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EPS vs XPS: The Facts Behind the Foam

November 30, 2018

DESIGNERS, SPECIFIERS, BUILDERS, AND DEVELOPERS HAVE EVER-CHANGING NEEDS. Plasti-Fab EPS insulation meets those needs better than other solutions for a number of reasons. For 50 years Plasti-Fab has been the supplier of choice for expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation product solutions. In those years, we have learned a thing or two about what works for various types of building products applications from residential and commercial construction, geotechnical applications, and so much more.

When your motto is quite literally Quality, Service, Expertise, it is more than just marketing, it is the foundation on which we stand to supply our customers with the best products and solutions. With third-party testing, technical information, and in-house expertise at multiple levels, we can provide recommendations for EPS product solutions for a multitude of applications and stand firmly behind the quality we have established.

So what exactly are the differences between XPS and EPS foam? We have developed a short info graphic to help compare the two:

What is LTTR and why does it matter?

You hear a lot about something called LTTR when comparing various types of rigid foam insulation. The question we frequently get is, what is LTTR and why do I need to care about it?

LTTR stands for Long-Term Thermal Resistance, and is a predicted R-value for some cellular plastic insulations manufactured with the intent to retain a blowing agent, other than air, for a period longer than 180 days and is intended to represent their R-value after five years of in situ aging. Certain types of insulation continue to lose R-value over the life of the product, making it necessary for the manufacturers of these products to provide information to you on what they anticipate your R-value to be in the future.

So why does EPS insulation NOT have LTTR listed in the comparison tables between EPS and XPS? LTTR is not applicable to EPS because… It is not manufactured with the intent to retain a blowing agent and due to its closed-cell nature, there is no reduction or loss in R-value over time. EPS has the SAME R-value in the future, as it does on the first day you install it. You can be confident that the R-value you specified and installed, is the same R-value that will perform in that application for the life of the product. See PIB 241 for additional information.

For more information on the differences between EPS and XPS insulation, visit: https://www.plastifab.com/lp/xpsvseps.html

Wrapping Up Radon Awareness Month with Plasti-Fab

November 21, 2018

As November begins to draw to a close, we want to touch on some final points about Radon mitigation and healthy homes and buildings. In our previous blog, we covered the dangers of Radon, and the importance of a Radon mitigation system, the key components of the system and how it is part of the Holmes Approved Product list. 

So how easy is it really to install this mitigation system in your home or building? We have a few videos that showcase the product being installed just to give you a glimpse into the process.

The first video below is a timelapse video of 15,000 sq ft installation of Radon Guard™ at Okanagan College, Kelowna, BC, Canada by PCL Constructors. While on a much larger scale than most homeowners, it’s a great way to see how easily the products goes into place.

Next watch as the Radon Guard™ insulation is installed in this home, making it #RRNC (Radon Ready New Construction)

To learn more about the step by step instructions for installing Radon Guard™ insulation download our comprehensive guide

For more details on Radon Guard insulation,the code compliant one-to-one replacement for a 100 mm thick layer of granular material, the prescriptive solution required by building codes visit PlastiFab.com

Radon Guard™ Insulation: Helping keep homes safe from Radon Gas

November 7, 2018

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month as well as Radon Action Month. Did you know Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, and the leading cause among non-smokers? Several Canadian provinces have building code requirements in line with the National Building Code, which clearly define how to mitigate an interior space against radon gas.


 Radon Guard insulation is the code compliant one-to-one replacement
for a 100 mm thick layer of granular material, the prescriptive solution
required by building codes

https://www.plastifab.com/products/insulation/RadonGuard-insulation.html

Plasti-Fab has a key component within these mitigation systems, with our Radon Guard Insulation. It provides the space under the floor slab for the radon gas to move toward a vent stack, which diverts this deadly radioactive gas around interior spaces to vent harmlessly out the building roof.


Developed by architect Randi Fox, Radon Guard™ is currently installed in LEED gold standard buildings in Canada. Radon Guard™ incorporates building science to improve indoor air quality and save lives. 

Radon Guard™ is a Greenguard Gold certified product, meeting strict sustainability certifications (besides being part of the system that keeps your home or business safe from Radon gas) and also on the Holmes Approved product list.

An added benefit of Plasti-Fab Radon Guard Insulation, is that it provides under slab insulation to your building! The typical method of using washed gravel does not – so our product will help in producing a warmer, more energy-efficient building, in addition to protecting against radon gas.

As the largest manufacturer of EPS insulation in Canada, Plasti-Fab has manufacturing and sales offices across North America. Learn More about Radon Guard™ Insulation and how to install it at https://www.plastifab.com/products/insulation/RadonGuard-insulation.html

Halloween Decorations Made Easy with Plasti-Fab’s Handi-pac insulation

October 29, 2018

handipac-insulationIt’s that time of year again when holiday decorations begin appearing everywhere from offices to schools to your home. Did you know you can make you OWN Halloween decorations with our handi-pac insulation? If you are setting out to create your spooky themed pieces, below is a step by step guide for working with our handi-pac foam (available at Home Depot).

What we recommend for supplies
Handi-pac, mask, gloves, safety glasses, utility knife, extra blades, paint, foam safe glue, and spray bottle of water

Safety Precautions
Just a few housekeeping best practices before we really get started…. Be sure to work in a well ventilated area (for your glue and paint), the EPS foam is safe and will not off gas any harmful chemicals. Wear protective eye wear and a dust mask when you are sanding. Use coveralls or an apron to protect your clothes. Protect the surfaces using a cutting board, an extra sheet of foam, drop sheets, etc. Always cut with the blade away from you. Supervise children.

Step by Step 
1. Create a paper template of the craft you want to make. For larger pieces, create the template for each portion and tape them together.

2. Use small pieces of masking tape to hold the template in place, then trace the outline of the drawing on to the foam with a soft, felt-tipped pen.

3. Cut the foam pieces using a sharp utility knife. Extend the blade length of the knife to the depth of the foam. Cut on a flat protected surface. Straight blades will provide a cleaner cut, where serated blades will be choppier and not as clean.

4. Smooth any rough or jagged edges with a sanding block or sand paper (fine to medium coarse) Finish your decoration using ONLY water-based paints or sprays (e.g. latex, acrylics)

Note: If you are creating a more complex decoration (like the headstones pictured) use a foam-safe glue/adhesive to assemble the parts of the decoration.

Check out our Arts and Crafts Pin on Pinterest for great Tips & Tricks when working with Plasti-Fab Handi-pac.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/524176844100229029/

Show us your Halloween crafts made with handi-pac foam by tagging us on Instagram! @plastifabeps or #plastifabeps

Learn more about Handi-pac insulation at www.PlastiFab.com

How to Insulate Interior Basement Walls using PlastiSpan Rigid Foam Insulation

October 23, 2018

A step-by-step guide to making the best use of your basement space

PlastiSpan insulation for interior basement walls

So you need more space and your undeveloped, cold basement is the only place that you can go. But in order to use this space it needs to be livable. Below I have listed step by step instructions to get you started on insulating your basement using PlastiSpan insulation.

Step 1: When insulating a basement wall, make sure the wall surfaces are clean, dry and free of foreign materials and sharp projections. Start from a corner attach PlastiSpan insulation to the basement wall using PL300, it’s a foam safe adhesive (there are other foam safe adhesives you can use. BUT make sure they say “foam safe”).

Step 2: Measure and cut the PlastiSpan to fit around windows. When cutting PlastiSpan insulation use a utility knife or fine tooth hand saw like a drywall saw to fit openings such as windows. You don’t need to wear gloves or a mask when cutting rigid insulation like you would with conventional fibreglass insulation.

Step 3: To create a vapour barrier, the PlastiSpan insulation should be tightly butted together. Joints should be no wider than 1 mm. You can ensure this by applying adhesive between the boards (or tape using tuck tape).

Step 4: Now to frame the wall, construct a separate wood framed wall and install it in front of the PlastiSpan insulation to support the ½” drywall. The vertical framing should be at least 2″X2″ and separated at either 16″ or 24″ on center.

Step 5: To attach the framed wall, fasten it to the upper floor joists and basement floor leaving a small gap between the PlastiSpan insulation and the framed wall. Electrical can be placed within the framed wall by running wiring behind the small gap behind the framing. You will need to use shallow electrical boxes.

Step 6: You can attach your drywall to your framed wall when this is complete.

Learn more about other products you can use for insulating your basement walls here: https://www.plastifab.com/solutions/residential/insulating-interior-basement-walls.html

Step 1: Start from the corner
Step 1: Start from the corner
Step 2: Measure and Cut
Step 2: Measure and Cut
Step 3: Create a vapour barrier
Step 3: Create a vapour barrier
Step 4: Frame the Wall
Step 4: Frame the Wall
Step 5: Install the Wall
Step 5: Install the Wall
Step 6: Attach Drywall
Step 6: Attach Drywall

Plasti-Fab Helps Manitoba Company Bring a Vision Founded on Good Food To Life

September 17, 2018
Plasti-Fab Products For an Energy Efficient Warehouse Store

For over 50 years, the four De Luca brothers have been paying homage to their family’s Italian heritage in the humblest of ways: food.

Founded in 1968 as a neighbourhood grocery store and restaurant in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the company has become a perfect example of entrepreneurial spirit.

The brothers are the province’s foremost purveyors of specialty Italian foods through their catering business, cooking studio, and, of course, grocery store and restaurant. They also operate a wholesale distribution business of private label products that ships to western and central Canada, the US Midwest and international customers.

When De Luca’s needed a new building to house their entire business operations, they envisioned an elegant, practical, dramatic design that would also welcome their catering, retail and restaurant customers in search of a taste of Italy.

From below the foundation to the roof, Plasti-Fab® would help the project manager deliver on that vision for the new home of De Luca’s.

Under slab insulation and Advantage ICF Block walls provide the perfect thermal envelope for this food storage warehouse

DRAMATIC YET ENERGY EFFICIENT
For Fred Peters, owner of Morris Build-All and the project manager, the only choice for external walls that reached 53 feet high was Plasti-Fab’s Advantage ICF System®. More energy efficient than conventional construction, it also has a sound transmission (STC) rating of 50+ for the fire separation wall between the mechanical and office area, making it quieter inside for customers and staff. The product’s unique tab alignments and interlocking capabilities allow for quick installation – a huge benefit for the contractors who worked in temperatures that reached -30C at one point.

Though Advantage ICF is energy efficient on its own (R23.3), adding Plasti-Fab’s Exterior PlastiSpan® Insulation over top provided superior efficiency. The one-inch, moulded expanded polystyrene (EPS) fits effortlessly over the Advantage ICF and boosted the R-rating to 27, making the De Luca building “about as energy efficient as you’re going to get” says Peters.

Keeping the ingredients that let De Luca’s capture that precious homemade taste at the right temperature is essential to quality not to mention a regulated requirement. To accomplish that, PlastiSpan® 25 insulation was used underslab for their cooler and freezer floors while providing the required higher compressive resistance for the entire 32,000 sq ft structure.

Due to Winnipeg’s poor soil conditions, a void space that is a minimum of 200 mm thick was specified by environmental and infrastructure consultants. GeoSpan® Compressible Fill was used below all piles caps and footings to accommodate movements of the underlying soil.

Finally, sealing the building envelope was PlastiSpan® roofing insulation. Says Corey Bourne, the Plasti-Fab sales rep who worked closely with Peters on the project, “Once Fred showed us the roof design we were able to quickly do a layout and supply PlastiSpan’s sloped roofing package.”

ITS ABOUT WHAT THE CUSTOMER NEEDS
There were several benefits to using Plasti-Fab products throughout the entire building. Advantage ICF’s structural capabilities ensured the clean-lined, modern aesthetic could come to life, and the combined R-values kept the inside temperature comfortable no matter what Mother Nature offered outside.

“We’ve created a space that shows our passion for our Italian food and our customers.” – Marco De Luca

For Peters, there were other upsides to using Plasti-Fab, this time to him as the project manager. When it came to delivering product as needed, onsite, Plasti-Fab lived up to their excellent reputation for service. “We appreciated Corey was on site every week to provide his expertise.” Using one company also meant Peters had a one-stop shop which lessened project management headaches. But perhaps most importantly, he had a team of product experts at his side whose interest in the project matched his own.

From Bourne’s perspective, that’s exactly how it should be. “In the end, it’s about providing what the customer needs. And whether that customer is Fred, his customer the De Luca brothers – or their Italian food-loving customers – that’s most important to the Plasti-Fab team.”

For More information on Plasti-Fab products and applying them to your next project, visit www.PlastiFab.com

Architects, Engineers, & Builders – Get your CEUs online now with Plasti-Fab EPS Solutions on AEC Daily

September 10, 2018

With only three and half months remaining in 2018, now is the perfect time to obtain your remaining continuing education credits for the year! Distance learning is a useful and convenient method for professionals to gain knowledge and earn continuing education credits. Considered to be a viable alternative to traditional, classroom style education, online learning is a practical and affordable way for procuring ongoing, state-of-the-art, and up-to-date continuing education.

You can download a course 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Since the course then resides in your desktop or laptop computer, you can participate in the learning experience at the convenience of your home, office, or while on the road.

Plasti-Fab Ltd., a leader in providing EPS Product Solutions, has developed an online training seminar. Standing behind education being the key to an industry of successful better building ideas, it explains expanded polystyrene, its uses and applications as well as the building systems that utilize the EPS technology: ICFs and SIPs. Highlighting energy efficiency and R-values, along with product quality and years of service and expertise

We also have specific market and product expertise to share with you in detail that stretches beyond the content of the online seminar. Please explore with us the option of learning more about design considerations and options associated with EPS building envelope insulation, Geofoam as a lightweight fill, and our ICF/SIP buildings systems.

Start your next continuing education through online learning today at http://www.plastifab.com/lp/aec-daily.html