OPEN CELL FOAM VS. CLOSED CELL FOAM
Many contractors who provide spray foam insulation use what is known as "open cell" or "half pound" foam. This foam is often referred to as Icynene®. While Icynene® is a major manufacturer of 1/2 pound foam, the product is by no means the only foam available to the insulation industry. Referring to all 1/2 pound foam as Icynene®, is the equivalent to referring to all tissue brands as Kleenex®.
Half pound foam is softer and less dense product than closed cell foam. Open Cell foam typically provides an R value of 3.6 per inch, and an applied density of about 1/2 pound per cubic foot. The foam is sprayed into stud bays and cavaties and expands rapidly to fill all spaces. While open cell foam acts as a good insulator and crack sealer, moisture, and air infiltration are still an issue due to the nature of the foam's "open cell" structure. This application is a significant improvement over what can be accomplished with fiberglass insulation, however for exterior walls, it is still a far cry from the benefits of closed cell foam. This is important to understand when multiple bids have been recieved for a project. All foam is not the same, and the consumer should be aware of what they are getting.
At Closed Cell Structures, LLC we pride ourselves in providing the very best solutions for our customers. We look at every job as a unique situation and depending on stud and rafter space, moisture drive, budget constraints, etc...we provide our customers with an insulation solution catered to their individual needs.
Closed Cell Structures sprays several open cell foams, and have found them to work very well in many applications. We have chosen to specialize in the application of a "closed cell, 2 pound foam" for the building envelope. We spray several types of closed cell foams, and specialize in InsulStar®, manufactured by NCFI. Insulstar® which provides an R value of approximately R-7 per inch as it quickly expands, filling all gaps and voids. It conforms to any shape space, and cures to a fully adhered, solid, monolithic insulation envelope. The final product is so solid that tests have shown that it actually adds measurable and significant strength to your walls while preventing air and moisture infiltration. Three inches of InsulStar® foam will provide an insulating R value of roughly 21 for your walls. This allows for the use of 2X4 construction, which will in turn save a lot of trees, and a lot of money in lumber costs. Open cell foam products would require 7 inches of foam to achieve the same effect, all the while still allowing moisture and air penetration. We believe that 2 pound, closed cell spray foam provides significant advantages to home designers, builders, and homeowners for most applications.