Low density spray foam insulation, or open-cell foam insulation is a type of low density polyurethane that is sprayed into a space to act as an insulation and air-sealing barrier. The open-cell structure makes the foam flexible when hardened. It weighs roughly 0.5 pounds per cubic foot and is installed by professional contractors that are capable of using the 2-component application canister.
Low-density spray foam is generally used in walls or attics. It can also be sprayed around ducts and in ceilings or crawl spaces. It is impermeable to air, but moisture passes freely through. It is commonly used in walls to fill cavities created during construction.
Like other types of foam insulation, low-density spray foam is applied using a special canister that allows 2 chemicals to mix prior to spraying. The chemicals combine to form a matrix of open structures that can move and flex as needed. Often areas that experience large temperature changes find the flexible material to be more advantageous.
Due to the large cell structure of the foam, it usually stays soft and flexible after curing. It provides high insulation value even as the building settles or shifts over time and in different weather. Low-density spray foam is considered an effective heat insulator and it seals air flow that can occur through cracks, joints and seams. It can also absorb sound, making it great for homes and businesses.
One of the biggest advantages to open cell spray foam insulation is that it costs less than closed cell foams. Unfortunately, because of its lower R-value, more is required to get the same insulating quality of a closed cell formulation. If the space is available for a thicker layer of foam, open cell types can be more cost effective than closed cell varieties.
Like all types of spray foam insulation, installation should be done by a qualified contractor. Some DIY kits are available, but for the best results, a professional should install the foam. Getting it spread evenly throughout the surface is key to the best performance. After the installation is complete, the installer should inspect the area to make sure all cracks and gaps were properly filled. If necessary, another layer of foam can be sprayed to fill in any gaps or cracks that were missed. Your installer should let you know how long it will take the foam to fully dry. In some areas, it may not fully cure for many months.
When done correctly, you should notice an immediate change in your home’s environment after installing spray foam insulation. Less drafts and more stable temperature are 2 of the biggest advantages you can expect. For quotes on spray foam insulation, click on the link below.