The Different Types of Spray Foam Insulation

If you’ve built a residential or commercial building in the past, or are currently in the building industry, you’ve probably either used or heard of spray foam insulation. It’s been around since the 1940s and been a staple of residential and commercial builds for at least three decades. While the idea of insulation is fairly simple, the actual way spray foam insulation works is pretty unique. Not only that, there are actually a few different types available for spray foam contractors Virginia to use. Keep reading to find out more about the different types of spray foam insulation that exists and what projects each is used for.

Types of Spray Foam

Thanks to advances in technology and innovation, there have been several new types of spray foam insulation that have been introduced over the years. These new types usually fall into one of two categories:

  • closed-cell insulation
  • open-cell insulation

Closed-Cell Insulation Foam

Closed-cell spray foam is very unique in that it is a medium-density foam, which makes it perfect for exterior projects that need a level of water-resistance. Closed-cell has a higher R-value (the thermal resistance measure of insulations) per inch than open-cell insulation, so it’s great for building codes that require a very high R-value in small areas. There are also a number of other benefits that closed-cell insulation offers, which will be listed below:

  • Not only does it provide impact resistance, but it also can add wall racking strength
  • Great for very narrow spaces that require a high R-value (as was mentioned above)
  • Very high bond strength
  • The vapor permeance of this insulation is very low
  • Can apply this insulation even at very low temperatures
  • FEMA recognizes closed-cell insulation as a material that rejects water and is flood-resistant overall

Open-Cell Insulation Foam

Open-cell is actually a lower-density foam that is used mostly on building interiors. Places in the home where you’d find insulation like this would be in crawl spaces, attics, on the underside of a roof deck, wall cavities, basement walls and more. Because the density is low and the foam is softer it has a little more permeability for moisture management. Here are some of the other benefits of using open-call insulation:

  • Because of its permeability, it can utilize bi-directional drying
  • Has a lower cost than that of closed-cell
  • Although it is permeable, it is not considered a mold-inducing foam
  • Can limit the amount of sound that gets through, making it great for movie and media rooms

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