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View Full Version : My 1st DIY spray foam cave disaster



Skeered
02-18-2012, 11:23 PM
I have this 10x14x12'T cave I framed up this past week. Spent lots of time with chicken wire and landscape fabric. Made sure the fabric is adhered to the backside of the wire and gaps minimized as much as possible. Really stoked this morning. Kinda nervous really. I bought one of those 600 bdft/1.75 lb. spray foam sets around Christmas. Now I am ready to use them. Prepared as good as anyone could be. Canisters were kept in a warm room at 80 degrees. Heated my shop to make sure things were at least 70 degrees. Plenty of extra nozzle tips in my pocket. Hooked everything up and did some test spraying to make sure everything was good. Once I started spraying then all anxiety went away and it became fun. Just a little 1st time jitters.

The 1.75 lb. foam I had just did not have much expansion at all. All the videos on the net look to be that of 1/2 lb. foam so you are used to seeing all kinds of expansion. Overall I figured I had a little over 700 square foot of surface area to my room. In most places my fabric did not deviate from the wire more than 1/2"-3/4". I thought heck at 1" thickness and 600 square feet I could knock out most of it and go from there. What happened was I covered 85% of the walls with varying thickness of 1/4"-1/2" of foam. It was almost a struggle to get the foam to 1" in thickness unless you held the nozzle right on it. Most of the chicken wire is still exposed. I don't even think another set of tanks would even finish the job. Instead of getting 600bdft or 50 cubic feet of foam under perfect conditions I actually ended up getting about 1/3 that amount. In the end one canister was empty and the other had very little in the bottom so the mix I thought was pretty good.

Extremely disappointing overall as I had high hopes. Seemed like every post I read everyone was happy with their results. Since I am using chicken wire I am considering smearing over everything with stucco. Be cheaper than another DIY spray foam kit as I was going to hardcoat with a stucco finish coat anyways.

Allen H
02-19-2012, 12:57 AM
humidity and cold will kill the rise of the foam.was it humid? Contact the company and express your dissatisfaction.

Skeered
02-19-2012, 03:16 AM
Overall I thought conditions in my shop would have been much better than average when compared to a lot of other situations that I see. I didn't think it would have been that humid in my shop but then again I don't have a humidity gauge on the wall to look at either.

I saw that video you posted about a year and half ago spraying foam for Scream. That seemed to be a pretty good setup with the lasers and half wall.

Allen H
02-19-2012, 06:43 AM
That set up has worked great for us.
Was it raining outside that day? did it rain the day before?
Every haunt workshop should have to a hydrometer- (tells you the percentage of humidity in the air) because it affects all kinds of foam. I dont do any foam work on cold or days when the humidity is over 50%. It is very hard to tell the humidity on a cold day.
Definitely contact the foam company and tell them of your low expansion- they may send you another kit to get the job done.
Allen H

Skeered
02-20-2012, 01:04 AM
I bought a couple new thermometers each with hygrometers. Put one inside and one outside. The one outside varied from 72% this morning down to 36% early afternoon then back up to 82% with fog out tonight. The one inside my shop stayed consistent at about 58%-61%. I know these aren't yesterdays conditions, but do show my shop is resistant to fluctuations. I looked on the manufacturers website and they state humidity below 50% will cause a longer curing time. I take that as the higher the humidity then the quicker the cure time and the lower the expansion. Just like what you said. What sucks is all the instructions or videos anywhere there is no mention about taking into account the humidity. Seems like if humidity would make that much difference then they would throw in a cheap $1 gauge in every $600+ DIY kit. I wouldn't think that an extra 10% would knock it in the dirt like it did. Hell if I know. Guess I'll call the manufacturer and go from there.

Frightener
02-20-2012, 06:57 AM
I don't know much about those foam kits. I have been wanting to do a cave for a long time, and seeing Allen's video really pushed me over the edge of wanting one. I wanted the same setup as they had too, though I hate to "copy" their cave, I think I have no choice. Talking about their laser wall / lagoon.

Anyways, If you feel your humidity didn't play that much of a role in it, I'd do what Allen suggested and at least call them folks up and talk to them.

Got some pics? We'd love to see your progress on the cave, or I would anyways. I love caves :P


Hope it all works out for you. Hey, Allen, what would be a good fix for this? Would monster mud or that stucko stuff actually work here? Or would it be too much of a risk of it flaking off?


Dewayne

Jim Warfield
02-20-2012, 09:47 AM
It was 23 degrees yet 80 % humidity? = miserable!
I had no such trouble making my "Cave". The humidity was streaming down my entire body for the two summers it took me to do the digging (by hand) pour the cement for the floor, form up the cave using 3/4 inch plywood boxes and many 2 by 4s and rebar then pour the concrete over it all, then shovel the dirt back over it to complete it.
Yes there was some "problem-solving" involved but the tunnel/cave curves smoothly overhead and length-wise and does have an organic feel to it. I soaked the wood I used with latex paint for the forms ad got a second-use from most of it.

Skeered
02-20-2012, 10:23 AM
I am just PO'd right now. Well except for when I read Jim's post a moment ago. He made me smile a bit:) 85% humidity outside this morning and 59% inside my shop. I also swapped thermometers around to make sure the one in my shop isn't stuck or something. Just checking now it is 54% outside and 58% inside my shop. After watching all the videos I couldn't wait to try this stuff out. That's why I went ahead and bought a kit in December when I wasn't even ready for it. I spent 2 months researching all the high dollar vs. having someone come in and do it vs. one of these DIY kits. I am at the point of just ponying up for a set of 55 gallon drums and go find a small spray rig that I can buy. If I buy fresh resin now or in the next couple months then it will be good for next year as well.

Frightner I am the same as you. I Love caves so I am not gonna let this slow me down or not finish it.

Frightener
02-20-2012, 01:49 PM
There ya go Skeerd. Here's the thing, there are no failures, only lessons learned! So keep your head up high man, who knows, maybe you'll come up with a great solution that you hadn't seen before, that will change the way you do other projects as well in the future but better.

I don't really believe in karma, or things happening for a reason. I do however, believe in man. I think we really should just take each step with as much patience and care as possible. Sure, we'll all get PO'd, but the great thing is, we have the power to stop and think, and gather ourselves to commit in believing in ourselves and what we can accomplish.

I'm sure you'll see it through and I bet it'll be amazing. Just keep your head up high bro.

Sorry, feeling a bit philosophical today... probably the pain meds :P

Dewayne

Trail of Terror
02-20-2012, 05:40 PM
i havent seen allens video on caves... where is that video at?

love to see it


I don't know much about those foam kits. I have been wanting to do a cave for a long time, and seeing Allen's video really pushed me over the edge of wanting one. I wanted the same setup as they had too, though I hate to "copy" their cave, I think I have no choice. Talking about their laser wall / lagoon.

Anyways, If you feel your humidity didn't play that much of a role in it, I'd do what Allen suggested and at least call them folks up and talk to them.

Got some pics? We'd love to see your progress on the cave, or I would anyways. I love caves :P


Hope it all works out for you. Hey, Allen, what would be a good fix for this? Would monster mud or that stucko stuff actually work here? Or would it be too much of a risk of it flaking off?


Dewayne

Skeered
02-20-2012, 06:21 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZs-sAFLfbs

Allen H
02-20-2012, 11:44 PM
To fix it, I would use spray acrylic stucco. It will cover and protect.

shawng
02-22-2012, 07:57 AM
Allen, i see the screen you were using isnt chicken wire, its much finer and smaller. What exactly is this type of screen? Also, i have heard of people putting up cloth first, then the screen, to have something behind the screen for the foam to catch. Think this would benefit?

Trail of Terror
02-22-2012, 03:04 PM
Allen how wide is your cave and what do you recommend?


To fix it, I would use spray acrylic stucco. It will cover and protect.

Allen H
02-22-2012, 03:05 PM
Shawn, it is regular window screen It comes n roles from depot. I dont think you need cloth behind it, but like I said in the video one or two coats of latex paint would make the screen even finer and you would lose less foam.

Trail of Terror
02-23-2012, 06:40 AM
Allen how wide is your cave and what do you recommend?

Allen H
02-23-2012, 09:18 AM
The room we did was 12' by 20' with the entrance and exit next to each other. The half wall (From the cieling to 3.5' from floor) was dead center and 14' long. The only thing I recommend is to have at least one good turn in it so they cant see the exit from the entrance.
Allen H

The Mad Hatter
02-24-2012, 11:23 PM
I am sorry about the disaster, sounds like a mess. I hope you email the company and tell them your complaint. Typically what I have seen before in the studios is that you hire a Foam insulation sprayer to come in and spray a nice semi thick coat of foam on the window screen//// or Fiberglass concrete cloth. What you then do is spray it with a *HOPPER* with a semi water down thin set or synergy.... What this thin set/synergy does is add a hard coat and adds more realistic cave drips for your set. This hard coat protects from foam chipping off of your set. You then paint with browns grey black and whatever else you want, even glow in the dark paint to look like minerals! This method can bee seen at the Indiana Jones ride In CA, and also the movie pirates of the Caribbean the black pearl....

Hope this helps,

Blade-of-the-moon
02-25-2012, 01:51 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZs-sAFLfbs

:D HAHAHHA! Great video there..the prize was at the end though.. :D

Allen, how on earth did you get that stuff out of your...well...EVERYTHING !? lol

Skeered
02-26-2012, 10:00 AM
I called the company. Talked to a rep about varying factors and I did everything that I was supposed to. The reps only answer was "it depends on who is spraying it" as far as results go. Told the rep that if I applied a 1" layer then I would not even come close to achieving 600 board feet. I stated in my 1st post that I had a little bit of foam left in one of the canisters. The rep told me that they do this on purpose because the resin in that particular tank is a little bit thicker and want to make sure enough comes out.

It ain't over yet. I am working on something that will certainly just piss off a lot of the spray foam guys.

Odinseye
02-26-2012, 10:31 AM
We hired a spray foam company to come in and do our cave. It was great as the first guy had worked for the company for years and had always wanted to do something like that so after a while he shut off the counter and just went to town on it. Of course our cave is 50 feet long and 12 wide, so it was better to do it this way. We put in several turns so we could keep fog in easier (its outside). If you do this make sure you get foam that has a hard surface when it sets. It makes for a great cave.