Types of spray foam insulation

Types of spray foam insulation

Spray foam refers to an air barrier material that helps seal the ceiling, floors, and wall cavities against air movement. The cavities include spaces around light fixtures and electrical outlets and where walls join with doors and windows. You can apply the spray foam into an open cavity such as rim joists, crawl spaces, attics, and new construction. You can also use it in pole barns, commercial buildings, and existing homes. Compared to conventional insulation materials you will realize that spray foam will make crevices, gaps, and cracks on installation, and it will not settle, sag, or compress with time.

Open-cell spray foam

It is an insulation that is applied to open cavities within any structure. It can establish a continuous and an air seal in a pole barn, new home, or existing home. This insulation has a lower R-value than the closed-cell foam but has the best thermal resistance features with approximately 3.2 to 3.8 R-value per inch.

Benefits of using open-cell spray

  • It can help you with sound dampening by minimizing the noise emanating into your house. Although it will not be completely soundproof in your home, it can minimize the sound that can pass through.
  • When your home settles and shifts, the open cell will stay intact with the structure without cracking.
  • The open cell is more affordable than the closed cell. However, it will offer the same air seal you might try to achieve.
  • The open cell will enable water to penetrate through but not retain it like a sponge or soak it up. After it becomes wet, it will dry out without enhancing the growth of mildew and mold.
  • It is pliable, light, and will expand up to 100 times to fill the cranny and nook areas where you install it.

Closed-cell spray foam

It is a closed-cell. It is a spray-applied plastic that establishes continuous and air-sealed insulation. It boasts several benefits and features, such as:

  • Its thermal resistance (R-value) ranges from 5 to 6.5 per inch. If you install it at a thickness of about two inches, it will become a barrier to vapor and air transfer. That hinders heat transfer through mildew, mold, or air issues which can emanate from unwanted moisture. 
  • The rigidity of the closed-cell makes it the ideal choice for exposed walls and other applications. It can hold against normal wear and tear, reducing the frequency of repairs to your ceiling and walls. 

However, closed-cell spray foam can be challenging to work with since, after insulation, it becomes hard to make changes.

Both closed and open-cell foam insulation are effective insulators that you can use in various parts of your home or office. However, most people prefer closed-cell foam insulation since it has moisture barrier features and a higher R-value. To read more about attic insulation, you can look at the Attic Man site.