How and with what should foundations be insulated? Styrofoam, PUR foam or maybe Styrodur?

  • on 19th March 2021

If you are wondering how and with what to insulate foundations, you are in the right place.

After reading this article, you will be familiar with the most popular methods of insulating foundations. You will know the pros and cons of each solution. This will allow you to make a better purchase decision, which will positively impact thermal insulation and the price of insulating your foundations.

In the article, we raise issues such as:

A large dose of free knowledge can be found below. Enjoy reading!

What should be used to insulate foundations, and does it make sense?

Whether it makes sense to insulate the foundations is an entirely fundamental question – the benefits of this investment will quickly compensate for all the initial expenses incurred. Properly insulated house foundations will ensure lower energy losses and higher thermal comfort in the whole building.

Also, insulating the foundations works perfectly with underfloor heating, allowing for the entire house’s cheap and easy heating. However, when deciding on the insulation layer, we need to choose the right material. Therefore, today we will tell you what to insulate the foundations with and what to pay attention to while carrying out this investment.

Warm foundations – warm and resistant house

As we have already mentioned, the insulation of foundations allows us to prevent the formation of the so-called thermal bridges, i.e. places through which heat escapes from the house. This is particularly important in the construction of modern energy-saving dwellings, but it also works in the case of classic construction.

Yes, it does involve additional expenses, but a house is usually built for life. And let’s remember that over several dozen years, savings of several hundred pounds a year can turn into a considerable sum.

Insulating foundations also strengthens the strength and structure of the whole building. The foundations of housework like the roots of a tree – if they are healthy, they protect it against the influence of wind and unfavourable weather conditions. However, problems arise when a disease starts to affect them.

In the case of house foundations, it is the omnipresent dampness, which can lower their durability, cause corrosion or the appearance of mould, and lead to the bursting of the whole footings and walls building.

You can indeed prevent this by making proper water insulation, but in practice, even the most significant amount of dysperbitol won’t work as well as solid insulation of foundations.

What should the foundations be insulated with?

Depending on our building plot’s conditions and the size of our budget, we can choose from several different options. However, we must remember that the material we choose must be resistant to dampness and have low water absorption.

The insulator must also be resistant to compression and resistant to mechanical damage. So, what should you use to insulate your foundations? See below for some of our suggestions.

Insulating foundations with EPS foamed polystyrene.

Classic Styrofoam is by far the cheapest option. It has relatively good insulating properties, although Styrodur or PUR foam compares rather poorly. However, you can compensate for this by using a much thicker insulation layer.

Remember that if you decide to insulate foundations with foamed polystyrene, it will be necessary to purchase material with high compressive strength. Styrofoam from the EPS 200 family is most often recommended.

Insulating foundations with foamed polystyrene begins with installing the water insulation layer on the foundation wall. For this purpose, dispersion and bituminous compounds based on asphalts and rubbers are used. Then you can proceed to stick Styrofoam panels to the foundation surface.

This is where special moisture-resistant polyurethane adhesives prove their worth. Simultaneously, mechanical installation with dowels is not recommended as it would break the waterproofing layer and create thermal bridges.

At the very end, the previously glued Styrofoam should be insulated with reinforced mesh embedded in adhesive mortar. Instead of the mesh, you can also use a waterproofing membrane or a bucket membrane.

Insulating foundations with Styrodur XPS

In simple terms, Styrodur is an improved version of foamed polystyrene. Compared to its predecessor, it wins in almost every aspect. XPS is less absorbent, which makes it much better suited to damp building plots. It is also not afraid of groundwater.

What is more, styrodur is more durable than foamed polystyrene and can withstand greater mechanical loads. And most importantly, XPS foundation insulation provides the best insulation parameters – Styrodur is one of the warmest materials available on the market.

As with EPS, insulation of foundations with Styrodur requires a thorough waterproofing layer, to which XPS boards will be glued. At the very end, reinforced mesh or bucket foil should also be used.

Insulating foundations with PUR foam

The third method proposed by us is the insulation of foundations with polyurethane foam (PUR). It is the quickest possibility to make a tight and uniform insulation layer. It offers excellent thermal properties and is practically insensitive to moisture.

Additionally, polyurethane foams have high resistance to mechanical damage and are highly disliked by rodents, thus protecting our house against the invasion of unwanted pests. They are also resistant to moulds and fungi.

Let us now turn to this technology’s details – insulation of foundations with PUR foam is performed using the spray method. In practice, this means that our specialists use special tools to apply liquid polyurethane foam to the foundation, which adheres to it and then begins to swell, thus increasing its volume.

The material initially solidifies after only several minutes and gains its complete insulating properties within one working day. Owing to this, full insulation of foundations with foam is possible in record time, which is especially useful when you want to proceed to further stages of the investment quickly.

Unfortunately, we will have to pay a lot for this speed – the polyurethane foam insulation of foundations is not one of the cheapest insulation methods.

How much does the insulation of foundations cost?

It isn’t easy to give a clear answer as to how much the insulation of foundations cost. The price depends on many different factors – the geotechnical properties of the soil on which the building plot is located, the type of material used and the labour that the building team will have to pay.

EPS insulation costs from £50 to £90 per m2, including labour costs. Insulation with styroder will require more significant financial outlays – here; we will have to reckon with prices starting from £50 per m2 and ending even at the level of £100 per m2.

Similarly, we will have to pay for the insulation of foundations with polyurethane foam. However, in PUR, the price range can be much more comprehensive due to this technology’s relatively young age and, consequently, a smaller number of specialists performing foam insulation.

Insulating foundations in an old house is slightly different – here, due to the necessity of digging out old foundations, the service price will significantly increase. Additionally, it is recommended that before carrying out new insulation, the dampness of the old one is checked, and the insulation technology is adjusted to the technical condition of the house and the conditions on the plot of land.

What mistakes to avoid when insulating foundations

The most frequent and at the same time the most serious mistake that can be made when insulating foundations is saving on material. And by this, we don’t mean choosing cheaper building materials, but using too little of them.

A good example can be dysperbit, and more explicitly, mixing it with water. When it is diluted in this way, it loses a lot of its properties and may cause many problems in the future. Therefore, always use construction chemicals by the manufacturer’s instructions and the guidelines included in the given product’s technical documentation.

Saving also concerns the type of insulation material. If our house’s project provides for insulating foundations with styrodur, then let us use styrodur for this purpose and let us not try to change it for regular foamed polystyrene. And if for some reason we want to change something, then at least consult it with the contractor or construction manager.

It is also good practice to use complete insulation systems. Insulating foundations with their help will guarantee us the complete compatibility of all materials and make them work perfectly together.

Many manufacturers offer a full spectrum of different products – starting with hydro insulation, adhesive mortars and bucket foils, and ending with the insulation materials themselves. This will guarantee the execution of a tight and durable insulation layer, which will serve without problems for several dozen years.

We should also remember that if we decide to insulate foundations with foamed polystyrene or styroder, it will be necessary to use appropriate glues. Both materials are not resistant to construction chemicals that contain solvents.

If we do not feel strong enough to assess the compatibility of particular materials on our own, we can ask an employee of the wholesaler where we buy them for that.

The last item on our list is construction errors themselves. Admittedly, if you outsource the construction of a house to a third party, it will be difficult for you to assess the care with which they perform their duties.

However, you can get an opinion on the company in advance. Before starting any work, draw up a detailed contract, a written guarantee of the service’s quality. Sliding walls in the home: parameters, price and application

The reorganisation of the interior usually requires a renovation, which is associated with considerable financial expenses and consumes a lot of time and work. Sometimes, however, there are situations in which specific changes are necessary. Every space is limited in some way. Creating a new room, for example, a children’s room, a home office or an extra bedroom, is usually connected with the necessity to introduce significant changes, such as building a partition wall or demolishing an existing one and, for example, placing it in a different place.

The solution may be sliding walls, otherwise known as mobile or movable walls. They allow for any interior arrangement without significant interference in the building’s load-bearing walls, thus without the necessity to carry out expensive and labour-consuming renovations. The interior can be divided in several different ways. The simplest and cheapest solution is separation using furniture or curtains. Another way is to build plasterboard walls or put up traditional brick walls. These solutions have certain advantages and disadvantages, but none of them provides such functionality and is not as impressive as sliding walls. What are movable walls? What are their types? Where should they be used in the home?

  • What are sliding walls?
  • Types of sliding walls
  • Sliding walls in the home – materials
  • What are the characteristics of a sliding wall?
  • Where can I use a sliding wall?
  • Sliding walls – price
  • Is it worth it to have sliding walls in the home?
  • Dividing a flat without renovation
  • Sliding walls – modernity, lightness, functionality and easy rearrangement

What are sliding walls?

Dividing an interior can be done in several ways. Some people decide to separate it, for example, by placing wardrobes or bookcases in the place where a partition wall should be. However, this is a temporary solution, which does not give as much privacy as a sliding wall.

On the other hand, erecting a new fence made of bricks or plasterboard, although it is a way to ensure intimacy, consumes a lot of time and work and does not give the possibility to introduce quick changes in the arrangement of partition walls. An excellent alternative to obtain new space is the use of sliding walls. Thanks to them, you can avoid renovation and allow yourself to make quick, aesthetic and functional arrangement changes. Sliding walls at home can be somewhat compared to large sliding doors, except that this is a more advanced solution, allowing precise separation of the interior’s zones. An additional advantage of using mobile walls is that they do not deprive the possibility of leaving open space.

As you can see, this is a solution that leaves a lot of room for manoeuvre when it comes to interior design. Changes may be introduced when necessary to create additional space and when the household members are bored with the current decor and want a fresh air breath. Unlike sliding doors, movable partition walls are always installed over the full height of a room. Most often, they are installed so that they do not disturb the floor structure – on ceiling guides. Thanks to this, after moving such a wall, the divisions on the floor are not visible. The principles are mounted directly to the ceiling, and a small space remains between the floor and the wall, which enables its free movement.

Thanks to the use of mobile walls, one room can quickly and easily become two separate rooms. In some situations, this can prove to be an indispensable solution that separates the space and does so in a highly aesthetic and modern way. Every household member should feel as comfortable as possible at home. Often, the designation of zones in large spaces allows for better housekeeping and, in many cases, also improves the quality of life. Regardless of how the family members interact with one another, everyone should have their corner to be alone and feel comfortable. While children may share a room up to a certain age, it is the parents’ responsibility to provide separate rooms for peace, quiet, and intimacy as they grow older. However, this is not the only situation where movable partitions will work well. The development of technology and the need to work from home mean that it is a good idea to have a separate office space – and this is where sliding walls come in handy. This can be done, for example, in the bedroom or the living room, if these are rooms of sufficient size.

Another place where it is worth using sliding walls is the kitchen.
As you know, open kitchens are trendy at the moment. No wonder, after all, it is a very comfortable and modern solution. The possibility to separate the kitchen from the living room can be irreplaceable when cooking for household members or guests. The spreading smell of food over time begins to be absorbed by furniture, especially sofas and armchairs, which certainly does not positively affect the attractiveness of the flat and users’ comfort.

The use of mobile walls in houses and flats is, as you can see, enormous and gives a lot of possibilities for arrangement and making quick changes. This solution can be irreplaceable and incredibly convenient, as there is no need to plan expensive and time-consuming renovations. Despite appearances, separating space using mobile walls may also be applied in small flats. With portable walls’ help, small interiors can be divided up innovatively, thus increasing their functionality. A small area does not mean that you have to give up having an office or an extra room if necessary. A mobile wall, which can be moved at any time, will create the required space and provide a different corner for household members or guests. Apart from their functionality, mobile partition walls provide great aesthetic qualities. Their minimalist and modern look will suit almost any home.

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Home Improvement

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