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Closed Cell vs. Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation

If you’re thinking about upgrading the insulation in your home to spray foam, you’re in for a real treat. Spray foam insulation can effectively create a barrier against air, preventing warm air from escaping in the winter and cool air from escaping in the summer. Spray foam insulation comes in 2 types: open-cell and closed-cell. Which one you choose will depend on how you want to use it and what your budget is.

Closed Cell

Closed cell is the most expensive type of spray foam insulation. It consists of a network of trapped gas bubbles within complete cells of polyurethane. The gas has a higher insulating value than air and the closed cell structure makes the foam very rigid. The gas is made of blowing agent and is permanently embedded in the foam during the curing process. Cured foam is generally of a medium density. It should also be noted that closed cell foam insulation resists liquid water and can act as a functional vapor retarder.

Closed cell foam typically has an R value of 6 at 1 inch thickness. The semi-rigid structure is ideal for interior or exterior use. It is mold-resistant and can be applied to walls, ceilings, floors and even concrete slabs.

Open Cell

Open cell foams are made of billions of broken cells. The blowing agent is not trapped in the cells and is instead released into atmosphere as the foam cures. The cells have billions of holes in their walls, allowing them to interlock and connect. As a result, the spaces between the cells become filled with air which acts an insulator. It does not resist liquid water or humidity. The cells are not strong nor are they as dense as in closed cell foam.

Open cell foam has a typical R value of 4.3 at 1 inch thickness. The structure is soft and sponge like. It is only suitable for interior use and it is mold resistant. It may be applied to walls, ceilings, floors and more.

Whether you choose closed or open cell foam spray insulation, you’ll also need to find a qualified contractor to install it for you. Most people choose professional installation to ensure the best results. If you’re interested in upgrading your home’s insulation, click on the link below for a quote on high-quality spray foam insulation. The installer will help you choose the right type for your needs so your home can be more comfortable all year round.