How Do You Use Foam Insulation Panels?


Quick Answer

Use rigid foam insulation panels by cutting the panels to size and friction fitting them between studs, floor joists or roof rafters. Friction fitting means wedging the panel between the wooden planks so that it stays firmly in place during high winds, earthquakes or other unstable events.

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How Do You Use Foam Insulation Panels?
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Full Answer

Three are three types of rigid foam insulation panel materials: expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene and polyisocyanurate. All three types of rigid foam installation panels install using friction fitting, but each of these three types of panels has its own advantages and drawbacks.

Expanded polystyrene panels are essentially just large panels made of the same Styrofoam material found in shipping materials and food packaging. Expanded polystyrene panels are the cheapest of the three, but they also have the lowest insulation efficiency. Extruded polystyrene panels are made of the same material as expanded polystyrene panels, but they have a different manufacturing process. Extruded polystyrene panels are both thinner and more energy efficient than extruded panels.

Polyisocyanurate panels are the most expensive of the three types, but they also have the highest energy efficiency ratings. Polyisocyanurate insulation panels also typically have foil tape coverings, making them effective radiant as well as thermal barriers. However, polyisocyanurate manufacturing is detrimental to the environment, and, unlike polystyrene, polyisocyanurate cannot be recycled.

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