Because it conducts heat better than other types of insulation, they can provide more thermal insulation in a particular space. And because the material is made from water and a lot of air, it has a very high R-value.
It comes with a paper-like skin that allows for less expensive installation compared to fiberglass or traditional foams.
Installers will often mechanically attach velcro tabs on the bottom side of the board after cutting slots in strategic places around the perimeter. Boards are then bolted to studs by running bolts through webbing slots that were cut into each board (prior to installing). Note that foam boards should not be used without an interior batt or underlayment for this reason.
Similar to fiber glass, foam board is a good choice for soundproofing.
Good foam boards can form a vapor barrier and they are relatively easy to cut and shape with power tools.
Using foam board insulation helps save energy because it reduces air drafts, which results in improved heating and cooling efficiency as well as reduced noise from wind. In combination with caulking, foam board can be used as a sealant between framing members as studs or joists
Caulking must occur before foam is installed, then after installation foam must be caulked where its perimeter makes contact with another building material.
Foam board insulation can also provide secondary benefits such as enhanced fire resistance since foam will not burn and the paper layer of the foam insulation can also act as a barrier to retard fire if foam insulation is covered or sandwiched with other materials.
#Foam board insulation that is not rated for fire resistance should never be used as a primary material around flammable materials such as wood.#
Because foam boards are lightweight and do not absorb water, they provide excellent protection against drafts and also protect the building from water damage.
Foam panels can help reduce noise levels since foam absorbs sound waves and foam board provides an excellent foundation for installing soundproofing on walls and ceilings.
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How does foam board insulation work?
Insulating walls made from foam board can have a thermal efficiency of R-3.8 per inch, depending on the type of foam and how well it's installed. That means that a 12-inch wall could be insulated with only 1 inch of insulation. The other 11 inches would then take care of natural heat flow into or out from the home. This means that both heating and cooling the home should take much less time, energy, and money - as long as one does not neglect to fill those other 11 inches as needed!
Another advantage is that if one presses up against those 1 inch spaces between panels you'll feel an uncomfortable exothermic impulse rather than a comfortable convective hot spot, which will make for more comfortable conditions all around.
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