Open-cell Spray Foam
You have probably taken a look around on different insulation methods and have decided to use Spray Foam Insulation for your home. Now that you’ve decided to use this, you are stuck with two options: open-cell or closed-cell. To help you decide which is best for your home, lets dig a little bit deeper into each one and its performance. From there, you can decide which type will go hand by hand with your project, need and desire.
For starters, lets take a look at the difference between the two. We will start off with closed-cell foam insulation. This type of method is the more common and denser of the two, it has a higher R-value compared to most types of foams and it features a much better insulation due to its high resistance. Closed-cell is more resistant to any water penetration or degradation, including any type of moisture build-up. Moisture build-up can eventually attract bacterial growth and not just that but it can promote mold which can cause for it to eat the wood in your home away and
Closed-cell foam is a bit more expensive due to its high performance.
Open-cell spray foam insulation is on the more pocket-friendly side, a lot more economical compared to closed-cell. Where should open cell be used? The installation of this method is very similar to that of closed-cell but its effects are different. As soon as it is applied, open-cell foam expands allowing it to be installed in very hard to reach areas and covering them almost immediately. This includes hard to reach nooks and crannies and any wall and ceiling cavities that tend be be difficult to seal with closed cell foam. Its R-value is lower compared to closed cell but it is much denser which allows it to provide very good insulation!
Both of these are air barriers but open cell spray foam will absorb and release moisture vapor more freely compared to closed cell foam, which is a good thing because open-cell foam is quite compatible with any sort of wood construction, so it there is wood in your home its a better choice for insulation! If used in your home, open cell spray foam will provide more moisture permeable surface areas for any excess moisture to be absorbed. Open cell foam acts as a moisture buffer as well, helping maintain a much more consistent moisture level within the building which is a very good thing for your health! If you live near a creek or any flood prone areas, avoid using open-cell, instead use open cell spray foam in areas that are more dry to avoid excess water absorption.
Closed cell foam is commonly referred to as “vapor semi-impermeable” and open-cell is referred to as “vapor semi-permeable.” This is good to know for several reasons, one it will help you determine which is best for your home and two it will help you see which is more suitable as well.
As we know, moisture moves from areas with high pressure to those of low pressure, in other words from warm to cold areas and warm air also hold in more moisture than cold air. Now, depending on the area of state you live in according to temperature you can decide if open cell is best for your home. Don’t get carried away with what you hear, instead make sure to make a well educated decision and get informed.