As heating tariffs rise, the issue of facade insulation becomes more and more of current interest. Experts point out that the walls account for about 35% of heat losses. After warming the facades, the temperature in the premises rises by 3 – 5 degrees. In parallel, other issues are being resolved: freezing of walls and corners, the spread of mold, the exclusion of cold bridges. We will tell you about the most popular options for insulating facades and what materials are most often chosen for a high-quality solution to the problem.
External insulation: advantages and technical characteristics
Improving the energy efficiency of premises is possible both from the outside of buildings and inside. The first option is the most preferable, as it does not reduce the area of the premises. The use of insulation allows you to achieve other effects:
- increase the aesthetic appeal of the facade;
- improve the soundproofing of the building;
- exclude freezing of corners and the spread of mold;
- prolong the terms of structural safety of buildings.
The basic parameter for insulation assessment is thermal conductivity. The lower the value of this parameter, the less the material allows heat to pass through and the better it insulates. This means that with less thermal conductivity, a thinner layer of insulation will be required to achieve the same level of heat.
Fire safety is one more important parameter. Almost all modern materials are self-extinguishing. Need to pay attention to the ignition temperature as well as the self-extinguishing ability of the material.
Compiling a rating of the best insulations for facades, the design features of materials were assessed using a five-point system. The lowest score was given to heaters with basic characteristics, and the highest were assigned to those offering the most modern technological solutions.
Foamed polystyrene has become the market leader due to its accessibility while retaining the basic characteristics at a high level. With a low thermal conductivity, the material is highly waterproof. Installation is straightforward, but requires facade cladding. The disadvantages include relative fragility and flammability. The material received a good rating only due to its excellent value for money.
Mineral (stone) wool
Basalt base is used in the manufacture. The material is supplied in rolls and slabs. With a maximum service life of up to 70 years for heaters of this category, the mineral wool received excellent thermal insulation characteristics. One of the disadvantages is the higher cost in comparison with other top materials and significant weight. Working with mineral wool requires additional fastening. An important factor in working with mineral wool is the weather. This material should not get damp or wet. Otherwise, the insulation will not give the expected result, but on the contrary, it can cause many problems.
The material represents the next generation of foams. The technology of pressing is used in the manufacture. As a result, the characteristics of thermal conductivity are significantly increased. Improving thermal insulation parameters and reducing the level of flammability required the use of more technologically advanced materials and led to an increase in cost. Of the minuses, it should be noted that the flammability parameters are lower than those of mineral wool.
The material is a comprehensive solution that noticeably simplifies installation and increases the decorative characteristics of the facade. Thermal panels – slabs consisting of an insulating styrofoam layer with built-in joints and finishing cladding of clinker tiles, porcelain stoneware, hydropressed shell or limestone. Insulation does not require additional decoration and allows you to choose the optimal size of the slab in a wide range of available options. Installation will be carried out by both professionals and amateurs without any special skills. The pricing policy on the thermal panel is justified by the rest of the advantages of this material.
Table of comparative characteristics of materials for insulation
|Characteristics of insulations||Thermal conductivity||Rating||Flammability||Rating||Cost m2 (with cladding)||Rating|
|Styrofoam||within 0,036 – 0,043 w/mk||4||non-flammable, but emits toxic substances||3||from $13||5|
|Mineral (stone) wool||within 0,04 – 0,070 w/mk||4||almost non-flammable||5||from $20,5||4|
|Expanded polystyrene||within 0,03 – 0,04 w/mk||5||non-flammable, but emits toxic substances||4||from $15||4|
|Thermal panels||within 0,03 – 0,035 w/mk||4||low burning indicator||5||from $12,6||5|
Having decided to insulate the facade, you can give preference to any top material. By comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each, it will be easier to make the right decision. Thermal panels and other modern insulations of the latest generation guarantee a significant increase in energy efficiency in any room, from a country cottage to an apartment.