There are two kinds of spray foam insulation: closed cell and open cell. Both provide energy efficiency to homes and buildings. Open cell insulation is best for interior application while closed cell performs better when used on the exterior. A structure will achieve the highest level of energy efficiency when both types of insulation are used. They can be installed with cellulose insulation machines, referred to as cellulose insulation blowers.

Open Cell or Closed Cell Insulation

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Here are a few of the characteristics of closed cell spray foam insulation:

  • It can be applied even when the temperature is as low as 5°F.
  • It is perfect for continuous insulation solutions.
  • It adds strength to the wall structure and provides impact resistance.
  • It has a higher R-value per square inch.
  • It has very low vapor permeability.
  • It can resist bulk water, making it ideal in flood-prone areas.
  • It has a high bond and tensile strength.

The following are the characteristics of open cell spray foam insulation:

  • It can be installed at a much lower cost and achieves the same R-value as closed cell foam insulation.
  • It can achieve a higher R-value when there is no space restriction.
  • It allows for bi-directional drying.
  • It can be installed without the use of many materials.
  • It allows for seasonal movement.
  • It is both an air barrier and insulation material.
  • It repels water molecules.

Closed cell foam insulation is the denser of the two types, featuring better insulation because of its higher R-value. It is more resistant to water penetration or degradation and prevents moisture build-up. Moisture in building insulation will eventually lead to bacterial growth and mold infestation, which could compromise the structural integrity of the home and the health of the dwellers.

Closed cell foam insulation has the required density to prevent the entry of air, which also minimizes mold growth by reducing humidity. Closed cell insulation resembles a solid when formed, providing additional strength to the wall structure to which it is applied.