Closed Cell vs Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation

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Spray foam insulation is the best choice for insulating your home or workplace. Both open and closed cell spray foam are excellent at insulating your building. The expanding foam allows it to reach into all the nooks and crannies, sealing the area much more effectively and quicker than cutting fiberglass to fit. Although it is tempting to install any kind of spray foam insulation in your living or work space, there are a few differences that can help you determine which type will best achieve your insulation goals.

closed cell spray foam insulation Optional Spray Foam Insulation Benefits For Your Home

Open cell spray foam insulation is the cheaper and less common option. Open cell spray foam expands more than closed cell spray foam, but it has a lower resistance to heat – more commonly in the 3.6 to 3.8 R-Value per inch range. Having a lower R-Value means that you need more insulation to achieve your goal. The expansive, open cell spray foam is less dense than closed cell, hence “open cell.” Because it is less dense, less foam is used, making it cost less. Being less dense also means that open cell spray foam is still permeable by water. Water can enter it and run through the foam, exiting a completely different point than where it entered. This makes finding leaks in the roof more difficult, and nearly impossible without removing the foam.

The Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation Advantage

Closed cell spray foam can be used in a wider range of temperatures and is the more effective option in terms of resistance to heat, preventing water infiltration, and strengthening the wall or structure that is insulated. Closed cell spray foam can be sprayed in temperatures as low as 50°F due to the chemical composition. Closed cell spray foam is more dense than open cell spray foam, meaning the resistance to heat flow (R-Value) is higher. The R-Value for closed cell spray foam runs about 6.0 to 7.1 R-Value per inch. This higher R-Value makes it more effective as insulation. Plus, the denser quality of closed cell spray foam makes it more resistant to water infiltration, rust and mold growth. This is important to you because rust and mold can compromise the structural integrity of wood or metal walls. The higher density also means the foam resembles a strong solid once applied; this helps you because the closed cell spray foam reinforces the wall once formed.

Closed cell spray foam is the best choice for climates with a lot of water, colder temperatures, and for reinforcing structures. Open cell spray foam is effective for those with a smaller budget, extremely dry climates, and in warmer temperatures. Check out other insulation installation options.

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