Spray foam is often installed in both homes and commercial buildings. Whether you need to add more insulation to your walls or you’re building a new home, you may want to learn more about this material.
You’ve probably come across the terms “open-cell” and “closed-cell” in reference to foam insulation. These are the two main types of spray foam. But what exactly do they mean? Which one is better? Which one should you install for your project? Continue reading to learn more about closed- and open-cell spray foam insulation.
Comparing Open-Cell & Closed-Cell Spray Foam
What is the difference between open-cell and closed-cell spray foam insulation?
Open-cell is a type of foam where the tiny cells are not completely closed. Open-cell foam cells are less dense and filled with air, which gives the insulation a spongy texture and a lower R-value (although it can achieve a greater R-value if not restricted by space). Low-density, open-cell polyurethane foams are similar to conventional polyurethane foams but more flexible. In general, open-cell spray foam insulation:
- Helps provide an air barrier but doesn’t offer a water vapor barrier
- Is frequently used for interior walls because it can help with soundproofing
- Can be less expensive
Closed-cell foam insulation is much denser than open-cell. It has a smaller, more compact cell structure and has a higher R-value per inch. It’s also ideal for achieving a high R-value in narrower spaces. Closed-cell spray foam insulation:
- Helps provide an air and water vapor barrier
- Is often used in roofing projects or other outdoor applications but can be used anywhere in a home or building
- Can be applied at very low temperatures
- Helps provide wall racking strength in addition to impact resistance
We’re not going to tell you one is better than the other—it really just depends on your needs and situation. Our professionals will be able to assess your space and discuss your project, then determine the right solution.
Foam Insulation Installers Serving Tacoma, WA
Pacific Partners Insulation South installs spray foam in homes and commercial buildings old and new, working with homeowners, builders and contractors. Contact us today to discuss your project and get a free estimate!