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Old 05-17-13, 02:35 PM   #20
Lurking Renovator
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Canada
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Thought I'd offer my thoughts after doing a full basement rim joist insulation project. I know SF recommended trying to find something other than Great Stuff but I could not find anything not by Dow at local retailers.

I ended up buying the Great Stuff gun (the metal one) referred to as Pageris style in this thread. Works nicely, good control and it's nice the foam shuts off when you release the trigger.
-Cleaning the gun is definitely critical. About 3/4 through my project I had a bad can of foam, it jammed it up and I could not get it clean again. I now have the same issue as SF, there is a clog at the needle and the seal does not hold so foam leaks out. Gun dead unless I can take off the nozzle and clean it out manually.
-Another downside is you will blow through cans if you don't hold the can upside down. I noticed a big difference with how much is left in the can when the propellant runs out if I was tilting it. This proved very difficult as the way my basement is poured has the joists sunk into the foundation, so that there is about a 2-3" space between the top of the foundation wall and the bottom of the 1st floor sheeting. Filling that is very difficult to get the angle, you might think the tip on this gun is long, but even with the extension it won't reach all the way to the back (about 8") because of the angle with the can inverted.
-I tried making extensions with tubing, it works to some degree at about 6" length. Any longer and the foam separates by the time it gets to end of the nozzle.
-Heating the cans is also highly recommended. Get a pot, put the cans in there and and pour water from a kettle in there and fill it up. Leave them until they are hot to the touch (15-20 mins). shake them a few times. If you do this and hold the cans the right way you can pretty well drain them.

Great Stuff sells the same cans of Pro Foam with a better straw type applicator then you get on the basic cans. You get more per can than the basic foam and these cans seem to do fine if held at any angle. I used these to finish up the last 1/4 of the project, and truthfully didn't see much downside. You use basically the same cans, but you can hold them in any direction. This solved my issue with reaching the back of the cavity in the rim joist as I could hold them upright, nozzle pointed to the outside of the house and reach all the way into the back of the cavity and fill.
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