What is better open or closed cell insulation?

open cell insulation

Insulating your home

With the rising cost of utilities today, more homeowners are considering insulating their attics or refreshing what insulation is already in place. Before we determine which better, open, or closed foam insulation, let’s discuss why spray foam has become the preferred choice of insulation. Spray foam insulation has gained a lot of attention for several reasons, with the main one being that spray foam insulation will cover every nook and cranny in the attic. 

If you are looking to insulate a new home or other structure, or upgrade an older home, spray foam insulation has several benefits other than the one we’ve mentioned already. When comparing closed cell insulation vs open cell , open foam is the least expensive, has better sound proofing abilities, and is spongy substance.  Closed foam insulation is denser, rigid, and solid, and keeps air and water out better. 

There are several open and closed cell insulation pros and cons, here we provide you the eight of the benefits that spray foam offers your home are: 

  • Cooling and Heating Benefits: As we already mentioned, an excellent and unique benefit of spray foam insulation is that spreads into small cracks, crevices, and nooks. It quickly dries as it expands and immediately begins blocking air leaking and water penetration. Open or closed spray foam insulation cost more than other insulation materials, but the ROI is found in the energy savings over time.
  • Reduces Noise: Open spray foam has a significant noise reduction, but closed foam insulation will provide some notice reduction, better than no insulation at all. 
  • Allergens and Pollen Reduction: Open or closed spray foam insulation reduces number of allergens and pollen that seeps in through the walls because it expands into the cracks, crevices, and nooks. With less allergens getting into your home, the healthier the indoor air quality is, making it easier for those with breathing issues, lessening the amount of doctor visits.
  • Pest and Rodent Prevention: The tiniest of holes in the structure of your home invites insects and rodents to enter your home. With open or closed foam insulation filling those cracks, crevices, and nooks, it creates a barrier to keep those unwanted guests out. 
  • Mildew and Mold Prevention: Because both open cell and closed foam insulation keep moisture out of the walls of your home, the growth of mildew and mold are eliminated. Between the two types of spray foam insulation, closed cell insulation in attic is the better choice for moisture barrier, but both types will work for small amount of water seepage. 
  • Wall Sturdiness Increased: Closed foam insulation is a dense and hard material when dried which can add strength and sturdiness to the walls. Because both open and closed foam insulation spread into the cracks, crevices, and nooks, it becomes like a strong glue for the walls, standing up to heavy rains, snow, and winds. 
  • Longer Lifespan:Open and closed foam insulation has a longer lifespan than the traditional fiberglass and Styrofoam insulation materials. Over time, fiberglass begins to bunch and sag, while Styrofoam breaks and crumbles. Both need replacing in quicker time than spray foam insulation. 
  • Eco-friendly: For the  households that are concerned about being “green”, open, and closed foam insulation reduces the energy your home consumes, meaning you’ll use less electrical or gas power. Because it lasts longer, there is less going in the landfills.

How thick does closed cell foam need to be?

Professional insulation contractors and manufacturers of insulation recommend when using closed foam insulation, it should be no less than four inches on the ceiling and no less than two inches on the walls. While this doesn’t seem very thick, because of the density that closed foam insulation provides, you’re getting a big bang for your dollar as it seals the air and provides thermal resistance. 

If you’re using closed cell insulation board, it is available in 4×8 sheets or smaller and between one-fourth inch thick to two inches thick. You can special order thicker if needed. If you’re adding to existing insulation yourself, this is an easy way to accomplish the goal. 

Does closed cell foam need a vapor barrier?

No, a vapor barrier is not necessary when using closed foam insulation as it is its own vapor barrier because it doesn’t absorb moisture and closes air gaps to prevent leaks. 

Will closed cell foam kill mold?

Yes, it actually cooks it with exothermic heat, which mold cannot survive. 

Closed cell insulation

Is closed cell foam worth the cost?

With an R-value of 6.5, closed cell insulation rules the insulation world! Yes, it is expensive, but you won’t get another type of insulation to come close to the performance it offers. Closed cell insulation isn’t vapor permeable and won’t hold water, making it difficult for mildew and mold to start. Closed cell insulation includes binders and glues that help it to give strength to any structure, especially the roofing deck.

With the information we’ve provided here, you can now make an informed decision on the type of insulation you want in your home.  What about those cans of spray foam insulation though? Is spray foam in a can closed cell? Yes, it is a single-component form of spray foam. While these are good for small jobs around the house, like around water spigots, they aren’t good for a whole house insulation job. Contractors use a closed-cell foam that is two-component foam insulation, ideal for large jobs like attics and walls. Call (817) 588-2050 today for insulation in Arlington, TX.