What is exterior foam insulation?
Exterior foam insulation systems require 2-6 inches of rigid foam insulation on the exterior side of the wall framing. Window openings, door openings, and roof edges are detailed to prevent water infiltration before siding is added to complete the process.
While exterior insulation is ideally added during the construction phase of a home it can be applied to almost any existing house, although more complex house shapes require greater attention to waterproofing details. Adding exterior insulation can make older homes more energy-efficient while maintaining their historical charm and unique characteristics.
Ease of installation: The ease of installing exterior foam insulation may surprise you. While it ’s a large project that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a difficult project to complete. Despite all of the work that needs to be completed for exterior insulation, including the insulation installation, waterproofing, and finishings, the project is not one that is overly long and arduous.
Character retention: External insulation systems are one of the only ways to dramatically improve the R-value of an existing home while maintaining the original character and charm of the house. With all of the historical homes in Connecticut, and the character that goes along with it, improving the efficiency and insulation while preserving the historical aspects deserves special attention.
Air leakage: Adding exterior foam insulation can improve the heat retention of the building. Exterior insulation, when done properly, creates a continuous air barrier, leading to a more comfortable and efficient home.
As building and energy codes continue to evolve exterior insulation may be one of, if not the best, options to improve the energy efficiency of older homes.
What is the biggest challenge facing exterior insulation installation? For starters, it’s outside. Anything you do on the outside of your house will be pounded by nature — and that’s where we’re insulating. Surprises from mother nature all have the opportunity to impact or infiltrate your home during the installation process in addition to costs.
Moisture: Exterior insulation will get wet. There’s nothing anyone can do to prevent it. The real challenge is not moisture itself but finding ways to reduce the amount of moisture and aiding in the drying process to keep insulation from remaining wet for long periods of time. The worst-case scenario is creating a leak into the building frame, potentially causing water damage, mold, or other hazards.
Cost: One of the biggest issues for adding exterior insulation is the cost. The insulation is an additional cost beyond that of standard exterior walls and finishes as well as the labor costs. As with all high R-value insulation, the cost is defrayed by savings on heating and cooling systems due to a more energy efficient home.