Frugal Minute – Expanding Spray Foam
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
There are opportunities to incorporate frugality every day. This is the first in a series that will introduce a quick frugal hint in less than a minute (or so). Today we are talking about the joys (and pains) of expanding spray foam.
These will be short posts intended to take less than a minute to read. Adjusting your lifestyle or taking action to incorporate this frugal habit may take time. (Change is hard!) But once we get it down together, it should help simplify and frugalify our lives.
I’m super excited to learn more frugal living habits this year as our joint income has significantly decreased! So let’s get started!
January’s theme is focused on saving on your electric and heating bills.
(I know, I know, it’s best to winterize your home before January. But we got busy with travel, holidays, and laziness. So we are just now getting around to it.)
The Leaking Window Story
So, a couple of weeks ago when our well decided to stop working, we realized that, ummmm ,our basement windows were letting the frigid winter air blow (not seep, but blow) into our house. We were flipped switches on the well and noticed the room was particularly cold and breezy.
Well, the culprit was the basement windows, which had settled and a 1/4″ gap was created between the top of the window and the framing around the window.
Fortunately, there’s an inexpensive fix for small gaps in your home:
Expanding Spray Foam
Mr. Kiwi headed out to the hardware store to pick up a can of the amazing expanding spray foam.
Expanding Spray Foam’s Flaw
The annoying thing about the spray foam is that the can is one time use only. Once the foam sets up in the nozzle you won’t be able to get any more out. So when you open and use the can you’ll want to thoroughly insulate every area of your home that is leaking.
The other annoying thing is that if you get any on you, it is a b!tch to get off. So sorry Mara and Mr. Kiwi! Thanks for taking one for the team and losing a bit of hair in the process!
Investigating for Leaks
To find every single place that’s leaking you need to walk the entire perimeter of your home and look for leaks.
On the exterior, pay attention to:
- Cracks in concrete walls or the foundation
- Window and door framing
- Angles/corners of the building
- Pipe and vent protrusions
- Where the roof meets the top of walls
On the interior, pay attention to:
- Windows and doors
- Where the foundation meets the wall framing
- Pipe and vent protrusions
You could note all of the places you want to seal up on a drawing of your home (plan view). Or you can rely on your handy memory or a partner’s memory.
The added benefit of sealing up all the gaps means fewer animals will be able to get in! Yay, no more mice, snakes, or other small creatures.
And I know I live in Michigan, but we (well no me, Mr. Kiwi) did find a snake in the basement. Fortunately, it was cold and the snake was in a Rubbermaid tub, so he was able to carry the tub outside and release the garter back to the wild.
How often should I do this?
Every spring and fall it’s a good idea to walk your perimeter, reinstall gutters, and look for any gaps in need of sealing! But you know, that’s just a goal.
Clearly it had been a while for us, and when we’ve done it in the past we clearly missed this issue! That’s why it’s helpful to inspect the inside and outside of our home. There’s no way we would have spotted this leak from the outside.
It helps protect and maintain your home, plus you save some money on your heating and cooling bills.
Weatherize Your Home Action Plan
Thanks for reading the first frugal minute! Here’s this week’s action plan:
- Walk the exterior and interior perimeter of your home looking for any gaps
- If you notice any gaps, buy 1 can of expanding spray foam (we used this one)
- Fill those gaps with spray foam and wipe off any excess!
- Enjoy your more climate controlled house
20 minutes plus trip to the hardware store (or wait time for the expanding foam to arrive)
$8 for one can of expanding spray foam (but your utility bills will go down!)
Anyone else have a story about a weird creature getting into their home? Any questions about how to do this? Any fun frugal minute ideas?
I’d love to hear them in the comments below!