Spray foam equipment can stay in great shape in any season when you have the right gear. Having the proper gear and shelter for your equipment can maximize their lifetime value and produce the best spray foam results.
Humidity and extreme cold are the two main threats to your spray foam insulation equipment. These conditions happen during the hottest and coldest seasons of the year. No matter where you live, there will be some degree of humidity or cold weather months, so if you want to remain operational all year, it is important to take proactive steps against these damaging conditions.
If you live in an area that stays humid, you must be constantly vigilant about moisture that can cause crystallization in your materials. Cold weather causes some other problems, such as surface condensation and wasted materials. Because your timeline cannot wait for the perfect weather, manufacturers have developed solutions to ensure that the beat does not stop just because of outdoor conditions. Here is how to care for your spray foam equipment in any weather.
Cold weather has a profound effect on spray foam. Ideally, it should be kept at 70 F and 80 F during storage and use. This can seem easy to accomplish in a warm climate, but it is a tough standard to meet in the north. In addition, the substrate temperature should be between 60 F and 80 F for optimal results.
Thankfully, companies like PowerBlanket have created solutions to help contractors keep the ball rolling even in the dead of winter. These are the main hazards of cold weather and their solutions:
- Condensation: When the spray foam is exposed to cold room temperatures and a cold surface, moisture pools, preventing the spray foam from properly adhering to the surface. This science applies to any hot material that comes into contact with a cold surface.
- Not enough spray foam expansion: Spray foam does not expand as much as it can in warmer weather. This results in using more materials and taking more time to complete a project.
To solve the ambient temperature and cold substrate problem, many contractors use a torpedo heater to raise the area’s temperature before spraying. Since the room’s temperature and surface temperature can be different, use two thermometers to stay on top of these conditions. A wall thermometer can keep an accurate gauge of the room temperature while a laser thermometer can make sure the surface and material drums are also warm enough. To help keep your materials at the right temperature, place them on top of pallets so that warm air can go around and underneath them.
- Things to note:
- Turn the torpedo heater off before spraying. Otherwise, the spray foam fumes can go through the heater and produce toxic fumes.
- Do not exceed a moisture level over 18% during the heating process.
- Experienced contractors typically have two heating solutions: one for the spraying site and one for their materials.
To further solve the cold material problem, wrap your material drums in heated blankets and use heated hoses. PowerBlanket is one of our favorite heated blanket brands. When it comes to heated hoses, there are outstanding choices from top brands like Graco, Carlisle, and PMC. You will find many options, like insulated hoses with internal heating wires and individual sections that react to different temperature fluctuations. If your environment is particularly cold, install a plastic flap door from which your hose can exit your trailer.
An insulated rig can also help you keep conditions stable. By locking in heat and keeping cold air out, your precious materials and equipment can be kept at the best temperatures to promote optimal performance. This will reduce product waste and keep you confidently active even during the coldest months. If you need a custom insulated rig, call one of our spray foam experts today.
In many parts of the United States, humidity is a nuisance in the summer. The increased levels of moisture in the air can make it more difficult for the interiors of rigs and material drums to stay at a reasonable dryness level. However, it is easy to mitigate moisture with some tried-and-true methods.
- To prevent ISO crystallization, a desiccant dryer is key. This tool sends compressed air through a two-towered pressure vessel that contains drying elements, like silica gel or activated alumina, that attract and absorb the water from the compressed air. When there is enough water collected, it is purged. As long as the tool is active, it will continue to draw moisture from your material drums. Be sure to maintain this component in all seasons, especially during humid summers.
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