The Lowdown on PIR Insulation
In a quickly-evolving world and ever-expanding construction market, contractors should stay up-to-date with the latest materials and techniques. Not only do these developments guarantee that projects are to the highest industry standards, but they also ensure maximum efficiency and comfort for future occupants.
After all, we all want to live in well-insulated, safe homes that keep us warm and cosy all year round. Back in the day, contractors relied on materials such as fibreglass and mineral wool to keep homes thermally regulated. But all that has now changed with the introduction of effective and energy-efficient PIR insulation boards.
What Is PIR Insulation?
In short, it stands for polyisocyanurate foam – a form of insulation made from synthetic materials like plastic, phenols and carbonates. It’s often referred to as a ‘closed-cell’ foam because of its highly condensed structure, which limits the movement of air and heat between adjacent cells. It makes it exceptionally effective at preventing thermal bridging, a common problem with traditional insulation materials.
The way it works is simple – the foam traps heat within its cells, creating a thermal barrier against external temperatures. Whenever heat from the outside tries to get in, the material stops it. The result? Your home stays cooler during summer and warmer in winter.
What Kinds of Thermal Boards Are There?
There’s some degree of variety. For one, you can choose from 20 to 150mm of thickness. However, for most applications, the 50mm PIR insulation boards on the market are good enough.
Your choice primarily comes down to brand preferences and the specific requirements of the project, but overall they’re quite similar in terms of performance and ease of installation. The following brands are the most popular.
The first on the list is Ecotherm – this range of boards is designed to meet commercial and domestic needs, offering high levels of thermal insulation with minimal thickness such as the 20, 40 and 50mm PIR insulation. These boards are mainly used in floor, wall and roof applications, with its most popular product being the Ecotherm20, which boasts a solid 0.022 W/mK thermally conductive rate.
This brand has been at the forefront of insulation solutions for decades. Its goal is to take on any climate-related challenge, with a range of boards to suit residential, commercial and industrial applications. Their boards can outperform standard insulation materials in terms of efficiency, safety and overall performance.
This is one of the most recognisable names in the industry today, producing high-quality boards that keep the interior of a building comfortable and well-regulated. The main selling point behind this brand is its ability to create energy-efficient, comfortable and durable structures with minimal fuss. The greater the insulation, the better it can retain the heat.
Finally, we have Mannok – a trusted manufacturer of thermal insulation boards made from high-density polyurethane foam. They can provide outstanding levels of protection against heat loss and moisture, with several models to choose from depending on the specific requirements. Some have been specifically designed for refurbishment projects, while others are tailored to new builds.
What Are the Benefits of Using PIR Thermal Boards?
While each project is different, the benefits are generally consistent.
Improved Thermal Regulation
Leaving insulation materials out of the equation can cause air to escape or enter your home freely. As a result, it becomes difficult to regulate the temperature inside, leading to uncomfortable and draughty environments. Not only can this be a nuisance, but it can increase your heating and cooling costs over time.
Fortunately, PIR boards are designed to block out external temperatures and keep the inside at a comfortable level. This is achieved by trapping air within the cells, creating an insulating barrier that’s unbeatable when it comes to efficiency.
PIR insulation boards are known for their long-term durability. They’re designed to withstand the elements, so they can take on rain, snow and wind without any noticeable damage. They’re essentially an additional barrier between the inside and outside of your home, shielding it from external elements.
In this way, it’s possible to significantly reduce the amount of wear and tear that occurs over time, meaning you can enjoy a home that looks as good as new for years to come. No more worrying about drafts, leaks or water damage – PIR insulation boards have you covered.
Greater Fire Resistance
Fire safety is one of the most vital aspects of building and design, with regulations in place to protect the public from hazardous materials. There’s no getting away from the fact that insulation materials can be flammable, but PIR boards are a great option for those looking to increase fire resistance.
They’re non-combustible, meaning they won’t catch fire and spread any flames. This is mainly because they don’t contain combustible materials, such as timber or cardboard. As a result, they can help to protect the integrity of a building in the event of a fire, minimising damage and helping to keep those inside safe.
Better Noise Control
Given the loud and busy nature of modern life, it’s no surprise that we’re all looking for ways to limit the amount of noise that enters our homes. Soundproofing can be a costly and time-consuming process, but PIR insulation boards provide a great solution.
By blocking out external sound waves, they can significantly reduce noise pollution. Their material properties and thickness also play a part in noise reduction, so it’s possible to achieve greater levels of soundproofing without having to spend large amounts of money.
Steps Involved in the Installation Process
Installing PIR insulation boards is a relatively straightforward process, with a few steps that need to be taken to ensure a successful outcome. Firstly, it’s important to mark out the area where the boards will be installed and cut them to size, making sure to leave a few millimetres of space around the edges.
Next, attach the boards to the walls using a suitable adhesive, such as foam board glue. Make sure to apply the adhesive evenly and ensure that all surfaces are properly covered. Finally, the boards should be sealed with a layer of plaster or drywall compound to ensure that they are completely airtight.