More and more homes are now opting to use open cell insulation for homes. It is a great insulation material in several different ways. It is light, easy to use, and has the same, if not better effects as other insulating materials today. On top of that, it is a green option for homes and buildings as well.
How it Works
The basic principle of this insulation is that it uses plastic as the main material and water as the blowing agent. The agent is applied to the plastic which reacts to air and therefore produces CO2 that forms bubbles. This process expands the actual material. Before the plastic sets completely, the bubbles burst leaving small gaps within the foam. This is also the reason why it’s called open cell insulation.
Open Cell Structure
Because of the way it forms, this insulating material creates an open cell structure. This allows for some vapor to pass through the material. This is great for roof insulation and attic conditioning for hot and humid climates.
Allowing water vapor to pass through is good since when it’s trapped between the insulator and sheathing, it promotes rotting in wood.
One of the main advantages of open cell insulation is weight. Weighing in at half a pound per cubic foot, this material is lighter and easier to use compared to a lot of other insulators available today.
Simply saying, R-Value is the measure of how well an insulator performs its job. With open cell foam, you get an R-Value of 3.5 to 3.6 per cubic inch. This is about the same as other insulators in the market today. But, one huge advantage of this is that the R-Value of open cell foam does not degenerate like in other materials.
Although it has an open cell structure, foam insulation is also great at reducing noise through walls. It has the ability to significantly reduce noise from heavy traffic, airplanes, and pedestrians.
The average cost of using this type of insulation for home is $0.50 per board foot. However, there are a lot of other financial benefits in using this type of insulation which is why it isn’t fair to compare it with other insulating materials today. These financial benefits stem from the fact that this is a green alternative.
In using open cell insulation, you are able to lower utility cost through home weatherization. This material not only acts as a great insulator, but it also blocks air leaks. This improves air circulation at home and keeps temperatures consistent without the use of heaters and air conditioners.
Not only do you save on utilities, but federal and state governments give out tax incentives to those who spend for green home improvements.
Due to the characteristics and the nature of open cell foam, it is now openly used in several housing projects and buildings. It is a great insulator and also works well at preventing air leaks in hard to reach areas. It is perfect for insulating walls, roof, floors, windows, and doors. All in all, open cell insulation is a versatile home improvement option.