Exterior insulation: Which materials should be used?

Published on : 19 January 20214 min reading time

The energy transition has led to numerous renovations and improvements in thermal performance in the home. For the external insulation, as for the internal insulation, many materials are proposed to have a good thermal insulation such as natural or synthetic materials while respecting the design of your house.

Insulation materials

In the construction industry, there are different insulation materials that can be used for repair, renovation, house or building construction depending on the needs. Good insulation is important regardless of the temperature. Without thermal insulation, heat or cold will prevent you from enjoying your home to the fullest. This is why it is important to have good thermal resistance. Insulation also works against other factors such as noise from neighbors, humidity, pipes or the electrical system in the apartment or house.

The most common types of thermal insulation

Among the different types of thermal insulation we find: expanded polystyrene, extruded polystyrene, polyurethane foam, rock wool, glass wool, mineral wool and also cork. Although its use is not very widespread, cork, requires little maintenance, protects the building from the entrance of annoying noises and is a perfect thermal insulator. It can be used on floors or walls without any problems. It is light, comes in rolls or panels (sheets) and has a good seal. It is composed of interconnected polyhedral cells and is resistant to chemical agents and high temperatures.

Glass wool

Glass wool is one of the most economical and frequently used insulating materials. It is composed of many very fine polymer filaments made from sand and recycled glass. Among its main properties, it stands out as a very good insulator for sound and noise. It compresses the air within its fibers and guarantees a good insulation. Glass wool also functions as thermal and electrical current insulation, in addition to being non-flammable. It can be used to insulate walls, attics and crawl spaces. The Association for the Certification of Insulating Materials guarantees the technical characteristics and performance of glass wool.

Insulating foam

Polyurethane foam is one of the types of insulation used to insulate new or old residential, commercial and public buildings such as ERPs. Thanks to its chemical components, it also fills the interior and exterior air passages of a room and reduces thermal bridges and drafts.

The advantages of polyurethane as an insulator

Polyurethane is easy to install and can be perfectly used on panels or walls. It is a plastic material used to insulate buildings and household appliances. Polyurethane is non-flammable and prevents moisture from penetrating. It adapts to temperature changes and has a high insulating capacity. It improves energy efficiency and saves more money every month!

Expanded Polystyrene

Polystyrene is used in construction projects. It is a thermoplastic insulation, a spongy plastic material that provides good thermal insulation. It is characterized by its lightness but its strength helps to absorb shocks. It also has mechanical resistance and adapts to different spaces. Polystyrene is often used in ceilings and helps to reinforce the structure. Its composition is about 95% polystyrene and 5% gas. However, the manufacturing process determines a fundamental difference: the extrudate has a closed structure and does not lose its properties regardless of its condition.

Rock wool

Rock wool panels are one of the most widely used types of thermal insulation in buildings because of their high performance. They are mainly composed of volcanic rock and organic binder. Unlike extruded and expanded polystyrene, rock wool panels are not flammable. Rock wool, thanks to its multidirectional arrangement of the fibers, also has a good acoustic insulating capacity. It can also be applied as a mortar composed of rock wool and white cement, as projected thermal insulation more easily avoids thermal bridges. The thickness can be up to 70mm. It is necessary to use a wire mesh for greater thicknesses.

Mineral wool

Mineral wool is one of the most expensive insulators but has better thermal resistance than glass wool, for example. Mineral wool has a flexible structure and good sound insulation. It provides great protection against heat and fire. Thanks to its characteristics, mineral wool not only affects the quality of life of people in their homes, but also their safety.

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