Insulation is important in any type of building project, from residential homes to office buildings. One of the most reliable insulation materials is spray foam, also known as spray polyurethane foam. Between its flexibility and its air resistance, spray foam is a popular choice for several structures. Learn more about spray foam insulation and the two main choices available.
Basics of Spray Foam Insulation
Spray polyurethane foam is a material that results from the combination of two liquid chemicals: polyol resin and isocyanate. A special device keeps them separated until activation, where they are heated and combined, then applied to the desired surface via a spray gun. The combination creates a foam that shapes, expands and hardens near the area. It is used in numerous projects, from home construction to trench breaker installation. Some of the factors that contribute to its popularity include versatility and resistance against temperature and air infiltration.
Open-Cell Spray Foam
Open-cell spray foam insulation provides a lighter polyurethane material with moisture permeability that reaches up to 75%, which is important for moisture control. It also allows for drying in both directions and discourages mold growth. Due to its lower density, licensed installers commonly apply it inside buildings and in areas such as crawlspaces, basement areas, attics and other openings within the structure. It is generally cheaper compared to its closed-cell counterpart.
Closed-Cell Spray Foam
Closed-cell spray foam has a greater density and is 100% permeable against moisture. This insulation material offers the same benefits as the open-cell option, but it can be used both indoors and outdoors. Technicians can also install the material at low temperatures. The most significant drawback of closed-cell spray foam is the increased price due to its greater insulation factor.
Spray foam insulation offers a variety of unique advantages that makes it a preferred choice for structural insulation. Between open-cell and closed-cell options, this material fits nearly any situation and building structure.