Alternative to Messy "Great Stuff"

The new Great Stuff can of sealant that self stops to prevent messes and can be reused over 4 weeks later!
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Since my first time sealing gaps and cracks using Great Stuff back in May 2017, I had already experienced extensive temperature improvements during the winter. I also recall the can of "Great Stuff" being very messy. When I released the trigger, a fair amount of residual foam would be released causing a mess. No wonder they told you to wear both gloves and eye protection. However, Great Stuff did it's job for <$10 and I easily recouped the cost for the can of Great Stuff with savings in my winter heating bill and the one time trouble was worth it.

I figured my problems were solved. But a couple of cold winter seasons later, I noticed a draft coming from under the cabinets after the heater had runs for 10-15 minutes and I had the doors to other parts of the house. I had inadvertently created negative pressure in the room, as two of the five total heater registers were not located in an area outside of the heater air intake vent. So the room I was in was sucking in more air than was being pumped back in!

Since I had previously seal up major gaps, there were now fewer gaps and cracks for humid air from my vented dirt crawlspace to enter my living space. The upside is that draft from previously undiscovered gaps become more obvious given the negative pressure. In my case, I found more gaps simply by placing my hand under the cabinets. So it was a no-brainer to purchase another can of Great Stuff.

Upon searching, I found a new product: Great Stuff: Smart Dispenser. According to the description and reviews, the Smart Dispenser stops right when I release the trigger and may be re-used after 30 days (though it's not guaranteed). Still at the price point of under $10, I figured it was worth a try. Based on the pictures, this new dispenser had a much thicker straw. Otherwise, the original Great Stuff product looked identical to the Smart Dispenser.

Great Stuff: Smart Dispenser Review

For some reason, my local Lowe's and Home Depot didn't carry the Smart Dispenser, so I had no choice but to purchase it from Amazon. It took forever to deliver, since delivery had to be done by ground shipping (not air shipping). Once the Great Stuff arrived, I immediately started sealing the gaps. Here is my experience:

  • Great Stuff: Smart Dispenser works exactly like the original Great Stuff. Shake for 60 seconds before applying and wait for the product to dry. You can cleanup while still wet, but is much stickier when cured/dried. Wear gloves and eye protection.
  • The Smart Dispenser straw is rigid, where the original Great Stuff has a bit of flex.
  • I did my original application on Day 1. Set the Smart Dispenser aside and did a second application on Day 4. I had to scrap off the dried up foam off the tip. But sure enough after shaking the can for 60 seconds again, the flow of Great Stuff foam restarted. I repeated again a third time on Day 5.
  • Since I could restart the can of Great Stuff, I actually used up all the product after my third use. Because the Great Stuff: Smart Dispenser 
  • The screw cap with the rigid straw isn't very tight, and unscrewed once in awhile, causing foam to ooze out of the can instead of the straw.
Ever since we moved into our home in Millbrae, our guests have commented our home is notably chilly. We felt it too, but wasn't sure what to do about it. Here's are the projects I've done to improve the temperatures inside my home. For those not familiar with Millbrae, it is a city in the SF Bay Area. The weather rarely gets to freezing temperatures in the winter and rarely gets to 100F in the summer. We never get snow.
  1. Results of Re-Insulating Attic in SF Bay Area
  2. How to Seal Power Outlets and Switch Airleaks
  3. Better Home Insulation by Sealing Gaps
  4. My Dog Door for Sliding Patio Door Is Drafty? Seal it with Insulation!
  5. Solving Water Intrusion into VERY SHORT Dirt Crawlspace
  6. Alternative to Messy "Great Stuff"
  7. How to air seal recessed lights on a budget?
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