Open Cell vs Closed Cell Spray Foam
Polyurethane spray foam is a type of insulation that has been growing in popularity a lot throughout the last few years. People have been flocking to this product because of its many benefits which include its quick application, resistance to harsh weather and diverse climates, everlasting density, and it’s quick payback in energy sayings compared to other types of insulation. Within this spray foam family are two types of sprays: Open cell and closed cell.
Open cell spray foam can be identified by is fuller body compared to closed cell spray foam. This fuller and lighter body is caused by the material expanding once applied to a surface. This quality makes this insulation great for hard to reach places. This type of spray foam has a R-value of about 4.21 per inch. Open cell spray foam is the less common type of polyurethane insulation.
Closed cell spray foam can be identified by its denser and thinner body. This type of insulation does expand, but only slightly compared to the open cell option. Because it is fairly dense its R-value is quite high at about 6.7 per inch. Closed cell polyurethane has a higher resistance to extreme cold temperatures and moisture build up as well. It is the more expensive and more commonly used spray foam insulation.
Both of these polyurethane spray foams have their advantages. In fact, after reading through the specifics, you may have a clear winner in your mind but the truth is that all homes and areas are different. The biggest component of your decision should be what the design of your home and your climate requires. Green ID serves Phoenix and the surrounding valley and because of this, we don’t experience extremely low temperatures and there’s typically no moisture to deal with.
At Green ID we almost always use open cell spray foam unless there is a space restriction of some sort. For example, we will use closed cell polyurethane spray foam in block walls or when injecting foam into the exterior wall. Closed cell spray foam is typically better but costs twice as much and because of our unique climate here in the valley of Arizona, it’s actually preferable to use open cell spray foam insulation on your home.
Have more questions on the differences between the two? Leave a comment below or reach out to use at 602-926-1650.
8/8/2019 12:53:01 pm
That's really cool that closed cell has a higher resistance to extreme cold temperatures and moisture build up. Where I live, it gets really cold in the winter and snows a lot. I'll have to look more into closed cell spray foam.
10/11/2019 07:50:40 am
I'm looking to have a home built in the future for myself and my spouse to live in. Upon reading your article, we were glad you mentioned how closed-cell spray foam is better suited to insulating a home for colder temperatures. I'll look into service providers to determine whose services would be the most beneficial.
11/4/2019 09:04:47 am
I'm glad that you mentioned that open-cell would be more insulation. I feel like that would be good to make sure that your home stays the right temperature even more. I'll have to consider getting some of that if I have to have some more insulation sprayed in my attic.
11/6/2019 11:06:27 am
I love the idea of using spray-foam because it is much faster to apply and works very well. My parents are remodeling portions of their home and are finally finishing the basement. They don't have a lot of money so anything that saves time and resources is a big plus.
1/30/2020 07:22:26 am
I'm trying to decide what kind of insulation to get for my roof. It makes sense that closed cell spray foam would be a good choice for me! The fact that it can insulate better against cold temperatures is perfect for me. I live in a place that gets really cold in the winters, after all.
9/30/2022 07:27:12 pm
It caught my attention when you said that closed cell spray foam is better at resisting extreme cold temperatures and the build-up of moisture, which is why it is more expensive despite being commonly used. Since we're getting closer to winter soon, I plan to have our attic properly insulated before the season outside turns even colder and our furnace usage will increase. I'll be sure to consider closed-cell spray foam once I find a contractor to hire for the application soon.
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