What Is The Difference Between Spray Foam Density's

The three density's of spray foam insulation

When it comes to insulating your home there's no shortage on options and spray foam insulation is no exception to that. There are three levels of density when it comes to spray foaming your home and each density is designed for a specific task. In this article we will explain the three different density's to try and help you get a better understanding of the differences so that you will know the right density that you will need for your project.

High-Density Spray Foam on the Exterior of a New Home.

High-Density Spray Foam Insulation

3 lbs. per cubic ft. (closed-cell foam)

When extra high insulation r-values and strength are needed, insulation contractors such as Reichel Insulation turn to high-density spray foam insulation.
As its name implies, this foam has a denser structure than medium-density or low-density spray foam insulation. Therefore, it requires more material to cover and insulate any given space and does not expand as much as lower density foams.

A typical application is performed by professional insulation contractors. The main components of a spray foam insulation system include a large spray truck, where the ingredients are heated and mixed. An air compressor, and a specially designed spray gun with hoses attached that run out to the spray truck.

High-Density Spray Foam Advantages

This spray foam insulation is an excellent choice for roofing or other exterior insulation because it's applied in a continuous manner, in addition to its thermal resistance properties. In roofing applications, its thermal and vapor-delay qualities provide great benefit, while its strength provides load support to the structure. High-density foam insulation can help reduce energy costs over the lifetime of the roof, while also offering high protection against heat and water infiltration. It also strengthens the structure that it is applied to. The bond that high-density spray foam insulation forms to the roof can increase a building's resistance to wind uplift, which can help reduce damage experienced from high winds.

Medium-Density Spray Foam Insulation

2 lbs. per cubic ft. (closed-cell foam)

Medium-density spray foam insulation is applied by professional insulation contractors as either low-pressure or high-pressure, two-component polyurethane spray foam. This is the most common type of spray foam insulation that is used in new construction homes and crawlspaces.

Medium-density being sprayed into a wall cavity.

Medium-Density Spray Foam Advantages

Medium-density spray foam insulation offers specific benefits, depending on the climate and the type of building in which it is used. Like low-density foam, medium-density spray foam insulation is often used for continuous insulation, interior cavity fill, and unvented attic applications. As a closed-cell spray foam, however, medium-density spray foam insulation is the best used where there is need for the greatest R-Value insulation per inch possible, such as in tight spaces like crawlspaces.

Medium-density spray foam insulation can also provide a high bond and tensile strength . It also can provide low vapor penetration and is typically not affected by moisture, such as rain, in typical applications.

Low-Density Spray Foam Sprayed into the Roof Cavity.

Low-Density Spray Foam Insulation

0.5 lbs. per cubic ft. (open-cell foam)

Also known as open-cell spray foam insulation, low-density spray foam insulation is applied as a sprayed coating to provide a continuuous insulation and air-sealing barrier. The open-cell structure of low-density spray foam insulation give flexibility to the hardened foam. Low-density foam is also called half pound foam, because it weighs almost a half pound per cubic foot. Low-density foam is applied as a low-pressure or high-pressure, two-component spray foam.

Low-density spray foam insulation can be applied on walls, in unvented attics, ducts and ceilings, and in vented attics and crawl spaces. It is impenetrable to air, but penetrable to moisture.

Low-Density Spray Foam Advantages

Due to the large cell structure, low-density spray foam insulation stays soft and flexible after it has finished curing. This increases the probability of its continuing to provide high insulation value even as the building settles and shifts over time. Low-density (open-cell) spray foam insulation provides effective heat insulation and seals air flow through cracks, joints and seams by filling the cavities. In addition, this foam can absorb sound thanks to its soft texture.