Reduce Costs By Maximizing Yield
Contractors are always looking for ways to reduce costs – at least they should be. Often, one of the first cost reductions moves is to negotiate lower prices from suppliers. This approach is often met with resistance and results in little, if any, savings. Meanwhile, methods within the contractor’s direct control can be very effective in reducing material costs.
Maximizing yield can have a huge impact on material costs. Quite simply, if the material goes further, less is needed for a given project and there are several simple ways to increase yield.
Consider the way you store your supplies. The chemicals should be kept at around 65-75ºF (18-24ºC). Be sure to rotate your stock: first in, first out. If new stock is continually placed in front or on top of older stock, the older stock may sit unused for an extended period. The ageing stock will become less effective as time passes.
When opening a resin drum for the first time, the material should be mixed using a suitable agitator for at least half an hour in order to correct any material separation. We recommend the use of a Twistork® air-operated agitator to facilitate sufficient mixing. Without proper mixing, the various chemicals in the resin will be used disproportionately when you spray, resulting in poor foam and low yield.
Spraying onto cold substrates in the winter will also result in low yields. Use the Sun's heat to your advantage. In the morning, spray east walls, then work south and west over the course of the day. North walls won't get much heat from the Sun, but Home Foam® generates heat which can warm the building’s interior – and the walls you've already sprayed will keep that heat inside – so leave walls not heated by the Sun until the end of the day.
Spray gun configuration can greatly influence yield. Large chambers are popular because they increase production rates, but these big chambers impact the mix and lead to excess waste. A smaller chamber will create a better mix.
To further improve the mix, use a secondary spray tip to add a static mix to the mix performed by the spray chamber. The secondary tip results in improved yield and better quality foam.
Do The Math
Contractors resist using smaller spray tips because productivity would suffer. This does not take into account the fact that the cost of materials far outweighs the cost of labor.
Consider this generic example using nice round numbers: An installer sprays a set of materials in six hours. The set of materials cost $2000, while the installer, at $20/hour, costs $120. The use of a 20% smaller tip would increase yield by 10% while increasing labor time by 20%. Increasing yield by 10% saves about 100 lbs of material, valued at around $200. Since this $200 material savings would come at a labor cost of just $24, you’d come out ahead.
This example holds true for any foam system on the market. The use of high-output guns may get the work done faster, but at the expense of yield, necessitating the use of more material to achieve coverage.
In the quest to cut expenses, contractors should first look at their own operations. By adopting a few simple practices, material costs can be cut significantly. It may take a little time and effort, but the savings will make it worthwhile.
Want to get the absolute maximum yield and save even more money? Consider Home Foam®. Yielding 20,000 board-feet per set or material – a figure attained across a range of conditions and confirmed by our customers – Home Foam® yields 20-40% more insulation than other half-pound foam products. For more about Home Foam® and getting the most from it, please contact us.