Energy and sustainability are topics that have gained a great deal of attention in recent years. The construction and housing industries are no exception, taking the importance of energy efficiency in both initial and long-term costs. Not surprisingly, as of late, the focus has been on creating designs that better consume the energy, something that has a positive impact on the budget as much as the environment.
Insulation is one of the key aspects that play a significant role in improving a building or a home’s energy efficiency, while diminishing the possibility for loss through air leaks and poor ventilation. Though the market is full of options nowadays, fit for floors, roofs, internal walls and façade installations, few can compare with the incredible cost-efficient PIR insulation.
What Is PIR Insulation?
First and foremost, it’s not to be confused with PUR. Its name is the acronym for polyisocyanurate. Even though PUR (rigid polyurethane) has been in use for years, is well known for its outstanding properties and insulation, and has a similar chemical composition with PIR, it fails in the performance aspects.
PIR happens to be the improved version that doesn’t only have top-performing thermal conductive properties with its impressive lambda value of 0,022 but also offers great fire performance. In addition, it also has higher working temperature limits plus smoke resistance, so it slows the spread of both flames and smoke. Should you require an even better fire performance, it’s advisable to pick boards with higher isocyanate excess, or higher PIR index.
In cases of fires, the material cools down and doesn’t melt, further providing you with protection. In short periods, the material can withstand up to 250°C, and in the long run with years of use, you can expect it to serve you well at a range of -30°C up to 90°C.
If this wasn’t enough, PIR insulation is available in boards that differ in sizes and thicknesses, and as such, it’s simple and easy to cut and fit. So whatever your project may be, you can expect less hassle. More ways that show exactly how user friendly it is are the high value of “walkability”, not causing any itching or irritation, and not creating harmful dust. Having this in mind, it makes an ideal choice for professional contractors and DIYers alike.
What Are the Benefits of PIR Insulation?
Yes, besides the properties that I covered, there’s more to this insulation solution and its incredible features, so you truly get value for your money when you choose to invest in it. Let’s look into the extra benefits closely:
This is just what you’d want and need from such an investment. It maintains its performance throughout the years, along with saving you from having to go through another insulating project. Plus, it’s also beneficial for the environment. The less waste it produces makes it one of the more sustainable insulation materials. On top of this, it can be recycled. This is perfect if you’re looking to cut down your carbon footprint, and in case you’re searching for more sustainability, look for boards and panels of insulation that offer zero ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential).
This property alone would save you from spending more on insulation materials, space and load capacity. With its 32kg/m3, you can easily achieve the recommendation for the 4.50 Rd value with a small layer of 10cm of PIR insulation board. As such, you’ll get to save on building materials, be it roof or foundation, as you won’t require much to get the needed insulation. This isn’t the case with alternatives like rockwool that weigh more, and on top of that require more material. It’s needless to point out that the usage of more material leads to fewer design possibilities and compromises the interior space.
Fit for Combinations
Whatever application you want to use the insulation for, you can have peace of mind it will be fit for use with a variety of finishes. This applies to roofing, as much as flooring and walls, meaning you’ve got all the flexibility you’ll need to work with.
Resistant to Humidity
Since it’s got low water absorption (as low as 2%), low water permeability, and it’s able to retain its insulation value as well as the weight, you can be certain you won’t have to deal with any problems arising from moisture, or the consequences from it. This includes serious issues with mould, and all sorts of fungi, mosses, algae, and lichens. You won’t have to worry about any rodents either, which are the usual enemies of traditional building constructions.
Resistant to Pressure
Yet another way PIR insulation proves to be in your favour. This is possible due to its ability to retain its shape, even after you’ve put it through a significant amount of wear and tear. Not surprisingly, it’s a great option for flooring insulation, including in areas that have high traffic.
In other words, this type of insulation retains its constant dimensions even after it’s been applied over long periods of time. You won’t have to worry about the boards ever shrinking, or changing their shape in any way. Once they’ve been exposed to some temperature variations or wear and tear from the weather elements, in the likes of wind, sun, snow and rain, panels applied on the roofs would still be as good as new.