct orientation! Deviate from this and you risk getting propellant, rather than foam, ejected, which can bounce off a hard surface, under your safety glasses and into your eye. It is corrosive, and necessitates a visit to Eye casualty. How do I know?...
  4.  
    Another thing re extension tubes, related to Silky's post and mine above, is that the tube slows everything down. I used to use an extension so I could fill gaps between floorboards and walls from below while keeping the gun upright ('upside-down') as required. The downside is that the foam may only adhere if projected at some speed. Slowed down by an extension tube it just falls back out, at least sometimes.
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTime1 day ago
     
    Silky - you probably noticed from the photo that the gun is of the Teflon coated variety. I have to confess publicly that I have had a problem with the BondIt gun which I bought first. Before I got the advice not to take the foam canister off the gun each day, I used to diligently clean it through with solvent and that worked a treat. On the third day it refused to work even with a can of solvent attached, never mind foam. I jumped to the conclusion that the gun was knackered and went out and bought the new one from Amazon.

    I thought it would be best to flush the new gun through with solvent before using foam just to check that it was working ok. Shocks and horror - it didn't work! I had a new spare can of solvent so I tried that, and bingo, that worked fine. I then discovered what had happened to the first gun - the plastic nozzle on the original solvent can had broken off inside the inlet of the gun, hence preventing the solvent can from connecting correctly - doh! So I now have two good foam guns.

    I don't know what you mean by FlexiFoam. I am using Soudal low expansion foam and that seems fine. BTW I did get a reply from the Soudal technical folk who confirmed that it is safe to be used around electrical cables.
   
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