Insulation is any type of material that prevents or reduces the passage of heat, electricity, or sound. Cork, glass fiber, rubber, and plastic are all used as insulation. Another type of material used for insulation is foam. Foam insulation is more costly than most types of insulation, but it is considered more effective due to its high resistance to heat flow (R-values) and space saving properties.
What Is Foam Insulation?
Foam Insulation can be made from:
- Molded expanded polystyrene (MEPS)
- Extruded expanded polystyrene (XEPS).
Foam insulation's resistance to heat flow is two to three times greater than the majority of other insulating materials with the same thickness.
Why Install Foam Insulation?
Foam insulation can be a costly soundproofing method, but if installed properly, foam insulation offers airtight insulation and excellent soundproofing. If treated with an insecticide to prevent tunneling, foam insulation also helps to eliminate hiding places and entryways for bugs and other pests.
Foam insulation is also used to insulate or seal leaks in and around:
- Under basement slabs
- In entry and overhead garage doors
- Pipes and tanks
- Electrical outlets.
Foam insulation is easily damaged by sunlight so it is often covered with a material such as tar or asphalt.
Spray or Foam-in-Place Insulation
This type of insulation can be sprayed into place from a spray bottle or injected into exterior wall cavities that have not been filled with concrete. With both spray and foam-in-place insulation methods, the material takes the shape of the cavity and it hardens and expands as it dries. Spray or foam-in-place insulation and foam board insulation is commonly used in new construction, but they are also used in a wide variety of other applications.
Other Types of Foam Insulation
1. Liquid Foam Insulation
Liquid foam insulation can be poured from a container instead of spraying or injecting the material onto a surface.
2. Foam Boards Insulation
This is foam insulation in the form of laminated panels; the panels are placed closely together, then caulked for a tighter seal.
3. Polyurethane Foam Insulation
This type of insulation is commonly used for soundproofing gyms, recording studios, churches and laundry rooms.
4. Molded Expanded Polystyrene (MEPS)
This type of insulation is commonly used for coffee cups or various shipping materials like packing peanuts.
5. Extruded Expanded Polystyrene (XEPS)
Due to its high compressive strength, density and excellent moisture absorption, this type of foam insulation is a popular choice for roofs.