July 5, 2022
spray foam insulation

What are the Pros and Cons of Closed and Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation?

open cell close cell spray foam

Closed and Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation are the two types of Spray Foam Insulation. For normal places, Open Cell Insulation can be a good choice. In Closed Cell Insulation, the gaps in the cells are closer – which makes it ideal for areas with harsher weather and having extremes of temperature conditions. Each type of Spray Foam Insulation comes with its own pro and cons.    

Pros and Cons of Closed and Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Open-cell spray foam can last for more than 8 decades after installation. One of the biggest benefits of this kind of insulation is that it can perfectly seal all those areas that can be tough to insulate with closed-cell foam. Once it has been applied, open-cell foam expands a lot and can insulate nooks and crannies that are typically hard to reach. This is an affordable insulation option as well, less in cost than the Closed Cell variety.

However, it allows moisture to pass and does not act as a barrier for moisture vapor. In areas where there is no risk of water intrusion, this can be a great insulation option. If you think it might get wet, it is better to opt for Close cell spray foam insulation. After getting wet, open-cell insulation can get totally dry. In case of excessive amounts of water, the spray foam shape might be impacted. Also, water is absorbed by open-cell foam in case of leaks. Water can be held against the sheathing elements and framing – which can lead to rot and mold issues.

Closed-cell spray foam insulation can add structural strength.  It can boost racking strength by as much as 400% more than fiberglass insulation when applied onto wall cavities – as per tests carried out by the National Association of Home Builders.

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Open Cell VS Close Cell

When it comes to the differences between the two, Closed Cell is more expensive than the Open Cell variety and can last for more time. It is denser and heavier and can expand as much as 33 times its original size.

Closed-cell foam, as compared to Open-cell spray foam insulation, happens to be more impermeable to air, vapor and water. Thus, it is less prone to the structural impact caused by water damage – such as bacteria, rot, mildew, and mold, and proves to be more efficient.

Closed-cell foam is also costlier than the Open cell variety. It can be used in all those areas where weather is harsher and there are more extremes of temperature conditions.

As compared to Open Cell foam, Closed Cell foam can last for more time. It is more durable in form. The density and R-value of Closed Cell foam are much more than the Open Cell variety, which makes it much better for sealing areas against entry of air, moisture, and vapor. Due to a higher R-value than Open Cell foam, it is also better at keeping heat away from a structure.

Conclusion

Both open-cell and closed-cell foam insulation can be useful for insulation purposes. However, Closed Cell foam is definitely better when it comes to resisting the impact of weather. On the other hand, Open cell spray foam can be used in all those areas that are tougher to insulate with the Closed Cell variety.

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