Are you building a new home or perhaps renovating an existing one? Then this is the perfect time to start thinking about your insulation. There are a number of insulation requirements in the state of Florida, as well as a variety of materials you can choose from. Of those options, spray foam insulation tends to be a popular choice for homeowners in the Sunshine State.
Did you know that there are actually two different types of spray foam insulation? A variation in cellular structure makes these two types of insulation unique, and one tends to be better for FL residents than the other. Read on to see the benefits (and differences) between open and closed cell spray foam insulation.
The good (and the bad) about open cell foam insulations
Let’s start with open cell spray foam insulation. Open cell spray foam expands, which allows it to penetrate irregular spaces upon installation. By design, this foam is moisture permeable– not resistant– and tends to be an effective air barrier in warmer climates. Open cell foam is easy to install and uses significantly less material than its closed cell counterpart, resulting in a lower cost to the customer.
While the purchase price for open cell spray foam can make it an appealing option, open cell spray foams have a lower density and, therefore, a lower R-value per inch than closed cell foams. R stands for the measure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower heat loss. Residential insulation requirements in the state of Florida vary by location. For example, framed wall insulation must meet or exceed R-13, whereas exterior insulation must be R-6. Keep in mind that, with an average R-value of 3.6 per inch, you would need several layers of open cell foam to properly insulate your home.
What about closed cell spray foam insulation?
Conversely, closed cell spray foam insulation is dense and glue-like by nature, giving it an average R-value of 6.5 per inch. Closed cell spray foam’s texture allows it to achieve an airtight seal upon installation, even in the hardest to reach areas. Closed cell spray foam is also resistant to water damage and mold growth, making it an excellent choice in areas prone to flooding, heavy rains, and hurricanes.
While it tends to be a more expensive option, the benefits of closed cell foams allow for a better return on investment over time. Your home will have insulation with a higher R-value, along with better protection against air and water. If you’re considering spray foam insulation as an option for your home, request your free insulation consultation from Energy Monster today.