How to choose foam for insulation at home?


  1. Advantages and disadvantages
  2. What is polystyrene?
  3. The size of the plates
  4. What density is needed?
  5. Thickness
  6. Quality of foam plastic

Warmed walls much better protect the house from cold penetration in winter, allowing to save considerably on heating. But when it comes to the very process of warming, each of us wants to get the most effective result and at the same time save a lot of money. Under these requirements, a thermal insulation material such as a foam plastic is excellent. Consider its main advantages and disadvantages, as well as the nuances of choice.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantagesthe foam has much more than the disadvantages, but everything in order. The first advantage, which allows the use of foam plastic as a heater, is its excellent thermal insulation properties. In addition, this material is not capable of absorbing moisture, and therefore no vapor barrier is required, and in the future this useful property will make it impossible to know the problems with the development of mold and fungus.

Polyfoam is a fairly light material, so you do not need to work on strengthening the foundation, and working with it is very simple. It is a durable material that does not deform with time and does not change its properties. Low price for this type of insulation - the decisive argument for his choice.

But it does not do withoutshortcomings.The main one is flammability: the foam easily supports burning, while giving off a toxic toxic smoke. That is why it is better to choose a material impregnated with an antiprene compound for warming the house, which prevents self-ignition. In addition, in rod polystyrene, mink rodents often arrange themselves, which is a common reason for abandoning this type of insulation, but if the installation is carried out according to all the rules, then this trouble can be to avoid.


What is polystyrene?

The material that we used to call foam plastic can be manufactured in many different ways, eventually forming a material with different properties and appearance. Thus, the most popularpolystyrene foam. He can bepress: in this often pack household appliances, but the material looks like a lot of small balls, tightly pressed together. Such material easily crumbles and breaks, and for warming, of course, is not suitable.Bezpressovoythe polystyrene is much more difficult to crush, the granules are very tightly interconnected, but it is also more difficult to produce. But both, and that polystyrene has one drawback - the presence of pores, which can get moisture vapor, and subsequently condense and destroy the material. That's why for insulation use onlyextrusion polystyrene, which is deprived of all these shortcomings and will be able to serve for about 60 years.

In addition, other types of foams are present on the market, which are not used for insulation, so we will mention them briefly.Polyurethane foamare often used in the production of furniture. In fact, this is the most common foam, which turns yellow in the sun, is short-lived, quickly crumbles, very easily ignites and releases a lot of toxic substances during combustion.

Polyvinyl chloride foamin many respects similar to extrusion, but with combustion emits much more toxic substances.Polyethylene foama sign to many of us: often in his thin sheets wrap around fragile things.

The size of the plates

Foam plates are produced, mainly in three sizes: * 1, 1 * 1 and 2 * 1 m. note that this insulation is easily cut, so there is no problem in the installation process must. So, choose the material that best suits the area of ​​the surface to be insulated. As a rule, for the insulation of balconies, loggias and apartmentsin multi-unit buildingsyour choice is stopped byplates in the size, * 1 m: they are more convenient to work with, they are more economical, and all sorts of complicated details of the facade with such material will be easier to insulate. But if you want to insulate a private house, whose walls are distinguished by a regular flat surface, that is the meaning use plates with a size of 1 * 1 m. The largest material, slabs measuring 2 * 1 m are used most rarely for special large buildings.

What density is needed?


For insulation of the house, polystyrene of different density is used, depending on what objectives are pursued, and what exactly needs to be insulated. So, to warm the walls from the outside, it's best to stop your choice on the foamwith a density of 25 kg / m³, if it is necessary to insulate the floor, then use plates more densely -35 kg / m³, the same material is used for roofing. But for the insulation of the walls from the inside, it is better to choose a foam with a density15 kg / m³.

For the insulation of external walls foam plastic with a density of 15 kg / m³ is better not to use. Of course, this is not prohibited, but its durability, strength and reliability will be questioned, which is easy to verify on its own, because it's enough to just compress the material. As a result, you can get less durable insulation, and the level of thermal insulation such foam is inferior to a denser analogue. But it is worth noting that such material can be used for insulation of non-capital structures: stalls, small shops, warehouses. Also, a foam with a density of 15 kg / m³ can be used to insulate some parts of the facade, which are adjacent to the house, but do not require serious insulation: veranda, technical buildings, open balconies.

Polyfoam with a density of 35 kg / m³ for the insulation of walls is used extremely rarely: with its tasks, it does an excellent job, but it has a high price. In some cases, by the way, when the thermal insulation properties are particularly important, it is more advantageous to use a thinner sheet of a denser foam than a medium density foam, but of a double thickness. But in most cases it is the material with the density of 25 kg / m³ that is in the highest demand.


The thickness of the foam is a parameter that should be selected based on an individual set of factors: wall thickness, wall material, climatic conditions, etc. That is why it is impossible to say that a layer of 5 cm thick foam is absolutely ideal for all, although this material is most often used for warming apartment buildings in a moderate belt.

. . .

Everyone will be able tocalculate the required thickness of the insulation, using the tables below. So, let's say you live in a house whose walls consist of two rows of bricks. The resistance of heat transfer in this case will be, 05 m² * ° C / W. considering that the thickness of the walls is 54 cm. At the same time, the normative value, for example, for Moscow, 6 m2 * 0С / W, the difference is, 55 m² * S / W, and it is necessary to compensate for this by a heater, the coefficient of thermal conductivity of which is our case, 31 W / m * ° С. It turns out that the thickness of the insulation will be equal, 31 *, 55 85m, which is, see.

Quality of foam plastic

When all other parameters are defined, you need to evaluate the necessary material for quality. First, you need to askquality certificates: responsible manufacturers and sellers always supply the goods with the necessary documentation, confirming its quality. Secondly, you need to make sure that the goodsis stored in proper conditions, So whaton its packagingThere is a necessary marking indicating the main properties of this material. Styrofoam should not be stored under direct sunlight: in this case, it loses some of its performance properties, it can begin to emit an unpleasant smell. It is also important that the material is stored in a well-ventilated room, and that the humidity is not more than 60%.

Attention should be paid to the foam polystyrene granules. They should be the same size and are evenly distributed throughout the volume. If in some places there are voids, and pellets easily fall off, then such a product is difficult to call qualitative. In addition, it is not superfluous to compare individual sheets of material: they should be absolutely identical in thickness, density, with even edges, white in color.

Tags:Wall warming
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