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Rudolf Horns

Where Can I Buy Foam Insulation Board



Rigid foam insulation board is an innovative building and construction material that can significantly reduce a building's energy use and help control indoor temperature. Shop our selection of Rigid Insulation Browse Below and feel free to contact a member of our team on 786 224 0029 or via Live Chat. Read Our Guide to know more about insulation rigid foam.




where can i buy foam insulation board



When using foam board insulation in residential and commercial properties the most common boards used would be Polyiso (polyisocyanurate), EPS or XPS. Each type of board insulation is very different and carry different R-values and compressive strength. So let's have a deeper look at rigid foam.


Polyiso is short for Polyisocyanurate and can also be called PIR for an even shorter version. Polyiso would be one of the best-performing foam board on the market today giving the highest R-values for the least thickness.


Polyiso insulation can also be used whereby air-tightness is required. Taping the joints and sealing the edges along with using airtight membranes will create an airtight home while maintaining a AAA rating for your homes insulation values.


Polystyrene board insulation would be one of the least efficient rigid board insulations today. However, all is not lost as EPS has a high compressive strength and is great for carparks or floors that are carrying a little more weight than usual. Also, EPS insulation would be widely used in passive housing for the foundations. Insulating the foundations is vital to achieve a passive house rating and EPS is an excellent cost-effective method of insulating your foundations and the good characteristics of strength, light and cheap makes EPS your best friend when insulating your foundations.


Expanded polystyrene board is easy to cut with a box knife or hand saw. EPS insulation does not have a foil attached to it so no need to score the insulation first before cutting it with a handsaw. Be careful however around any naked flames. Fire and EPS get on very well and EPS will burn and will billow out black smoke so if it does go up in flames stay away. Do not breathe in the black smoke. If you take all the usual precautions when using EPS it will perform extremely well and will continue to do so with no depletion in performance over the duration of the life cycle of the building. Other insulations cannot boast such amazing lifetime performance.


Much like EPS in its appearance XPS is the big daddy of EPS. A foam board insulation such as Pink insulation foam FOAMULAR 250 XPS is stronger, just as light and far exceeds the compressive strength of its EPS counterpart. XPS foam also gives a higher r-value but of course, with all these fantastic additions to the insulation, there is a price difference. XPS would be in the region of 20-30% more expensive than EPS. However, XPS would be more widely used in the commercial/industrial insulation sector where compressive strength is a real requirement. Once again XPS like the other rigid board insulations is easy to cut and lightweight. XPS and EPS are closed-cell insulation and will not lose their insulation values over time, unlike Polyiso insulation which will deplete over circa 30 year period.


XPS: Pactiv, Dow, Johns Manville and Owens Corning all manufacture XPS insulation. Styrofoam insulation from Dow is one of the most recognizable sheet insulation on the market due to its famous blue color.


Before choosing, you should know exactly what you expect these foam insulation panels to do, to make sure you buy and benefit from the right one. These three products we're comparing here are all petroleum-based, but their characteristics, performance and ecological impacts vary significantly. Alternatively, depending on application and budget, you could always choose natural Green Insulation Products, Like Hemp Insulation panels or Batt Insulation or mineral wool - demonstrated here in roof insulation.


PIR, polyiso, or ISO, is a thermoset plastic product typically produced as a foam and used as rigid thermal insulation panel - most often with aluminum foil facing. Thermal performance is rated at R6-6.5 per inch, but don't count on that if your winters are cold for the reasons we're about to explain. Most insulation products actually perform a bit better the colder it gets but polyisocyanurate breaks that rule. As of about 15C its performance starts to deteriorate, and badly. By the time you get down to the -20s Celsius it's nowhere near that. It can be a great product to use as long as you keep it warm, which is a really odd thing to say about an insulation product.


Polyiso insulation boards are the most widely used low slope, above-deck commercial roofing insulation. As a versatile choice for commercial roofing applications, polyiso is designed to be part of any modified bitumen, built-up, or single-ply roofing system. Polyiso products feature a facer for high strength and excellent absorption for both hot mopping and adhesive attachment methods. The product also is designed to perform well with mechanical fasteners, possibly under Green Roof membranes.


Polyiso Foam Panel Insulation Conclusion: In real terms, using polyiso foam insulation panels is probably a poor choice if your winter temperatures dip below 50F or 10C. To put that statement into perspective, a wall or roof assembly in Chicago was tested for the whole of December then averaged out. The first assembly using 2" Polyisocyanurate foam panels was compared to the same assembly using 2" of EPS foam and was found to be losing 30% more heat in this study (see below)!


XPS is Rated at R5 per inch, but it will off-gas and lose some insulation performance over time - especially below-grade and when tested in real-world applications. Above grade XPS foam acts as a vapour retarder (and becomes even less moisture permeable the thicker it is - 1 inch is about 1 perm, 2 inches about .5 perms); when taped it can act as an air barrier; the manufacturers and standardized testing state that it does not absorb moisture, nor is it affected adversely by it. However, with some of the EcoHome team having real world experience to the contrary, we "dug-deeper" and found that many contractors have also noticed potential issues with XPS foam boards retaining moisture, backed up by reports like this citing a large source of correlated testing and which would lead us to conclude that XPS rigid insulation panels should be avoided for below-grade applications like basement insulation - which is the opposite of much of the information out there.


Also, rather regrettably for traditionally produced XPS, the hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) most commonly used as blowing agents are far more damaging to the climate than those used with other rigid foam insulation boards. Some manufacturers speak of a transition to more eco-friendly foam insulation blowing agents; that will be great news when it happens across the board! And credit where it's due, the "real" Styrofoam, as in the DOW Chemicals blue product, is now manufactured with HCFC blowing agents which have 94% less ozone depletion potential. As HFCs have a global warming potential (GWP) that is 1430 times worse than carbon, this really does demonstrate how important it is to choose rigid foam insulation boards very carefuly to reduce their environmental impact. All XPS panels are not equal!


Rated at R4 per inch; EPS foam insulation boards are more permeable to air and moisture than XPS, but it doesn't retain moisture to the same extent because of it's more closed cell structure and it's breathability which lets it dry out. Two inches of EPS foam board has a moisture permeability rate of between 60 and 75 ng (1 to1.25 perms), which is on the cusp of qualifying it as a type II vapour retarder, but on the more 'breathable' side of the scale which we would probably consider a good thing in most applications.


The permeability of EPS can be handy at times if you want to add insulation to an existing wall assembly but are worried about trapping moisture, like retrofitting the exterior of buildings with additional insulation. Though to be absolutely sure you may be better with a mineral wool board which lets moisture pass right through - it all depends what moisture barriers are already in place or ar about to be installed.


The performance of EPS may drop slightly when it's wet (reports I've seen indicate somewhere in the area of 10-15 %, so nothing too catastrophic), it will also dry out just as quickly as it got wet and return to its original performance. But there is nothing wrong with putting a little effort into keeping it dry if you can. The GWP of expanded polystyrene blowing agents is about 7 times worse than carbon, but that's a lot less than being 1430 times worse like standard XPS is. There is also the potential for a miniscule amount of off-gasing of some chemicals including potentially troublesome brominated fire-retardants from EPS foam products used in construction, but speculation as to whether or not this poses a significant risk to health doesn't seem to be based on any hard facts or testing. We'd be really interested to find any verifiable sources for EPS chemical off-gassing testing - if you find any please post them to the comments section below - as we are starting to think that EPS foam may arguably be the most Eco-Friendly insulation and this may sway our thinking against it.


Polyisocyanurate foam insulation panels come with a layer of foil on each side to keep the gases in, so there is the potential to solve a bit of a growing problem in wall assembly durability. Foil is a vapour barrier and a very good one at that, it fact it stops even more moisture than the normal 6 mil polyethylene normally used. So if you use it on the interior of a high performance stud wall design, you won't need to add an additional vapour barrier.


On the good news side, the GWP of blowing agents in Polyiso is similar to those in EPS, and in the right circumstances its R value is significantly higher, which deservedly or not helped earn it the reputation of being the 'greenest' foam. It can be a great choice when kept above freezing and away from moisture - so above grade for sure, and it makes a great interior thermal break when it's kept a bit warmer by batt insulation in stud cavities. 041b061a72


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