As we continue to talk about Winterizing your home let’s not forget that the goal of all this is to eliminate (not possible) or greatly reduce the amount of Cold Air Penetration and Heat Loss. Or, if you want to look at the same thing from another angle – we are trying to stop air movement from outside to inside and then from inside to outside.
Air moving in and out of your home will rob you of heat. Oh yeah, please remember that people breath, houses do NOT breath. That whole argument is just plain wrong! If a house “breathes” (whatever that means) it will translate into Heat Loss.
Probably the easiest, quickest, and least expensive method of stopping air movement from outside to inside and inside to outside is the use of spray foam. The simple reason that foam works so well is that it expands and completely fills every tiny crack, crevice, hole, penetration, or other nasty openings.
Spray foam comes in TWO different configurations. There is Open Cell Foam and Closed Cell Foam. Here’s a quick reference. I strongly suggest you investigate further if you are considering spray foam for a your project
- Air barrier – both work well
- Vapor barrier – Closed cell yes
- Cannot sustain mold growth – both
- R-Value per inch, Closed R-6.0, Open R-3.7
- Sound proofing – Open cell is superior
- Cost – Closed Cell is roughly 3 times as expensive
- Sound dampening – Open Cell is superior
Typically open cell foam is used in interior situations and closed cell is used on exterior applications. The use of Open Cell foam can achieve high R-Values but only in areas where it is not restricted by space. One of significant advantages of Open Cell is its cost and it uses less raw materials and resources in its manufacturing.
Both products have advantages; check everything out carefully and use the best product in the right application.