Spray polyurethane foam (spray foam) is an insulation that is created by a mixture of liquid chemicals that react once mixed together and expand to create top-notch insulation for any home. These chemicals are heated up to a specific temperature and sprayed out of a gun at a specific pressure to assure that the correct chemical reaction takes place to make exceptional insulation.
When dealing with insulation the R-value is extremely important so that you can make sure that your insulation will be adequate for your home. So what is R-value? R-value measures how well the material resists heat. The higher the R-value, the better performance you will get out of your insulation.
There are two different types of spray foam, called open cell and closed cell. Each has its own pros and cons and is used for different reasons. Open cell is a very low density foam, coming in around ½ lb. per cubic foot. It can be easily crushed in your hand and is often compared to a marshmallow. Open cell gets its name because the cells in the foam are not completely “full.” Due to the nature of open cell, it is very good at blocking out sound, is easy to insulate hard to reach areas due to its great expansive nature and is more affordable. Open cell insulation does a good job sealing the envelope of the home preventing drafts throughout your home. The average R-value per inch for open cell insulation is 3.5. However, due to the composition of the cells, open cell insulation is not waterproof.
Closed cell is a very high-density foam, typically about 4x higher density than open cell foam. Closed cell spray foam much like the name implies is made up of cells that are closed up allowing them to maintain their shape and integrity. The cells are so rigid that it helps with the structural integrity of the home once it is applied. Closed cell insulation is a great barrier for things like water, moisture, rodents, and can even help with airborne allergens. Closed cell spray foam has an average R-value of 6.5 per inch, making it the most superior insulation in the industry.