Insulated Panels - An Energy Efficient Roofing Solution
Rigid Foam panels also known structural insulated panels have gained prominence in the building industry for the many benefits they offer over the ordinary wooden frames traditionally used in construction. The core made of rigid foam insulation is sandwiched between two sheets of oriented strand board (OSB), plywood or metal.
Contractors use OSB backed panels for residential buildings. Every part of the home including the roof, walls and floors can be built with OSB foam panels. Pre-fabricated rigid panels come pre-cut to the required dimensions with necessary openings for doors and windows.
Homes constructed with insulated foam panels are extremely energy efficient as the house is completely air sealed. The construction is stronger as these panels are structurally stronger than traditional wooden frames. Also, the ease of setting up cuts down on the construction time drastically.
The pre-fabricated, pre-cut walls come with provision for electrical wiring and fittings. Independent studies say the building time can be reduced by as much as 50 percent as jobs such as assembling of the wooden frames, adding insulation ,backing it with sheathing or drilling for electricals in the wooden structure are eliminated. Building homes with rigid panels saves money, time and also labor.
These rigid foam panels are manufactured in various sizes and thickness. The r-value for is dependent on the thickness of the insulation and also the core insulation material used. The usual r-value range is R-7 to R-8. The core can be polyurethane, expanded polystyrene or Polyisocyanurate. Field tests conducted reveal that these insulated panels homes far outperform homes constructed with other insulating materials in terms of energy efficiency.
Other residential insulating materials like fiberglass batts, cellulose batts, cotton batts have R-values of R-4 to R-5 maximum. Pour foam insulation, spray foam insulation have better R-values but they suffer from disadvantage as some parts of the house like wooden structure and metal frames are made of conducting materials and conduct heat to and from the house. Blow-in cellulose, and other insulation material do not completely seal the house and suffer when moisture gets into them.
The reason for the effectiveness of the insulation panels is because it uniformly covers all parts of the house - ceilings, walls and floors. There are no structural members like wood or metal to conduct the heat away or into the home. Other insulation materials are usually blown or sprayed around these structures, which are naturally bad insulation materials.
Long-term and even in the short-term the cost savings and other benefits are quite plain to see. First your home benefits greatly from thermal-resistant, pest-resistant and moisture-resistant properties of foam insulated panels for years to come. You will also start saving on your energy bills. Your heating and cooling costs come down by almost 50 percent because of the insulation.
There is lesser building waste to dispose during and after construction. There is no need for any special equipment or DIY kits to set up the rigid panels. You save on labor costs as the time for setting up these pre-fabricated panels is huge almost 50 percent according to some estimates. Your home appraisals will be higher as benefits of insulation are long term. But the initial cost of the insulated panels is higher than construction with usual frames and materials. But the many benefits they offer offset the higher initial costs of the panels.