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Building insulation is any object in a building that serves as insulation for any purpose. Although most building insulation is used for thermal purposes, the term also applies to sound insulation, fire insulation and impact insulation (e.g., in the case of vibrations caused by industrial applications). Insulation is often chosen because of its ability to perform several of these functions simultaneously. A guide to best modernisation practices provides useful information on adding insulation when remodelling your home.
Important areas where insulation is usually inadequate are building corners and areas where insulation has been removed or moved to make room for the system infrastructure. Thermal bridges (areas where thermal conductivity is higher than adjacent areas, causing heat transfer) can also be created through uncoordinated construction, for example, by closing parts of external walls before they are completely insulated. The presence of inaccessible cavities in the wall chamber that are not insulated can be a source of thermal bridges.
In the past, sludge, asbestos and cork were used as insulation materials for buildings and pipes. The building’s thermal boundary separates air-conditioned (heated or cooled) rooms from outside or non-air-conditioned areas. The building should be constantly insulated around all thermal borders, including corners and edges. The surface of ducts and oven cabinets that are outside the thermal limit in an unfinished basement should also be isolated.
Some communities require insulation in basement wall systems to provide both thermal comfort and fire protection. Information on insulation regulations can be obtained from your local construction department. Make sure that you not only insulate the heat borders in your home, but also properly seal and insulate pipes that run through unused rooms, and properly insulate pipes that pass through unused rooms.
Sometimes, rigid insulation can be used outside the sidewalls of the wall, such as concrete blocks or poured concrete. However, if this is not possible, you can use rigid insulation boards or strips to insulate the interior of masonry walls. Insulation of external walls keeps feet warm and reduces the risk of freezing.
Creep space insulation is often installed by attaching a heat barrier to the edge elements of the creep space and on the walls. Conventional wisdom would tell you that the roof of your creep space should be the area you want to isolate, but in fact, this is the last place where you want to apply insulation. By installing insulation on concrete external walls and edge beams, warm air can freely flow through the floor above and be trapped in a creep space.
Leave the floor uninsulated and insulate the walls of the unventilated creep space. If slats or rollers are used on the bottom of the floor above an unheated creeper or basement, place insulation between the beams and press them against the floor as safely as possible without excessive compression of the insulation. Insulation strips can be cut and inserted manually into tight spaces. If you insulate an unheated crawl space or basement, you also need to insulate all channels or pipes that run through this space.
An insulated basement has more heat storage than a basement that is not insulated. The concrete stays warmer and gives off heat to the house if the heating system in the house temporarily fails. However, ceiling insulation is becoming less frequent due to moisture problems in basement insulation.
Please note that a roof assembly has rigid insulation installed above the roof deck to control condensation potential. The thermal resistance of rigid insulation (thickness) required to control condensation depends on the severity of the climate. The cooler the climate, the more resistant the rigid insulation required. The colder the climate, the higher the thermal resistance required for rigid insulation. The higher the internal moisture load, the higher the thermal resistance required for rigid insulation. Membrane roofs and shingle roofs can cool the adjacent night sky, which can cause the temperature on the roof terrace to drop well below the ambient temperature. If membrane roofs and asphalt shingles are used, rigid insulation must be installed above the roof deck or hermetic insulation below the roof deck.
Controlling the temperature of condensation surfaces usually involves putting on an insulating jacket on the roof terrace. When building wooden residential frames, rigid insulation should be installed between the shingle and the roof plywood or OSB (Oriented Strand Board). Installation of rigid insulation increases the temperature of the roof terrace on cold days, and thus minimises condensation.