Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to enhance your home’s insulation with high-quality spray foam insulation. As you begin your journey, you will soon find that there are basically 2 types of spray foam insulation on the market: open cell and closed cell. The type you choose will depend on your needs, your space and your budget. Read on for more information to help you make an informed decision.
Open cell spray foam insulation is the cheapest form of the foam on the market. It gets its name from the open cells that make up the foam’s structure. These open cells trap air as the foam expands and hardens, creating a layer of air that acts as an insulator.
Open cel spray foam is considerably softer than closed cell spray foam and it has some degree of flexibility. It is good for surfaces that change temperature frequently or for areas that don’t require a high degree of insulation. The average insulating power of open cell spray foam is just R-3.5 per inch.
It’s important to note that water can pass through open cell spray foam insulation. While the foam creates an air tight seal around wires and other structures in the all, the open cells allow water to pass through. It should not be used as a vapor barrier.
Closed cell insulation is similar to open cell insulation in that it consists of billions of cells closely packed together. However, the cells are complete and contain a small amount of gas trapped inside of them. The gas that is inside the cells acts as an insulator. It has a higher insulating value than air, with the average closed cell spray foam coming in at R-7 per inch.
Closed cell insulation is also more rigid. It does not allow water or air to pass through, and because of the closed cells it can be used to help reinforce or strengthen a surface. Closed cell spray foam insulation is good for use in areas where you need water protection as well as a high insulating value. Attics, exterior walls and roofs are all great places to use the foam.
Both open or closed cell insulation can be purchased as a DIY kit. However, applying the foam requires some finesse, so it’s best to consult a contractor and have them install it for the best results. If you’d like quotes on quality spray foam insulation, click on the link below.