Closed cell spray foam insulation is more rigid and dense than open-cell foam. It is highly energy-efficient and provides a more airtight seal in walls and roofs. It can be used in both new construction and retrofit applications. It provides a high R-value per inch the traditional measure of an insulation’s insulating power and also acts as a class II vapor barrier and air barrier when properly applied.
In addition, closed cell foam has low moisture absorption which can help to prevent mold and other damage to the structure of your home or building. It is also highly resistant to bacterial and fungal growth.
While open-cell spray foam can be used in structures throughout the country, we typically recommend it only for homes and buildings located south of the southern Pennsylvania border as a rule of thumb. That’s because the temperature delta between outdoor and indoor temperatures tends to be significantly higher for homes and buildings in the north compared to those in the south, which can lead to more severe condensation problems.
A common question from homeowners is whether open or closed cell spray foam insulation is more environmentally friendly. It is important to note that both open and closed cell spray foam contain chemicals, including blowing agents, which have a significant environmental impact. However, closed-cell spray foam has lower VOCs volatile organic compounds and re-occupancy times than open-cell spray foam. It is also easier to recycle than fiberglass insulation and other synthetic insulation products.
One of the biggest benefits of closed-cell spray foam is its ability to fill nooks and crannies in stud wall cavities, making it more effective than other forms of insulation like fiberglass or cellulose. It can be installed in any sized stud cavity and is especially useful in reducing thermal bridging between wood studs that can cause significant heat loss. It is also very cost-effective compared to other insulation options and can offer up to 2x the R-value of standard fiberglass in the same space.
In addition to its excellent R-value, closed-cell spray foam can also be used to create a conditioned attic by preventing unwanted air from entering the attic through ceiling joists and roof trusses. It is a perfect choice for new construction or a re-insulation project, especially in areas where the existing fiberglass and/or cellulose was not properly installed or was damaged by water or pests. It can also be sprayed in pole barn walls that are left exposed, as well as commercial structures and vans.
Closed-cell spray foam is a great option for those who are interested in a more comprehensive energy-saving solution, which can be particularly helpful during Vermont’s cold winter months. While DIY spray foam kits are available, it is highly recommended to work with a professional insulation contractor that is experienced in installing closed-cell foam insulation and can ensure the product is applied properly. This will increase the lifespan of your spray foam insulation and reduce future problems.