As the name indicates, Styrofoam is a type of foam. Its most common use is in packaging, as it protects products. However, people also use it for insulation purposes. Adding single or multiple layers of this material can easily capture heat in a design. It can also repel outer heat. The material is available in the market in various thickness levels. The major advantage of this material is that it provides excellent insulation. Despite the lightweight design, it is great for this purpose. So, the users can enjoy its benefits without adding any extra weight. When it comes to Styrofoam insulation ideas and its types, there are many questions. The answers to some major questions are available below.
Different Types of Styrofoam Insulation Materials
Similar to other construction materials, there are various types of Styrofoam. When it comes to insulation, the users are not restricted to a single type only. They can use any one of the multiple types of this material. As every single type of Styrofoam comes with a unique construction. Therefore, every type has unique qualities that it brings to the insulation. When it comes to Styrofoam insulation ideas and their types, the information below can help a person understand everything.
The first type of Styrofoam is Expanded Polystyrene. The short form of this is EPS. It is the most common type of this material. It is made with the expansion of smaller polystyrene beads. After expansion through steam, these beads are bonded to each other. Hence, an EPS board is brought to life. It is light in weight and comes at a much lower price. However, it offers amazing thermal insulation.
XPS or Extruded Polystyrene is the second type. Its construction consists of melting pellets of polystyrene. After melting, the material is turned into rigid panels. Due to the construction procedure, this type is more resistant to moisture. Therefore, it has excellent thermal insulation properties.
Polyisocyanurate is a unique type of Styrofoam. It is most commonly known for its ability to resist fire. This benefit comes to the design due to the construction of the material. It comes with a combination of isocyanurate and polyurethane foam in its construction. The most common use of this type is in the roofing insulation of buildings.
As the name of this type indicates, this is a spray form of Styrofoam. The Spray Polyurethane Foam comes with a combination of two chemicals in the making. Therefore, when the users spray it onto a surface, it forms an airtight layer on top of the surface. This makes it an amazing insulating material. Another benefit of this type is that it is light in weight. As it comes in a spray form, it does not add a lot of weight to surfaces.
HDEPS is a subtype of the traditional Expanded Polystyrene Styrofoam. However, it is denser than the typical EPS. This property makes it thicker and heavier in weight than EPS. Therefore, it forms a thick layer of insulation. Its ability to repel moisture along with its denser design makes it ideal for adding to the foundations of buildings.
Another type of Expanded Polystyrene is Graphite Polystyrene. This type of Styrofoam comes with a construction that contains graphite. The presence of graphite particles adds a lot of benefits to its design. For instance, it adds heat-reflecting properties. So, the material has high heat-insulating properties. This makes it perfect for adding to commercial buildings.
Advantages of Using Styrofoam Insulation in Construction Projects
When it comes to insulation, Styrofoam is among the top choices. The reason behind this is the amazing benefits this material and its different types bring to the design. But of course, knowing Styrofoam insulation ideas and its types is critical. Some of the major advantages are presented below.
The first major advantage of using this material in insulation is high energy efficiency. As Styrofoam is known for its thermal insulation properties. Therefore, using it can help in conserving energy quite a lot. It does not cause any heat loss, instead, the heat is captured in a design. Therefore, a larger amount of energy is saved. Moreover, it also helps in regulating indoor temperatures without using too much AC cooling. This also reduces carbon footprint.
Soundproofing is another major benefit of using Styrofoam in insulation. Many types of Styrofoam are known for their denser design. So, when a thick layer of that material is present in form of insulation, it does not allow the sound waves to pass through. The amount of noise that passes through the barrier is quite low. Therefore, the area that is insulated with Styrofoam also gets soundproofing qualities.
Styrofoam can repel moisture quite easily. Almost every single type of Styrofoam comes with this benefit. Therefore, no matter which type of Styrofoam a person uses in insulation, they can enjoy the benefits of moisture-repellent. The material forms a barrier that does not absorb any water particles. Therefore, moisture cannot get inside it.
Despite its lightweight design, Styrofoam is amazing for its durability. As it is an excellent insulating material. Therefore, when a person adds a layer of this material to a surface, it lasts for years. No amount of water or exposure to heat can damage the insulation layer. Moreover, the material can also resist mold and mildew. This further helps in adding more durability to its design.
Energy-Efficient Styrofoam Insulation Ideas for Homeowners
A homeowner can use Styrofoam in many different ways. They can take advantage of the benefits of this energy-efficient material in a wide range of methods. They can use this material in the insulation of their roofs. This will help in keeping water from rain or storms away from getting into their roofing. Similarly, they can also use Styrofoam in insulating their walls and flooring. It will provide the same benefits in these areas too.
Another great idea for a homeowner is insulating their pipes. This applies to hot water as well as cold water pipes. The warmer areas where the temperature is too hot need insulation from cold water pipes. This will make sure that the temperature on the outside does not affect the temperature of the water in the pipes. Similarly, the areas where there is snow lying around half of the year need insulation of both warm and cold water pipes. They can also insulate leaks and small gaps present in different spots in the house. For example, users can apply Spray Polyurethane Foam to smaller holes and gaps present in doors and windows.
Innovative Applications of Styrofoam Insulation in Building Design
As Styrofoam is a very versatile material. Therefore, people can use it in various innovative ways in a building. One of the most unique is using this material in green roofs. Green roofs have become a very common method of covering the roof of the house. They improve the air quality and add a cooling effect to the entire house. Therefore, adding a layer of Styrofoam to green roofs can also add moisture repelling and better insulation qualities to the house.
Another unique method of using Styrofoam in a building design is for soundproofing. As Styrofoam has naturally a very denser design, especially High-Density Expanded Polystyrene. Therefore, adding a layer of this material in the building design can also help in soundproofing. The layer will not allow any noise or sound to pass through it. So, the occupants of the building will be able to enjoy the benefits of soundproofing without spending a large sum of money.
Soundproofing with Styrofoam Insulation: Techniques and Tips
The first major tip for soundproofing is knowing the problem area. For instance, if you have noisy neighbors living upstairs, then the problem area is the ceiling, not the floor. Similarly, if you have too thin walls, then they are your problem area. Once the person is aware of the problem area, then they can take the next steps. Another trick for better soundproofing through Styrofoam is using multiple layers. Adding a single layer of this material can give good results. However, if you add two or three layers, they will completely soundproof your living area.
In addition to that, an excellent tip for soundproofing is taking care of the gaps and leaks. Adding a layer of Styrofoam insulation for soundproofing will do you no good if there is a gap in the doorway. This also applies to the windows present in the area. Another great technique for better soundproofing is combining Styrofoam with other materials. If the person combines Styrofoam with other soundproofing materials, they will get better results naturally.
Environmental Concerns: Recycling and Disposing of Styrofoam Insulation
Almost every construction worker is aware of the fact that Styrofoam is not biodegradable. This material sticks around for a long time. This is a great perk in terms of insulation. On the other hand, it makes this material bad for the environment. When the material does not decompose naturally, it releases chemicals. So, it becomes a hazard to the environment. A simple way to tackle this problem is by recycling it the right way. The users can utilize this material in multiple ways. They can use it for crown moldings. They can also use it in making supplies, and even picture frames. A homeowner can also reuse this material for smaller-scale projects in their house. In addition to that, the users also need to decompose this material carefully. People must know that they should never burn Styrofoam insulation. That process harms the environment even more.
Choosing the Right Styrofoam Insulation for Your Project: Factors to Consider
As everyone knows that there are a lot of types of Styrofoam material in the market. Every single type has its benefits and shortcomings. Therefore, not all of them are suitable for every project. It is critical to pick the right type of Styrofoam for padding. Knowing Styrofoam insulation ideas and their types helps in making the right decision.
The major factor to keep in mind is the weight of the material type. If the user is making a commercial building and weight is not a problem, then they need to pick a thicker type. On the other hand, if the person is making a roof for a small dog house, then they need to pick the lightweight type of Styrofoam.
Some types of Styrofoam have more moisture-repelling qualities than the rest. For instance, Extruded Polystyrene can repel more moisture than EPS. Therefore, for roofs and ceilings, people should use this type of Styrofoam.
Styrofoam is one of the best materials when it comes to insulation. This material is available in the market in many forms. It comes in spray forms as well as a denser and heavyweight form. This versatile material brings a whole lot of benefits to the design. But to take proper advantage of it, the user needs to know everything about Styrofoam insulation ideas and its types. Otherwise, they may not be able to use it the right way.