Product News

May. 21, 2019

Johns Manville CladStone Water & Fire Block Included in New Wall System for Fire Protection

By Gina Carosa, Johns Manville Sr. Marketing Specialist

Johns Manville CladStone™ Water & Fire Block was recently included in a new wall system specifically designed to meet requirements for achieving the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 285, a commercial wall assembly fire test.

The new Fusion™ 285 wall system is the first of its kind nationwide to meet the NFPA requirement, which evaluates the flame propagation characteristics of an exterior, non-load-bearing wall assembly, or in other terms, will delay the spread of fire in a building.

The wall system is designed to meet goals in safety and fire protection and is approved for use in commercial construction projects, types I through IV for buildings higher than 59 feet.

JM CladStone was included due to its noncombustible and exceptional fire resistance properties. The product is a continuous insulation mineral wool product, specifically manufactured for superior performance in cavity wall and rainscreen applications. Made from basalt, a volcanic rock, this premium mineral wool product allows for the effective drainage of water from an exterior wall cavity system, while offering thermal efficiency and acoustical performance.

JM partnered with Carter Architectural Panels, Inc. Eval Colour, USG Sheetrock, Tremco and Tenmat to create the Fusion 285 wall system. The wall system and JM CladStone are currently available to customers in the U.S. Contact a JM Building Insulation representative for more information.

May. 15, 2019


By Shawna Lytle, Johns Manville Marketing Specialist

GoBoard® Introduces The Fastest, Easiest, Shower System Available.

Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway Company that embraces new approaches to how we elevate work, is introducing GoBoard® Shower System. This new addition to products of the GoBoard line debuted on April 9th, 2019 at Coverings in Orlando, Florida.

Like GoBoard Tile Backer, the GoBoard Shower System is lightweight, easy to install and waterproof. The GoBoard Point Drain System ensures compatibility with numerous drain cover brands. When used with GoBoard Wedge and GoBoard Curb on-site there is no need to wait for specially sized pans. The system accommodates all types of shower areas with centered and off-set drain locations. In continuing to offer the advantages of being ultra-lightweight and easy to cut, handle and install – with waterproofing built-in – GoBoard Shower System helps you complete the job faster and more cost effectively.

At the center of the system, is the universal drain body and drain cover riser. The low-profile design of these pieces enables curb-less installations. The friction fit drain cover riser allows for height adjustment during tile installation and compatibility with threaded and non-threaded risers. Surrounding the drain, endless design configurations are possible with GoBoard Wedge. Using a utility knife, simply score and snap to fit. Need a curb design? GoBoard Curb has you covered there as well. Leave the back strain and dusty mess to the cement board users, when you hop in the shower with GoBoard.

For additional information, visit John Manville’s website at

Feb. 11, 2019

Waterproof built-in? Johns Manville GoBoard® meets backer board needs

By Duane Paradis, Johns Manville Research Manager

When tackling a tile-involved bathroom or kitchen project, installers are presented with a variety of backer board options, each offering their own unique set of benefits and limitations.  Recognizing the need for a product that eases the installation process, Johns Manville launched a revolutionary tile backer board, GoBoard®.

Johns Manville GoBoard is an ultra-lightweight yet durable alternative to traditional backer board options, like cement or gypsum, designed for use in bathroom and kitchen applications. One of its most compelling benefits is that it has built-in waterproofing. Waterproofing is one of the most important steps of a tile project because it protects against water penetration through wall and floor assemblies, preventing future moisture or mold problems. With GoBoard, additional waterproofing is eliminated, reducing the need for added resources and the total install time.

Made up of a high density, closed cell polyisocyanurate foam core and high tensile strength coated glass mat exterior, GoBoard features excellent durability, bonding and stiffness. Additional product advantages include:

Lightweight: GoBoard weighs about six to seven pounds depending on the size, about 80 percent lighter than cement and 70 percent lighter than gypsum, making it easy to move onto and around project sites; see more: GoBoard is Ultra-lightweight

Quicker installation: Built-in waterproofing enables installers to tile the same day, reducing total project time; see more: GoBoard vs. Cement Board Shower Installation

Easy to cut: GoBoard can be easily cut right where it’s installed with a basic utility knife and snapped to the desired size

Mess-free: GoBoard doesn’t crumble or disintegrate, simplifying the project clean-up process

GoBoard is available in 3-foot by 5-foot boards at ¼-inch and ½-inch thicknesses and 4-foot by 8-foot at ¼-inch, ½-inch, 5/8-inch, 1-inch, 1½-inch and 2-inch thicknesses. For more information on which thickness is best suited for specific applications, visit JM GoBoard FAQs.

GoBoard is currently available to all U.S. customers. For more information, visit or contact a local JM sales representative.

Oct. 18, 2018

New Product: JM Introduces Formaldehyde-free™ Cavity-SHIELD™ Insulation

Johns Manville recently announced the availability of JM Formaldehyde-free™ Cavity-SHIELD™ insulation batts, a product offering passive fire protection between floors in multifamily projects. JM Cavity-SHIELD is an NFPA 13 compliant fiberglass batt insulation for use in concealed spaces and provides an alternative solution to sprinklers in the interstitial space.

More about JM Cavity-SHIELD:

  • Simple installation: Batts friction-fit into cavities, without the need for special equipment, reducing the time and resources required for installers to complete the job

  • Smart engineering: Available in a wide range of thicknesses, Cavity-SHIELD can be easily cut with a standard utility knife to fit in any cavity size

  • Cost-effective alternative: Cavity-SHIELD is another option for construction professionals looking for passive fire protection and a cost-effective alternative to blow-in or sprinklers in the interstitial space

  • Durability: Fiberglass has proven to withstand the life of the project and will not rot, mildew or deteriorate

  • Formaldehyde-free™: JM Formaldehyde-free insulation products promote higher indoor air quality and environments, while also limiting exposure to harmful volatile organic compounds, which could cause health problems

  • Sound control: Cavity-SHIELD offers the same acoustical reduction benefits between floors when compared to other JM insulation products

    For more information on JM Cavity SHIELD, visit:

Feb. 05, 2018

Three Spray Foam Insulation Tips

Originally posted on Walls & Ceilings Magazine by JR Babineau

According to the Department of Energy, an estimated 20 to 40 percent of a home’s utility bill could be going to waste from drafts and air leaks around openings. As temperatures cool and energy costs rise, the positive impact of energy efficiency on a building comes into focus. Air can enter and escape a structure through every gap, compromising the building envelope. Adding the right insulation and air-sealing will close these gaps, keeping interior spaces comfortable and reducing energy bills. 

Additionally, today’s building industry is faced with more building codes and requirements than ever, forcing professionals to look for solutions that meet standards and project goals, while keeping costs in line with budgets. 

Understanding the role spray polyurethane foam insulation can play is critical—it combats air leakage, and completely fills all gaps and voids to optimize a building’s performance. The following are some things to know about working with spray foam insulation.

1. Benefits: Fast, Effective Application

SPF application is fast and effective. Unlike traditional insulation types like fiberglass, which require a separate air-sealing step, spray foam can air seal and insulate a structure in one step, thus keeping the project moving forward. Combining these steps coupled with a spray-on application decreases installation time and delivers the ability to fit into hard-to-reach places, like eaves, odd-sized cavities, and rims. In addition to installation efficiencies, spray foam can provide excellent thermal, acoustical and indoor air quality performance in any climate. 

Spray foam can also contribute to more comfortable interior spaces and less costly monthly energy bills. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates homeowners can save an average of 15 percent on heating and cooling costs by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joints. 

Spray foam insulation systems effectively seal walls, roofs, corners and other surfaces, creating a more comfortable household because it provides a barrier against drafts and associated pollen and dust. Long-term, properly installed spray foam won’t change its form or shape, meaning it will deliver the same benefits that it did years—or even decades—after being installed, while other insulation materials may settle and create future gaps in the insulation. 

2. Open-cell vs. Closed-cell— What’s the Difference?

There are two main types of spray foam to consider: open-cell and closed-cell. Open-cell spray foam has a lower R-value per inch and because of this, typically a lower price tag. The soft, low-density material is used for interior applications. Its high permeability allows for moisture to pass through, which contributes to bi-directional drying of the assembly, but it may not be ideal for all applications or climates. 

Closed-cell foam has a higher density and offers a higher R-value per inch. It also adds strength to walls, ceilings and roofs and can contribute to a structure’s overall durability. Additionally, closed-cell foam’s low water vapor permeability offers protection from moisture when installed in places where high humidity—from climate, occupants, or flooding—meets the structure. 

Determining which type of SPF is right for the project involves evaluating the application area, overall budget, and scope of a project. Review insulation needs in attics, walls, ceilings, and other areas, and account for factors like project location, climate and how the building will be used. For example, an indoor swimming pool will drive towards a different SPF selection than an office building. 

3. Combining Spray Foam With Other Insulation Products is Cost and Energy-efficient

Spray foam’s thermal performance and advanced air and moisture control can be optimized by combining it with other insulation products like fiberglass batts or rolls, maximizing budget and meeting energy efficiency goals. Combining insulation products creates a custom solution by leveraging the functions of multiple materials to find the best mix for the project. 

For example, a hybrid solution of spray foam and fiberglass batts or rolls combines the air-sealing and vapor-retarder benefits of foam with the economical thermal performance of fiberglass. Another option might be to install spray foam in places that are hard to reach or seal, such as rim joists, the attic floor, and eaves, and then install fiberglass batts and loose-fill in the in the open areas, greatly reducing any draftiness while helping the project budget. Incorporating spray foam into hybrid solutions enhances the building envelope and seals efficiently at a reasonable cost. 

A well-insulated and sealed building envelope can significantly contribute to optimal energy efficiency. As with any project, to fully utilize the benefits of spray foam, attention to detail and proper installation is crucial. It’s important to take appropriate time or seek aid through outside expertise to understand how all types of insulation products can work together within the construction of a home or building and the surrounding environment. When installed correctly, spray foam has the potential to be one of the most effective choices for insulation solutions.

About the Author

JR Babineau is a research manager and the principal building scientist for Johns Manville. For 20 years, he has been involved in research and development of building products, as well as providing education and consulting on building systems, with an emphasis on heat, air, moisture, noise, and energy efficiency.

Oct. 06, 2017

High-Performance Walls: Insulation Solutions for California’s Energy Standards

Originally posted on Code Watcher by JR Babineau

In January 2017, the State of California implemented new energy efficiency regulations through Title 24. The update to the Residential Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Standards) now requires new homes and updates to existing homes to be more energy efficient through LED lighting, reduced air leakage, tankless water heaters and increased R-value requirements for duct work in attics and walls.

Johns Manville insulation installer installs Johns Manville formaldehyde-free™ fiberglass batts or rolls over JM Corbond® spray-foam, combining the robust air-sealing benefits of foam with the cost-effective thermal and sound-control performance of fiberglass.

One significant change in the regulations will be to require high-performance walls in homes. These updates give California homeowners, builders and insulation contractors the opportunity to create a more energy efficient home, save money on energy bills and increase comfort, while positively impacting the environment. According to the California Energy Commission, the new mandates could cut regulated energy use in new homes by 28 percent and save consumers up to $31 per month on energy bills when compared to houses built in accordance to previous energy codes [Source:].

Builders and insulation contractors can offer product solutions that meet these new codes within desired project budgets. With one of the broadest product offerings in the insulation industry, Johns Manville can help builders and insulation contractors find energy efficient solutions that meet the new Energy Standards.

Meeting Specific Requirements

Insulation requirements are measured in R-values and U-factors and can vary based on the project’s climate zone; climate zones are determined based on energy use, temperature, weather and a variety of other factors. R stands for resistance to heat flow and the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power and heat flow resistance. U-factors are used to rate door or window units, as well as wall assemblies including insulation and framing. The lower the U-factor, the more energy efficient the system will be.

In climate zones 1-5 and 8-16, wall assemblies must not exceed a maximum U-factor of U-0.051, requiring R-19 cavity insulation plus R5 rigid insulation in 2×6 framing and R15 cavity insulation plus R8 rigid insulation in 2×4 framing. In climate zones 6 and 7 the maximum U-factor for wall assemblies is U-0.065. Determining which products will meet these new standards requires understanding of the framing type and spacing, the cladding, the current insulation type and how different products can work together.

Leveraging Product Combinations

One way to meet these updated requirements is to combine insulation products. These hybrid solutions can help balance code compliance with diverse project budgets and needs. By combining different types of products, builders and insulation contractors can leverage the code-compliant advantages of one product type against the economical or flexible benefits of another.

For example, JM Corbond® spray-foam can be combined with Johns Manville formaldehyde-free™ fiberglass batts or rolls or JM Spider® Plus blow-in insulation to bring together the robust air-sealing benefits of foam with the cost-effective thermal and sound-control performance of fiberglass. Another common combination is installing batts or rolls throughout the structure, and using spray foam for hard-to-reach or hard-to-manage places, such as rim joists. This approach can reduce overall air leakage, enhance the building envelope and extend the life of the HVAC system, all at a manageable cost.

High-Performance Wall Solutions

When meeting code requirements and maximizing energy efficiency, install quality and good design are pivotal in ensuring the building envelope is not only well insulated and sealed, but completely optimized.

Johns Manville insulation installer installs Johns Manville JM Spider Plus blow-in insulation with JM Corbond spray-foam.

Understanding how the different products in use can work together is important when delivering a high-performance wall system that meets the new Energy Standards. If unfamiliar with a particular product or how hybrid solutions work, take advantage of outside expertise through programs like JM TechConnect℠, for installation tips and troubleshooting.

About the Author

JR Babineau is a research manager and the principal building scientist for Johns Manville. For 20 years, he has been involved in research and development of building products, as well as providing education and consulting on building systems, with an emphasis on heat, air, moisture, noise, and energy efficiency.

Sep. 01, 2017

Three Rules for Rainscreens

Originally posted on Walls & Ceilings Magazine by JR Babineau

Protecting a building’s exterior from outdoor elements, like rain, snow, wind and extreme temperatures, is top priority for contractors. Learning how to optimize structures in all parts of the country to withstand these elements is not only important in keeping the building’s exterior intact, but also to keep energy efficiency at an ideal level.

One proven way to protect a structure against unpredictable outdoor elements is through the installation of a rainscreen system. A rainscreen system is defined as the separation of an exterior cladding from the structural wall in an effort to manage moisture and energy transfer through the wall assembly.

Wall surfaces do not have to be waterproof to resist rain or snow, but they do need to be able to prevent water from being absorbed or forced into the interior parts of the wall assembly, which impacts both building durability and energy efficiency. Effective rainscreen systems redistribute moisture held in the cladding to adjacent materials where it either evaporates or drains down and out the bottom of the wall. Water will attempt to enter the structure at any available point, from the roof down to the foundation. Therefore, incorporating a well-designed, high-performing wall system is critical.

In addition to protecting a building’s exterior, rainscreen systems can also aid in regulating indoor comfort. With the building envelope as the first line of defense, understanding how to incorporate a rainscreen system into a building envelope’s overall energy performance is crucial in helping to regulate indoor temperatures year-round.

When considering or working with a rainscreen system, it’s important to know three things. Understanding how rainscreen systems work with a variety of different cladding systems, how to incorporate a gap and how these systems can aid in energy efficiency are all key factors in implementing a rainscreen system that protects from outdoor elements and optimizes the building envelope.

1. Rainscreen systems can work with almost any cladding; enhancing aesthetics

With rainscreen facades, the cladding becomes the most visual part of the building, because the purpose of the cladding is not to keep out all of the water, just some. This can allow for more flexibility in design, creating more options for an aesthetically appealing exterior. Rainscreen systems can be incorporated with nearly anything as the cladding, including brick, stone, metal, wood or plastic composites. Because the final waterproofing layer is separate from the cladding, rainscreen systems simplify the transition from one cladding to another.

However, this doesn’t mean that one can ignore differences between materials. Consideration of the type of exterior building product is important in understanding how outdoor elements and building factors will impact the rainscreen system’s performance. For example, materials like brick and concrete are porous, allowing them to absorb and store water. While moisture-sensitive materials, such as wood, should be treated on all sides to prevent degradation.

2. Managing the gap is critical

A rainscreen system should always incorporate a gap between the outer cladding layer and the rest of the wall. This gap allows for any water that gets past the cladding to have a space to drain down the wall and directed out by flashings. Water could possibly run down the back of the cladding or the face of the water-resistant barrier of the rainscreen system.

For optimal drainage, the gap should be large enough, with open weeps or gaps at the bottom of the wall. Most projects can accommodate a gap that is one-eighth of an inch or larger. However, an even better gap is one that is 1 inch or more, with openings at both the top and bottom. A space of this size creates a vented cavity that not only allows water to drain, but also allows air movement to speed the drying of the cladding and the wall. Of course, neither water drainage nor air-drying is possible if the gap is clogged with mortar droppings or other debris.

Depending on the type of construction and cladding, rainscreen gaps can be created with the cladding support system, masonry ties, corrugated mats or textured building wraps. Screens are important to keep bugs or other pests out of drainage or vent holes. Maintaining the gap and keeping it clear is a key factor in ensuring the success of a rainscreen system.

3. Continuous insulation can help optimize the system’s energy efficiency

Behind the cladding and the gap is “the rest of the wall.” In addition to the main structural elements and cladding supports, this part of a rainscreen system needs to include the primary WRB layer, and might include an air barrier and exterior continuous insulation.

Including CI in a rainscreen system is an excellent way to support the energy efficiency goals of the project. Mineral wool boards, foam sheathing and closed-cell spray foam can all work as CI in a rainscreen system. For example, mineral wool boards are typically installed over the primary WRB layer and add an additional drainage surface behind the cladding, as well as a non-combustible insulation layer. Foam sheathing and closed-cell spray foam can be used as both the WRB and CI layers. Foam sheathing must have all seams taped and penetrations sealed and window and door flashings should attach to the face of the foam boards. With mineral wool and closed-cell spray foam, flashings typically go behind the insulation.

Thermal bridging in buildings can reduce energy efficiency, cause thermal comfort problems and can even lead to condensation issues. Therefore, reducing the risk of thermal bridging not only cuts down on energy costs, but also can reduce condensation that could cause mold, rot and rust and harm indoor air quality. Incorporating CI into rainscreen systems is a cost-effective and long-term solution for eliminating thermal bridges and maximizing energy efficiency and performance.

When a well-designed rainscreen system is properly installed with other insulation products, it provides added protection to the structure and can work as an additional barrier to control interior comfort and potentially reduce utilities costs.

Ultimately, rainscreen systems can be a very effective solution when incorporated correctly with different types of cladding systems, with the proper gap installed, and with continuous insulation that optimizes energy efficiency.

About the Author

JR Babineau is a research manager and the principal building scientist for Johns Manville. For 20 years, he has been involved in research and development of building products, as well as providing education and consulting on building systems, with an emphasis on heat, air, moisture, noise, and energy efficiency.

Aug. 28, 2017

Johns Manville Debuts CladStone Water & Fire Block Insulation

Originally posted on Builder Magazine by Mary Salmonsen

Berkshire Hathaway’s Johns Manville has announced the launch of JM CladStone™ Water & Fire Block Insulation, a noncombustible continuous insulation mineral wool product designed to provide water drainage from an exterior wall cavity system alongside thermal efficiency, fire resistance and acoustical performance.

The CladStone Water & Fire Block is designed specifically for use in cavity wall and rain screen applications. Its high-fiber density, low shot content mineral wool is composed of basalt, which is naturally non-combustible, moisture repellent, non-deteriorating, and mildew- and corrosion-proof. It can be installed with a wide variety of exterior cladding systems, including strapping, brick ties, and girts and purlins, and supports impaling pins, screws and washers, insulation fasteners, and plastic cap nails as mechanical fasteners.

“We are committed to providing our customers with an array of products to meet the needs of any project, and that’s why we’re introducing JM CladStone Water & Fire Block Insulation, a noncombustible product designed to aid in managing moisture in continuous insulation systems,” says Tommy Knappich, Vice President and General Manager of Building Insulation at Johns Manville. “We aim to provide the highest level of service to customers and constantly look for opportunities to enhance the versatility of our high-performance insulation product line to meet the needs of today’s increasingly demanding project requirements.”

JM CladStone™ Water & Fire Block is now available across the United States and Canada.

About the Author

Mary Salmonsen is a recent graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. As an assistant editor with Hanley Wood's Residential Construction Group, she covers demographics, local markets, and finance for Builder and Multifamily Executive magazines.

Feb. 11, 2019

Introducing No-Burn® Plus ThB coating for JM spray foam products

Johns Manville is proud to announce a partnership with No-Burn, Inc., a passive fire protective coatings manufacturer, to offer No-Burn® Plus ThB. No-Burn Plus ThB is a thin film intumescent fire protective coating that can be applied over all JM open- and closed-cell spray polyurethane foams, reducing the amount of material required by up to 33 percent.

The nontoxic, water-based coating serves as a char-barrier, reducing heat transfer and surface burning when spray foam is exposed to high temperatures and flames. The product is compliant with International Residential Code® (IRC®) and International Building Code® (IBC®) and can serve in place of other code-prescribed thermal barriers.

The introduction of No-Burn Plus ThB replaces JM Ignition Barrier Intumescent and JM Thermal Barrier Intumescent Coating for JM Corbond® Spray Foam, effective immediately.

More about No-Burn Plus ThB: 

  • Code compliant: Meets code Evaluation Report ER 305 addressing fire protective coatings

  • Cost-competitive alternative: Cost-competitive product option for passive fire protection *contact JM sales rep for exact pricing

  • Simple installation: No-Burn ThB is easily applied in one single coat and has a high coverage rate of 115 sq. ft. per gallon at 14 Wet Mil thickness

  • Flexible aesthetics: No-Burn Plus ThB is white and can be tinted to any color via special order

No-Burn Plus ThB ships within one to two days directly from No-Burn, Inc. in Wadsworth, Ohio. The product is available in five-gallon pails, which covers an estimated 575 sq. ft.

For more information on No-Burn® Plus ThB, visit or download the Technical Data Sheet.

Jul. 06, 2017

Four Steps for Optimizing a Home’s Insulation System During a Remodel

Originally posted on Remodeling Magazine by JR Babineau

Differences in project scopes coupled with a wide variety of insulation types can make upgrading insulation during a remodel seem like a challenge. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, here are four simple steps to consider when tackling an insulation upgrade during a remodel.

What’s the issue or opportunity?
Insulation upgrades provide for the opportunity to improve homeowner comfort and deliver savings on monthly heating and cooling bills. Insulation upgrades during a remodel might be part of the original scope, or can stem from code requirements or the discovery of faulty systems during the project. Because a home operates as an interconnected system, an evaluation of the home’s energy systems might be needed.

Evaluate the current mix
Work with an energy efficiency or home performance expert to thoroughly evaluate the status of a home’s energy system. This will include not only the building envelope, but also the heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water systems. Start from the basement or bottom of the home, working up through the attic. These systems work together to serve as the first line of defense to deliver home comfort, prevent energy loss, and manage indoor air quality.

An evaluation of the entire energy system, including the make-up of the home’s current insulation mix, is critical in determining what additional products are needed to further optimize the home’s building envelope. This type of evaluation can prevent an upgrade in one area from impacting another area. For example, simply adding insulation into the attic, without reducing ceiling air-leakage or maintaining attic ventilation, could result in unintended consequences related to roof moisture and unrealized energy savings.

Work with the expert to evaluate insulation and air-sealing in attics, crawl spaces, walls, windows, and doors. Determine if mechanical and ventilation equipment is working with the building envelope, or fighting against it. What will be found will vary, depending on the age of the house and any previous remodeling jobs. In older homes, lack of insulation may require a complete overhaul of the home’s insulation system, whereas outdated knob and tube wiring might prevent an upgrade until wiring is replaced. Other upgrades are driven by new code requirements and the need for air-sealing. Regardless of the driver, understanding what’s currently behind the walls of the project and how the system is working together can influence what products should be installed or removed, how much is needed, and where.

Combining insulation products
Key benefits of combining insulation products include significantly improving the energy efficiency of a building and potentially cutting project costs. An obvious advantage of combining insulation products is that it gives remodelers the ability to leverage the functions of multiple materials at different cost options to find a mix that best fits within the project scope.

For example, spray foam insulation provides excellent thermal performance, as well as advanced air and moisture control, but tends to cost more than other insulations. In this case, a product mix or hybrid solution is ideal.

Hybrid insulation systems help create custom insulation solutions that meet high demands and diverse project needs. Consider working with an insulation contractor to install a hybrid of spray foam with fiberglass batts or rolls, combining the air-sealing and vapor-retarder benefits of foam with the economical and thermal benefits of fiberglass. An alternative solution may be to install batts or rolls throughout the project and use spray foam for hard-to-reach places and for air-sealing, reducing any draftiness.

Follow the project scope
Lastly, align insulation upgrades with the project scope. For example, a basement remodel is an opportunity to deliver not just a code-minimum room, but a comfortable and dry living space. Let the project scope and timeline guide opportunities to upgrade insulation. If the project calls for new windows or walls, work with the insulation contractor to ensure the insulation, caulking and air-sealing are all up to par.

Another project type to consider is upgrading insulation during “curb appeal” projects. Replacing the siding, doors, or windows on a home is a perfect time to evaluate the home’s energy efficiency levels and add more insulation and air-sealing. Replacing siding can allow for the addition of foam sheathing, or possibly even adding drill-and-fill insulation from the outside.

The opportunity to create a more energy efficient and comfortable space during a remodel relies heavily on the home’s current insulation mix, but coupled with an overall understanding of the home’s performance and how products can work together, a more energy efficient home can be achieved.

About the Author

JR Babineau is a research manager and the principal building scientist for Johns Manville. For 20 years, he has been involved in research and development of building products, as well as providing education and consulting on building systems, with an emphasis on heat, air, moisture, noise, and energy efficiency.