Capitalizing On Continuous Insulation: What You Should Know Before Building Your Commercial Structure

When you're designing and building a custom structure for your business, you should pay careful attention to your insulation choices. Although traditional rolled insulation can be somewhat effective, you may find that continuous insulation is a much better investment. If the building will have a steel core or concrete construction, talk with the builder about the possibility of continuous insulation. Here are a few reasons why this insulation is an important consideration.

Combat Thermal Bridging

Traditional construction with wood or steel studs and fiberglass insulation is a cost-effective option in terms of the initial construction. Unfortunately, fiberglass cavity insulation is an inefficient insulator in this type of structure, because the cavity is all that is insulated.

The gap in the insulation around the structure itself can allow heat to pass through the studs. When heat builds up in the studs and bypasses the cavity insulation, it is referred to as thermal bridging. This can lead to a marked inefficiency in your insulation and more costly climate control.

Thermal bridging can also occur in concrete structures. The masonry units typically used in concrete construction are conductive, which means that heat can flow unobstructed through the concrete. This type of structure requires more extensive insulation to block this heat transfer.

The solid foam inserts of continuous insulation will actually wrap around the studs and fill the entire space, blocking any heat absorption in the studs or any transfer into the walls. By insulating the studs themselves, you prevent thermal bridging and reduce your climate control costs.

Reduce Structural Vulnerability

Over time, rolled insulation can compress inside the wall cavity. This will permit more airflow through the cavity, which may lead to more heat passing through the walls. In addition, rolled insulation is vulnerable to settling and moisture. Fiberglass insulation that's exposed to moisture may contribute to mold growth inside the walls as well.

Continuous insulation is crafted from solid foam, which is not vulnerable to the same types of damage and degradation. The foam fills the entire space, which prevents any moisture from building up inside the cavity. Without any moisture accumulation, you'll reduce the risk of mold growth in the wall cavities.

The solid form of continuous insulation isn't susceptible to collapse or settling. This will provide you with consistent insulation at all times. When you want to keep your building as energy efficient as possible, this type of insulation can help.

Prevent Air Leaks and Drafts

Buildings that use traditional insulation may find that some of the structural joints and gaps are vulnerable to unwanted air flow and drafts. This can lead to increased climate control costs, but it can also threaten the indoor air quality by introducing allergens and other particles from outside.

Although the air flow in commercial buildings can vary based on the design and core structure, you can regulate your climate control and air quality by limiting the gaps and drafts coming in from outside. Installing continuous insulation creates what resembles an inner wall, or an air barrier, inside the wall cavity. Since it fills the cavity, it eliminates the spaces where air would otherwise penetrate the interior of the building.

Using continuous insulation will allow you to not only keep the outside air from coming in, but this barrier also prevents dew and condensation from accumulating inside the walls. This reduces the humidity levels inside the building, which is important if you are working with sensitive materials.

Before you make an insulation choice for your new building, you should talk with the developers and the builder about the advantages of continuous insulation. Find out if your building could benefit from this investment. With the information presented here, you'll be able to understand the advantages of this type of insulation and make an educated choice about what is best for your building and your long-term operating costs.