If you’re doing some spray foam research for your home, you may come across the terms “open-cell” and “closed-cell”. So, what does it mean?
Simply put, open-cell spray foam consists of tiny bubbles or cells that aren’t fully encapsulated. These cells are broken, ripped, and torn, which allows air to fill up the open space inside the bubble. This creates a soft, spongy material. Closed-cell spray foam does the opposite; every bubble is encapsulated with a gas that aids in foam expansion, packed tightly together. This results in a harder material. Closed-cell foam is about 4 times as dense as open-cell.
Of the two, closed-cell is the most durable and efficient in insulating. Why? It is more resistant to letting air and water vapor in because of its density. However, closed-cell spray has its downfalls. Because of the gas trapped inside, the process requires more chemical material installation which can be quite expensive. Open-cell spray foam can be a great option for sound deadening. On the plus side, it is cheaper and superior to fiberglass. However, open-cell allows for air leakage and won’t be as durable as closed-cell.
When it comes to choosing between open and closed-cell, consider placement. Opt for closed-cell in areas such as roofing or anywhere that may come in contact with water or air leakage. Open-cell is a great option for muting sound and interior walls.