What does Rigid Insulation Mean?
Definition of Rigid Insulation in Construction
Rigid insulation is normally polystyrene or other types of foam products that are available in sheet form.
The size of the sheets depends on the application of the material which can be supplied in various sizes and thicknesses. The required R value of the installation will determine what the thickness of the panel is, as well as the material used. Rigid insulation is becoming more common for applications on exterior walls, over the sheathing, and prior to the final facade finishes.
The use of rigid insulation has been common place on roofs, since the development of single ply roofing membranes. Tapered insulation, which is rigid insulation, is used to develop the required roof pitches to coordinate the drainage patterns on flat roofs.
Rigid insulation is also used under the slab on grade, as well as against the foundation wall, inside and out, to increase the R value of the entire structure. Rigid insulation can be used as a filler for formwork that is required for elevated seating, stage areas, etc.
The use of rigid insulation in renovations has become increasingly popular, due to its ability to span different facades, as well as areas of deterioration. Rigid insulation is also available with, or without a vapor barrier, and the development of this vapor barrier is constantly improving. In most cases the rigid insulation is either screwed, nailed or glued onto the substrate to hold it in place.
Rigid insulation is flammable and most be covered with a non flammable material such as sheetrock, if exposed within a structure.