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Whether you are shopping insulation for a new build, looking to reduce heating and cooling costs in a house or office, or wondering if spray foam is right for you, we are the first place to call. Insulation is not only about the quality of the materials, but also the quality of the installation. All to often, zealous, untrained installers over-apply material, removing thermal barriers and trapping moisture in the walls. You can purchase the best insulating material on the market, but if it is installed incorrectly, it will not only not work effectively, it could ruin your structure over time. We pride ourselves in helping you create an affordable plan that maximizes the value of future savings, while keeping installation costs in check.
From Spray Foam To Cellulose, We Do It All
Closed and open cell foam insulation continue to be one of our fastest growing services. With folks seeing reductions of up to 60% on heating and cooling costs from these installs, it is a no-brainer. However, not every situation calls for spray foam. Perhaps you are looking for something less aggressive, but that will still reduce your bill. We have a solution for every home and every budget.
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FAIR GROVE, PLEASANT HOPE, STRAFFORD, SPRINGFIELD, ELKLAND, BRIGHTON, WILLARD, TURNERS, MORRISVILLE, BUFFALO, MARSHFIELD, ROGERSVILLE, HALF WAY, LONG LANE, WALNUT GROVE, BOLIVAR, CONWAY, BROOKLINE, ALDRICH, LOUISBURG, DIGGINS, ASH GROVE, NIANGUA, FORDLAND, WINDYVILLE, BOIS D ARC, REPUBLIC, PHILLIPSBURG, POLK, NIXA, SEYMOUR, HALLTOWN, BRUNER, OZARK, CLEVER, SPARTA, BILLINGS, DUNNEGAN, EVERTON, FAIR PLAY, FLEMINGTON 65648, 65725, 65757, 65644, 65617, 65781, 65890, 65899, 65817, 65801, 65805, 65898, 65814, 65808, 65765, 65802, 65897, 65806, 65710, 65809, 65622, 65706, 65804, 65807, 65742, 65663, 65590, 65770, 65810, 65645, 65613, 65632, 65619, 65601, 65685, 65636, 65604, 65713, 65652, 65783, 65612, 65738, 65722, 65727, 65714, 65746, 65664, 65620, 65721, 65631, 65753, 65610, 65640, 65646, 65649, 65650
Open Cell vs Closed Cell Foam and What it Means to you
There is a continued debate raging between proponents of closed cell foams who claim it is a vastly superior investment than open cell foam. An online search will produce prolific amounts of information regarding the specifics of closed cell foam.
One of the goals of this article is to address the controversy concerning open cell and closed cell foam.We work with both types of foam and can proffer an unbiased view as we make very similar margins on the two products.
The Well-Sponsored Story of Closed Cell Foam
First off, let’s discover why there is some much information on closed cell foam in circulation today. Both open cell and closed cell foams require something called a ‘blowing agent,’ this forms the individual cells by filling them with gas.
Open cell foam uses water as the blowing agent in production. When combined with isocyanate, water produces carbon dioxide which is the gas used to fill the cells. Water is such an abundant resource that it can be considered free to the foam manufacturers — at least for this discussion.
On the other side of the market, manufacturers of closed cell foam use water and Ennovate, also called 245fa, as their blowing agents in production. 245fa is produced by Honeywell, a Fortune 100 company with annual profits in excess of $40 billion. 245fa is certainly one of Honeywell’s more successful products, and they spare no expense in disseminating 245fa promotional material.
So, in the end, open cell foams get sidelined in the barrage of lucrative advertising. Because water is free, there is little incentive to push the “water-based’ product on the market. On the other hand, Enovate, the “245fa -based” product, is the baby of a multi-billion dollar corporation that can afford to market their product as much as they see fit.
But water can also be used as the blowing agent in closed cell foam. Closed cell foams manufactured with water as the blowing agent can only rank lower than R-5 ranges. If you do see closed cell foam that used water as a blowing agent and with tags indicating R-values higher than R-5 you can bet this is describing the initial r-value.
Much in the same way, if you were to see 245fa blown closed cell being sold with R-7 values, you can bet these are indicating the initial R-value. Depending on the depth, these foams can reach their aged R-values in as little as a month, so this “initial R-value” really means nothing.
It is my opinion that manufacturers displaying this “initial R-value”are unscrupulous in their dealings and should be avoided, but this is another subject for another paper. “Aged R-Values” will be mentioned later in the article.
There are several advantages that closed cell foam offer that open cell foam does not, in the same way, proponents of open cell foam would argue the benefits of their preferred product. This paper will attempt to provide an unbiased view of the advantages and drawbacks to each variety of foam, so consumers can make the best decision for their situation and project.
The Difference between Closed Cell Foam and Open Cell
When foam is applied to a home or building a cellular plastic is being created on site. This can be thought of like bubbles in a bubble bath. The insulation is very fast-acting, and in a few minutes it has cured and dried out, like solidified bubbles from the bubble bath.
Open Cell Foam — the millions of tiny bubbles, or cells, share walls with each other, thus this type of foam is soft and airy. A smaller percentage of the finished foam product is plastic and most of it is carbon dioxide that has become trapped within the foam.
This type of foam is generally lighter, only weighing about 0.5 – 0.6 lbs per cubic foot. The general rule in the foam industry is that more than 50% of the cells within the foam are open.
Closed Cell Foam — formation of closed cell foam is quite similar, with the vast majority of cells, or bubbles, within the foam do not share their structures with the other cells and are independently formed. The resulting product has a much lower amount of air or gas and much more plastic content.
This type of foam is much more rigid than open cell foam and can weigh as much as 1.7 – 2 lbs per cubic foot. The general industry definition for this type of foam is that the percentage of closed cells is greater than 90%.
What does all this mean to Homeowners, Engineers, Builders and Architects?