Slab foundations are cost-effective and relatively easy to install, but one of their main drawbacks is the heat loss that can occur during cold winter months. They lose energy when heat is conducted outward and through the perimeter of the slab. What's more, many traditional slab insulation methods fall short of providing a genuine surface-to-surface insulation, leaving a thermal bridge, which allows for heat to escape and cold to get in.
That's why building science experts recommend insulating the exterior edges of the slab, which in most sections of the country can reduce winter heating bills by 10% to 20%, according to the Department of Energy.
A new thermal barrier system helps mitigate this problem by providing a complete thermal break between the slab edge and the outside environment, as well as between the slab and the thermal mass footer. The interlocking Insul Slab system is the first residential product to provide a thermal barrier at the slab edge and at the thermal mass footer, according to the company. It reduces heat loss at the slab edge by 88% and from the thermal mass footing by about 70%.
In addition, by helping keep the slab warmer, the Insul Slab system reduces moisture buildup from condensation, which in turn inhibits mold growth. This makes for a healthier home environment overall, a plus for those suffering from allergies or asthma.