Knowing what type of insulation is keeping the temperature comfortable in your home on a daily basis isn’t hard to figure out—most times, a building inspector will tell you when you buy the house or your contractor will tell you when you build your home. But that information might not always be encompassing. For example, it might be well and fine to know that you have foam insulation to thank for your comfort, but what does that actually tell you?
To truly understand how your home is being protected and insulated against convective heat loss, it’s important to know the specificities of your insulation—particularly if you have foam insulation. You see, foam insulation actually comes in two types: open and closed cell foam insulation in Little Rock, AR.
Knowing the difference
The difference between open and closed cell foam insulation comes down to the application and how the product cures. Let’s take a look:
- When open cell foam is blown into place, gasses are not trapped by the curing foam—as a result, the final application is porous and “open.” Also as a result, this type of insulation is less dense and spongier.
- Closed cell foam traps bubbles during the curing process, thus creating a vapor barrier within the application. The final product here is more rigid and denser.
The nuances between the two may be simple when you’re looking at the application itself, but they come with different benefits and drawbacks that might play an important role in your quality of life where they’re installed.
The pros and cons
Due to the porous vs. rigid nature of both types of insulation, both come with attributes and drawbacks that make them specialized for certain installations over others. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of both:
Open cell insulation pros
- Sound absorption is going to be exceptional with this type of insulation.
- Because fewer materials are required to insulate, there’s a lower environmental impact.
- If you require your area to be vapor permeable, this insulation will allow it.
Open cell insulation cons
- If you need a vapor barrier, this insulation isn’t going to cut it.
- Due to its soft nature, it’s unsuited for exterior use.
- The less-dense nature of this foam makes it unsuitable for providing structural support.
Closed cell insulation pros
- Has exceptional R-value per square inch, dramatically lessening convective heat transfer.
- Stops moisture in its tracks and prevents any permeability.
- Can be used for both interior and exterior applications thanks to its rigidity.
Closed cell insulation cons
- Not great at reducing noise or deadening sound waves.
- Higher density means more weight, making this a heavier option.
- More materials are required to fill more space, making it a costlier option to explore.
As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to both open and closed cell foam insulation in Little Rock, AR. Knowing what type of insulation you have or what type is befitting to your needs can make a tremendous difference in the way you enjoy your living space and the effectiveness of your home at stopping convective heat loss.