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Closed-cell spray foam – Why is it considered a superior alternative to rigid foam board?

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Closed cell spray foam is a superior alternative to rigid board insulation in continuous insulation applications

Paul Duffy, VP Engineering recently spoke with Green Builder magazine regarding the performance and cost advantages of closed cell spray foam insulation over rigid foam board in exterior applications.

If you are an architect who designs commercial buildings, take note: You now have the opportunity to maximize energy savings options with a single product: medium density, closed cell spray foam insulation. Icynene ProSeal and Icynene ProSeal Eco provide a high-performance wall assembly solution by combining four functions in one material:

  • continuous insulation
  • a continuous air barrier
  • a water-resistive barrier
  • a vapor barrier

Further, closed cell spray foam has been shown to produce a lower installed cost for a superior thermal, air, and water barrier assembly with less labor and less waste than systems relying on rigid board insulation.

When considering building materials for exterior continuous insulation, the default for many is to rely on Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) foam board rather than consider spray foam insulation. There are numerous differences between the two types of products, which can affect every part of your build—from design flexibility to construction schedules.

“The two products we offer commercial architects— Icynene ProSeal and Icynene ProSeal Eco—are high performance closed cell medium density spray foam products,” says Paul Duffy, VP Engineering for Icynene. 

“These spray foam products have an equal or higher R value than board stock products. In addition, spray foam has features that board stock does not. Board products are punctured for every fastener and every transition membrane that deflects water to the outside, so you need to use adhesive sealants and tapes for installation, which may require prep surface cleaners that have to be used effectively in order for these products to be continuous air and water barriers.”

Conversely, spray foam, with a few accessories, provides enhanced performance in one step. “This simplified process is a huge step forward for the building industry,” Duffy says.

Subscribe to Icynene’s Building Genius blog to catch the next post in this series with Green Builder magazine.

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