How to Install Rigid Foam Insulation Between Studs Measure the Project Area . x 4 ft. x 8 ft. R-5 Scored Square Edge Rigid Foam Board Insulation Sheathing FOAMULAR Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Rigid FOAMULAR Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Rigid Foam Insulation offers a comprehensive line of products - choose the strength you need, from 15 to 60 PSI and exceptional moisture resistance. Tyvek is designed for new homes ONLY. However, they do not provide the same performance in terms of insulation level per inch, water resistance, or air resistance. If there's a fire in the building, a thermal barrier keeps the combustible spray foam from the flames to increase fire resistance. In other cases, though, the best choice is a bit more of a flexible decision. Capstone Communities Announces Cottage-Style Build-to-Rent Homes in Summerville, S.C. Landsea Homes Will Ring Upcoming Nasdaq Closing Bell in Celebration of Going Public, The Surprising Hiring Lessons of a $4 Billion Company. Those are all viable options, but perhaps the most sought after option is to insulate with foam board on the INSIDE of the foundation wall so you don’t have to worry about the above grade exposure. A 2-inch thick sheet of this rigid foam board insulation provides thermal resistance, or R-value, of R-10. What are the benefits of outsulation? If the attic is only for storage your local building inspector May approve it exposed. Insulation Foam Board Problems Rigid Insulation Is Rigid! Most local building codes require that rigid foam boards made from polyurethane or polystyrene be covered with a 15-minute fire-rated thermal covering if they are used on the inside of the house. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. More effective insulation, better at controlling moisture, and … Current building codes require foundations to be insulated. Once the board is cut to size and fit in place, spray foam seals gaps around the edges. Dow Styrofoam and Owens Corning Foamular are two products that pass the burn test and can be left unprotected in an isolated crawlspace. Some codes say that if your crawlspace is connected to a basement, you need to cover the foam with an ignition barrier like 1/4-inch plywood or particleboard. We plan on making the basement a 2nd living room and it will really help if it’s properly insulated and won’t moist. Do not subtract studs. You can use rigid foam panels or do as Tom Silva does with nearly all houses these days: Hire a pro to install spray foam insulation. Mineral fiber batts or blankets do curve and may be used in wall cavities including curved surfaces. These coverings will ensure a good long life for the foam insulation by keeping moisture from its surface. Measure the entire wall area to figure out the amount of rigid foam to purchase. When in doubt, it always pays to talk to your inspector during the design stage. Paul Fisette is a wood technologist and former director of the Building Materials Technology and Management program at the University of Massachussets in Amherst, Mass. Those are all viable options, but perhaps the most sought after option is to insulate with foam board on the INSIDE of the foundation wall so you don’t have to worry about the above grade exposure. Once foam insulation catches on fire, it burns rapidly. Maryland & DC Area Rim Joist Insulation Installers. As far as I know, most types of rigid foam insulation can’t be left exposed, but need to be covered with a layer of drywall for fire resistance. Styrofoam™Brand Wallmate Insulation can be installed to the outside or inside edge at corners of interior basement walls. For that reason, you will need to use a fire barrier. Foam blocks airflow needs no vapor barrier and has a higher R-value per inch than loose fill or batts, so you'll get more protection with less depth. BUILDING AMERICA (BA) has been advocating the use of rigid foam sheathing insulation for years as a means to improve the home’s thermal envelope, by increasing R-value while minimizing thermal bridging in wood-framed walls. The Ontario Building Code requires foam insulation products to be protected with a 15 minute thermal barrier if they are inside the building envelope. The problem with that application has always been that the foam board needed to be covered with a “thermal barrier” or “flame spread barrier” like drywall in order to meet local fire codes. Products provide superior insulating properties; R-value (5- in. When the initial covering is installed then tile or fiberglass medium can be installed to complete your bathroom. FOAMULAR 150 1 in. [Currently non HFC gases are used for foam insulation production --DF] All XPS and EPS foam must by law be covered by a thermal (fire) barrier and if that is all you're putting in there for insulation, then you need furring sticks between the foam and the drywall. As a result, air passes though these areas. Get notified of new posts and changes that affect your home or business. This includes foam board, spray foam, ICF blocks and any other “foamed plastic” products. Unfortunately for most homeowners paying high energy bills, that conventional thinking was wrong. Application without Prescriptive Thermal Barrier: Application without Prescriptive Ignition Barrier, For more information about specifics and installation best practices, consult the. If insulating sheathing is to serve as the drainage plane, all seams must be taped and flashing installed at all penetrations and openings. Required fields are marked *. This ONLY applies to DOW foam, not other manufactured brands of foam or insulation products. The advantages are multiple: Floors running atop will feel warmer to bare feet in the winter. You will likely meet some “resistance” from your local code officials, but DOWNLOAD THE CODE REPORT and look for the sections described below, For more information about specifics and installation best practices, consult the Dow Builder’s Guide to Continuous Insulation. Generally If part of your home is considered habitable space or occupied space then you can't leave foam insulation exposed and needs to be covered with fire resistant drywall. If You Want To Cover Metal Ductwork With Blown-In Insulation,T,hese Steps Must Be Followed In This Order: Cover The Metal Ductwork With Closed-Cell Spray Foam. One of the preferred products for insulating foundations is Dow XPS extruded polystyrene foam, commonly called “blue board” in the trades. With spray foam, unlike with loose fill or batts, you must cover the soffit vents (they aren't needed to keep the roof cool). It's now rare for local code officials to question exterior foam sheathing. Spray-Foam Spreads Fire Very Fast & Creates Massive Amounts Of Toxic Smoke. Does Fiberglass Insulation Have to Be Covered in Tampa? Some types of thicker foam board insulation are available, but they may need to … However, most building codes allow the installation of … This can lead to … New versions of the code specifically allow the use of foam sheathing to meet energy code requirements. And fyi, people seem to be so unaware of this, but depending on your climate zone you may be required by code to also install a vapor barrier on the warm side of the wall, so check with your local code. Also, the smoke that comes from rigid foam is thick and full of toxic gases. One advantage to the novice, who has neither the equipment, the tools, nor experience to install foam insulation, is that rigid foam insulation can be installed very simply. 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Cover the insulation with a vapor barrier before you install it; all foam boards absorb water vapor. Use an insulation that resists damage from water (not fiberglass or cellulose). Then cover … In some cases, there’s an obvious case where only one type is appropriate for the job that you are doing. When adding insulation to concrete applications such as foundations, walls, and slabs, one of the more highly recommended forms is rigid foam insulation. The foam provides a vapor-barrier so the ductwork won’t sweat. Serving the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Accurate Insulation is a good company to call when you need to insulate all parts of a new home or need more insulation for your rim joist, basement or crawl space. Thank you for this very informative article. Since you already have foam insulation in place, however, you will need to find a suitable retrofit product to protect it or remove the above-grade foam (and add interior foundation insulation). Because foam board insulation isn't flexible, it does a poor job filling the gaps and cracks that exist in walls. When installing the foam, use caulk or tape for maximum insulation between the … Builder's Business, Performance Professionals, Recommended | 2 comments. We haven’t done our plans for the basement so this article will really help. Two common methods are to install a product like Nudo Groundbreaker or Protecto Bond. Most of the materials used to protect the foam eventually get damaged by lawn mowers, baseballs, or just normal wear and tear at the ground level. For example, the wall may be 30 feet long by 7 feet high. We are currently planning on building our first home and we’re making sure that everything is settle first before we start building. Rigid foam boards used in ceiling insulation are often made of either cellulose fiber, fiberglass, polystyrene, or polyurethanes. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Once the foam board is in place it can be covered with waterproof concrete board or specially treated sheet rock. It can be installed on the exterior of the foundation walls, but in order to be effective, needs to be installed to the full height of the wall which means protecting the above grade portion. Pink, fluffy batts wedged tightly between studs, rafters, and joists insulate the space against exterior temperature changes. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Insulating the basement or crawlspace walls of a home is a crucial step in lowering energy bills. Yes, absolutely. I plan to install rigid foam insulation in a crawlspace. What are the effective system R-values for the THERMAX™ Wall System? When properly constructed, it provides a tight, dry, warm, and durable structure. Building codes restrict the use of unprotected foam in habitable or accessible spaces. It comes in standard-size 4×8 sheets, and smaller sizes, in many different thicknesses from 1/4 inch to 2 inches. Any one of the rigid board insulations will work, but polyioscyanurate has the best R-value (6 to 7 per inch). There are a few options home owners and contractors have to conform to this requirement. The quick answer is: it … Website Designed With Stu. Rigid foam insulation, whether it is expanded or extruded polystyrene, does have to be covered if it is installed in the interior of a building. That's what separates it from the occupied spaces. Press drywall corner bead over outside corner of wall covered with Styrofoam™Brand Wallmate™Insulation. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. © 2014-2020 Great Lakes Home Performance LLC Half-inch thick gypsum board is commonly used for that purpose. Outside (Figure 7) 1. 2. Basement walls should be insulated with non-water sensitive insulation that prevents interior air from contacting cold basement surfaces—the concrete structural elements and the rim joist framing. If you put spray foam insulation in a building, it needs a thermal barrier. However, most building codes allow the installation of unprotected rigid foam in a crawlspace that has no open connection to a basement, as long as the foam has passed alternative testing procedures. Adding a layer of rigid foam to the walls of any building is somewhat labor intensive. Adding rigid foam insulation to your crawl space is one of the smartest things you can do to your house. A curved surface for example would be very difficult if not impossible to cover properly with rigid foam board insulation. Is there a type of rigid foam insulation panel available that can be left exposed? Conventional thinking was that foundations did not need to be insulated since they are primarily below grade and not subjected to the full load of outdoor temperatures. Re-siding an existing home presents an opportunity to upgrade the home’s energy performance. Basement Foam Board Insulation Pros: Some rigid foam products are water-resistant that can help limit moisture buildup and mildew growth. Dow Builder’s Guide to Continuous Insulation, Energy Efficiency and the Modern Home Builder’s Business, Renewed and Retroactive Tax Credit for Builders, Michigan Energy Code Update: Part 2 Compliance Paths. At this point, we’ve covered the different facets of your rigid foam insulation options. There are other reasons to cover it with drywall, but it may not need to be done at the time of construction. It’s not uncommon for Tampa homes to have exposed fiberglass insulation in the basement or attic. A.Corresponding Editor Paul Fisette responds: Not that I know of. The structural elements of below grade walls are cold (concrete is in direct contact with the ground)—especially when insulated on … Foam board insulation is easy to use and is a great DIY way to add some insulation. Rigid polyisocyanurate insulation is foamed from freon gas, a fluorinated hydrocarbon often used as a refrigerant and until the early 1980's, as a propellant in aerosols. This type of insulation may be faced with silver foil , with the foil facing inward toward the crawl space. Cover The Spray Foam With Fire-Retardant Spray. However, code officials and rigid foam manufacturers have made progress since 2005. Your email address will not be published. Your email address will not be published. The International Residential Code (IRC) and Internation Building Code (IBC) both include requirements for thermal barriers (and ignition barriers, too; see below).Th… Consider 210 square feet to be the entire amount of rigid foam insulation … Where inspectors draw the line often depends on whether or not there is a mechanical system in the crawlspace. There are also some scratch coat materials which are troweled over the insulation like a stucco coating. Insects. The good folks at Dow have had their material tested and approved for installation on the inside of foundations for certain spaces without the requirement for drywall. Rigid foam insulation works for any type of masonry wall: concrete, block, brick, and even stone. Air traveling in an out will bring moisture with it. The problem with that application has always been that the foam board needed to be covered with a “thermal barrier” or “flame spread barrier” like drywall in order to meet local fire codes. Allowing interior air (that is usually full of moisture, especially in the humid summer months) to touch cold surfaces will cause condensation and wetting, rather than the desired drying. Although insects can tunnel through foam boards, if you read about this as a potential problem, it usually refers to foundation installations. It is available in several thicknesses and R-values. Tyvek is NOT designed as a product for older homes. Different code jurisdictions may have particular code sections that deal with this issue. A.Corresponding Editor Paul Fisette responds: Not that I know of. The thinking here is that a fire could be set off by either the equipment or activity of people in the space. And changes that affect your home or Business that exist in walls it usually refers foundation. Uncommon for Tampa homes to have exposed fiberglass insulation in a crawlspace building envelope changes that affect your or! 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