Materials for Home Insulation

Polystyrene

This resembles wallpaper, is barely 2mm thick and is hung with a special adhesive. Quite fragile, it dents easily but insulates the wall and raises the surface ‘touch’ temperature.

Aluminium foil-back paper can be used in the same way. These materials are applied in a similar manner to ordinary wallpaper-cut with scissors or a trimming knife and the rolls butt-jointed and fixed with an adhesive.

Polystyrene tiles can also be used but they are more commonly fixed to ceilings. Polystyrene tiles should never be painted with gloss paint as thus treated they represent a fire hazard.

They are best painted with an emulsion or fire-retardant paint. Many of these tiles are now of the self-extinguishing, fire-resistant type. Special adhesives are made for fixing polystyrene.

Insulating boards

These consist of poly-urethane or polystyrene sandwiched between a variety of materials and may be backed with aluminium foil.

Wood cladding

This is a natural insulator, makes not only a good insulant surface but also provides an attractive decorative appearance. The method of fixing is to nail the board to battens screwed to the wall. Added protection would be provided by a layer of mineral-wool quilting fixed behind the battens.

As the cost of this type of insulation is high, it is advisable to clad exposed external walls first.

Fitted units, particularly in bedrooms, provide good insulation but if these are on the inside of exposed walls it is sensible to line the backs with expanded polystyrene sheets or slabs which also help to reduce condensation. These cupboards should be ventilated by drilling holes at the top and bottom of the doors.

Cavity filling

Cavity walls can be filled with ‘liquid’ insulating material. This may be mineral wool, urea-formaldehyde, poly-urethane or other insulating products. The material is injected into the wall, under high pressure, using special machines.

Holes are first drilled at intervals in the structure, to remove a core from the brick. The nozzle of a high-pressure pumping machine is inserted into the hole and the material forced into the cavity.

Once the nozzle is removed the brick plug is replaced and remortared to blend in with the original surface.

This work is carried out by specialist firms. This method is increased in its effectiveness if the inner wall is of cellular building blocks which have high thermal properties.

A 75mm thick cellular building block has the same insulating value as a 325mm thickness of ordinary bricks.

Thermal plaster also adds to the heat-retaining qualities of a wall.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Materials for Home Insulation

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