They type of foam insulation you should use.
Good on you for choosing to take your homes efficiency to the next lever and deciding to go with spray foam insulation. As you embark on researching this hot topic, you’ll find out that there are generally two types of spray foam that you can go with: closed cell and open cell. Which you decide to go with will depend on what your situation is and more specifically what area you want sprayed and what your budget is like. Read further to get a better understanding on the difference between them.
The cheapest of the two spray foam insulations on the market, open celled spray foam gets its “open” from the cells that created the matrix of the foam. After the foam is sprayed and it expands, these open cells then trap air after it hardens and it then behaves as an insulator.
Open cell spray foam is more flexible than closed cell and this is because it is much softer than the closed cell. It’s a superior product for areas that require less insulations, and for surfaces that experience frequent temperature fluctuations. This type of foam insulation averages at around R 3.5 per inch as an insulating value.
It’s good to note that due to the open nature of the foam cells, this foam is penetrable by water, though it does create and air seal. Because of this characteristic, it is good to make a note that this foam solution shouldn’t be used as a vapour barrier.
Open cell and closed cell insulation share the similarity that they are both consisted of cells that are densely packed together. The difference is that closed cell foam is exactly that “closed” and has gas trapped in these cells. It is this trapped gabs that behaves like an insulator. This has a higher R value than air, and it raises the this foams R-value to an R-7 per inch.
Also, closed cell spray foam is more rigid and it doesn’t allow for the passage of moisture which allows for it to double as a vapour barrier. It can also be used as a structural reinforcer. It is ideal for areas that need extra insulation value, as well as protections for moisture. Roofs, exterior walls and attics are all perfect places to use this particular foam.
Both of these insulations have revolutionized the insulation world. You can purchase DIY kits, however it is recommended to go with a professional reputable company, as it does require a finesse to apply it properly.