Reflective foil is a radiant product used for either reducing heat load or reflecting heat load for use. This foil coating is typically added to insulation to increase the insulation's resistance. This equates to a better insulation system and higher energy efficiency. The different types of foam board insulation with foil backing available are used on exterior sidewalls, interior foundation walls and crawlspace insulation applications.
Expanded Polystyrene Foam Board With Reflective Face
Expanded Polystyrene Foam board is a lightweight, low density foam board that is typically used to make SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) and ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) because of its low expense. This material has an R-value of R-3.6 to R-4.0 per inch, but when a reflective foil backing is added to it, it can have an R-value of R-5 to R-7 per inch. This type of foam board is for interior use only.
Extruded Polystyrene Foam Board With Foil Backing
Extruded polystyrene foam board is commonly used for above-ground exterior siding projects. The foil-faced variety reflects the heat from penetrating into the wall cavities, adding wall cavity insulation. When the foam board is installed properly and the seam are taped, the foam board can be a very efficient air infiltration prevention strategy. This type of foam has an R-value of between R-4 and R-5 per inch but, with the reflective foil backing, can have R-values between R-7 and R-10. The foil backing also allows the foam board to be exposed to the sun longer without any breakdown of the foam. Typical foam board cannot be left exposed to the sun for more than 90 days without UV damage.
Polyisocyanurate Foam Baord With Foil Backing
Polyisocyanurate is one of the densest foam boards available and is approved for underground foundation insulation use. This product has and R-value between R-6 to R-8 per inch, But can be as high as R-13 with a reflective foil facing on it. Using this type of foam board in crawlspaces, exterior foundations and interior foundations dramatically increases the energy efficiency of these spaces.
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