A Tale of Two Foams: Open Cell vs. Closed

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Comparing open cell vs. closed cell spray foam insulation for your commercial or residential property is crucial when you are considering your insulation needs. Our team at iFoam Fort Walton Beach  can help you make the best choice for your individualized needs and budget.

Spray foam insulation is arguably the most commonly used form of insulation.  Spray foam has a seemingly endless amount of benefits including an air tight seal that creates a robust resistance to diverse environmental conditions.

There are two primary types of polyurethane spray foams, known as open cell and closed cell.  Before deciding on one or the other, it is important to understand the difference between the two.

Open Cell Spray Foam

Open Cell spray foam expands once applied, allowing it to be installed in the hard to reach nooks and crannies. This can include wall and ceiling cavities that can be difficult to seal. The expansion feature will completely seal the area and provide proper insulation. However, the R-value of open cell polyurethane spray foam is lower–averaging in the 3.6 to 3.8 per inch range. This means that its heat resistance level is lower, possibly causing insulation failures in extreme temperatures.

Open cell spray foam does not have water resistance, and its lower strength provides less support to walls. It is also more absorptive air and lower noise frequency ranges.  Open cell foam can be extremely advantageous when an application does not require airtight seals.

Arguably, the most appealing attribute of open cell spray foam is its affordability.  Because it requires fewer ingredients to create, open cell foam is more economical. While it doesn’t have as high of an R-value as closed cell, it is still far more effective and energy efficient than the other traditional products. And depending on the scale of your project, it can still end up being much more affordable than closed cell. It is also considered to be more environmentally friendly since it produces fewer consumed materials when compared to closed cell spray foam.

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Closed Cell Spray Foam

Closed cell spray foam is the more common of the two types of polyurethane spray foam.  It is dense and has a very rigid form, so it can enhance the stability of a structure.  With a higher R-value–averaging around 6-7 inch–an easier installation and it impermeability to water and air, closed cell foam is a top choice for home and commercial insulation.

Closed cell spray foam is also more resistant to water degradation, which includes moisture build-up. Moisture eventually attracts bacterial growth and ends up promoting mold.

Closed cell foam is quite dense.  It is dense enough to prevent drafts in your home or business as well as keep the internal temperature regulated and comfortable.

Whether your property is new construction or an existing structure, iFoam FWB has the spray foam solution for you!  If you live in Fort Walton Beach or in the panhandle area and are ready to insulate your home or place of business, give us a call or request a  FREE estimate!

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