5 Outstanding Benefits of Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation

The definitive guide to closed cell spray foam insulation. 

Spray foam insulation is an incredible solution to achieve temperature regulation throughout your entire home or office. It’s frequently used in new and retrofitted constructions for both commercial and residential spaces.

But what are the benefits of closed-cell spray foam insulation? And why should green builders use it? 

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Types of Spray Foam Insulation: Closed Cell vs. Open Cell

Spray foam cellulose insulation comes in two forms: closed-cell and open-cell.

Open-cell insulation is a bit more flexible, breathable, and does a great job of blocking out noise, but it has a lower energy efficiency rating and isn’t as moisture-proof.

Closed cell spray foam insulation, on the other hand, is rigid, structurally sound, and creates an air- and water-tight seal to deter condensation from getting in.

It’s the first choice for commercial builders looking for better structural integrity.

If you’re choosing between the two, the right pick depends on your goals. For most people, creating an air-tight seal that serves as a condensate barrier and temperature regulator in the nooks and crannies of their homes is their number one priority.

Here are the five best benefits of using it.

1. Higher R-Value & Energy Efficiency 

The better the R-Value, the stronger the material’s ability to resist high temperatures. Better temperature regulation means lower utility bills (money saved). Indoor temperatures stay consistent and comfortable year-round.

This also puts less stress on your HVAC system, meaning your heating and air system won’t have to work as hard, which improves its lifespan and reduces potential maintenance costs. 

Not only that: lower energy consumption means a smaller carbon footprint.

Enjoying the effects of a high R-Value is, by far, the greatest benefit of buying closed-cell foam spray insulation.

That’s why it’s number one on our list!

2. Moisture Barrier 

Spray foam insulation seals all entry points, creating an airtight and water-tight seal. As a result, no mold, mildew, or bacteria can develop.

This tight barrier also lends to reducing drafts which makes for a more comfortable environment with stable temperatures.

Picture this: over the lifetime of your spray foam insulation material, you could potentially save thousands of dollars that would otherwise go to water damage repair or mold remediation.

3. Eco-Friendly, Long-Lasting Material 

Polyurethane. It’s been used as insulation since the 70s. It’s a fancy word for when two resins are combined into a foam. For many years there have been concerns over the environmental toxicity of the compounds found in spray foam insulation.

Thankfully, this material has gotten a lot more eco-friendly in recent years. 

This is in large part thanks to making more “green” advancements to blowing agents (the gasses used to expand the foam to help it take shape).

Stay watchful. Certain manufacturers prioritize using alternative blowing agents with a lower global warming potential (GWP) as compared to others.

Spray-in, closed-cell foam isn't just sustainable, it’s long-lasting! That means you won’t have to replace the insulation as frequently, thus not generating any waste.

Keep this in mind before making a purchase. While most spray foam insulation can be on the high end of most people’s budgets, it offers an amazing return on investment thanks to its energy efficiency and durability. 

4. Versatile

Did we mention that you can use closed-cell spray foam just about anywhere? 

Some types of insulation are truly limited in how you can use them. Aluminum radiant barrier sheathing is a good example. It’s normally exclusively used in attics, whereas closed-cell spray foam insulation is the exact opposite.

The spray solution can be applied just about anywhere — roofs, walls, basements, attics, you name it. It comes down to a simple “point and spray” usage, sealing up gaps and crannies that might pose a threat to stable temperature regulation in a room.

5. Improved IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) 

Rigid and thick, closed-cell insulation ensures that nothing is getting through, not water moisture, not air drafts, and certainly not intrusive pests like rodents or mice 

This translates to enjoying better indoor air quality. After all, you can be sure that there are no droppings or mold spores anywhere to be found if you’re using this material.

The obvious downside here is that there’s no breathability. But if you’re just looking to maintain consistent indoor air quality where no airborne contaminants can make their way inside, closed-cell spray foam is the only choice.

Looking for More Information on Insulation?

Read more of our posts on insulation best practices for homes. And sign up for our building science RSS feed to keep up with the latest best practices for other important areas of the home, including windows, housewrap, HVAC, and more green product categories. You can also check out what insulation brands builders specify most in our 2023 Sustainable Products Brand Index

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