A two-part mixture is applied by trained professionals to the surface to be insulated. The spray mixture expands rapidly to fill all cracks and voids, completely and permanently adhering to wood, masonry, metal, concrete, and most other construction materials.
Closed-Cell spray Polyurethane foam is highly dense and when sprayed expands up to 30 times its original liquid volume producing an R-value per inch of 6.4+. In Closed-Cell spray foam, cells or bubbles in the foam are compacted together, are not broken and each is filled with an inert gas selected to make the insulation value of the foam as high as possible. An example of Closed-Cell foam insulation that we benefit from every day would be the insulation found in your refrigerator and freezer.
The advantages of Closed-Cell foam include its strength, higher R-value, and greater resistance to the leakage of air or water vapor making it ideal for windy, damp and water prone locations, such as coastal areas, below grade, crawl spaces, or for the whole house. For many of our clients, Closed-Cell foam is the product of choice. While more expensive than Open-Cell foam because of its density, at 1 inch thickness Closed-Cell foam develops an air barrier and at 2 inches a moisture barrier. Closed-Cell Spray Foam is the only FEMA approved flood resistant insulation material.
Open-Cell spray Polyurethane foam is soft - like a foam cushion in a pillow and is an excellent air and sound insulator. Unlike Closed-Cell foam, Open-Cell foam is less dense, with each Cell in the foam being broken, thus allowing air to fill all of the spaces in the material. Upon spraying Open-Cell foam expands up to 150 times its original liquid volume, thereby filling all nooks and crannies in the wall cavity. When spraying is complete, the excess foam is shaved off the studs, leaving a flat surface over which dry wall or other material can be applied.
With an R-value of 3.7+ per inch Open-Cell foam gives you an air barrier @ 5 inches of thickness. Uses for Open-Cell include spraying directly to all walls of a house, and as sound proofing for media rooms. Open-Cell foam may also be direct sprayed to roof decks.
Open cell foam sprays expand once applied, allowing them to be installed in hard to reach, out of the way areas. This includes wall and ceiling cavities that can be difficult to seal with closed cell foams. The expansion feature will create an airtight seal around the area and provide proper insulation. Open cell spray foam does not have water resistance, though, and its lower strength provides less support to walls. It is also more permeable to vapor and air, and lower noise frequency ranges.
Another positive trait of open cell polyurethane foam is its cost. Because of its disadvantages compared to closed cell foam spray, it is more affordable. This can be a great advantage when an application does not require airtight seals and moisture prevention. Caution needs to be taken, though, that the less expensive alternative does not lead to more expensive repairs in the future. Establishing the needs of a given application are important before choosing which foam spray to use.
We are able to help you make that choice when the time comes!