Two popular varieties of expanding foam can help you in your home improvement projects. The first type of foam, which is polyurethane based, hardens into a rigid, sculptable substance while remaining porous. The second type, latex-based foam, cures into a spongy substance, which you can mould and set into different shapes. Both types of foam will adhere to almost any surface, including glass, plastic, aluminium, wood and drywalls, which helps give them a multitude of uses.
Individuals most commonly use expanding foam to fill cracks in foundation walls and pools, around windows and in other spaces that may encounter moisture. The foam is water resistant, airtight and able to penetrate into the narrowest of cracks. According to This Old House online, in addition to using expanding foam to seal air and water leaks around window frames, you can also use it to anchor the frames to the surrounding structure, eliminating the need for nails, screws or other bonding agents.
Protecting Against Pests
Filling cracks in your home with expanding foam will also protect against invading pests, particularly mice, which can fit through cracks 1/4-inch in diameter. You may also want to consider injecting some foam in any gaps near the areas where pipes and cables run into your home, according to Home Envy, as these are common entry points for rodents. The foam has no nutritional value, nor is its taste appealing to hungry critters, so it will not attract them. If squirrels are your main concern, This Old House online suggests hanging some chicken wire along the eves of your attic ceiling or roof and pumping them full of foam. While you are up there, inspect all of the edges where your roof meets the sides of your home, as small gaps are popular entry points for wasps and other flying insects, which may build indoor nests.
Securing Loose Items
You can also use expanding foam as a multipurpose, water-resistant superglue and mortar. For example, if you have a loose knob on a cabinet or bifold sliding door---perhaps because the screw holding it in place has lost its grip in the wood---you can inject some foam around the screw and into the screw hole to tighten it up. Alternatively, according to This Old House online, you can use expanding foam as a water-resistant bonding agent for building stone structures, such as outdoor walls or waterfalls.
Moulding Foam into Products
Many manufacturing companies utilise expanding foam by moulding it into various products, most of which require a soft, comfortable feel. Some of these products include foam cup holders, footwear, armrests, headrests, camera cases, seat cushions, toilet bowl seats, kneeling and knee pads and padding for backpacks. You can also mould expanding foam yourself by spraying some into a plastic bag, sealing it, and then pressing an item into the foam so that it becomes form-fitted.