Hey there! If you’re a homeowner, commercial property owner, or run an agriculture business, you might have heard about spray foam insulation. It’s a hot topic because it makes a big difference in keeping buildings energy-efficient and comfortable. Today, I want to chat with you about something specific—closed-cell vs open-cell foam insulation in metal buildings.

You see these two types of foams are like night and day when it comes to their properties and benefits. So how do you decide which one is right for your building? Let’s break it down together!

Understanding Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is a game-changer in the world of metal buildings. It’s not just about keeping the cold out and the heat in. Spray foam is so much more than that. As someone who’s been in the insulation biz for over a decade, I’ve seen firsthand how spray foam can transform a building. It seals up every nook and cranny, creating an airtight barrier that keeps your energy bills low and your comfort level high. But here’s the thing: not all spray foam is created equal. You’ve got your open cell foam and your closed cell foam, each with its own unique properties and benefits.

Types of Spray Foam Insulation

When it comes to spray foam insulation, you’ve got two main players: closed-cell and open-cell. They both get the job done, but they go about it in different ways.

Closed-Cell Spray Foam

Closed-cell spray foam is the heavyweight champ of insulation. It’s dense, it’s rigid, and it packs a serious punch when it comes to thermal resistance. In fact, it’s got an R-value that’s about twice as high as open-cell foam. But that’s not all. Closed-cell foam also acts as a moisture barrier, keeping water and vapor out of your building. That’s a big deal, especially in metal buildings where condensation can be a real problem.

Open-Cell Spray Foam

Open-cell spray foam, on the other hand, is the more flexible and versatile option. It’s got a lower density than closed-cell foam, which means it can expand and fill in all those hard-to-reach spaces. But where open-cell foam really shines is in its soundproofing capabilities. It’s like having a built-in noise-cancelling system in your building. Perfect for those of us who appreciate a little peace and quiet.

Benefits of Closed-Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Now, let’s talk about why closed-cell spray foam is the go-to choice for so many metal building owners.

Moisture Barrier

Remember how I mentioned that closed-cell foam acts as a moisture barrier? Well, that’s a pretty big deal in a metal building. Condensation can lead to all sorts of problems, from rust and corrosion to mold and mildew. But with closed-cell spray foam, you’ve got a built-in vapor barrier that keeps moisture out and your building dry. It’s like having a trusty umbrella that never leaves your side.

Advantages of Open-Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Open-cell spray foam may not have the same moisture-blocking powers as its closed-cell counterpart, but it’s got its own set of superpowers. For starters, it’s a lot more budget-friendly than closed-cell foam. So if you’re looking to insulate your building without breaking the bank, open-cell foam is definitely worth considering. But the real magic of open-cell foam lies in its soundproofing capabilities. It’s like having your own personal cone of silence. Perfect for those late-night jam sessions or early morning conference calls.

Energy Efficiency with Spray Foam Insulation

At the end of the day, the goal of any insulation is to keep your building comfortable and your energy bills low. And that’s exactly what spray foam insulation does. Both closed-cell and open-cell foam create an airtight seal that prevents heat transfer and air leakage. That means your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a consistent temperature, which translates to lower energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint. In fact, according to the Energy Star program, properly insulating your building can save you up to 20% on your heating and cooling costs. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Structural Integrity in Metal Buildings

One of the biggest benefits of closed-cell spray foam insulation is its ability to add structural integrity to metal buildings. You see, when closed-cell foam is sprayed onto the walls and roof of a building, it expands and hardens, creating a rigid layer that adds strength and stability to the structure. It’s like having an extra set of bones to keep your building standing tall. In fact, according to a study by the National Roofing Contractors Association, closed-cell spray foam can increase the racking strength of a metal building by up to 70%. That’s a whole lot of extra support.

Fire Resistance of Spray Foam Insulation

Last but not least, let’s talk about fire resistance. When it comes to building safety, this is a big one. Closed-cell spray foam has some pretty impressive fire-resistant properties. When exposed to heat, it chars and forms a protective thermal barrier that helps slow down the spread of flames. Now, I’m not saying that closed-cell foam is completely fireproof. But it does provide an extra layer of protection that can make a big difference in an emergency situation. So there you have it, folks. Spray foam insulation is a versatile, effective, and dare I say, downright impressive option for metal buildings. Whether you choose closed-cell or open-cell foam, you can rest easy knowing that your building is well-insulated, energy-efficient, and built to last.

Key Takeaway: 

Spray foam insulation is a game-changer for metal buildings. Closed-cell spray foam offers high thermal resistance, moisture barriers, and added structural integrity. Open-cell spray foam excels in soundproofing and budget-friendliness. Both types create airtight seals that reduce energy costs and improve comfort.


In conclusion, choosing between closed-cell and open-cell foam insulation for metal buildings depends on several factors, including your budget, climate, and specific insulation needs. Closed-cell foam offers superior moisture resistance, higher R-values, and structural reinforcement, making it ideal for harsher climates and applications requiring maximum insulation efficiency. On the other hand, open-cell foam is more cost-effective, provides excellent sound insulation, and is suitable for moderate climates where extreme moisture resistance is not a primary concern. Understanding the distinct properties and benefits of each type will help you make an informed decision, ensuring your metal building remains energy-efficient, comfortable, and durable.

Have questions? Contact Kansas Spray Foam Insulation today and get the solutions to all your spray foam needs! Whether you’re looking for expert advice on closed-cell or open-cell foam insulation for your metal building, our team is here to help. Reach out to us to ensure your project benefits from the best insulation options available, tailored to your specific requirements.