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What is Rigid Foam Board Insulation?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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Rigid foam board insulation, or "pink board" as it is commonly called, is a hard, flat insulation that is used for many types of insulating jobs. The large square sheets are perforated at different dimensions to allow the boards to be cut and placed between wall studs. They come in a variety of thicknesses to provide a wide array of R-value insulating properties. While not as well-known as the fiberglass insulating rolls, the pieces of rigid insulation are far less itchy and easier to use in comparison.

When it comes to placing insulation inside of a wall, covering space is a swift process with rigid foam board insulation. The large sheets are easily broken into smaller-sized pieces by snapping the perforated line over a sawhorse or on a corner wall stud. Once the large sheet has been broken down to the proper size, it simply stands between the wall studs and is held in place with a piece of tape. The pink board can also be used on interior ceilings.

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An area where this insulation surpasses its fiberglass counterpart is in re-siding a building. Often when re-siding, a contractor will elect to place rigid foam board on the walls prior to hanging the new siding. This insulating layer on the exterior of the structure adds to the insulating factor of the building many times over. By placing the rigid foam board insulation against the exterior walls, wind and drafts are stopped before they can enter the walls. This creates a much warmer building in the winter as well as a cooler building in the summertime.

Placing the pink board on the exterior of the structure also provides a smooth and flat surface on which to hang the new siding. This method of backing the siding also provides a firm, but giving, cushion to the siding and can prevent breakage or bending when hit with a hard ball or similar object. A noticeable side benefit in installing this type of insulation is sound reduction. The board provides a layer of sound deadening that often creates a more comfortable and peaceful habitat.

Ease of installation, heat retention, and sound proofing are three reasons why many contractors and builders choose rigid foam board insulation when finishing a new build or refurbishing an older building. The pink board also creates a firm and flat surface in which to lay brick and block in front of. Adding insulating properties to a brick wall is a typical use of the insulation.

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