Being a spray foam contractor isn’t easy.
There are many challenges to contend with - running a business, bidding jobs, finding clients, understanding your equipment, etc.
One of the most challenging aspects of being a spray foam contractor is, in fact, spraying foam.
Many things can go wrong, but most can be prevented.
Maintaining your equipment and building sustainable on-the-job habits can ease the stress of any spray foam job.
Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing is here to help you do just that.
We have compiled a list of valuable tips and tricks that will help your spray foam equipment last longer (forever, potentially!) and help you spray foam more effectively and efficiently.
And that saves you money and stress! You’re welcome.
Follow our tips and tricks for spraying better foam insulation, and your headaches will diminish, your foam will spray better and farther, and your profit margin will rise.
Okay - enough ado. Here are five tips and tricks for spraying better foam!
1. ALWAYS CARRY YOUR HANDY-DANDY 5/16” NUT DRIVER IN YOUR BACK POCKET
When you’re on the job, make sure to carry a 5/16” nut driver around with you. Everywhere.
You don’t know where you will be when you need it!
You could be spraying smoothly along, contemplating the beauty of spray foam insulation, when, suddenly, your spray gun’s trigger gets stuck open, and foam starts continuously spraying everywhere the spray gun points…
The only way to close the fluid block valves on your BOSS spray foam gun is with a 5/16” nut driver.
What if you’re in an attic hundreds of feet and several flights of stairs away from your foam machine when your spray gun’s trigger gets stuck…and your 5/16” nut driver is nestled safely in the toolbox right next to your machine?
What do you do then??
Well, you run as fast as you can all the way down the stairs, out the door of the building, and into the back of your foam rig to flip your machine pump off - but you still have to close the fluid block valves or your barrel pumps will keep pumping foam!
So you grab your safely stashed 5/16” nut driver and dash back inside, up the 72 flights of stairs (might as well be, right?), locate your spray foam gun in the rapidly accumulating pile of foam-shaped money that is spewing onto the floor of the attic….and finally close the fluid valves.
Just look at all that wasted foam!
All that money!
If you’d only had your trusty 5/16” nut driver with you the whole time!
If you had, your experience might have looked more like this:
*Notices there is something amiss*
Thinks to self: “Oh, shoot, Jack, my spray foam gun is stuck open! Welp, good thing I have my handy-dandy friend, the 5/16” nut driver with me! I’ll just pull it out of my pocket and…,” fixing it quickly, “…yup - there we go. Valves closed. PHEW! That could have been a huge mess. Thanks, 5/16” nut driver! I think I’ll call you George from now on! You’re a great pal, George! Where would I be without you?!”
*Stashes George back in pocket and calmly handles the spray gun issue*
Maybe you won’t name your nut driver.
But you’d sure feel like hugging it in that situation!
Have we convinced you?
You could be in a world of hurt without your friend, the nut driver, and there’s no reason for that!
Don’t waste money or cause yourself more headaches.
Carry your 5/16” nut driver around with you everywhere you go on a spray foam job.
You won’t regret it.
If you don’t have one yet, you can click here to purchase one now.
If you’re already on the job and need one ASAP, good news: they sell 5/16” nut drivers anywhere tools are sold. Go getcha one!
Our next big tip for spraying better foam?
Ensure proper heat management while on the job!
2. ENSURE PROPER HEAT MANAGEMENT WHILE ON THE JOB
One of the simplest ways to save foam - and, therefore, money - is to make sure your foam and substrate heat is managed well.
Each foam sprays most efficiently at a slightly different temperature. Refer to the product data sheet from your spray foam manufacturer for detailed temperature guidelines.
When foam barrels aren’t housed in a warm environment, barrel heaters can help heat foam before entering the lines, cutting down on issues.
Once pumped from the barrel into the machine, your preheaters take over, warming your foam to the desired spraying temperature.
Our BOSS preheaters are the best on the market! If you want more details about them, check out our blog post on the topic!
Your spray hose is heated too, of course, and maintains foam heat along the length of the hose.
When your foam reaches your spray gun, it is good and hot, and ready for application onto the substrate.
Time to make sure that the substrate is sufficiently warmed, too!
Spraying on a cold substrate can ruin a good foam quickly.
Cold climates are difficult places to spray foam in, but you can do it!
Pro tip: follow the sun.
Start with the wall that the sun touches first, and migrate around your spray job with the sun.
That life-giving orb will help warm the substrate so your foam will adhere much more easily.
You can use a space heater to ensure that the room in which you are spraying is sufficiently warmed, as well.
Proper heat management can save you loads of time and money.
Warm foam sprayed onto a warm substrate covers more area than a cold foam would.
Any steps you can take to manage that heat increases your profit margin.
Good gig, eh? We think so, too.
Our next tip: clean your spray foam gun religiously!
3. CLEAN YOUR SPRAY FOAM GUN AFTER EVERY USE
Your spray foam gun is where all the magic happens.
That’s where the A- and B-sides of your foam material meet, in a tiny mixing chamber, and create something new.
Voila! Spray foam insulation!
Mixing materials that grow into spray foam in a tiny cavity under high pressure can easily lead to plugs in your spray foam gun if you’re not caring for your equipment correctly.
We recommend that you clean your spray foam gun after every use.
You will need to take it apart and clean it regularly, but proper maintenance of your spray foam gun does not need to include disassembling and reassembling your gun every day.
For daily maintenance, you can use our BOSS Shot!
Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing’s BOSS Shot is a revolutionary system that allows you to easily spray solvent into your spray foam gun without disassembling it.
The BOSS Shot effectively cleans your spray foam gun from the inside out and allows for a quicker turnaround on a spray foam job.
After a long day’s work, simply use the BOSS Shot, grease your spray foam gun as you normally would, and rest easy, knowing that your spray foam gun is fresh and ready to go for the next day.
If you’d like to learn more about our revolutionary BOSS Shot, check it out on our website!
Feel free to reach out to us with any other questions about spray foam gun maintenance as well!
On to tip #4: regularly flush your A-Side lines.
4. FLUSH YOUR ISO LINES BEFORE EVERY SPRAY FOAM APPLICATION
As we discussed in last week’s post - Introduction to Spray Foam - spray foam’s A-Side includes isocyanate, which is, essentially, a glue.
Glue is sticky!
When A-Side - also called “iso” - is exposed to air or water, it can start to crystallize, gumming up the works.
If not properly handled, that doesn’t make for an awesome time in your spray foam hose or spray gun.
How do you keep A-side from solidifying in your lines?
When you get to the spray foam job in the morning, start by turning your preheaters and hose heat on - but leave the pump switch on your machine off.
Your preheaters and hose need time to heat before spraying for the day anyway, so this time might as well be used for that purpose!
Next, ensure your barrel pumps are in place and, with your spray foam gun safely disconnected, bring the end of your spray foam hose to the A-Side barrel.
Then, take your handy-dandy friend George - the 5/16” Nut Driver - out of your back pocket (where you always keep it while on a spray foam job), and open only the A-side valve in the fluid block over the opening to your A-Side barrel.
Your barrel pump will recognize the pressure differential and kick on, pumping fresh A-side from the bottom of the barrel through your lines, all the way down the hose, and back into the barrel, through the fluid valve.
Let the pump run in this way for ~10 minutes, and you should have nice, fresh, crystal-free iso in your spray foam hose.
By the time you’ve finished this flush, re-closed the iso valve in the fluid block, and re-attached your clean spray foam gun to the fluid block, your preheaters and spray hose should be warm and ready to go for the day.
Flip the machine’s pump switch on, and get to spraying!
This flushing process will significantly reduce clogging in your spray foam gun and lines and make your life much easier while on the job!
Our fifth and final tip is one of the most important: reset your machine’s stroke counter for each spray foam job.
5. RESET YOUR STROKE COUNTER AT EACH JOB SITE
Your BOSS spray foam machine has a built-in stroke counter to help you keep track of the foam you spray on the job.
Each of our air-powered machines is calibrated to deliver 0.05 gallons of foam per stroke.
Most foam is sold by the pound and weighs ~10 lbs/gallon.
Therefore, one stroke of an air-powered BOSS spray foam machine will deliver ~0.5 lb of foam per stroke.
Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing's hydraulic machines pump a whopping 0.10 gallons per stroke, or 1 pound of foam per stroke. (Wowza!)
As you can see, calculating how much each stroke of the machine costs you, based on the price of your foam materials, is simple!
In this way, you can accurately calculate the material cost for every spray foam job you spray, ensuring you are bidding your jobs correctly and making a good profit.
This is just another way Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing puts the power back in your capable hands!
With proper maintenance and on-the-job habits, you can decrease your spray foam-related headaches and get on with your work!
Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing is here to make your life easier and help you succeed in your spray foam contracting business.
With these five tips and tricks, you can keep your BOSS equipment running smoothly and working for you for years to come!
If you have any questions about properly maintaining your equipment, how to disassemble and reassemble your spray foam gun safely, or how to safely remove and re-attach your spray foam gun to your spray hose, contact us!
We are always here to help.
Until we meet again, SPRAY ON!
- The Team at BOSS