Spray Foam Insulation: The Essentials
Although spray foam has been in use for over 80 years, continual product innovation has seen the increased adoption of spray foam for both residential and commercial use. The accelerated growth of sprayed foam insulation in building construction has allowed the foam material to maintain it's position as the go-to material when it comes to providing thermal protection and insulation for both commercial and industrial projects.
But what is spray foam insulation, and are there different types available for diverse applications?
What is spray foam insulation?
Spray foam insulation is a two-part liquid material that hardens then insulates and air seals wherever it is applied. The material comes in two large 55-gallon drums – an iso and a resin (A and B side). These two liquids are kept separate until applied at the job site by a qualified, licensed spray foam installer. The two liquids travel up through a heated hose to the spray gun, where they are combined to create the foam. The foam expands within seconds to fill the cavity surface. Depending on the type of sprayed-in foam insulation used, closed-cell or open-cell, the foam expands between 40 and 100 times its size upon application.
Open Cell vs. Closed Cell Foam: Which Should I Choose?
Although closed cell and open cell foam, both insulate a home, they do it in different ways. Please read our article in which we answer the question and examine both open and closed-cell foam to help you pick the best product for your project.
The types of spray foam insulation
Product innovation over the years has seen the introduction of several different types of spray foam insulation. Primarily in residential and commercial construction, open-cell and closed-cell spray foam are used while high-density spray insulation is used as roofing foam in commercial or industrial construction. Open-cell sprayed-in foam insulation, a soft low-density material, is typically used for interior applications such as wall cavities, the underside of roof decks, attics, basement walls, and crawlspaces. The open cell structure of low density foamed insulation allows for moisture permeability to help contribute to the moisture management and bi-directional drying of the wall assembly.
Closed-cell spray insulation, a firm medium-density substance, can be used in exterior applications such as continuous insulation applications, as well as internal applications. This type of foam insulation has a higher R-value per inch, making it also suitable for small areas that require the highest possible R-value to meet building code requirements. Closed-cell spray foam's rigidity help reject bulk water, making it a distinguished flood-resistant material.
The benefits of open-cell spray foam
As mentioned, open-cell foaming insulation is best suited for interior purposes, offering an array of advantages of traditional fibrous insulation substances. Benefits of open-cell foam insulation include:
- Allows for bi-directional drying
- Can provide long-term creep and seasonal movement
- Can be installed at a significantly more economical cost and target the same specified R-value.
- Is not considered a food source for mold
- Provides sound dampening qualities and is ideal for media rooms and studios.
- Lower installed cost, per square foot
The benefits of closed-cell insulation foam
While open-cell foamed insulation has many advantages over traditional insulation types, closed-cell sprayed-in insulation goes beyond to offer further advantages. Although closed-cell sprayed insulation foam has a higher cost, there are benefits that the substance offers, including:
- Ability to reject bulk water (closed-cell foam insulation is acknowledged as a flood-resistant component by FEMA.
- Can be applied at low temperatures (as low as 5°F)
- Adds wall racking strength as well as impact protection
- Higher R-value* per inch – more comfortable to accommodate high R-value* specifications in narrow spaces
- Lower vapor permeance (can be a Class II VDR)
- Higher bond as well as tensile strength
Why Choose ArmorFoam™?
ArmorThane's ArmorFoam™ is a proven leader in the spray foam industry for homeowners and contractors alike. ArmorFoam spray foam insulation reinforces walls and roofs, which extends the overall life of any structure and defends against violent storms as well as water damage. ArmorFoam industrial spray foam works well for sealing foundations, pipelines, roofs and walls, and even flooring.
- We offer retail sales for everything from small projects up to industrial large-scale jobs.
- Our expert customer service team with a proven track record and over 30 years in the industry is always available to explain and help plan projects.
- Whether you’re seeking to save money on your monthly energy bills or working to satisfy your customers, ArmorFoam is exactly what you need.
- Most of all, our products render high performance and great value. Become an authorized ArmorThane applicator today and we will get you the tools you need to start saving energy and dollars!