The Essentials of Exterior Insulation
September 11, 2015
As most homeowners already know, heat flows from a warm space to a cool space - it's natural. In the winter, heat has a tendency to flow from the heated indoor spaces to the outdoors - and that happens right through the walls. On the other hand, in the summer, heat has a tendency to flow from the outdoors to the interior of the home. This constant airflow (and heat transfer) is what points to the essentials of exterior insulation. Traditionally, residential home insulation was installed between the interior wall-studs. There was very little or no exterior insulation to speak of. It meant that there was plenty of leftover space that lacked insulation - and that meant that even the installed insulation didn't perform to its max. Where insulation did not effectively insulate, the potential for heat loss (referred to by experts as thermal bridging) was quite substantial. Exterior insulation is about preventing heat loss. And in a residential home there are so many opportunities throughout for heat to escape. The lack of exterior insulation not only contributes to heat loss - it also reduces the insulating effectiveness of existing insulation. For the professionals in the industry, augmenting exterior insulation is a sure-fire way to significantly impact existing R-Values, while providing additional R-Value. For today's energy conscious homeowner, exterior insulation is one of the better home-improvement projects, especially for those who want to dramatically reduce energy bills. Its because exterior insulation can cover 100% of the wall surface, leaving no gaps for air to flow back and forth, and therefore reducing heat loss, cool loss, and energy loss. Better still, exterior insulation will contribute to substantial seasonal utility savings. One of the many benefits of exterior insulation is that it can be installed over virtually any existing surface material. And depending on the product used, it's an excellent chance to address the condition of the "substrate" and to start from scratch. While there are countless insulation products on the market, and many contractors with the "answer", spray foam insulation is one application that has delivered proven results in many exterior insulation projects. It's a high-performance product, an all-in-one system, and a superior application that performs beyond other insulation products. For exterior insulation, it provides an airtight seal, an effective vapor barrier, and 100% coverage. When installed, conventional exterior insulation products often suffer from partial air loss or poor moisture control. These are not issues for spray foam insulation, and there are no spaces, shapes or edges that are too difficult to cover, seal or insulate. In fact, for the best long-term exterior insulation performance, spray foam is the preferred application. And beyond anything else, it offers the highest R-Value insulation per inch of any product. For the residential homeowner or commercial building owner, exterior insulation using a spray foam product will deliver the results - reduced energy usage and lower utility bills.