Open and Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Open and closed cell are two types of spray foam commonly available for home insulation. Foam insulation blocks heat and air flow, keeping your home warm, and reducing your energy bills. Both types of foam will provide excellent insulation, but each has its own benefits, and the one that is best for you will depend on your unique needs. At Brightest Solar in Charleston, South Carolina, we offer both open and closed cell spray foam services and can help you choose which is best for your next project.

Open Cell Foam

The difference between open and closed cell foam starts at density. The different densities of the two types create different advantages and disadvantages for both types of foam. Open cell foam is the least dense of the two and actually expands during application. The benefit of this expansion is that it allows for it to be installed in hard to reach areas such as wall and ceiling cavities that otherwise might not be possible with closed foam. The R-value, which measures the resistance to heat flow, of open foam, is around 3.5 per inch. This is much lower than closed foam which has an R-value of around 6.0, sometimes even higher. It may be possible to apply additional layers of foam to make up the difference but depending on the application, open foam may not be adequate for extreme temperatures. Another advantage of open cell foam is the cost. It is often much more affordable to insulate using open foam than it is to use closed foam.

Closed Cell Foam

Closed cell foam has a much higher density when compared to open cell foam. With an R-value of around 6.0 for most closed foams, this option is generally best at keeping heat in or out of a home. Some stronger foams can reach an R-Value of over 7.0. With “closed” cells, these foams are resistant to air and moisture which can lead to mold and bacterial growth. This can lead to bigger issues over time such as compromising the structural integrity of a home. While open foam may be the most cost-effective option when it comes to installation, damage from moisture may lead to costlier repairs down the road. Since closed foam does not expand as much as open cell foam, multiple applications can be made to drastically increase the R-value of the insulation. Open cell foam will expand to roughly 3 inches of thickness per application while closed cell foam will only expand to around 1 inch of thickness.

Which is Right for You?

Both open cell and closed cell spray foam have their advantages and disadvantages. The one that is best for you will come down to your specific application and needs. Brightest Solar can go over each of these types of spray foam with you so that you can make the best decision. Contact our offices in Charleston, South Carolina today for more information on our open cell and closed cell spray foam insulation options.