Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

My goodness, is it ever HOT in Georgia right now. The air conditioning in my car is currently on the fritz, and I am feeling every inch of it on the drive home from work. Save for painting you a very sweaty mental image of how I look by the time I get home, you can imagine how relieved I am to walk into a very comfortable and climate-controlled environment.

You can probably guess that keeping cooling costs down in a city like Atlanta can be quite the task. Add that to an old (and already drafty) home, and you’ve got yourself a potential temperature nightmare. Which is why I was more than a little bit excited when the folks at GREAT STUFF™ asked me to do a product review on their insulating foam sealant. Um, free product and reduces drafts for energy savings? Where do I sign?

Soon after first contact from the GREAT STUFF™ rep, a large package arrived containing both the GREAT STUFF™ Gaps and Cracks sealant and their Window and Door sealant.

To my surprise, they also included their work wipes, which are specifically designed to remove excess uncured GS foam as well as almost any other uncured paint, caulk or adhesive.

When I first moved into the Ugg-Duck, I was stunned to find out how drafty the living room and primary bedroom windows were. Not limited to, but most shocking, I found a giant gap in the bedroom’s leftmost window, necessitating the use of foam sealant. A year and a half later, I can say that I’m quite pleased with how products like this work, but hadn’t yet used the GREAT STUFF™, er, stuff yet.

Since I’ve already taken care of the problematic windows, the general use Gaps and Cracks product seemed to be perfect for filling in a few other areas in my house. Namely, the gaps I found on several of the stair treads when I ripped up the carpet.

I wish I’d been able to show you a better play-by-play, but the original intention was to caulk these gaps prior to painting everything with semi-gloss white, so I only planned on showing an overall before and after. It was easy going at first, but I realized at about stair 8 or 9 that the builders (surprise!) were either not that worried about getting everything perfectly aligned (since it was covered with carpet) or after the house has been settling, the gaps just happened. Either way, I soon figured out that the caulk wouldn’t fill the wider gaps and I’d have to use something that could expand in place. And wouldn’t you know it? I now have something just like that to try out! I love it when things work out like that.

This, er, stuff is pretty easy to use:  just shake the can a little, screw the dispensing tube onto the top (so conveniently taped to the side), and squeeze the trigger. It comes out of the can fast, and you’re only supposed to fill the space <50%. In no time at all, I was already done.

Pros:  Many brands are paintable, but the biggest pro of the GREAT STUFF™ brand is that it can be trimmed after it cures, which is a huge win for beginners like me. Previous foam sealant products that I’ve used have to be formed before curing and can’t be sanded. The GREAT STUFF™ product expanded too much as it dried in the stair gaps (which should be expected when the foam expands twice its original size), but I easily trimmed them up with an exact-o knife. It was almost like cutting into styrofoam – very easy and quick! The product also fully cures in 8 hours instead of the 24 I’ve previously experienced, and felt firm enough to trim within the first hour – making this a single-evening project instead of mutliple nights (when I’m likely to forget and move on to something else). The next step from here is to caulk and then paint for a perfectly smooth corner, and the foam sealant did an excellent job of providing the support I needed to add the caulk.

While I didn’t use the sealant to actually seal any drafts in the house (well, not yet – I still have one can left), I’m impressed so far with the way it expands and am confident that it will do the trick more efficiently over traditional caulk. I’m thinking that I may have to test it out next in the garage and maybe up in the attic.

Cons:  this one is pretty common with all expanding foam sealants: it’s pretty much one time use only. Since this product actually cures faster with a spritz of water, the little tube that comes with the container cannot easily be rinsed out. Bottom line: plan your use of this product so you get everything done at one time instead of in pieces (there seems to be plenty of product left over in the can, so I imagine that it can go a very long way if you plan it right). The product is also super sticky and a bit irritating on the skin – I failed to read that this product requires gloves (the previous product I used did not) and got a little bit under my thumbnail, which wound up itching until I removed the gunk with a little nail polish remover (the label states that it dissolves in acetone).

As for the wipes, they have one smooth and one textured side, which helps to scrub up some of the overflow. I used two during my little stair project, and definitely plan on trying these out again when I have to re-caulk the bathroom window and tub.

And now, for the best part of the post! GREAT STUFF™ wants to send one lucky reader their own pair of GREAT STUFF™ products and wipes for you to try out for yourself! Here is what you get:

  • A 12 Oz. can of GREAT STUFF™ Gaps & Cracks
  • A 12 Oz. can of GREAT STUFF™ Window & Door
  • 1 package of GREAT STUFF™ Work Wipes (contains 30 wipes)

To enter, I only have two steps:
1. If you are not a follower already through GFC (see the “Follow” button on the sidebar), become one.
2. Leave a comment on this post.
The winner will be picked by whichever online random number website I find easiest to use. Submissions close Tuesday, June 7th at midnight. Good luck!

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  1. My 250 year old house could definitely us a can or two of this. We definitely have plenty of gaps and cracks around here.

  2. Those wipes are a great idea! I'm always dripping that stuff everywhere.

  3. I’ve been following your blog and have noticed you write about home ownership and repair. It is awesome!

    The reason I'm leaving you a comment is that I'm the intern for StageofLife.com, and I am looking for bloggers who might be interested in guest writing on our site.

    Could we feature you? We have one stage (out of ten others) that is focused on home ownership and repairs. I think it would be great fit for you.

    Thank you in advance for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing from you if you are interested. My email is megan.colyer@stageoflife.com. Thanks!


    Want to learn more about Stage of Life? Check out http://www.stageoflife.com

  4. I would love to try this stuff out on our “new” 1921 house we're closing on next Friday!!

  5. Oh my gosh, this was a bad time to be behind in my blog reading – I almost missed this great giveaway! I would love to win some Great Stuff, I will keep my fingers crossed!

  6. Worst product I have ever used. Bought 3 packs of the product.

    1 entire pack, though brand new, had no foam at all in it. The cans were clean and empty
    2nd Pack, the foam never solidified, it stayed liquid and went every where.
    3rd Pack, both cans had serious defects, the Windows and Door can detonated in my tool room a mere 20 minutes after putting in on the shelf, and that room stays cool, since I live on the Oregon Coast, the Gaps cans, the nozzle was just a solid piece of plastic in the center, causing the contents to splash back in my face and all over the front of me.

    i will never buy this product again and I suggest that no one else does either.

    The company that produces this garbage does not acknowledge complaints and refuses to take phone calls.