DIY Pour in Foam Insulation


DIY pour-in foam insulation is not only a way of improving your home's comfort level, but it is also quick and relatively easy. The material can be applied in just about any location, including walls, attics, and crawl spaces and under floors. Basically, the foam is poured, or sprayed, into the cavity. You may have to create openings in the material of walls or ceilings to apply the product.


  • Determine the type of foam insulation you will use for your project. Choose between open-cell foam and closed-cell foam. Open-cell foam is a soft and cushion-like material that allows air to fill the spaces in the insulation. Closed-cell foam is rigid and has superior strength. Water and air cannot penetrate as readily.

    Closed-cell foam also has a higher R-value than the open-foam product at 5.5 to 7 per inch compared to 3 to 4 per inch for open-cell foam. Closed-cell foam insulation is more expensive. Consider where you will be using the product. For example, if you are applying pour-in foam insulation in the attic, it is best to go with the open-cell foam product.


  • Before applying the insulation, make sure that the canisters are the proper application temperature. Store the canisters indoors at a temperature recommended by the manufacturer. Some larger kits may require a longer storage period. You can also use a small heater to heat up the product. Generally a temperature of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit is appropriate.

    Make sure you have plenty of rags, a length of rubber tubing and a small bucket. You will also need someone to help you with the job. One person should fill the cavity with the material and the other must follow behind stuffing the openings as necessary with rags or capturing excess foam with the container.

    Feed the tubing through upper holes to ascertain how much cured foam you receive when you dispense the product for 10 or 15 seconds. This will help you get a feel for how long to depress the trigger to get a certain amount of coverage and eliminate waste.


  • It is very important to follow the instruction for installing the foam, especially when applying in wall systems. In older homes, you will have to create openings in the wall or ceilings.

    Start the application by placing the nozzle into the bottom opening. Depress the trigger mechanism for about 10 to 15 seconds. Stuff the bottom hole with a rag if foam starts to ooze out of the opening. The insulation should expand to its ultimate height within two minutes.

    Complete the bottom holes first; allow the foam to raise to its final height. Complete the middle holes. Plug the hole when the foam passes the opening. Never plug the top hole because the foam need an outlet to relieve pressure as it cures. Plugging the top holes can cause the foam to force the drywall or plaster loose. If you encounter cross blocks between the studs, create a hole just below the obstacle and apply the pour-in foam insulation. Do not plug the hole.

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