A Primer in Using Blueboard for Insulation Purposes

A hard foam.

Blueboard is a hard foam material that is used underneath various finishes, typically on the exterior of a home. The blueboard provides an additional layer of insulation, as well as protecting the materials that lay underneath it from moisture and eventual rot while adding insulation from extreme temperatures and temperature fluctuations. In combination with its surrounding materials, blueboard contributes to the overall R-value of the walls.

R-value gives a measure of how energy efficient the home or building is, There are a number of reasons that the R-value is important, but primarily it will typically dictate what it takes to heat and cool the building or structure.

As industries focus more and more on efficiency, and building codes are modified to bring new construction more up to par, the R-value of any building materials should be a major consideration. Blueboard is very durable, easy to install, and can provide additional efficiency to the building, ultimately making it less expensive to maintain.

Preparing the Surface

There is no special preparation to receive the blueboard when installing it. Some like to put an additional layer of protection from moisture in the form of thick plastic sheeting, and this may be prudent in very humid or wet climates, but is not mandatory due to the moisture repealing nature of the material singularly. The blueboard comes in a variety of thicknesses, and offer an R-value of 4.5 to 5.0 per inch thickness of insulation.

Since the blueboard comes in a variety of thicknesses, different thicknesses can be combined to achieve the desired thickness. Blueboard should not be secured to a surface with fasteners such as nails or screws as this will compromise the R-value of the material. Instead, it should be attached to the surface using construction-grade adhesive. Check with your local building code administrators too in regards to specifications when it comes to blueboard.

Covering the Blueboard

The Blueboard can be covered with a variety of materials, such as vinyl or wood siding, or masonry on the exterior of the home. Blueboard is frequently used as insulation and a moisture barrier in concrete basements as well. The blueboard should also be glued to concrete basement walls, but if this is any type of living area, should be installed in between wall studs and covered with drywall, or gypsum blue or green board (for damp or wet areas such as a laundry room or bathroom).

This is due to the fact that the blueboard is combustible, and will burn very hot and exude toxic fumes if it is set alight. In the case of using it in a laundry area or in the same room with a furnace, it may be wise to cover it with a drywall product even if it's not a "living area" as many home fires start in these areas. This will also enhance the value of the home, and make it that much more efficient if the blueboard is on the inside of the home as well.