Styrofoam insulation is actually a brand name that belongs to the Dow company. But it has become so popular (like xerox used to be for a copy machine) that people often refer to rigid foam or foam board insulation by this name.
Besides insulation, you are probably familiar with various other uses for Styrofoam - such as your coffee cups, for craft arrangements (what is found under the greenery in your Christmas wreath, for example), packing material for your holiday and other types of packages, and often thought of when referring to a type of disposable plate or bowl.
What Is Styrofoam Made From?
Styrofoam is an expanded version of a type of foam called polystyrene that has effective insulator properties because of its nature. It has a high R-Value (important in insulation) which will be resistant to heat conduction. It also has what we call a "closed cell structure", which gives it an edge over looser fill type insulation.
In addition, Styrofoam is light in weight and relatively water-resistant, making it a super option for a new construction material. Because of its great resistance to conduction, you can expect lower cooling and heating bills - your house will be less drafty when you use this type of insulation, and you can count on increased energy efficiency.
Although popular as a material for new construction, Styrofoam insulation can also be used for remodeling projects.
Styrofoam Insulation Pros
Besides its stiffness and closed-cell nature, Styrofoam is quite strong, and is both water as well as insect resistant, making it a great option for home construction and remodeling.
Besides the obvious structural uses in the walls of the home, Styrofoam has also been used extensively in both floor and roof insulation projects. You may have heard it referred to as "blue board" in builder lingo.
It is easy to use - often taking the form of either sheets or blocks, and is quite durable. Because of this, it can be reused, and could be considered somewhat environmentally friendly when recycled in this way.
Of all of the types of insulation, Styrofoam remains one of the most popular options for do-it-yourselfers - there is no danger of fiberglass inhalation or skin issues with this type of product.
Styrofoam will continue to be a good option for those who are looking for more
home energy savings
, and those who wish to build energy efficient homes from the start.
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