New Research Reveals Open-Cell Foam Saves Contractors From Making Costly Errors

When thinking about the best approach towards insulating a home, a lot of people immediately think of a closed-cell foam. While its structural attributes make it ideal for some applications, it’s not always the best choice available.

Many times, contractors spray these foams within the rim joist and sill plate areas of the home (the wooden framing straight over the foundation wall) to insulate and seal off air flows. While this program sounds good to homeowners, this frequent practice is really a grave error that may result in serious mold issues.

Moisture in the soil surrounding a home’s base naturally moves from wet to dry surroundings via capillary action and vapor push. Therefore, water is sucked into the wood sill plate and joists via the porous concrete base. This wouldn’t be a problem if this moisture can continue its migration and evaporate. But Refractory Open Cell Foam seals the wood so it cannot breathe. Because of this, moisture is trapped inside and starts to do what it does best – rust the timber framing of their house. This has serious implications for the stability and safety of the home along with getting the source of mould formation.

Also, folks are inclined to place much emphasis on R-value when measuring the energy-saving thermal efficiency of memory; the higher, the better. So comparing a closed-cell R-value of 7 per inch to the typical R-4 open-cell per inch measurement seems like a no-brainer. However, unlike open-cell foam which remains flexible, closed-cell foam becomes brittle over time to the degree that it may come from the foundation and rim joist area (due to the natural growth and contraction of the home’s timber and concrete) breaking the air seal. This is a significant factor for insulation efficiency. Therefore, a flexible open-cell insulation product provides a permanent air seal and may actually out-perform its closed counterpart.

Some manufacturers may assert that open-cell foam isn’t to be reliable since when submerged it consumes too much water – unlike closed-cell foam. Yet there is another substantial facet of this story: that the former foam products do not hold onto water that they consume.

Open-cell foam has shown itself to become an important ally when constructing”green” wholesome homes. The insulation product makes dwellings more energy efficient, while also protecting indoor air quality. As a result, the debate frequently won by closed-cell urges is largely becoming a moot point when considering the health benefits and efficacy of open-cell counterpart.