Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) – Comparing Insulation Options

When making the decision to build with a structural insulating panel, many want to compare insulating materials. This can be a long and tedious process, so we thought we would do the work for you.

6 Categories of Insulation                                   

Structural Insulating Panel SIP - Comparing Insulation - RAYCORE

Structural Insulating Panel (SIP) – Comparing Insulations

Whether building with a structural insulating panel or using other types of construction, insulation pretty much fall into one of 6 categories.

  1. Loose Fill– granular or fluffy material that can be poured or blown into hollow cavities or open attics
    • Advantages – relatively inexpensive; properly installed, it fills the space without cutting or fitting
    • Disadvantages – settles or moves around and allows air infiltration
  2. Batts and Blankets– made mostly from spun materials into a mat.  Batts come precut lengths and blankets come in long rolls
    • Advantages – inexpensive and readily available
    • Disadvantages – limited R-value per inch;  careful installation practices required to effectively install; compression diminishes R-value and gaps or voids allow air and moisture infiltration
  3. Rigid Plastic Foam– available in boards, forms or structural insulated panels made from several types of plastic foam; each has different R-values and characteristics;  the standard for structural insulating panel
    • Advantages – very high R-values per inch; insulation panels are some cases lightweight and easy to install;  consistent R-values; resistant to water penetration at varying degrees; some can be used below grade;
    • Disadvantages – some are flammable and must be protected by a fire-rated covering
  4. Spray Applied– primarily made from plastic foams with different R-values and performance characteristics
    • Advantages – seals cavities and voids, even small spaces; higher R-values per inch
    • Disadvantages – expensive; R-value diminishes with time; can shrink leaving voids; performance based on quality of installation;
  5. Reflective Materials – to be discussed in future post
  6. Other

Our next 6 posts will include charts showing the different types of insulating materials out there, compare insulating R-values per inch, talk about what they are made from and the advantages and disadvantages of each product.

If you are finalizing the decision regarding the use of a structural insulating panel in your next home, take the time to visit our website.  RAY-CORE structural insulating panels (SIPs) are different.  They are the smart structural insulating panel.  Just click the green button to the right of your screen now or call 877.552.2440 to speak with a representative.

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