When you think of insulation, polyiso foam board insulation might not be the first thing to come to mind. This insulation is, however, of the most widely used and highest performing insulations in the industry.
Polyiso, or polyisocyanurate, is a closed-cell rigid foam board insulation. It’s used mostly on roofs and walls of offices, industrial buildings, warehouses, retail and manufacturing facilities, and large buildings. It has a great reputation as a high thermal performing insulation and is also unique for solving some of the more complex air leakage and insulation challenges in existing homes. For home builders and consumers who want the best bang for their buck, this is a top choice.
Although it might not get as much attention as other insulation options like spray foam or cellulose, polyiso is one of North America’s most cost-effective insulation products and has been cited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its environmental-friendliness.
Here are a few of the reasons why we recommend using Polyiso insulation for some of our clients:
Highest R-Value per Inch
Like spray foam, polyiso rigid foam board has the best thermal resistance (R-value) of any building insulation product on the market, meaning the product is extremely efficient. This is great news for builders since it reduces the amount of material needed to achieve the same effects as other types of insulation.
Cost Advantages & Savings
Polyiso’s cost effectiveness is one of the greatest benefits of using this product for your next project. One recent study released by PIMA, (the trade association of the polyiso insulation industry) showed that increasing the thickness of polyiso on a roof deck significantly reduced energy costs for the building. The ongoing savings on monthly energy bills means the cost of installation can be paid off and justified by the significant monthly savings.
Compressive strength is a material’s ability to maintain its shape and to resist deformation when under a heavy weight or force. Polyiso insulation boards perform very well in compression testing, and are available in a range of compressive strengths. This is important since the material is used for wall application, which requires the product to support flexible siding materials. When used for roofing roofing, the boards must be able to support the weight of anyone installing or repairing the roof, support fastener loads, and sustain the total roofing system. Having high-quality insulation with high compressive strength is important for the durability and longevity of any building.
When measuring a material’s impact on the environment, organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency don’t just measure energy saving impact. They also evaluate the effects the manufacturing process has on the environment and the impacts the material has on the environment while in use. According to the EPA, all polyiso insulation manufactured by PIMA members perform extremely well on all environmental testing. During manufacturing, polyiso insulation uses a hydrocarbon-based blowing agent which has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and virtually no Global Warming Potential (GWP).
All construction materials, including polyiso insulation, must pass extensive fire safety testing. Among all foam plastics, polyiso has one of the highest levels of inherent fire resistance due to its strong chemical structure. Polyiso insulation has an extremely high temperature resistance (up to 390oF, more than twice the temperature resistance of other building insulation foams). In addition, polyiso can be ordered with a thermal barrier and left exposed to living areas to meet code. This makes the material more fire resistant and reduces the spread of flame.
Whether you are a homeowner or a builder working on a large-scale industrial project or a complex home retrofit, consider using polyiso insulation. As an alternative insulation material, it provides superior R-value, fire resistance and a host of other benefits.