Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Unexpectedly Useful Tool

Last fall when I was doing the foundation waterproofing I needed to find a way to get rid of the frost on the ICFs before I could attach the peel-n-stick membrane. I used a heat gun at first, but I found that it got too hot; and it would melt the styrofoam if I wasn't careful.

My next idea was to use a blow dryer. It worked perfectly... it melted the frost but didn't get so hot so as to affect the styrofoam. I bought two cheap units and since then I've used them almost on a daily basis for one thing or another. I use them to dry things out, remove frost and ice, melt snow, and warm my gloves. A few times I've even clamped them to the leg of a ladder and let them run overnight to melt some snow or ice. It's really surprising how well they work.

For the last few days, I've been using them to remove the ice that has accumulated on the tops of the ICFs. Those surfaces need to be clean and dry so that the ICFs fit together properly. I just lay the blow dryers on their sides on top of the ICFs... then I work on something else for a few minutes. When I come back, the ICFs are ready to go.

However, today it was rather chilly, so I needed them for something else first thing this morning.