Hydraulic Cement Vs Expanding Foam: Features & Differences

Having a beautiful and organized home is everybody’s dream, but everything in this world needs maintenance with the passing of time. You will surely encounter leakage in your bathroom shower pipe, leakage across the roof chimney, and water pipes, cracks, gaps on masonry and concrete surface, etc.

Home Owners want cheap and effective solutions to all of such problems but you know well how costly it is. This is why we are here and discuss some easy, effective, and economic solutions to all of that problems.

In the past article, we discussed all the features, usabilities, and differences between Hydraulic Cement and Caulk.

Many people also confuse between Hydraulic Cement and Expanding Foam, which one should be used for which purpose?

And which one will be an effective solution to some of the most common and serious home maintenance problems.

Let’s find out…

But wait…

If you don’t have much time to go through the whole article then this brief comparison table will definitely help you to understand the differences in a very short time.

Comparison Table Of Hydraulic Cement Vs Expanding Foam

Hydraulic CementExpanding Foam
1. Hydraulic cement dries and sets very fast. Usually, it will take 3 to 5 minutes to set properly.It will take at least 24 hours to set properly.
2. When it gets hard and dry you can paint it immediately.You have to wait up to 24 hours to paint it post-installation, for better results and to avoid any kind of damage or loss of effectiveness.
3. It has very little or no flexibility.It is known for its better-expanding capability.
4. It is not available in different colors.Same here, you will not get any color variations of it.
5. It has waterproof properties that make it the most suitable fixer for underwater construction. It also has waterproof properties but is mainly used to fill masonry and concrete gaps, fill the gaps in-room windows and doors, for packaging, for keeping things steady, and many more.
6. This is mainly used for construction, creating a foundation, swimming pool construction, leakage sealing, and many more places.It is mainly used for indoor fixing and insulating purposes.
7. It has very little or no insulation capability.Polyurethane or isocyanate is known for better insulation capability which is the main ingredient of expanding foam.
8. Fixing leakage or filling the gap by using Hydraulic cement is economic.Expanding foam insulation will cost you between $0.44 to $2 per board foot. Its open-cell foam is less expensive than its closed-cell foam, and spray foam will cost you much higher.
9. Hydraulic cement is available in 7 different types.Expanding foam is available in 3 different types.
10. It is temperature sensitive and requires ambient conditions to work.Expanding foam is not effective below 5°C and more than 25°C temperature.

Hydraulic Cement Vs Expanding Foam: Detailed Analysis Of Their Features

What Is Expanding Foam And How Does It Work?

Expanding foam or expanding foam is a chemical product that is very useful to fill or seal small wall cavities and some hard-to-reach areas.

It is very useful to seal the gap between doors and windows to prevent the escape of the inside air to save power and money. Its different variants can also be used in the bathroom, and kitchen, fill the gap around the roof chimneys, under the concrete and rocks of the walkway, and in many more places.

Which Chemical Substances Are Used To Make Expansion Foam-Spray Foam?

Expanding Foam-expansion Foam Or spray Foam is made of two chemicals which are:

  1. Isocyanate
  2. Polyurethane

These two chemicals work when they combine together with the presence of air.

These two chemical substances have the property to expand when combined together. When expansion foam comes in contact with air it can expand around 30 to 60 times its volume after the spray.

Properties Of Expanding Foam

One of the most important chemical components that are used to make an expansion foam is polyurethane. It has amazing thermal intrusion capability.

Expansion foam is capable of blocking three types of heat transfer:

1. Stop heat emission from your room in the winter season

In winter the heat is dissipated from the high-temperature region ( Your room) to the low-temperature region (Outside of your home) by the method of conductive heat transfer and expanding foam can prevent such kind of heat loss.

2. Prevent heat loss from solids

Heat intrusion occurs in various ways such as from the surface of a warm solid by the method of radiant heat transfer and it doesn’t require a medium to transmit and expanding foam can also prevent such kind of heat loss.

3. Keep the water warm inside the insulation pipe to keep the room warm in winter

We often observe that the water inside the insulation pipe losses its heat through the process of convection heat transfer. If you are using a room heater then heat is also lost from the warm air.

Expansion foam has the ability to prevent such kind of heat loss by creating an airtight envelope within the structure of the building.

10 Different Practical Usages Of Expansion-Expanding Foam or Spray Foam

  1. Expansion foam can be used to protect your precious items from damage or shaking during transport.
  2. Most often water pipes make a very annoying rattling sound when the water is flowing inside of them. You can stop such kind of annoying sounds by using expansion foam between the pipe and structure gap.
  3. It can be used to prevent heat intrusion from the windows and doors gap in the room.
  4. Can be used to fill voids in concrete walkways.
  5. Expansion foam is useful to keep your bathroom shower head or kitchen faucet steady, while you are using them.
  6. Low-expansion foam can be used to get rid of noisy kitchen or bathroom sinks by applying it at bottom of the sink.
  7. Low-expansion foam is also helpful to create a waterfall or stream in your backyard pond. It helps to keep natural rocks and stones steady with water flow.
  8. Spray foam can be used to join the broken elements.
  9. It has better insulation properties that will help you to retain more heat in some components and make some components cooler by creating better insulation around its structure.
  10. It is helpful to fix those gaps and seal where it is very difficult to reach.

How To Use Expanding Foam?

Expanding foam is very easy to apply but with proper care. Here, I’m going to share some tips that make this job safe and easy.

First, you need some tools to apply the expansion foam on the repair site.

  • Disposable gloves
  • Glasses
  • Sandpaper
  • Saw or any cutter tool

Steps To Apply Expansion Foam On The Site That Need A Fix

  1. First, make sure that the place that needs to fix must be free from dirt, oil, and debris.
  2. Remember never to use expanding foam if the surrounding temperature is either below 5°C (41F) or more than 25°C (77F).
  3. Read the safety instruction carefully which are mentioned by the brand.
  4. Wear safety eyeglasses and disposable gloves.
  5. Now hold the can just away from your face and remove its cap.
  6. Now it’s time to screw the nozzle onto the top valve but make sure don’t put too much pressure over it otherwise it could bend.
  7. Moist the area by sprinkling some water over it.
  8. Now shake the spay foam can vigorously for a few seconds (10 to 15 sec).
  9. Now use the right angle to apply the expanding foam to the place. I would suggest you keep the can upside down to get the best result.
  10. Now, this is the fun part apply the spray foam onto the site, but not too much because it will expand later.
  11. Here, take care of a few things such as stopping applying the foam and shaking well at regular intervals and also moist the site to get a better result.
  12. It will take 5 minutes to nailed on the site properly.
  13. Now wait for 30 minutes to cut the residue and sand the surface so that it will look fine.

Types Of Expading Foam

There are three types of expanding foams available in the market.

High Density Expansion Foam

High-density expansion foam is helpful where high insulation and powerful sealing are required such as the roof of the home. It sticks tightly with the building structure. This type of spray foam is used for outdoor fixing.

Medium Density Expansion Foam

This is a closed cell fixing method where you can fix the interior wall cavity, can be used for soundproofing, and also act as a water and vapor barrier.

Low Density Expansion Foam

This is also known as an open-cell structure. This is helpful to provide continuous insulation and helps to seal the room and prevent air intrusion.

Pros And Cons Of An Expanding Foam

Everything has a bright side and a dark side. Here, in this section, we are going to discuss some pros and cons of using Expansion foam.

Pros of an expanding foam

  1. It is very easy to apply and can fix some most annoying leakage and gaps.
  2. It is very helpful to seal windows and door gaps. It can make your room soundproof, and also prevent heat invasion outside.
  3. It is helpful to keep things steady such as showerheads, pipes, and shipping something inside a package.
  4. It is helpful to create beautiful waterfall and stream in your backyard pond.
  5. It will make your air cooler more cool by applying proper insulation.

Cons Of Using an expanding Foam

  1. Don’t use it around outlets.
  2. Don’t use too much bead of the expanding foam accross the windows and doors, because it can obstruct the opening and closing of windows and doors.
  3. It could be risky to put the spray foam around the spark or the open flame.

What Is Hydraulic Cement And How It Works?

Hydralic cement is a main ingredient of making concrete, mortar, and grouts. It sets very fast within 5 minutes when mixed up with water. Hydraulic cement is known for its durability and strength.

Chemicals That Make It Dry And Hard Quickly

Hydraulic cement is known for its fast dry and harden property. theire are 4 main ingrediants that make it possible:

  1. Alite
  2. Belite
  3. Celite
  4. Brownmillerite

Alite and Belite together known as silicate that is very helpful to provide the strength to the hydraulic cement. You will notice than initialy hydraulic cement is in liquide state. This is because the presence of last two chemical components.

All these chemical components make the hydraulic cement very useful in multiple construction and repair work such as:

  • It can be used underwater.
  • Prevent any kind of shrinking.

Hydraulic Cement Usages

Hydraulic cement is very popular among civil engineers for its vast usability and quick fixing property.

It can be used in:

  • Concrete is made of Hydraulic cement that is used in home foundation making, walls, roofs, etc.
  • Swimming pool.
  • Mortar is also made from hydraulic cement that is used for making brick walls, etc.
  • It is used in making drainage pipes, and other drainage components.
  • It is also used in filling the cracks between the wall, concrete, etc.
  • Underwater construction.
  • Making Grouts.

How To Use Hydraulic Cement?

Hydraulic cement dry and harden very fast. It is also very important to mix water with the cement in the right ratio so that it works perfectly.

Steps To Use Hydraulic Cement On The Site That Need A Fix

  1. First, clean the site where you want to apply hydraulic cement paste. Clean any kind of contaminated dirt from the site.
  2. Now clean the broken, loose, and waste particles from the surface so that you can apply the hydraulic paste on the site.
  3. Now make a perfect paste of hydraulic cement. For this take the required amount of cement and pour it into a bucket.
  4. Now add some water gently. Don’t pour too much water otherwise, the solution will be not as effective as needed.
  5. Now take the paste according to the size of your repair work, and apply it across the area where there is a need for repair.
  6. Use a flat metal piece and press hardly on the paste and smoothen the surface.
  7. Now leave the surface to dry and harden.
  8. After 12 hours of applying the paste, put a wet cloth over the surface or pour some water over the surface, so that it set perfectly.

Pros & Cons Of Hydraulic Cement

Here, I’ve mentioned some pros and cons of the Hydraulic cement:

Pros Of Using Hydraulic Cement

  • It dries and hardens very fast.
  • It is the best repair material for filling gaps, repairing sealant, etc.
  • You can make its paste within a few minutes.
  • This is a very effective solution for repairing leakage and for any kind of construction work.
  • Hot and cold water affect its hardening time.
  • Hydraulic cement is rust and corrode free and it doesn’t get shrink.
  • You can paint its surface after drying completely.

Cons Of Using Hydraulic Cement

  • You have to apply its paste on the site within 15 minutes of making it because it dries and hardens very fast.
  • It is not very effective on a frozen surface.
  • If your area faces temperature dissimilarities very often then using hydraulic cement here will not give you effective results.

Also Read: Drylok Vs Quikrete Hydraulic Cement: Clear Every Doubt

Hydraulic Cement Vs Expanding Foam Which One Is Best For Your Work?

If your work is related to making a foundation, submerging construction, fixing the leakage of the swimming pool, fixing the cracks and gaps of the floor spots, roof sealing fixing, chimney, and pipes leakage fixing, etc you have to choose hydraulic cement due to its durability, fast dry and harden properly.

On the other hand Expanding foam is useful to make your home insulated from air, heat, and sound. It will help to save money on energy loss. It can be beneficial of using expansion foam for some interior applications such as making components steady, soundproofing, sealing window and door gaps, etc.

Hydraulic cement does not offer colors and patterns and is not useful to seal wooden doors, windows. In the same way, you will not get different color variations in the expansion foam, but it can be painted after 24 hours of application.

Similarities between the Hydraulic Cement And The Expansion Foam

There are two main similarities between hydraulic cement and expanding foam such as:

  • Both are come with single color which means they don’t offer different color variations to their customers, but you can paint them after they are set properly.
  • Hydaulic cement and expansion foam need ambient condition to get better result.

Wrap Up On Expanding Foam Vs Hydraulic Cement

If you want to construct something or want to fix underwater sealing or want to fill the gap of the water submerges components then must go with Hydraulic cement.

But if you want to fill the gaps or want to seal the doors and windows gap to prevent air from escaping from the room or want to do soundproofing of your room then must go with expanding-expansion foam or spray foam.

The hydraulic cement dry-out and is cured within 5 to 10 minutes and you can paint it immediately on the other hand expansion foam take 24 hours to set properly and it takes the same time to be ready for paint.

About The Author


Adam is here, I'm an Editor and writer on guidingpapa. I love to share home improvement tips and new ideas in this blog. I have been doing this from couple of years and I'm very passionate about it.

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