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Building Skills

Building Skills

How to Air-Seal Doors and Windows with a Spray-Foam Gun

comments (4) September 12th, 2012

Video Length: 1:45
Produced by: Patrick McCombe and Colin Russell

Remodeling contractor Mike Sloggatt demonstrates how to use a professional spray-foam gun to make a patio door (or any door) more energy efficient

I'm going to air-seal by spraying foam around the perimeter of this door jamb.

I use a foam dispenser gun with a nozzle attachement that threads onto the end and lets me spray into the tight spaces around the jamb. Another thing I like about a pro foam gun is that the foam is released at the very tip of the nozzle; this means that the foam stays fluid inside the gun. I've accidentally left a can on my gun for as long as two months and still been able to dispense the foam. With a pro gun you also use the entire can; you don't have the waste that is typically stuck in the end of a disposlable, straw-type spray-foam can.

It's important to use the right type of foam. Get a low-pressure, low-expansion, and closed-cell window-and-door foam. The closed-cell is going to stop the air movement, and the low pressure and low expansion is important because it won't distort the frame. High-expansion foam can bow the jambs out and prevent the door or window from opeing properly.

The last thing I'll do on the inside of an exterior door is seal the sill pan to the door threshold. I'm going to use a sealant for that because air could blow in, and when there's air moving in, water could come with it.I put some painter's tape over the visible portion of the threshold while I caulked and tooled the joint wher it meets the floor.

After the foam and caulk has cured, I go back and trim any excess foam that is out past the jamb. If I notice any voids in the foam, i'll come back and touch them up with the foam gun. That will take care of the air-sealing and we can move on to door trim.


posted in: energy efficiency, water and moisture control

Comments (4)

sleddriver sleddriver writes: To Eric: I faced the same problem as you. Very frustrating indeed. In Austin, go to ABC Roofing east of I-35.
Posted: 11:52 am on February 26th

EricOltersdorf EricOltersdorf writes: I see these pro spray-foam guns used all over the Fine Homebuilding site and magazine but have been unable to locate one. The big box stores don't have them and neither do the speciality stores here in Austin. Where would I find one and what brands of foam are available?
Posted: 12:57 pm on January 8th

viningengineer viningengineer writes:
Posted: 1:53 pm on September 29th

LENNYN LENNYN writes: It seems everytime I'm doing a certain job I look at my fine home building mail and they are writing about it there information is always on the money once again your details are helpful
Posted: 9:25 pm on September 17th

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