Best Insulation for a Beach House

Beach houses are different from houses further away from the coast in that they have to withstand exceptional weather. Storms, humidity, and extreme winds are common occurrences, and this can cause havoc with the building and its ability to remain weatherproof. Closed-cell insulation is one of the most important factors in maintaining a pleasant environment in your beach house throughout the year.

Closed-cell insulation is the preferred insulation to use in a beach house. Humidity and moisture are high in coastal areas, and this can cause major issues with the materials in the house. Closed-cell insulation is the best way to seal out moisture and create a pleasant environment throughout the year.

There are many different types of insulation on the market, and these are all useful in different applications for different types of buildings. It is important to understand the climatic needs of a specific region before choosing your insulation.

Best Insulation For A Beach House

Closed-cell insulation has been established as the best insulation for a beach house due to its ability to reduce heat flow, as well as its excellent ability to attenuate sound.

Traditional insulation, made primarily of fiberglass, can reduce heat flow by approximately 35%.

Closed-cell insulation is a type of spray foam insulation that is extremely dense, creating an excellent barrier against air, water vapor, and sound; with up to 98% reduction in heat flow.

Open-cell insulation is similar to closed cell insulation; however it is less dense than closed cell, and its insulation properties tend to reduce over time.

Due to this, closed-cell insulation is the preferred choice when it comes to the harsh environments in which beach houses are found.

Due to the harsh conditions found at the coast, one must always consider the structural integrity of the building. Closed-cell insulation, due to its density and rigidity, can improve the structural integrity of your home by essentially “tying” the roof and walls together, thereby increasing the strength of the construction.

Closed-cell insulation is also considered to be a “greener” alternative to insulation such as fiberglass, and so this benefit to the environment adds to its strengths as an insulation choice.

Energy codes stipulate a thermal resistance value of R-13 in walls. Closed-cell insulation, when used at a minimum thickness of 2 inches, possesses a thermal resistance value of R-16.

In order to create the best possible environment, it is recommended that you do an entire envelope in closed-cell foam insulation. This will protect your home in the best way possible, while simultaneously reducing your energy bills by up to 40 percent.

In order to create a fully insulated envelope, closed-cell insulation is used in the attic, floor, and all the walls in the house. This will reduce heat flow significantly and prevent any unnecessary damage to your home.

Different Types of Insulation

In order to make an informed decision regarding your insulation choices, it is important to understand the different types of insulation and how these function in a construction project.

It is also important to understand in which areas insulation is applied, and how the heat flow compares in these different areas of the home.

Attics

Regulations stipulate a thermal resistance value of R-30 in the roof of the house. This is due to the fact that an enormous amount of heat is lost (and gained) through the roof.

It is extremely important, therefore, to properly insulate the roof of a building to minimize heat flow.

Irrespective of how well-insulated the walls of a building are, enormous amounts of heat flow can occur through the roof of the building.

In an attic, one can either make use of spray foam insulation, cellulose or fiberglass.

Cellulose, one of the oldest insulation materials, is made of recycled newspaper or denim fabric. It is installed as a loose-fill on the floor of the attic.

This is an inexpensive material, but it can move around easily and does not create an air seal. This can allow hot air to move through the attic without anything to prevent this from happening.

Fiberglass can also be used in the attic, and while this is a common insulation material with an affordable price tag, it is the least effective in that it still allows airflow into the attic.

Spray foam insulation is seemingly the best option to create an efficient air barrier in the attic. This is due to its ability to expand up to 100 times its original size, filling all available spaces in the attic surface.

Spray foam is also fire-rated (class one), meaning it won’t serve as a catalyst in the event of a fire. It does not retain water, which means it will not promote the growth of mold or mildew.

Walls

In the walls as in the roof, insulation is extremely important to maintain a stable and comfortable environment in the home by creating an air barrier and preventing air leakage.

In walls, the most common options are spray foam, fiberglass batts, and wet applied cellulose.

Fiberglass insulation (which comes in the form of batts or rolls) can be installed in open wall cavities.

Wet applied cellulose is mixed with a bonding agent and sprayed into the wall cavity.

Spray foam insulation is sprayed directly into the wall cavity to create an air barrier.

Another option exists which combines spray foam insulation with fiberglass batt. This involves placing spray foam insulation to create a seal and then applying fiberglass batt insulation over it.

This can only work efficiently, however, if the spray foam insulation is placed at the minimum 2 inches thickness required for sufficient insulation.

In general, traditional insulation materials such as cellulose and fiberglass allow for air movement into and out of the home. Foam insulation, however, acts as a proper insulator while also creating an air seal. This means that the airflow is restricted completely.

Conclusion

While there are numerous types of insulation on the market, spray foam insulation is proving to be the most efficient insulation material currently available, and it out-performs most other insulation types.

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