Spray Foam Insulation: Features & Benefits Comparison

The information below was developed to aid specifiers in choosing spray-applied polyurethane foam systems. The information provided herein, based on current customs and practices of the trade, is offered in good faith and believed to be accurate, but is made WITHOUT WARRANTY, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO FITNESS, MERCHANTABILITY, OR ANY OTHER MATTER. LAPOLLA INDUSTRIES, INC., DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE ARISING OUT OF ITS USE. Lapolla and/or a qualified contractor should be consulted for specific information. Nominal values which may be provided herein are believed to be representative, but are not to be used as specifications nor assumed to be identical to finished products.

Spray Polyurethane Foam

FEATURESBENEFITS
Spray Applied• Seals cracks and crevices
• Insulates hard to reach areas
• Quick and easy installation by a Qualified Applicator
• Self-adhered seamless layer of insulation
• Conforms to any architectural design
Minimizes Air Infiltration/ Exfiltration• Keeps conditioned air where it should be – inside the building
• Helps eliminate drafts and provides for comfortable interiors
Excellent Adhesion• Adheres to most building materials
• No fasteners required
Lightweight• A high degree of strength-to-weight ratio
• Adds little weight to ceiling or roof areas
Safe• Meets Class 1 building requirements
• No off-gassing after fully cured

Open-Cell Foam

FEATURESBENEFITS
High Insulation Value• Performs in hot as well as cold temperatures
Rigid• Will not settle or shrink
Moisture Resistant• Helps protect against mold and mildew

Closed-Cell Foam

FEATURESBENEFITS
High Insulation Value• High R-Value allows more insulation in less space (2” x 4”s instead of 2” x 6”s) – cost savings in stud size reduction
• Performs in hot as well as cold temperatures
Rigid• Will not settle or shrink
• Adds structural strength
Moisture Resistant• Inhibits moisture driven elements due to its closed-cell structure
• Helps protect against mold and mildew

2000-4G Closed-Cell Foam

FEATURESBENEFITS
Low GWP• Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 1
• Equal to CO2
Low ODP• Ozone Depletion Potential of ZERO
Improved Performance Characteristics• Better R-Value of up to 10%
• Improved Yield

Open-Cell vs. Closed-Cell Spray Insulation Comparison

Properties1FL-400 Open-Cell SPFFL-500 Open-Cell SPFFL-2000 Closed-Cell SPFFL-2000-4G Closed-Cell SPF
Density (ASTM D-1622)0.4 pcf0.4 - 0.6 pcf1.8 - 2.2 pcf1.8 - 2.2 pcf
Blowing AgentWater/CO2 onlyWater/CO2 onlyWater/CO2 and 245faWater/CO2 and Solstice
Aged R-Value (ASTM C-518)3.5/inch3.7/inch6.3/inch6.8/inch
Open Cells (ASTM D-2856)> 96%> 94%--
Closed Cells (ASTM D-6226)--> 90%> 90%
Compressive Strength\ (ASTM D-1621)≥ 5 lb/in²≥ 5 lb/in²20 lb/in²
Structural²
20 lb/in²
Structural²
Air Permeance² (ASTM E-2178, E-283)< 0.02 L/s-m²
✔ Air Barrier at 3½” Thickness
< 0.02 L/s-m²
✔ Air Barrier at 3½” Thickness
< 0.2 L/s-m²
✔ Air Barrier at 2” Thickness
< 0.2 L/s-m²
✔ Air Barrier at 1” Thickness
Surface Burn Characteristic³ (ASTM E-84) Class 1Class 1Class 1Class 1
Water Vapor Permeance² (ASTM E-96)32 perms at 1 inch22 perms at 1 inch< 1 perm at 1.5 inches
✔ Vapor Retarder
< 1 perm at 1.5 inches
✔ Vapor Retarder
Water Absorption (ASTM D-2841)No Direct Water Contact AllowedNo Direct Water Contact Allowed< 2%
✔ Resistant to Flood Damage4
< 2.36%
✔ Resistant to Flood Damage4
1For actual performance data on a specific SPF product consult the manufacturer’s technical data sheet.
2As designated by the International Code Council in Acceptance Criteria AC377
3Flammability ratings do not represent actual performance in a fire situation. Class 2 is required in most residential applications. Class 1 is required in commercial buildings and some residential applications.
4Classified as “Acceptable Flood Resistant Material” by FEMA, Tech Bulletin 29-3. Fiberglass batt and blanket insulation are classified “Unacceptable”.

Spray Foam Vs. Fiberglass Vs. Cellulose

 SPRAY FOAM INSULATIONFIBERGLASS INSULATIONCELLULOSE INSULATION
HOW IT WORKSSpray polyurethane foam acts as a barrier between the home and outside, creating a seal that can conform to any architectural design.Traps air inside tiny glass fibers that contain small bubbles of air, which slows the transfer of heat.Made of shredded newspaper and a fire retardant chemical (borate), the paper is broken down into cellular fibers.
DOES IT SEAL AIR INSIDE YOUR HOME?YesNoNo
INSTALLATION METHODSprayed by a certified spray foam applicator, spray foam can adapt to any structural design.Folded, wrapped and cut to place in walls. Slanted and/or high ceilings and outlets can lengthen installation time.Cellulose insulation is blown into walls. The material requires small amounts of water and glue to keep it in place.
R-VALUE6-6.6 per inch2.2 per inch; loses up to R-Value 50% if it becomes damp3.5-3.8 per inch
PERFORMANCE IN COLD/HOTExcellent thermal properties and a sealant for your home that keeps warm and conditioned air in your home year round.Doesn’t hold in heat well. Loses 40% of insulating capacity when outside temperatures are below 20° F.Doesn’t stop air leakage by sealing. Weather will cause wind and air pressure to enter through the small holes in the insulation.
ENERGY EFFICIENCYMost efficient.Less efficient.Less efficient for your keeping your home insulated, even though it’s made from recycled newspaper.
HEALTH HAZARDSPolyurethane spray foam insulation consists of diisocyanate, which isn’t scientifically detectable after 1 hour of when the foam ins applied. Installing spray foam requires a professional certification and proper equipment to install it.Fiberglass can be installed by anyone. Due to its long process for insulating around electrical outlets and windows, often insulation isn’t completed properly. Leaky ducts can pull loose fiberglass insulation and spread its particles throughout your home. Its small particles can be inhaled and cause serious respiratory conditions. The resin that bonds fiberglass can also emit small amounts of toxic fumes.Not sealing your home means dirt and moisture can cause mold, mildew and bacteria to grow. Blown cellulose insulation is prone to create dust that is then blown through cracks in the walls and creates a health hazard.