Rigid foam insulation is a great way to add to the thermal efficiency of your house. Do it right and it’ll add value to your home as well as save you money on heating and cooling bills. If you do your research and you live in certain areas, you can even receive energy rebates and tax incentives for adding to the thermal efficiency of your house. This article will give you 6 tips to help you with your rigid foam installation. These tips are as follows:
- Use protectant or sealant on the concrete.
- Use the right tool for the job when cutting.
- Measure carefully.
- Buy enough to finish the first time out.
- Research the materials you’re buying to determine other needs.
- Be aware of safety issues.
Tip 1 - Use Protectant/Sealant
When applying rigid insulation of any type to concrete it’s important to first apply some sort of sealant and protectant to the concrete first. If not, then you run the risk of the concrete absorbing to much water through the foam and breaking down.
Tip 2 - Use the Right Tool for Cutting
When cutting large panels, use a hacksaw blade mounted in a small plastic handle. Hacksaw blades are the easiest cutting tools to use for making large cuts in foam. They are also best for making cuts in thicker foam panels. Utility knives with new blades are good for making fine cuts and cutting thin foam panels.
Tip 3 - Measure Pieces Prior to Cutting
This goes without saying. Measure twice, cut once is as good a credo in this situation as when working with wood and drywall. If you know the next piece going up isn’t going to be a full piece, measure the opening being covered twice, transfer the measurement to the panel and then cut carefully.
Tip 4 - Make Sure You Buy Enough
Make sure you buy enough of the rigid foam insulation as well as the bonding agent you’re using. Measure the area being covered twice. Then divide those measurements by the dimensions of the insulation panels you’ll be using. Make sure you buy 2 or 3 extra, in case something happens and you need extra pieces. Remember that it’s much easier to take extra material back, than it is to go out and buy more to finish the job.
Tip 5 - Research
Certain manufacturers require the use of specific bonding agents with their insulation products. Others require certain methods of protecting and sealing the concrete surface prior to installation of the foam panels. Make sure you know if the panels you’re buying require any special treatments or bonding agents before you leave the hardware store.
Tip 6 - Be Safety Conscious
If you’re working in a trench or on a ladder, it’s important to remember to always be aware of safety, Make sure the ladder is firmly planted on the ground and not twisted. If you’re in a trench, make sure the walls are solid and won’t crumble on you. When cutting the foam, wear a mask to protect your lungs against the foam dust.
If you read and pay attention to the 6 tips given herein, you will be safe and successful in increasing the thermal efficiency of your house by covering concrete walls with rigid foam insulation.