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How to Install Rigid Foam Insulation

Installing rigid foam on the outside of a house is a great way to double the R-value and eliminate air leaks. Large sheets of foam insulation, screwed and sealed to the walls or roof, can cover or replace conventional sheathing and create a continuous barrier to heat loss or gain—something you don’t get with cavity insulation alone. We wrapped the house in this video with 4 inches of polyisocyanurate in two staggered 2-inch layers. This thickness strikes a balance between ease of installation and maximum R-value. If the foam is any thicker, it’s hard to hit studs when driving screws. Plus, combined with 5-1/2 inches of cellulose in the stud bays, 4 inches of rigid foam brings the wall up to a respectable R-40.