Category: 

What Should I Know about Styrofoam™ Insulation?

Because it is light and durable, Styrofoam™ is often used as insulation in construction.
After the styrofoam™ insulation is cut and installed on the walls of a construction project, it can be covered with different materials, such as stucco, stone, or marble, to create a certain look.
Styrofoam™ is waterproof.
Styrofoam™ can be used to insulate both walls and floors.
Styrofoam™ does not breakdown easily and can be bad for the environment.
Polystyrene foam -- often referred to by the trademarked name Styrofoam -- can be used to make insulation.
Article Details
  • Written By: M.R. Anglin
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The US Post Office uses a mail boat to deliver to other ships on the Detroit River, and it has its own zip code: 48222.  more...

November 27 ,  1978 :  Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were murdered.  more...

Styrofoam™ is a brand name of the Dow Company and is used to make insulation, floral, and craft materials. Even though the word is a registered trademark, it is often used to refer to any expanded polystyrene foam used to make cups, packing materials, and other products. Styrofoam™ is commonly used as insulation in construction because of its unique properties. When used as insulation, it is cut into sheets or slabs and is commonly referred to as “blue board” in construction.

Styrofoam™ is light and waterproof and that makes it ideal as building insulation. Its closed cell structure means that Styrofoam™ insulation has a high R-value. R-value refers to the ability of a material to conduct heat. The higher the value a substance has, the more resistant it is to conducting heat.

Proper insulation does not allow heat to transfer into or out of a building and that reduces drafts and lowers heating and cooling costs. This means that a building will stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Styrofoam™ insulation’s structure means that there is virtually no empty space between its cells. This means that the product is strong and waterproof. Since it is so resistant to water, mildew and mold are unable to grow on its surface.

Ad

Styrofoam™ insulation is cut into sheets which are then installed in the outside foundation walls or attached to the frame of the building. The foam can then be covered with different materials in order to create a certain look, such as stucco, stone, or marble. Light can degrade Styrofoam™ insulation. To counteract this problem, the foam should be installed with a light blocking material in order to protect it.

Styrofoam™ insulation is also used as floor insulation and roof insulation. On roofs, Styrofoam™ can be cut and used to provide appropriate drainage. It can also be installed in a log cabin. After it is laid on ceiling material, plywood or other materials can be placed over it. Shingles are then able to be installed over that.

One important factor that should be considered about Styrofoam™ is its effect on the environment. Styrofoam™ does not break down easily and can be ingested by animals and block their digestive tracts. However, Styrofoam™ is durable which means that it can be reused. Reusing Styrofoam™ insulation can cut the cost of future renovations and repairs.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon299331
Post 15

We have insulated our garage doors and would like to know if there is a tape that will stick and hold it? We are unable to find one as of yet. Please help?

anon244942
Post 14

What bug eats styrofoam?

anon181720
Post 13

I was checking my through the wall A/C and the vent that blows the air out is lined with polystyrene. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that it was covered in black mold, or what appears to be black mold.

In the article above, it states that mold cannot grow on polystyrene: "Since it is so resistant to water, mildew and mold are unable to grow on its surface. " Any ideas?

anon138713
Post 12

We need to insulate our home. We have 12ft ceilings.

We have no Attic and a tile roof. What product could we use under the tile to bring it up to R 30?

Thank you in advance.

jackan
Post 11

Does Styrofoam release formaldehyde or any other potentially harmful vapors?

am new here. I can read all of the questions, but not any of the responses. How do I do that?)

Thanks.

anon126084
Post 10

is Styrofoam good for insulation in a lunch box that has to stay cool?

anon113820
Post 8

Is it advisable to "wall up" storefront plate glass with styrofoam sheet insulation to block heat? I was thinking of using foil-backed sheets against the glass and cover the sheets inside with paneling. Please offer any thoughts.

anon54860
Post 6

I live in a house in Germany with polystyrene insulation, surrounded by drywall. I have tried hanging wooden curtain rods and found that the weight of my curtains and the rod pull the screws, and the plastic piece that i put the screw into, out of the walls.

I was told to use an anchor of some sort that would expand behind the drywall, but due to the insulation that isn't possible from what I know. Is there an alternate solution?

anon51303
Post 5

is it possible for polystyrene insulation to break to a point where it is in powder form?

anon44019
Post 4

can i use styrofoam insulation sheets on interior basement walls.

anon35412
Post 3

I have had styrofoam insulation around my foundation for years. I started to do a reno job and had to remove some of the styro and found it full of 3/8 inch worm type holes. I thought it was bug proof but some kind of bug sure likes to eat its way through 2 1/2 inch board back and forth as if it liked to eat it. any ideas

hmcclung
Post 2

I want to know if styrofoam can be cut to size

and used over a window to keep heat out of the room?

anon30822
Post 1

Does it make sense on a 25 year-old mobile home to have sears residing with polysterene foam for $6,000? and would we qualify for a gov. rebate?

Thanks in advance!

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email