Insulation: insulating roofs, floors and walls in a newly built building it is very important and ensures a better comfort as well as an appreciable energy savings.
Insulating floors of your house it is not only usefull, but it is to be considered very smart as it lead to a consistent energy saving and therefore money saving. We have already discussed on the post ‘The Zero Cost House‘ about these advantages.
It is always very important to respect the required parameters in order to obtain the best performance possible, therefore, from the beginning, when you start planning the work to insulate your house, check that the thickness, the quality and the shape of the insulating panels are appropriate to the space that you want to insulate, check also the degree of fire resistance and, last but not least, provide that the characteristics of the materials to be used are adequate to the climatic conditions of the area.
FLOORS AND ROOF INSULATION
With regard to the floors, it is important taking into account the kind of flooring tiles of floor that we want to insulate, the type of room, if that room is well heated or not, if it is in between of two floors or is at ground floor.
Also for the roof insulation there are different systems and these may vary depending on whether the attic is used or not for living, whether it is heated or not and, finally, what kind of roofing is in actually place.
Well, let’s now go to see all the
DIFFERENT TYPES OF INSULATION
- Insulation made from hemp and kenaf, a tree coming from the same family trees of the African cotton, of which only the bark is used for this purpose. Are all environment friendly products for the entire life cycle, the fibers are intertwined and thermally fixed, with the addition of a small portion of polyester fibers.
- Cork. It is used for interior and exterior coatings for thermal coat and dehumidification and it is easy to use, natural and environmental friendly product.
- Blocks multilayer system with high thermal and acoustic insulation. Normally it consist of an internal block of expanded clay concrete, a panel of extruded polystyrene and a block exterior concrete. The system supply a very well thermal as well as acoustic insulation.
- Ductwork, normally consist of a metal frame system with inside panels of glass wool with different thicknesses, a layer of vapor barrier to prevent condensation from forming and a coating of gypsum plaster boards.
- Mineralized wood-wool panels with chalk. These panels, due to their high compressive strength, ensure consistent performance even with varying loads. They have a thickness of 5/16” are environmentally friendly and fire resistant.
- Felt roll non-woven fabric, coupled to bitumen or panels of glass wool on a band of overlap. Over this is achieved through allocation of adequate thickness of the slab and complete the paving.
We may say that, as far as the insulation system it concerns, in order to properly insulate internally a solid wall there two are the most used ways :
- with rigid insulation bords
- with stud wall
RIGID INSULATION BOARDS
Usually the insulation board is less thick than a stud wall therefore you do not loose the size of the room. It is to be said that on the other side the stud wall provides a better support and it represents a strong wall where you may attach also heavy fittings, like kitchen units, other appliances or even a radiator.
The insulation board can be tick as 2.5” up to 4”, but it depends on the kind of insulation material you use:
- Extruded Polystyrene
- non-woven fabric
- plastic laminate
- foamed plastic
About the above mentioned material there are few that are natural and others not (recently few doubts are circulating about the opportunity of using polystyrene and similar petroleum derivatives due to their potential armful effects)
STUD WALL INSULATION
Stud wall consists of a metal or wood frame that it should be attached to the wall and then filled in with mineral wool fiber or other insulation material like plaster mixed with polystyrole in order to make it lighter (in this case the strength is reduced to some extent.
The insulation boards must be fixed onto the wall firmly by using continuous adhesive ribbon and then can be plastered over to be ready for final painting or wallpaper.
Be aware that, due to the fact that the mineral wool is less insutating than rigid insulation board, it is necessary increase the thickness (at least 5” is recommended).
It is to be said that only very experienced DIYers may install solid wall insulation, so if you are not, it could be a good idea to find a professional installer in order to avoid loose instead of saving money.
There is another reason to make our best efforts to insulate our home, is the protection of our environment as suggested by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (the Office of the US Department of Energy) that invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the american economy, to protect the environment and reduce the dependence on foreign oil (and , most important, also on the oil in general, to preserve our planet).