Styrofoam insulation is not a type as much as it is a brand name. But its wild popularity causes folks to associate the name with rigid insulation much like people associate the brand name of Kleenex with tissues!
Styrofoam is actually a brand name produced by the Dow Company and is best known as an insulation product, although you will also recognize this product for its use in flower arrangements as well as in crafting supplies, such as the backing for a homemade wreath, for example. You’ve more than likely recognized the foam used in cups, plates, and for packing material as well.
What is Styrofoam? It is actually an expanded form of polystyrene foam that is effective as insulation because of its unique properties. Besides having a closed cell structure, which gives it a high R – value (highly desired in insulation as it will resist the conduction of heat), Styrofoam insulation is also lightweight and water-resistant, making it a great choice for a building material. You’ve probably heard that insulation will lower your heating and cooling bills. That’s because its ability to prevent drafts and resist heat transfer will keep your abode cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Because it is rigid and closed-celled in structure, the material is strong and thus resistant to both water and insect damage. This makes it very popular in construction, both for the outside foundation of a home as well as its usefulness for both floor and roofing insulation. It is most often cut into blocks or sheets, and may be referred to “blue board” in construction circles.
Its durability easily lends itself to reuse, which can be a plus when it comes to environmental concerns. Styrofoam insulation is a popular choice for home energy savings and its popularity is likely to continue because of its inherent energy-saving properties.