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Closed-Cell vs. Open-Cell Foam Insulation for Irving, Texas

What is the Difference between Open-cell and Closed-cell Polyurethane Foams?
This may be one of the most important pages on the website if your interest is in spray foam insulation. When it comes time to actually put the foam product in your home or commercial building structure, you must identify whether you will use .05 lb./cu. ft., open cell foam, or 2.0 lb./cu. ft. closed cell foam. This makes a big difference in cost, application methods, and performance.

closed cell vs open cell spray foam insulationWith the open-cell vs. closed-cell issue, there are two major factors to understand and consider. The first is the nature of the foam. It is either open-cell foam, where the tiny cells of the foam are not completely closed. They are broken and air fills all of the "open" space inside the material. This makes the foam weaker or softer feeling than closed-cell foam.

Closed-cell foam differs in that all of its tiny foam cells are closed and packed together. They are filled with a gas that helps the foam rise and expand and become a greater insulator. These cells can be formulated to obtain many characteristics, the most common being size and density.

Density is measured by weighing one solid cubic foot of foam material. Open cell foams typically weigh in at 0.4 to 0.5 lb./cu. ft. Closed cell foam for insulation applications range in density from 1.7 lb./cu. ft. to 2.0 lb./cu. ft. Roofing applications typically use a 2.8 to 3.0+ lb./cu. ft. to support traffic and loads better. The higher the density the foam, the heavier, or stronger it becomes. Some polyurethane foams are molded into decorative interior molding and painted or stained for a simulated wood effect. These "higher density" foams are typically in the 30 lb./cu. ft. to 40 lb./cu. ft. density range.

spray foam insulation cc vs ocThe advantages of closed-cell foam compared to open-cell foam include its strength, higher R-value, and its greater resistance to the leakage of air or water vapor. The disadvantage of the closed-cell foam is that it is denser, requires more material, and therefore, is more expensive. Even though it has a better R-value, typically the cost per R is still higher than open-cell foam. The choice of foam can also be based on the requirements for the other performance or application specific characteristics such as strength, vapor control, available space, etc. Open-cell SPF has an R-value around 3.5 per inch and typically uses water as the blowing agent. Closed-cell SPF has an R-value of around 6.0 per inch (aged R-value) and uses high R-value blowing agents.

Both types of foam are commonly used in most building applications and the choice for which to use can depend on many of the factors discussed above. Some foams are inappropriate in specific applications. For example, you typically would not use open-cell foam below grade or in flotation applications where it could absorb water; this would negate its thermal performance because water is a poor insulator compared to air. Closed-cell foam would be a good choice where small framing sizes need the greatest R-value per inch possible. Closed-cell foam would be used for roofing applications.

Always contact your material supplier for performance and application data on their specific materials. What type of foam being used in your building or home is always a good issue to discuss with your spray foam installation professional up front, before the job starts.

Within this site, you will find information and specifications on spray foam insulation and spray foam roof systems contractors including closed-cell and open-cell insulation information. Irving, TX spray foam insulation adheres to just about everything so it can be installed over concrete, wood, steel, and most existing roof systems which saves on the expense of roof removal and landfill fees. SPF Roofing installers can spray apply a tapered roof system with the foam which eliminates the need for costly tapered insulation systems. The cants and vertical wall terminations are also spray applied making them an integral part of the roof system and minimizing additional component costs.

The city of Irving Texas provides spray foam insulation for use in both homes and commercial buildings. Spray Foam can be applied in Attics and Wall Insulation as the most common place in the house. We also see insulation in Irving for Basements, Roof Insulation, and Floors and Garages.

Choosing the right Spray Foam Contractor in Irving is easy by using this website. TX insulation contractors are used to provide Energy Efficiency to your home or office. Insulation contractors Seal Air Leaks, create Air Barriers, Sound Reduction, and Building Strength. Improved Air Quality can also result from insulation improvements and weatherization assistance programs. Spray Foam provides a Vapor Barrier, seals and caulks cracks and gaps in your home or buildings structure.