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Better Building Ideas from the Ground up: Part 2-Let’s talk Walls

February 19, 2019

Last week we covered the various types of insulation solutions that you can choose from for insulating a basement floor. Today, we are staying underground, and going to discuss some insulation options for your below grade walls.

When insulating your walls below grade, you have a few options. You can insulate on the exterior of your foundation, the interior of your basement walls, or another option is to use the wall solution with the insulation built right in!

First let’s start with exterior foundation insulation. With foundation walls being already poured, you are ready to apply insulation to the exterior side of the foundation. In this instance, we recommend using PlastiSpan HD Insulation, a type 2 insulation with a higher R-value and compressive resistance than the standard type 1 EPS. PlastiSpan HD Insulation is the most cost-effective rigid insulation and is available in thicknesses to meet code requirements. When applied as a continuous insulation over foundation walls, it eliminates thermal bridging which increases your total effective R-value and reduces your heating and cooling costs, saving you money.

Learn how to easily apply PlastiSpan HD Insulation to your exterior foundation walls

Next we are going to move inside the basement. Whether your walls are poured or block, you can apply DuroFoam insulation to your interior basement walls to help keep it comfortable, enjoyable and energy efficient. DuroFoam insulation is durable and easy to install. Take a look at this YouTube video where You can see this team install DuroFoam insulation inside a home in Calgary, Alberta. With the lamination on both sides of the foam, it makes the product easy to handle and cut, with minimal mess!

Learn how to easily insulate your basement walls

The last wall system we will cover today provides an all encompassing energy efficient solution to your below grade foundation walls. The Advantage ICF System is a patented insulating concrete forming system
consisting of two layers of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation connected with web connectors molded into the EPS insulation. The top and bottom 
edges of Advantage ICF System blocks have pre-formed interlocking 
mechanisms which ensure web connectors align vertically for attachment of surface finish materials. 

Building with Advantage ICFs provides improved energy efficiency and 
effective thermal resistance. The Advantage system also provides a safe and quiet living, reduced noise transmission and reduced air leakage in your home. How does this system work? Take a look at the “how it works” section on our web site to see how the entire system works together, is simple to install, and provides a high level of efficiency.

Advantage ICF System for Below Grade Walls

Now our house is completely insulated on all sides of the below grade applications. We have covered under slab, above the slab, exterior walls, interior walls, and even the wall systems themselves. Stay tuned for our next post where we will be moving on to the above grade walls and how to ensure the best energy efficiency in your home.

For more information on Plasti-Fab EPS Product Solutions, visit https://www.plastifab.com/

Better Building Ideas from the Ground Up

February 15, 2019
Select any area to learn more about Plasti-Fab’s insulating solutions

Part 1: Below Grade Insulation Solutions

In this 3-part mini series we will be “building” an energy efficient home and featuring the insulation solutions that will provide the most effective thermal envelope. A well insulated home provides a comfortable living environment with affordable energy bills. Read on to learn about the importance of a well insulated foundation to start your home.

Every well insulated home starts at the slab. There are various options you can choose from to insulate below your slab, depending on what your project needs. If the goal is to simply insulate the floor, PlastiSpan under slab insulation is available in varying thicknesses to meet your R-value goals. Installation is simple, straightforward, and quick. Learn how to install PlastiSpan insulation under your slab by clicking on the image below.

PlastiSpan Insulation for under slab applications.

If the under slab insulation needs to do double duty, say radiant floor heating or be an element of a Radon Mitigation system, we can help with that too. At Plasti-Fab, we manufacture PlastiSpan HD Hydronic Insulation, complete with channels for the radiant floor heating tubes to snap into, again allowing for easy installation. With the PlastiSpan HD Hydronic Insulation, you can heat your basement floor, garage floor or even your driveway to alleviate snow and ice.

PlastiSpan HD Hydronic Insulation for Radiant Floors

In the last section for our under slab insulation discussion we are going to address Radon Mitigation. Radon Gas is a big deal, especially in geographic areas where Radon is quite prevalent. Codes now support the installation of mitigation systems in areas of concern. Older systems use a special rock, combined with insulation, special tapes, and venting systems to satisfy the mitigation requirements. Our product, Radon Guard™ Insulation is a specially molded system with channels on the underside of the foam insulation to collect the Radon gas and safely connect it to the venting system, thus removing the threat of 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. 

Learn more about Radon Guard Insulation

Now that we have insulated under the basement slab with one or more of the products noted above, the last thing to address for the floor is going to be insulating above your basement floor. Another option for insulating your basement floor is to put your insulation over the top of the already poured floor. This is a great application for remodel or retrofit projects when you need to warm that floor up, making the basement space comfortable.

See these simple steps to insulate a basement floor with PlastiSpan or DuroFoam Insulation

PlastiSpan® or DuroFoam® insulation is a great, simple, easy to use product that will turn a basement into a comfortable living space in as little as 7 steps.

Today we have talked about a wide range of products that kick off our Better Building Ideas from the Ground Up series. Coming up next…. insulating your basement/foundation walls for energy savings!

To Learn more about Plsati-Fab EPS Product Solutions, visit https://www.plastifab.com/

Plasti-Fab Insulation for Freezers and Cold Storage

January 28, 2019

Have you ever wondered what is the best way to keep your freezer freezing or your cold storage cold? When you are trying to actively keep things like produce, meat, medical supplies, or food in general at a safe temperature, you want to ensure your freezer space is working just as hard as you are.

Historically, freezers and cold storage facilities burn through an amazing amount of energy to maintain the appropriate temperature inside the conditioned space. While the energy efficiency of the temperature units has improved over the years, why not make your building materials work hard for you as well? By using one of our many EPS rigid foam solutions, your thermal envelope will be more energy efficient, reducing both the strain on the cooling units AND your wallet.

PlastiSpan® insulation board is ideal for use in wall and roof assemblies used to enclose cold storage space for cooling and/or storing food, flowers, and other commodities at temperatures ranging from normal room temperature 20ºC (68ºF) down to cryogenic temperatures -100ºC (-148ºF). As the surface temperature decreases, the quality of construction and care required becomes more critical.

Learn how to use PlastiSpan Insulation in your next cold storage project in our Design Manual section: COLD STORAGE

PlastiSpan insulation is well suited for use as insulation of cold storage space because of its excellent thermal resistance, dimensional stability, chemical inertness and durability. As well, it is a plastic foam insulation with a closed cellular structure that provides low water vapour permeance and water absorption characteristics.

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.

With the higher compressive resistance products available, PlastiSpan 20, 25, 30 and even 40 are well suited to your cold storage needs. Meeting and exceeding codes, PlastiSpan insulation, and EnerSpan insulation (Made with NEOPOR by BASF) provide a variety of energy efficient solutions for your cold storage project. Learn More about these products

PlastiSpan 20 | PlastiSpan 25 | PlastiSpan 30 | PlastiSpan 40


The Foam Under our Feet – How Plasti-Fab EPS is used in Ice Rinks

January 16, 2019
ice-rinks

Winter has officially arrived! Cold weather, mittens, scarves, etc. It’s all part of the season. However,  it’s still good to know that during this season there are several recreational activities available to enjoy with family and friends, including the popular ones like ice skating, curling and ice hockey.

These activities share a common place: the ice rink. Whether it’s a natural one where freezing happens from the cold climate temperatures, or from an artificial one, where a coolant creates cold temperatures in the surface below the water, ice rinks should ensure both quality and safety to fully provide the best possible winter experience.

Using Artificial Ice

In any climate, an arena surface of ice can be placed in a well-built space. It is composed of a bed of sand or at times a slab of concrete, through which pipes run. The pipes carry an icy fluid which can reduce the temperature of the slab so that water placed atop will freeze. This method is called ‘artificial ice’ to differentiate from ice rinks created by simply freezing water in cold temperature, indoors or outdoors, although both types are of icy water. A more proper technical term is ‘mechanically frozen’ ice.

Plasti-Span insulation: commercial solution for ice rinks

ir-2

With all the ice rink solutions, you may wonder how the ice stays frozen. Insulation is placed beneath the ice, this helps keep the temperatures at a controlled level.  PlastiSpan insulation board meeting CAN/ULC-S701, Type 1 is adequate for this service. If a higher compressive strength material is required due to additional compressive loads on the insulation, PlastiSpan HD insulation board meeting CAN/ULC-S701, Type 2 or PlastiSpan insulation board meeting CAN/ULC-S701, Type 3 may be used.

Installation

Plasti-Fab PlastiSpan insulation board is placed under the floor slabs of artificial ice rinks to lessen the effect of soil frost heaving below the ice surface. It also shortens the time required to make or remove an ice surface and may also allow a reduction in the capacity of the refrigeration equipment. These benefits are significant as they reduce the energy costs for the operation of the ice rink.

ir-1

So the next time you are out skating, playing hockey or even curling, you just might be skating right over our insulation – and you would never know it! Visit www.plastifab.com for more information on ice rinks and other commercial solutions using the higher compressive resistant insulation.

Exterior Insulation Sheathing Solutions that Save you Money

January 2, 2019

Welcome to the new year! We would like to kick off the year with a conversation about exterior sheathing insulation, and the cost savings associated with insulating your home. Whether you are retrofitting, remodeling or building new, the insulation you select for your project is paramount to a well functioning thermal envelope.

The number of applications for insulation are numerous, from your roof to the concrete of your basement; today we will be discussing Plasti-Fab’s exterior sheathing insulation. Exterior sheathing means anything on your exterior walls above the ground and below the roof. So you know that it is important, but what does insulating sheathing insulation do for you exactly? Below are just a few of the benefits of using Plasti-Fab’s rigid expanded polystyrene insulation on your project:

  • improves comfort
  • improves air tightness
  • reduces conductive heat loss and thermal bridging
  • reduces condensation in walls by raising cavity temperature
  • reduces rain penetration into wall cavities through pressure equalization and drainage
  • helps block unwanted sound
  • cost effective R-value
  • upgrade appreciates in value as energy costs rise

So now you know the benefits to you, but with so many options, how do you choose what insulation to use for this process?

Plasti-Fab has multiple products that are a great solution for insulating sheathing. Before you select one, make sure to check with your local building code to determine the R-value and other requirements for your project.

PlastiSpan® Insulation is a Type 1 insulation with an R-value of 3.75 per inch. As one of the most cost effective insulation per R-value that you can buy, PlastiSpan is versatile, easy to use and install. Learn More about PlastiSpan Insulation

DuroFoam® and DuroSpan® insulation are laminated versions of the type 1 insulation. DuroFoam is sold in Canada with an R-value of 3.75 per inch, and DuroSpan is sold in the United States with an R-value of 3.9 per inch. (The slight variation in R-value is due to the calculation differences in each country) With a laminated face on one side, and a silver laminated back on the other, these products are incredibly durable and easy to install in your project. Learn More about these products: DuroFoam Insulation DuroSpan Insulation

The products above are sold in 4×8 sheets, but if you are looking to cover more area at one time, we have a product called FanFold that is sold in 4×24 feet long pieces, that fold for easy transportation and application. FanFold is also a type 1 EPS, laminated of both sides of the product. Learn more about this product here: FanFold Insulation


If you are looking for higher R-value products for your exterior sheathing insulation project, we have the following products with increased R-values to meet your needs:

PlastiSpan® HD Insulation: Our PlastiSpan HD insulation is a type 2 insulation with an R-value of 4.04 per inch. This product is cost effective and easy to install, while providing a higher thermal resistance for your project. Learn more about PlastiSpan HD Insulation

Still looking for even more R-value per inch for the most effective thermal envelope? We have a few products that use NEOPOR® from BASF, a graphite enhanced EPS that provides an R-value of 4.7 per inch. Below  are the sheathing solutions in both laminated and non laminated options.

EnerSpan® Insulation: EnerSpan® is a moulded expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation with a silver- gray color. The insulation boards are manufactured using Neopor® provided by BASF, a graphite-enhanced raw material that reduces radiation heat transfer resulting in higher thermal resistance (R-value). So even though this insulation is classified as a type 1, the thermal resistance provided by the NEOPOR creates a 4.7 per inch R-value. Learn more about EnerSpan Insulation.

DuroSpan GPS® Insulation: The last product we will cover today for exterior insulating sheathing is our newest addition to the product line. DuroSpan GPS insulation is a graphite-enhanced insulation (essentially Enerspan) however this product has a laminated  face on both sides for enhanced durability and ease of use. This product comes in three easy  to select thicknesses: R5, R7.5, and R10.

Once you decide which product is best for your project, be sure to check out some of our How-To options that walk you through your installation process. Remember to always check your local building code requirements as they vary for geographic areas.

Watch our How-To videos here

Download or Print your application-specific instruction sheets here

If you are still undecided what product works best for you, our sales staff would be happy to help! They will work with you through your project to determine the best EPS insulation solution for you. (888)446-5377

How to Make Holiday Decorations with Plasti-Fab EPS Foam

December 14, 2018

Plasti-Fab

The holidays will be here  soon and I was thinking about making some crafts out of the random pieces of PlastiSpan insulation that I seemed to have accumulated over the year and make something festive. There are lots of different things you can make from PlastiSpan. In most crafts that require canvas, you can substitute PlastiSpan in place of the canvas. Today, I am making a Christmas Tree.

The supplies you will need:

  • PlastiSpan Insulation (If you don’t have any lying around, you can pick up some Plasti-Fab Handi-pac)
  • Tree template
  • Marker
  • Hot knife or serrated knife
  • Sanding paper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Paint brush
  • Batteries
  • Battery powered mini lights (optional)
  • Decorations
  • Gems
  • Paint on snow and glitter

 What to do: A step by step guide to making a Christmas Tree

I took a 2×2 sheet of PlastiSpan and got to work. I created a template of a Christmas Tree and taped it to the foam. I traced it out and began to cut, starting at the top. There are two methods to consider when doing this:

  1. Hot knife – you can purchase these online and at hobby shops
  2. Serrated blade – make sure you cut quickly

PlastiSPan Christmas Tree Step 1PlastiSpan Christmas Tree 02

I used a hot knife and then when the tree was cut out I sanded all the edges so they were flat. Now begin to paint chose a green, I picked Christmas green. It takes a few coats of paint to cover the PlastiSpan pieces.

plastispan-tree-03

I decided to add lights to the tree I was painting so I used the hot knife and made small holes to push the lights through. I purchased battery operated lights because the holes are smaller. After the lights were in I started to decorate

plastispan-tree-04plastispan-tree-05

I chose tinsel with sticky ornaments to attach to the foam. I had to use extra glue in some places. There were other items I looked at adding like Christmas balls and flat ornaments but I thought on this tree it was enough.

PlastiSpan Christmas Tree plastispan-tree-07

I also wanted to add snow to the branches but again my late start made this a difficult search. I have learned for next year that for sure. Hope you find this project fun, but make sure you plan in advance because it made finishing my tree a little bit more difficult.

final-plastispan-tree

I ran out of lights and all the Michaels are sold out so I will be shopping early next year to make sure I have them!

Share your crafts with us! Post some pics here of the crafts you have made using PlastiSpan.

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