When discussing the possibility of applying polyurethane spray foam to a home structure or building applications, we have a choice between an open cell and closed cell foam insulation option. The choice for which one to use depends on many factors such as physical properties, cost, application method and performance.
In open cell foam, the cells walls, or surfaces of the bubbles are broken and air fills all of the spaces onto which the foam is applied. Open cell foam is soft and can be crushed open with your hands. While in closed cell foam, the cells are closed and tightly packed together rendering the foam with a much stronger and impenetrable surface.
The advantages of the closed-cell spray foam compared to open-cell foam include its strength, higher R-value, and greater resistance to the leakage of air or water vapor. The disadvantage of the closed-cell foam is that it is much denser than open cell foam, requiring more material, and therefore, more expense.
When not to use
The two types of foam are inappropriate in specific applications. For example, it would not be wise to use open cell foam below grade or in flotation applications where it could absorb water. Closed cell foam is the better choice where small framing sizes are needed with the greatest R- value per inch possible such as on roofing applications.
Contact EcoTech Insulation to schedule a free assessment or to make an appointment. We will be happy to answer all of your questions. 613 296-6662