Justin Strombeck, Lapolla Industries Lead Technician Offers Tech Tips

Spray Foam Tech Tips Lapolla Industries Spray Foam Insider

Lapolla Industries, Inc. is well known around the globe for the manufacture and distribution of state-of-the-art polyurethane spray foam insulation, reflective roof coatings, spray foam equipment and turnkey mobile spray foam rigs. Their corporate office and manufacturing facility is located in Houston, Texas with distribution centers strategically located throughout the United States and in 40 countries globally.

About Justin Strombeck

Justin Strombeck, a third-generation spray foam applicator, has done it all. He is now the Lead Technician of Lapolla Technical Services Field Technicians. His many years of first-hand experience in the field has allowed him to gain a wealth of knowledge and a deeper understanding of the day-to-day work performed by spray foam and coating companies. Moreover, Justin's insight has been key in product development as well as the application process for Lapolla's spray foam material formulas.

Valuable Tech Tips from Lapolla's "Ask The Tech Guy"

Justin, "The Tech Guy", has two goals in mind: To help start-up spray foam and coating companies become successful and to help established companies grow and thrive. Justin offers the following Q & A tech tips for some of the most frequently asked customer questions:

It is important for first-time buyers of used spray foam equipment to seek proper training in how to use and maintain their equipment. Understanding how to operate the equipment will ensure that jobs are done professionally. The Spray foam business is a continuous learning process. Understanding how to maintain the equipment will extend the life of the equipment and decrease or eliminate any down time. Several training entities can be found throughout Spray Foam Insider’s website. Companies that provide you with training should stand by you in the future should questions arise.

Q: Why is there more of one material component (either A or B) left over when I finish spraying a set?

A: Every manufacturer is different but you will rarely have 2 empty drums when you finish a set. Why? Because A and B components are not the same weight to volume. Even though they are sold as the same volume, once applied, the yield may vary.

Q: How do I achieve more yield for my job?

A: Density and yield are directly proportional. The more heat you create at the core of the foam the less density you create, thereby increasing your yield.

Thinner Pass = Less Yield
Thicker Pass = More Yield

This may not seem intuitive at first because it's important to understand that applying a thinner pass (less than 2 inches) may require an additional pass to achieve the correct thickness, thereby decreasing the yield. So, the more passes, the less yield because more material is being used. Most material manufacturers suggest a 2-inch pass to obtain a greater overall yield.

The more insulation bubbles you create the better the R-value and the better the yield. This is why our FL 2000-4G closed cell foam yield is higher than a 245fa system. Instead of 1.5 million insulation bubbles per square inch, with 245fa blown system, we are creating 2 million insulation bubbles with our Lapolla Spray Foam System.

Q: Which spray gun is the best?

A: Of the different options available, there are positives and negatives. Preference is also a consideration depending upon what the customer feels works best for him or her. Here are some examples:

Graco© Fusion AP Spray Gun


  • Parts are widely available
  • Least expensive initially


  • High maintenance cost
  • Requires high attention to detail when cleaning

Graco© Probler P2 Spray Gun


  • Lower cost to operate
  • Moderate attention to detail when cleaning


  • Parts are more expensive
  • Parts are not widely available

Graco© Fusion CS Spray Gun


  • Low cost of ownership
  • 4th generation has vastly improved over previous versions


  • Up-front costs can be high
  • Cost of parts can be pricey

One of the most popular spray guns in use is the Graco© Fusion AP. Justin's favorite spray gun is the Graco©Fusion CS because it reduces downtime -- the tip doesn't need to be drilled out as often due to its chemically-assisted purging system.

Additional Tech Tips From Justin:

  • Make sure your foam manufacturer has technicians in the field ready to assist you when needed. At Lapolla, we employ six full-time experts dedicated specifically to addressing our contractors' questions either in person or by telephone.
  • Do not use less than 600 grit sandpaper when cleaning the spray gun's side seals and chambers. For best results, always use a smooth surface for cleaning such as a piece of granite.
  • A common issue I encounter is over-greasing. Lightly apply grease to the fingertip, then to the O-rings. There's no need to overdo it!

Have more questions for Lapolla's expert technicians?

E-mail us at info@lapolla.com

Spray Foam Tech Tips Lapolla Industries Spray Foam Insider