The cost of installing an insulation system in a commercial building can be high. It is therefore very important that building owners select insulation systems that will be less susceptible to the factors that contribute to damaging that insulation. This article discusses some of the issues that you should raise to the designer of your commercial insulation system before you choose a particular insulation material and method.
Risks Presented by Moisture
Some insulating materials, such as cellulose, can be damaged if they are exposed to water vapour or water. Provide detailed information about what will be done in your commercial building so that the designer of your insulation system selects materials that will perform well even if there is a risk that moisture will reach the insulation system. For example, he or she can recommend the use of PVC jackets to protect spray foam insulation from water as restaurant walls are being pressure washed. Any change to the use of the building should be preceded by an evaluation of how the new use of the building will affect the integrity of the insulation. This proactive approach will protect the insulation of the building from the new challenges that it faces.
Risks of High Temperatures
Some forms of commercial insulation, such as cellular glass, will degrade if they are not rated for the temperatures to which they are exposed. You should inform the designer of your insulation system about any intentions that you may have to install pipes that will transport liquids or gases at high temperatures. The designer will pick materials that can withstand that high temperature. Those materials will be used in the areas that are close to the proposed location of the pipes.
Mechanical Damage Concerns
The kind of maintenance work that will be performed in areas where insulation was installed should guide the design of the insulation system. For example, the designer should create access points within the insulation materials so that maintenance workers do not have to tear up the insulation materials to access hidden pipes inside walls. The designer can create a kind of latch that can be opened and then later sealed once maintenance work is completed. Such a mechanism will reduce the likelihood that the insulation system will sustain mechanical damage at the hands of building occupants and maintenance crews.
Many times, building owners choose an insulation system that an installer should install in that building arbitrarily. However, it is unwise to exercise that authority to choose a system without involving a professional. Ask the commercial insulation contractor to be involved in the selection of insulation materials so that he or she discusses the issues above with you. The system that is installed will perform much better than if you had made the selection arbitrarily.