Techniques for Using Spray Foam Machines in Large Projects

By Kevin Malone

The spray foam business can be lucrative, providing a good living for contractors and their team members. Choosing the right foam insulation spray machine and employing the right techniques can lead to an efficient application, providing a strong ROI.

Conversely, using the wrong equipment or lacking training can lead to poor application or a job that takes longer to complete. One can hurt your reputation; the other can hurt your wallet.

So, we have a few tips on what to do before you start spraying, best practices for spray foam application, and the considerations large jobs require.

Before You Start

Safety is always an important part of doing jobs with an insulation foam spray machine. Before you start on any worksite, you should:

  • Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Make sure there is adequate ventilation
  • Check your foam insulation spray machine, hoses, and chemical tanks for pressurization or leaks
  • Prepare the site, clear any obstructions, and protect surfaces as required
  • Make sure you have enough materials, spare parts, and cleaning equipment on hand

Spray Foam Application Techniques

If you want to achieve efficient and optimal results for large projects, you will need to master spray foam application techniques.

Adjust Machine Settings and Spray Patterns

Before and during application, it is important to follow manufacturer recommendations for safe operation. Adjust the machine setting and spray patterns to match the job’s needs, and maintain the appropriate distance from the surface. The distance is typically 10 to 12 inches from the surface at a slight angle with overlapping patterns between passes.

Foam Thickness

Foam thickness is critical. Excessive thickness can create thermal bridging or accumulation of moisture. Thermal bridging can occur when foam is applied too thickly, creating a continuous solid layer that allows heat to pass through more easily. A pattern that is too thick can also trap moisture, creating future issues like mold growth or building material degradation.

The right thickness allows for proper drying and curing.

Irregular Surfaces

Pay close attention to odd-shaped surfaces or obstructions. You may need to adjust your pattern or adjust angles and distances for proper spraying.

Temperature and Humidity

You also want to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity.

When temps are too low, the chemical reaction necessary for curing may stop. High temperatures cause the reaction to happen too fast, leading to reduced cell performance. Temperature also plays a role in adhesion. Deviating from the recommended temperature range can increase the risk of separation or delamination from the substrate.

High humidity can prevent the foam from releasing moisture or cause moisture to condense on the surface, interfering with the ability to bond.

Refer to your foam insulation spray machine manufacturer’s recommendation for the proper temp and humidity ranges for best practices.

Cleaning and Care

When a job is finished, proper cleaning and care can dramatically increase the lifespan of your insulation foam spray machine and equipment. Make sure you clean your spray foam guns after each use.

Considerations for Large Spray Foam Jobs

The larger the job, the more important the planning and coordination. For big projects, divide the job into sections and develop a schedule to account for the sequencing of events and curing.

Make sure you have enough spray foam components on hand. Calculate the material needs based on the square footage and always make sure to have extra on hand if needed. Have a waste management plan in place to get rid of excess material or containers properly.

Quality control (QC) is an important part of any job to maintain consistency. Conduct regular inspections to make sure spray foam is applied consistently and surfaces are covered at the right thickness. Look for any defects and correct them to avoid having to make a return trip.

Document your material usage, condition, and inspection reports to maintain any warranty coverage and help troubleshoot in case of problems.

Get the Right Equipment for Large Spray Foam Jobs

Whether you are looking for a new or used spray foam machine, a fully-equipped spray foam rig, replacement parts, or a turnkey custom spray foam rig, Intech Equipment & Supply is here to help. We have a team of experienced spray foam insulation experts who can help you find exactly what you need or provide troubleshooting help when you need it.

Contact the spray foam experts at Intech Equipment & Supply today. We have everything you need for the most demanding jobs.

About Kevin Malone
Kevin Malone is a leading expert in the spray foam insulation industry with 34 years of experience in spray foam fluid handling and a passion for innovation. He currently offers his extensive knowledge to Intech Equipment and Supply customers by supporting them in selecting quality spray foam equipment to optimize their business. Learn more about Kevin here.


Intech Equipment & Supply was founded in 1995, and has since grown to become the leader in spray foam equipment, mobile spray foam rigs, and parts supplier. With locations all across North America we are available when you need us most.