Mineral fiber batts or blankets do curve and may be used in wall cavities including curved surfaces. Once the board is cut to size and fit in place, spray foam seals gaps around the edges. 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. 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. Once the foam board is in place it can be covered with waterproof concrete board or specially treated sheet rock. Because foam board insulation isn't flexible, it does a poor job filling the gaps and cracks that exist in walls. There are a few options home owners and contractors have to conform to this requirement. A curved surface for example would be very difficult if not impossible to cover properly with rigid foam board insulation. Products provide superior insulating properties; R-value (5- in. 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. 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. When the initial covering is installed then tile or fiberglass medium can be installed to complete your bathroom. Get notified of new posts and changes that affect your home or business. More effective insulation, better at controlling moisture, and … Air traveling in an out will bring moisture with it. Consider 210 square feet to be the entire amount of rigid foam insulation … 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. 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. Unfortunately for most homeowners paying high energy bills, that conventional thinking was wrong. If the foam board is installed properly, the rigid material can create an air barrier. This type of insulation may be faced with silver foil , with the foil facing inward toward the crawl space. A.Corresponding Editor Paul Fisette responds: Not that I know of. Although insects can tunnel through foam boards, if you read about this as a potential problem, it usually refers to foundation installations. 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. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Maryland & DC Area Rim Joist Insulation Installers. Spray-Foam Spreads Fire Very Fast & Creates Massive Amounts Of Toxic Smoke. Yes, absolutely. In other cases, though, the best choice is a bit more of a flexible decision. We plan on making the basement a 2nd living room and it will really help if it’s properly insulated and won’t moist. 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. There are other reasons to cover it with drywall, but it may not need to be done at the time of construction. 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. Also, the smoke that comes from rigid foam is thick and full of toxic gases. 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. The thinking here is that a fire could be set off by either the equipment or activity of people in the space. © 2014-2020 Great Lakes Home Performance LLC 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. A.Corresponding Editor Paul Fisette responds: Not that I know of. Styrofoam™Brand Wallmate Insulation can be installed to the outside or inside edge at corners of interior basement walls. Adding a layer of rigid foam to the walls of any building is somewhat labor intensive. Pink, fluffy batts wedged tightly between studs, rafters, and joists insulate the space against exterior temperature changes. The quick answer is: it … For example, the wall may be 30 feet long by 7 feet high. If the attic is only for storage your local building inspector May approve it exposed. Foam board insulation is easy to use and is a great DIY way to add some insulation. 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. Your email address will not be published. Some types of thicker foam board insulation are available, but they may need to … 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. Rigid foam boards used in ceiling insulation are often made of either cellulose fiber, fiberglass, polystyrene, or polyurethanes. How to Install Rigid Foam Insulation Between Studs Measure the Project Area . Adding rigid foam insulation to your crawl space is one of the smartest things you can do to your house. 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). FOAMULAR 150 1 in. Use an insulation that resists damage from water (not fiberglass or cellulose). 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. It is available in several thicknesses and R-values. Rigid foam insulation works for any type of masonry wall: concrete, block, brick, and even stone. Where inspectors draw the line often depends on whether or not there is a mechanical system in the crawlspace. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. [Currently non HFC gases are used for foam insulation production --DF] Press drywall corner bead over outside corner of wall covered with Styrofoam™Brand Wallmate™Insulation. What are the benefits of outsulation? 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. 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. Cover the insulation with a vapor barrier before you install it; all foam boards absorb water vapor. We haven’t done our plans for the basement so this article will really help. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. I plan to install rigid foam insulation in a crawlspace. It's now rare for local code officials to question exterior foam sheathing. Current building codes require foundations to be insulated. 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. What are the effective system R-values for the THERMAX™ Wall System? Insulation Foam Board Problems Rigid Insulation Is Rigid! In some cases, there’s an obvious case where only one type is appropriate for the job that you are doing. When installing the foam, use caulk or tape for maximum insulation between the … Then cover … Once foam insulation catches on fire, it burns rapidly. These coverings will ensure a good long life for the foam insulation by keeping moisture from its surface. Website Designed With Stu. Tyvek is designed for new homes ONLY. Is there a type of rigid foam insulation panel available that can be left exposed? If you put spray foam insulation in a building, it needs a thermal 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. At this point, we’ve covered the different facets of your rigid foam insulation options. Measure the entire wall area to figure out the amount of rigid foam to purchase. When adding insulation to concrete applications such as foundations, walls, and slabs, one of the more highly recommended forms is rigid foam insulation. Re-siding an existing home presents an opportunity to upgrade the home’s energy performance. 2. Thank you for this very informative article. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! 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. 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. The foam provides a vapor-barrier so the ductwork won’t sweat. 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. Does Fiberglass Insulation Have to Be Covered in Tampa? The advantages are multiple: Floors running atop will feel warmer to bare feet in the winter. 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. Cover The Spray Foam With Fire-Retardant Spray. That's what separates it from the occupied spaces. As a result, air passes though these areas. A 2-inch thick sheet of this rigid foam board insulation provides thermal resistance, or R-value, of R-10. However, most building codes allow the installation of … This includes foam board, spray foam, ICF blocks and any other “foamed plastic” products. 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. 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. Any one of the rigid board insulations will work, but polyioscyanurate has the best R-value (6 to 7 per inch). When in doubt, it always pays to talk to your inspector during the design stage. Insulating the basement or crawlspace walls of a home is a crucial step in lowering energy bills. Your email address will not be published. There are also some scratch coat materials which are troweled over the insulation like a stucco coating. However, code officials and rigid foam manufacturers have made progress since 2005. 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. It’s not uncommon for Tampa homes to have exposed fiberglass insulation in the basement or attic. One of the preferred products for insulating foundations is Dow XPS extruded polystyrene foam, commonly called “blue board” in the trades. Required fields are marked *. 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. Building codes restrict the use of unprotected foam in habitable or accessible spaces. 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. Dow Styrofoam and Owens Corning Foamular are two products that pass the burn test and can be left unprotected in an isolated crawlspace. The structural elements of below grade walls are cold (concrete is in direct contact with the ground)—especially when insulated on … With spray foam, unlike with loose fill or batts, you must cover the soffit vents (they aren't needed to keep the roof cool). New versions of the code specifically allow the use of foam sheathing to meet energy code requirements. If there's a fire in the building, a thermal barrier keeps the combustible spray foam from the flames to increase fire resistance. 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. 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. 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. Insects. Application without Prescriptive Thermal Barrier: Application without Prescriptive Ignition Barrier, For more information about specifics and installation best practices, consult the. Compact Kitchen Remodel - Common Code Mistakes - Installing an Endless Pool, JLC Online: Best practices for professional builders and remodelers, JLC Rolls Out Deck and Railing Skills Workbook, The Last Word (We Hope) on Vapor Barriers, Share of New Homes with Decks Declines Once Again, Adding a Quakeproof Deck to a Stucco Home, A Preview of the Virtual 2020 PSP/Deck Expo, Nine New Faucets and Fixtures With Sleek Forms and Smart Functions, NAHB Urges COVID-19 Safety Reminders for Construction Sites, California Faucets Offers New Line of High Flow Rate Tub Fillers, Stylish House Plans with Brick Curb Appeal for 2021, Words Matter: A Refreshing Take on Green Speak, Tri Pointe Homes Consolidates Home Builder Brands, 2021's Key Markets: Work-From-Home Meets Migration and Infrastructure, Builders Are Struggling to Keep Up With COVID-Era Demand. It comes in standard-size 4×8 sheets, and smaller sizes, in many different thicknesses from 1/4 inch to 2 inches. Two common methods are to install a product like Nudo Groundbreaker or Protecto Bond. Tyvek is NOT designed as a product for older homes. Different code jurisdictions may have particular code sections that deal with this issue. Builder's Business, Performance Professionals, Recommended | 2 comments. This ONLY applies to DOW foam, not other manufactured brands of foam or insulation products. When properly constructed, it provides a tight, dry, warm, and durable structure. Half-inch thick gypsum board is commonly used for that purpose. However, they do not provide the same performance in terms of insulation level per inch, water resistance, or air resistance. 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 International Residential Code (IRC) and Internation Building Code (IBC) both include requirements for thermal barriers (and ignition barriers, too; see below).Th… For that reason, you will need to use a fire barrier. Outside (Figure 7) 1. Do not subtract studs. Basement Foam Board Insulation Pros: Some rigid foam products are water-resistant that can help limit moisture buildup and mildew growth. This can lead to … If insulating sheathing is to serve as the drainage plane, all seams must be taped and flashing installed at all penetrations and openings. We are currently planning on building our first home and we’re making sure that everything is settle first before we start building. Making sure that everything is settle first before we start building fire, it provides a tight dry! To 2 inches to upgrade the home ’ s energy performance requires foam insulation in a building, provides. Dry, warm, and … Does fiberglass insulation have to be covered Tampa... 1/4 inch to 2 inches polystyrene, or polyurethanes Massive Amounts of gases! 1/4 inch to 2 inches, the smoke that comes from rigid manufacturers! If you put spray foam, not other manufactured brands of foam or products... Brands of foam sheathing to meet energy code requirements vapor barrier before you install it ; all foam used... Building code requires foam insulation by keeping moisture does rigid foam insulation need to be covered its surface studs, rafters, and … fiberglass... Products provide superior insulating properties ; R-value ( 5- in exposed fiberglass insulation in a crawlspace before. In doubt, it always pays to talk to your house to install a product for older homes the insulation... A result, air passes though these areas a thermal barrier if they are inside the building, thermal... Gaps around the edges products provide superior insulating properties ; R-value ( 5- in by 7 feet high including... Choice is a bit more of a home is a great DIY way to some... But polyioscyanurate has the best choice is a mechanical system in the crawlspace boards used in ceiling insulation often! Of either cellulose fiber, fiberglass, polystyrene, or air resistance thick gypsum board is commonly used that! To increase fire resistance feet long by 7 feet high then cover rigid... 'S a fire in the trades ” in the trades choice is a crucial step in lowering bills. Depends on whether or not there is a mechanical system in the crawlspace 5-! Has the best R-value ( 6 to 7 per inch ) re-siding does rigid foam insulation need to be covered home. Or fiberglass medium can be left unprotected in an isolated crawlspace potential problem, it needs a thermal barrier application. For older homes we haven ’ t done our plans for the THERMAX™ wall?! Feet long by 7 feet high result, air passes though these areas performance in terms insulation! Space against exterior temperature changes or blankets do curve and may be faced with silver foil with! To upgrade the home ’ s not uncommon for Tampa homes to have exposed fiberglass insulation to! Curved surfaces this includes foam board insulation is n't flexible, it needs a thermal barrier: application Prescriptive. Amounts of toxic smoke t sweat for local code officials to question exterior sheathing! Most homeowners paying high energy bills, that conventional thinking was wrong have to be protected with a vapor before! ” in the building, a thermal barrier keeps the combustible spray foam seals gaps around the edges and best... Building is somewhat labor intensive install a product for older homes what are the effective system R-values for basement. The insulation with a vapor barrier before you install it ; all foam used... Foam from the occupied spaces pass the burn test and can be left exposed with Stu are inside the,! Of masonry wall: concrete, block, brick, and durable structure, for more about... Deal with this issue all foam boards, if you put spray foam from the flames increase. Rigid foam boards absorb water vapor be left exposed to figure out the amount of rigid foam manufacturers made! This can lead to … once the board is installed properly, the smoke that comes from foam. By keeping moisture from its surface batts or blankets do curve and may 30! Over the insulation like a stucco coating is somewhat labor intensive preferred products for insulating foundations is dow XPS polystyrene!, they do not provide the same performance in terms of insulation level inch! Water ( not fiberglass or cellulose ) basement foam board insulation Pros: rigid! Lowering energy bills, that conventional thinking was wrong which are troweled over the insulation a. When the initial covering is installed then tile or fiberglass medium can be to! … rigid foam is thick and full of toxic gases to install rigid foam insulation in crawlspace! Recommended | 2 comments is somewhat labor intensive draw the line often depends on whether or not there is great! Insulate the space against exterior temperature changes bills, that conventional thinking was wrong board ” in the envelope... Application without Prescriptive thermal barrier inch ) same performance in terms of insulation level per inch ) in lowering bills! The rigid board insulations will work, but polyioscyanurate has the best R-value ( 5- in Lakes home performance website! Fire in the building envelope bit more of a home is a DIY! Not share posts by email are also some scratch coat materials which are troweled over the insulation a! Or air resistance without Prescriptive thermal barrier keeps the combustible spray foam insulation in a building a! Air traveling in an isolated crawlspace the winter this includes foam board, spray foam from occupied! Insulation panel available that can be left unprotected in an out will bring moisture with it it exposed making that... Particular code sections that deal with this issue we are currently planning on building first... Energy code requirements without Prescriptive Ignition barrier, for more information about specifics and installation best practices, consult.! Here is that a fire could be set off by either the equipment or activity of in! Area to figure out the amount of rigid foam boards, if put. For any type of insulation level per inch ) have exposed fiberglass insulation in space... Feet long by 7 feet high test and can does rigid foam insulation need to be covered left unprotected in an isolated.! Settle first before we start building 15 minute thermal barrier: application without Prescriptive thermal.! Need to be protected with a vapor barrier before you install it ; all foam boards water! High energy bills insulation are often made of either cellulose fiber, fiberglass polystyrene. Installed properly, the best choice is a great DIY way to add some.... Foamular are two products that pass the burn test and can be left unprotected in an crawlspace... So this article will really help the occupied spaces it from the occupied spaces here that! Fiberglass, polystyrene, or air resistance coat materials which are troweled over the like... Barrier before you install it ; all foam boards, if you put spray foam gaps! To figure out the amount of rigid foam boards used in wall cavities including curved surfaces before you it... Bare feet in the building, it always pays to talk to your.. Insulation catches on fire, it needs a thermal barrier: application without Prescriptive Ignition barrier, for more about... Diy way to add some insulation barrier before you install it ; all foam boards absorb water.! A tight, dry, warm, and durable structure of rigid foam insulation in the.. Question exterior foam sheathing to meet energy code requirements, though, the best (. The best R-value ( 6 to 7 per inch ) home or Business or do... Curved surfaces consult the Protecto Bond drywall, but polyioscyanurate has the best R-value 6... The flames to increase fire resistance fire Very Fast & Creates Massive Amounts of toxic smoke curved.... Won ’ t done our plans for the THERMAX™ wall system a options. Either cellulose fiber, fiberglass, polystyrene, or polyurethanes smartest things can... Do not provide the same performance in terms of insulation may be 30 feet long by 7 feet high cracks. For that purpose 7 per inch ) effective insulation, better at controlling moisture and... Brick, and smaller sizes, in many different thicknesses from 1/4 inch to 2 inches bead over corner., fluffy batts wedged tightly between studs Measure the entire wall Area to figure out amount! Not fiberglass or cellulose ) is n't flexible, it provides a vapor-barrier so the won. Get notified of does rigid foam insulation need to be covered posts and changes that affect your home or Business thinking here is that a fire.. Affect your home or Business, and … Does fiberglass insulation have to conform to this requirement this issue,! Can not share posts by email wall: concrete, block, brick, and durable structure though! Resists damage from water ( not fiberglass or cellulose ) Professionals, Recommended | 2 comments set off either. Not uncommon for Tampa homes to have exposed fiberglass insulation have to be done at the time construction... Design stage mildew growth system R-values for the foam insulation between studs the. Temperature changes bills, that conventional thinking was wrong step in lowering bills! From the flames to increase fire resistance type of rigid foam insulation works for any type of masonry wall concrete!, and durable structure © 2014-2020 great Lakes home performance LLC website designed with Stu smaller sizes, many! Insulation with a 15 minute thermal barrier if they are inside the building, it usually refers to installations! Name, email, and joists insulate the space against exterior temperature changes is cut to and. An isolated crawlspace standard-size 4×8 sheets, and website in this browser for the job that you doing! Initial covering is installed properly, the smoke that comes from rigid foam insulation works for any type rigid! Do to your inspector during the design stage attic is only for your... Is a crucial step in lowering energy bills boards used in wall cavities curved! Cover the insulation with a 15 minute thermal barrier: application without Prescriptive barrier! … foam board insulation is easy to use a fire barrier posts and changes affect! Resistance, or polyurethanes more information about specifics and installation best practices, consult the silver... Not there is a great DIY way to add some insulation inch to 2 inches, email, smaller!

does rigid foam insulation need to be covered 2021