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Thermal isolation of the house in winter. Is it worth it?

In the autumn, after completion of the raw-closed state (ie, when the house has windows, doors and roof), the insulation work is usually put off until spring. However, as technology advances in the construction industry, many investors are wondering whether to speed up the work and insulate the home in the winter. Sometimes it is also the case that we must finish the insulation work when the temperature drops below +5°C.
What to do in this situation? Wait a few months until the frost fades? Can you risk and do the building warming in winter? We asked the industry expert about it.

Wojciech Filipiak, technical and commercial consultant, specialist in polyurethane insulation Crossin® Insulations

When we insulate the building from the outside, using the so-called Lightweight method, thermal insulation work can only be carried out when the air and substrate temperature does not fall below zero, preferably between +5 and +25 ° C. What is the reason that we most often recommend refraining from thermal insulation until spring? Why?

First of all, most of the mortar and plaster must be made with water, and frost makes it difficult to bond these mixtures. After the second, the correct execution of the reinforce layer or the finishing layer in such unfavorable conditions is very difficult. Even when it is possible to carry out insulation work in spite of unfavorable weather, the spring often reveals numerous defects and faults that need to be repaired.

Sometimes, however, we have to do the building isolation even if the temperature drops below + 5 ° C. In this situation, materials with appropriate physical and chemical properties, specially designed for use at low temperatures, should be used. We must pay attention to the manufacturer’s temperature range in which we can use particular materials, especially since the difference between the standard and the “winter” product is usually the temperature of its application reduced to 0 ° C. Notice that this range applies both to the laying time and several hours after it. This means that we should not do the insulation work at the end of the day when the temperature may fall below 0 ° C. At the same time, the so-called “Winter” materials usually tend to be more resistant to precipitation and require shorter technical breaks between next steps.

It is also of great importance to provide adequate protection of the façade during and after the completion of the insulation work. We can do this by using nets or tarpaulins on scaffolding, covering the walls. In some situations, it may be necessary to reheat the air inside the scaffolding zone with the heater. At the end of the work, the walls must remain covered with tarpaulins or foils, which will protect fresh plaster and mortar against frost.

By insulating the building with a light dry method, we can carry out the work even at negative temperatures. In this situation, lowering the temperature will not cause interruption of work unless it falls below the level acceptable to the contractors. Insulation is mechanically fixed here, and the facade cladding is hammered, clamped or bolted.

But even in this situation, it is important to remember to adequately store all insulation materials to protect them from moisture, which significantly lowers the insulation parameters of the insulation systems. In addition, every step of the work must be protected against snow, rain or dew, so that moisture does not get between the layers of insulation.

 

Piotr Wojtasik, technical and commercial consultant, specialist in polyurethane insulation Crossin® Insulations

It happens that we have no other choice and we need to insulate the walls in winter. The impact of weather conditions on the physical and chemical properties of building materials is undeniable. Lowering the temperature and increasing the humidity directly translate into the extended process of bonding mortars and plasters or often even stopping it from bonding completely.

If we decide to perform external thermal insulation during the winter, we should ensure that we:

  • use suitable materials for lower temperatures;
  • work only under temperature conditions recommended by manufacturers of building materials;
  • Select low-absorbability insulating materials (eg Crossin® Insulations polyurethane boards);
  • provide adequate storage conditions for adhesives, plasters, mortars and insulation materials;
  • provide protection for the insulation of the surface and the fa_ade made from unfavorable atmospheric conditions.

When the building is brought into a raw-closed state, during any freezing day, you can carry out any insulation work inside, including:

  • insulate the loft attic;
  • lay insulation on concrete floors and between beams of wooden ceilings;
  • insulate walls from the inside;
  • insulate floors;
  • apply acoustic insulation in the internal skeletal walls.

Even with interior work, ensure proper storage of building materials and protection against moisture. Depending on the purpose of the insulation, you should choose the appropriate method. The quickest and most effective way to insulate a roof or attic will be to use the polyurethane spray foam. With open-cell foam spray systems such as Crossin®Attic Soft, thermal insulation and acoustic insulation of the attic can be ensured at the same time. In addition, if the interiors are heated you can also carry out finishing works – plastering, flooring, self-leveling flooring, applying finishing coat.

 

Tu sum up

The decision to continue or stop work for the winter belongs to a investor and contractor. It is also worth considering the economic aspect: the cost of all the insulation work performed without a recommended winter break is generally higher than if you followed the recommendation of experts and suspend the works on cold weather, and the risk of defects and faults is much higher.
At the same time, in the case of a raw-closed state, we can freely perform any internal insulation work. In this situation, you should choose the quick and easy to assemble materials and solutions.

The Crossin® Insulations brand represents a modern polyurethane insulation. Crossin® offers insulation systems based on rigid polyurethane boards and spray foam systems. These are solutions that can be used for insulation both from the outside of the building and inside.

Do you have questions? Contact your Crossin® Insulations advisor:
Please call: +48 665 000 888
Write to us: crossin@pcc.eu

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