How to Remove Foam Sealer

Written by sal marco
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Foam sealant seals cracks, fills holes, bridges gaps or acts as an insulator. Foam sealant starts as a thick textured liquid and as it cures, it expands and then hardens into a solid mass. Foam sealers act as an airflow barrier to stop heat or cooling loss or entry. It works to block insects and rodents from entering through small gaps around pipes and vents. Spraying foam sealer in between walls creates an insulated wall. Applying the foam to seams closes gaps to create a tighter structure. Foam sealer requires removal if the substrate requires work and necessitates exposure if the application of sealant was in error. Removal methods depend on the surface it is on and if it is dry.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rag
  • Emery board
  • Cooking oil, petroleum jelly or hand cream
  • Cling film
  • Chisel or flat head screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Metal scraper
  • Heavy-grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Belt sander

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  1. 1

    Wipe with a dry rag as long as the foam is still pliable. Do not use water or solvents as they will act to harden foam.

  2. 2

    Buff dry foam from skin with an emery board. Use care so as not to damage the surrounding skin.

  3. 3

    Apply a thick layer of cooking oil, petroleum jelly or high emulsion hand cream to the skin surrounding the dry foam. Loosely wrap the skin in cling film to allow the oil to work its way under the foam and release from the skin.

    Hard Substrates

  1. 1

    Place a chisel or flat head screwdriver at a 45-degree angle to the base of the foam. Lightly tap the chisel with a hammer to chip away hardened foam. Use care not to damage the surrounding substrate.

  2. 2

    Scrape the foam with a metal scraper, breaking off excess or unwanted foam pieces.

  3. 3

    Sand the surface with heavy-grit sandpaper attached to a sanding block. Immediately follow with a sanding using fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. Use a belt sander for large areas rather than sanding by hand.

Tips and warnings

  • Foam sealer on textiles is permanent. It absorbs into the fibres and is not removable.
  • Apply a coating of vegetable oil, petroleum jelly or thick cream to skin or wear rubber gloves prior to applying foam sealer to avoid adhesion to skin.

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