Closed cell foam is by far the most effective insulation system on the market. With that said, the cost can be higher than some customers are able to fund. The good news is that there is a happy medium solution and even a lowest cost solution. We call them the Closed/Open Solution and the Flash and Batt Solution.
High Cost of Spray Foam Insulation Can be a Barrier for Some Clients
There are a few things that we can do to bring the cost down and still have the advantages of Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation. A remarkably effective alternative to a 100% closed cell foam installation is a method called “Flash & Batt”.
Flash & Batt the happy Medium – It Still Utilizes Spray Foam but at a Lower Cost
Flash & Batt is a combination of closed cell foam and fiberglass batt insulation.
For example, should you be building a new home and the city is requiring an R-19 in the walls. That would require you to install approximately 3” of closed cell foam. With a Flash & Batt solution we would install 2” of closed cell foam and then add R-8 fiberglass batt insulation over the foam. This combination would require 2” x 6” framing.
Another example is the attic insulation. On the same home the city is requiring an R-30 in the attic. That would require you to install approximately 4.5” of closed cell foam. With the Flash & Batt solution we could install 2.5” of closed cell foam and then add R-13 fiberglass batt insulation over the foam.
Any thickness of spray foam and fiberglass can be combined as long as it totals up to the required R value.
For spray foam, we recommend a minimum of 1.5” of closed cell foam. At that thickness homeowners will see major benefits as compared to a standard fiberglass batt installation. Specifically, it will produce an ignition barrier, thermal barrier, radiant barrier, air barrier and sound barrier. This will also add significantly to the structural integrity of the home.
Burton and Clark Construction like to keep the combination of Flash & Batt to a minimum of 2” of closed cell foam.
Flash & Batt Installation Considerations
It is important to keep in mind of the depth of the framing. We do not want to compress the fiberglass insulation which would reduce its insulation efficacy. We therefore take care to ensure there is room in the framing for both materials to be applied.
Closed Cell with Open Cell Combinations
We can also upgrade the fiberglass insulation to open cell polyurethane foam insulation. This will cut the cost of strictly closed cell foam plus it will add a superior sound barrier to your insulation system.
Open cell foam has an air barrier that fiberglass batt does not have plus a much better thermal barrier.
The closed cell/open cell combination is a third cost option between the much lower cost of “Flash & Batt” and a full 100% closed cell installation.
- Highest Performance Solution – 100% Closed Foam Insulation
- Highest Cost – Outstanding ROI
- Better Performance Solution – Closed & Open Cell Combination Insulation
- Medium Cost – Strong ROI
- Good Performance Solution – Flash & Batt Combination Insulation
- Lower Cost – Significant ROI
Bottom line, as long as we apply a minimum of 2” of closed cell foam to your insulation you will realize superior results as compared to traditional 100% fiberglass batt insulation.