This information is for comparing open-cell spray foam to closed-cell spray foam. Open Cell Benefits - Has an R-value of 3.5 per inch, is better for soundproofing, more affordable than closed cell spray foam, expands a lot, is easier to trim, and seals leaks around pipes and other areas. Now the benefits of closed-cell spray foam - Has an R-value of 6.5 per inch, denser than open cells, closed-cell is waterproof, strengthens your walls and ceilings, protects you from pollen and other irritants, and keeps bugs and other critters out.
The benefits to using spray foam vs fiberglass standard insulation. Try not to think about the upfront costs of spray foam. You have to think of the money that the spray foam insulation is going to save your over the life of your home. On average, you can save up to 50% on your monthly utility bills. For example, if you are paying $3000 dollars a year to heat and cool your home with regular fiberglass insulation, you could knock that down to $1500 per year with spray foam insulation. After about 5 - 7 years, the cost of spray foam insulation pays for itself.
You save more than just the cost of lower utility bills when using spray foam. Closed cell spray foam can also protect your home from moisture damage and strengthens your ceiling and walls. Spray foam insulation sticks to the ceilings and wallboards and hardens. the insulation makes your home more structurally sound.
Spray foam insulation has a life expectancy of 80 - 100 years, with closed cell spray foam having a slight edge in terms of durability. For most famalies, this represents the lifetime of the house and then some. Spray foam insulation is made of polyurethane. Polyurethane is extremely durable. This material can withstand significant variations in temperature, moisture buildup, and the growth of mold and other organisms.
Spray foam creates an air seal that works to keep the air you pay to condition inside while keeping those hot or cold temperatures outside where they belong. Fiberglass and cellulose still allow for air leakage, which will end up costing your money. The lifespan of tradition fiberglass insulation is 15 - 20 years before it will need to be updated, while spray foam will last the lifetime of your home. Fiberglass and cellulose end up costing your more due to the cost of reinsulating and wasted energy that is needed when using fiberglass or cellulose.
Spray foam insulation creates an air seal with a minimum of 3 inches of open cell and only 2 inches when using closed cell. With traditional insulation like fiberglass or cellulose there will be a lot of airflow through these materials. This leads to a sizeable amount of heat and central air loss.
The average home has numerous areas of air leakage when using traditional insulation. You lose 31% through the floors, walls, and ceilings. You lose 21% from windows and doors. You lose 15% around ducts. You lose 14% around fireplaces. You lose 13% around plumbing pipes/fixtures. You lose 2% around electrical boxes and wiring. And finally you lose 4% around fans and vents. With all of this air leakage it's like having an exterior door wide open at all times. If you use spray foam in both all of the exterior walls and attics you should have no air leakage.
Open Cell / Closed Cell Explained
Closed-cell spray foam insulation is stronger structurally, as each cell is packed closer together than in the makeup of open-cell foam, making the result harder and denser. Open-cell foam is made from tiny bubbles formed by water from the blowing agent (closed-ce…