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Great Stuff is a brand of polyurethane based insulating foam sealant. It is marketed by Dow Chemical. It comes in an aerosol can and works by being sprayed into a gap or crack and expanding to fill it tighlty. It cures to a firm, sponge like substance. Its main purpose is to reduce drafts and heat loss/entry in buildings.
Additional recommended knowledge
Family of products
Great Stuff comes in four varieties: 1. Gaps & Cracks (red can) - Fills, seals and insulates gaps, cracks and holes up to 1/2 inch. Cures rigid. Cream color foam. 2. Big Gap Filler (black can) - Fills, seals and insulates gaps, cracks and holes greater than 1/2 inch. Cures rigid. Cream color foam. 3. Windows & Doors (blue can) - Minimal expanding, low-pressure formulation. Perfect for sealing window and door frame openings. Also ideal for sealing areas where low-pressure flexible foam is desirable. Cures flexible. Yellow color foam. 4. Pond & Stone (green can) – Can be shaped and molded to create exquisite water features that help direct water flow over and around rocks in a waterfall, rather than under and in between. The black color allows it to blend among rocks and shadows and can fill, seal and adhere to other pieces. The product is fish safe.
How to use
When properly applied, Great Stuff expands to take the shape and size of a void, forming a permanent, airtight and water-resistant seal that protects homes from the outside elements and provides insulation. Before using, read the directions and all the precautions on the can carefully. Great Stuff is extremely sticky; wear gloves and eye protection. Ensure adequate ventilation or wear proper respiratory protection. Plan ahead for safety and best results. To begin, you should familiarize yourself with the foam by practicing on newspaper. Once you are comfortable with the can, return to the areas where air is infiltrating your home. Fill openings less than half full because the product expands. Overfilling the gap is common but easy to remedy. Once dry, you can trim excess foam with any sharp knife or serrated blade. Once cured, Great Stuff can be trimmed, shaped, sanded, painted or stained to give the project a finishing touch.
Where to use Great Stuff
Here are some ideas on how to use Great Stuff:
Ponds and Landscaping
• Secure stones used to edge ponds, landscaping and/or a garden. • Fill voids in water features to direct water flow. • Fill a tree cavity or a hollow area to prevent further damage (consult with arborist). • Secure the top stone in a landscape wall. • Insulate with a layer of foam inside a tree or shrub planter to protect roots through a winter freeze. • Mold a temporary insulation “shed” to cover plants on nights when freezing temperatures are expected.
• Fill any hollow-handled item, such as a landing net, making it buoyant while adding strength. • Fill a tackle box lid to keep it afloat. • Make fishing floats and lures. • Create a fishing bobber. • Repair targets. • Make a wildlife footprint cast.
• Make soda can holders for use in a swimming pool. • Fill an inner tube for permanent flotation. • Air-seal ice fishing shanty, a hunting/summer cabin. • Make your own cooler or ice chest. • Packaging
Maintenance and Repairs
• Fill cracks or holes in a foundation wall, a driveway, front porch flooring, a deck or a bench. • Fill holes, seams and rusty areas in gutters. • Fill holes in an above-ground pool or a child’s swimming pool. • Repair or patch a cooler. • Stabilize, secure and insulate the outside water tap where it exits the building envelope. • Air-seal greenhouse cracks. • Encapsulate the underground pipes of your sprinkler system to prevent freezing during the winter.
• Fill gaps and cracks in an old camper (in non-structural or load-bearing areas). • Fill holes in a tractor cab to minimize dirt infiltration (in non-structural or load-bearing areas).
• Seal any outside gaps and cracks in house siding to keep insects out. • Foam over chicken wire and/or steel wool to seal larger openings to keep animals out. • Repair woodpecker holes in house siding.
Differences between latex and polyurethane foam sealant
There are two key differences between latex foam and polyurethane foam sealant: 1. Latex foams are typically "open cell" and, as a result, can take on water. In fact the same properties that allow you to wash latex foam off your hands with water also mean that the cured foam can absorb water. This can cause wood rot or deterioration in areas where wet latex foam is next to wood, such as a window frame. In contrast, polyurethane is closed-cell foam. It forms a water-resistant outer skin when cured. 2. Latex foam does not expand. polyurethane expands to thoroughly fill all voids and cavities making it an ideal air-sealant.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Great_Stuff". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|