Stop The Mold Issue
Insulation is a major topic covered by building codes, which specify the minimum R-value that various parts of the house must meet during cold conditions. For example, walls might require an R-19 insulation and ceiling, an R-38 insulation.
Insulation & R-Values
Fiberglass insulation is based on the principle of trapped air. Unfortunately, its open cells don't trap air very well.
Fiberglass insulation consists primarily of air trapped between strands of molten glass, as seen under a microscope at 10x. It is an Open Cell insulation, since the air pockets are not fully enclosed and air can enter and escape the system freely.
In comparison, the EPS used in SIPs is a Closed Cell insulation. Air within the system is permanently trapped, giving the EPS its rigidity and preventing any air or moisture leakage whatsoever.
Mold thrives when three factors are present inside wall cavities: air circulation, moisture and a food source. All three factors are typically found in a fiberglass insulated exterior walls. Of the tree, moisture is by far the most significant factor leading to mold. That's Why Building codes require the installation of a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is any material that stops passage of moisture through the walls. Unfortunately vapor barriers commonly used only act as a vapor retarder, slowing moisture down, but never stopping it. The typical 6-mil poly vapor barrier is stapled to the existing wall and is punctured by drywall screws and torn for electrical receptacles. The integrity of the barrier is compromised, and it now becomes a vapor retarder.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory Study
This agency of the U.S Department of Energy conducted an in depth study of insulation behavior and thermodynamics in a common residential attic construction.
1. EPS insulation R-Value remained constant throughout winter temperatures.
2. Fiberglass insulation R-value decreased by 50% in winter conditions. Therefore, R-38 fiberglass insulation decreases to as low as r-19 during winter conditions.
NJ lic 13VH00346400
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