I'm going to be replacing my windows soon. I plan to use minimal
expanding foam to fill the gaps.
The Great Stuff for windows (blue can, "Will not bow frames") says
uncured foam can be removed with acetone. Can I assume that the
acetone will not harm the vinyl?
I've been practicing trying to neatly fill a 1/8" gap with the
supplied straw and it's pretty tough, even after pinching the straw so
it will fit into the gap.
Do I need to put foam in a 1/8" (or smaller) gap?
(This is the side gap I expect since I'm told my windows will be 1/4"
narrower than the rough opening.)
Acetone CAN dissolve many plastics. I wouldnt use it. I have "lacquer
thinner" in my garage and generally use that for such jobs..it also will
affect some plastics.
Instead of the "Great Stuff" YELLO expanding (horribly sticky/messy) foam,
for this 1/8" narrow application, I used a WHITE latex foam (Brand is DAP I
think) in a can and it wiped off easily with a rag.
I wouldn't. Instead, I'd suggest the DAP latex-based expanding foam.
It cleans up with water.
If you insist on using the sticky Great Stuff (wear gloves), remove the
extra after it's dry. The limited-expansion stuff sets soft and you can
just tear it off with your fingers or cut it with a utility knife.
Absolutely. It might work to tape a smaller tube to the main tube,
something small enough to fit in the gap.
- If you insist on using the sticky Great Stuff (wear gloves), remove
- extra after it's dry. The limited-expansion stuff sets soft and you
- just tear it off with your fingers or cut it with a utility knife.
OK, I'm a little confused, and I hope a call to DOW will clear it up.
I'll let you know what they say. For now, here's my confusion...
The can of Great Stuff Window and Door (the one that claims it bonds
to vinyl, wood and metal surfaces) says:
"Clean Up - Solid Surfaces: Uncured foam dissolves with acetone. For
skin and solid surfaces, cured foam must be mechanically removed or
allowed to wear off in time."
Now, I assume that while trying to fill a 1/8" gap, I'm going to get
some on the face of the vinyl window. The can says I can clean it up
with acetone, but you folks say that the acetone will damage the
vinyl. Would DOW really offer clean-up instructions that might damage
the very surfaces they say to use it on?
On the other hand, how would I ''mechanically" remove the cured foam
from the vinyl with out damaging the surface? Will it just roll up
like rubber cement and peel off? It certainly doesn't just peel off
the wood on the practice jigs I made. Yes, I can cut the big lumps off
with a knife, but I doubt I want to use any tools to scrape it off the
It's interesting that none of the videos at dowgreatstuff.com show it
being used on vinyl windows or in gaps as small as I expect to have.
It's time for a call to 1-800-800-FOAM.
If they are talking about the stuff I have seen, it will not take too much
to cut it off and pull the stuff off the window. It is MUCH better than the
Great Stuff as it is MUCH more flexible. Remember, it expands, so use it
sparingly. It will go a long way.
I would never disagree the trapped air is the insulator. But I really
have often wondered when the gap is so small and they are forced to
"stuff" it in what good is it?!
I just installed two Anderson windows in the very-northeast. See what
happens this winter.
On the sides and head I filled the gaps with low expanding foam.
Anderson's installation instructions gave this as an option. In the sill
I sealed with a bead of foam way in where the sill meets the RO then used
fiberglass to fill the large void. I figured the bead would eliminate any
air infiltration from minute openings and the glass would give it some R
value since it could easily be packed loosely. All the fins on the
outside were siliconed to the sheathing and covered with flashing tape.
If they are drafty or leak, I dunno what else I could have done.
Call it amateur but I just ran tape on the sides (drywall and jamb) of
the gap knowing how messy that crap can be. Next day just pull the tape
and whack off whatever protruded with a razor.
Maybe pros can't afford to spend the time to do that (or because they are
pros they don't have to do it) but the bottom line is I got a clean flush
surface from the jamb to the drywall.
- I just ran tape on the sides (drywall and jamb) of the gap
I actually tried that on one of my practice jigs and it worked just
like you said. Depending on what DOW tells me about the acetone when I
call, I may go with the tape method. Like you said, I've got a lot
more time to do this job than the pros would.
I called DOW this morning and asked them if the acetone they recommend
for cleaning uncured Great Stuff foam will damage a vinyl window.
DOW's answer: "It's highly unlikely that the acetone will damage the
vinyl, but you should check with your window manufacturer since they
are responsible for the warranty on your wndows."
I called Simonton and asked them the same question. The first level
CSR went off to check with someone else and came back with "The
acetone will not damage the vinyl."
I'm going to email them with the same question to see if they will put
that in writing.
On 27 Aug, 10:21, email@example.com wrote:
Man, it doesn't get more confusing than this, does it?
Faced with the info from that site, how the heck could both DOW and
Simonton tell me it's safe to use acetone on vinyl windows?
- It might have something too do with selling a product!
Simonton sells windows. I doubt they would say acetone is safe just to
sell a window.
DOW, on the other hand, *is* selling a product that might require the
use of acetone and might stretch the truth.
BTW - Even though Simonton doesn't suggest using foam with their
windows, they did say - in writing via email - that acetone will not
damage the vinyl.
On Aug 27, 10:21 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Here's the response from Simonton customer service regarding using
foam and acetone on their windows.
"We do not suggest using a foam insulation with our windows. Acetone
will not damage the vinyl of the windows."
Of course, if I'm not using foam, I won't be using acetone!
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