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Gaithersburg Roofing: Article About Structural Insulation Panels

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While most homeowners usually go with batts and loose fill fiberglass insulation to protect their home from thermal loss and gain, structural insulated panels often provide substantial energy savings. These panels are best suited for homeowners who are replacing the siding or roof of their home. New additions can also benefit from this insulation. They are not suited for homeowners who are simply replacing their old insulation because installation requires access to the frame of the wall or roof. Homeowners will have to contact a Gaithersburg roofing company for installation, as these panels are incredibly large and difficult to handle.

Structural panel insulation comes in large sheets that are designed to cover big portions of a space at one time. They usually come in 4 by 8 foot pieces, but some manufacturers make them as large as 8 by 24 feet. Their large size provides maximum protection against thermal transfer because there are fewer seams. They are designed to insulate an entire surface, including the studs or joists. Many manufacturers even include tongue and groove edges so that the seams are tight, providing even more protection. There are two different types of structural panel insulation.

Polystyrene panels are the more economical choice.

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These panels are made one of two ways. They can be extruded or expanded panels. While they are very similar, extruded panels provide a higher R Value than expanded panels. Both are very lightweight, allowing them to be installed in overhead spaces without worrying about losing structural integrity. Extruded polystyrene panels are also efficient in blocking moisture. These panels usually have a built in vapor barrier, keeping the actual insulation free from water damage. The downside to these panels is that they may be too airtight. To meet building codes, homeowners may have to find a way to provide fresh air ventilation.

Polyisocynurate panels are the best form of insulation currently available. They are incredibly effective in blocking thermal transfer. In fact, their R Value is higher than any other insulation with the same thickness. These panels a can range from half an inch to 2 inches thick, making them ideal for any surface. Many manufacturers incorporate a foil face to act as a moisture barrier as well.

Despite the higher cost of structural insulation panels compared to traditional fiberglass insulation, homeowners can expect to get the best protection possible. It is a worthy investment that can save homeowners a lot of money in the long run through reduced energy bills.

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