Chart Comparing Prodex Total Radiant Barrier Insulation to Fiberglass, Rigid Board, Spray...
Differences in Radiant Barriers - Foil Only, Single Bubble, Double Bubble and Prodex Total
Take a look at the photos below. Even if you didn't know anything about foil insulation, you would likely select the correct product - Prodex Total Foil Insulation.
Foil Only Single Bubble Double bubble Prodex Total
Radiant Barrier Insulation Should Have Quality Core
Prodex Total has a high quality core that keeps its shape when exposed to forces. Prodex Total has a nominal thickness of 5mm (13/64 inch) closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with .0012 (00.03mm) aluminum foil facing. Under pressure, the Prodex micro-cells do not collapse -- With a pressure of 6 PSI Prodex compresses just 6%. When the load is relieved it takes back its initial shape. The density of the foam is between 1.25 lb/ft (sq) - 1.87 lb/ft (sq). This gives the material real body. Prodex seals around nails - That's important - Most installation methods require stapling, nailing or screwing the foil insulation to a surface.
Comparison Chart Prodex Radiant Barrier Insulation to Foil Only and Bubble
Double and Single Bubble Radiant Barriers - Balloons That Burst
Double bubble and single bubble radiant barrier insulation are composed of either one (single bubble) or two (double bubble) layers of air bubbles sandwiched between two metalized surfaces. The rows of air bubbles play the important role of separating the reflective foils. These products are more than just a radiant barrier, they're considered insulation. Unfortunately, air is not as effective as a separator as closed cell foam; therefore, long-term performance can be a concern.
Single bubble has a nominal thickness of 5/32 inch. Double bubble measures 5/16 inch. These measurements bear little resemblance to the effective measurement of the products (see photos above). We see little difference between the performance of single and double bubble insulation. The latter simply has a second layer of air bubbles (A balloon with more air). Once either is punctured, it collapses. Although we strongly suggest you order Prodex Total, if your budget doesn't allow you to purchase the quality of Prodex, we suggest you order a single bubble insulation rather than a double bubble. You'll get virtually all the benefits of the double bubble insulation while saving money. We do not offer double bubble insulation because we aren't able to justify its pricing relative to Prodex Total or single bubble insulation.
Foil Only Barriers Are Not Insulation
Foil only radiant barriers are typically perforated and composed of two metalized surfaces with a mesh woven in for strength. It is not a vapor barrier, it has no R-value - It is not insulation per se. It's a thin layer of reflective low emissivity film installed with an airspace to block radiant heat transfer between a surface that radiates heat. We refer to these products as foil only radiant barriers.
Quality Core Surrounded by Reflective Foil Facing = Quality Insulation
Prodex Total Radiant Barrier Insulation - Unlike foil only products (no inner substance), this radiant barrier insulation protects against the energy transferred via conduction and convection. Prodex is a radiant barrier + reflective insulation + Vapor Barrier. More than just a radiant barrier, Prodex Total is one solution for Heat, Cold, and Water. Prodex prevents condensation, heat from coming in and heat from getting out of your building!
How To Insulate With Radiant Barrier Insulation - Install Instructions
It's a lot easier and less expensive to install a 5mm or 10 mm roll of Prodex than a bulky 6 inch roll of fiberglass or spray foam. Pinching 6 inches fiberglass between the framing and sheathing is not easy. It's really tough having to use a wire mesh to hold fiberglass in place on an existing building. Spray foam is not DIY friendly.
Prodex Total can be installed before or after your sheathing.
HIGHER R | STRONGER | SAFER
New Prodex Total 5m Plus: R 17, Increased Tearing Resistance, Flame Spread 0. 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reinforced reflective foil.
New Prodex Total 10M Plus: R22. Twice as thick as regular Prodex Total. 10mm (0.4") closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reinforced reflective foil.
Any metal building or pole barn that uses fiberglass insulation rather than Prodex Total will have moisture issues (typically hidden behind facing), Loss of R-value (consequence of the moisture) and heat gain.
New White Prodex Total 5M Plus: R15.3. 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam with reflective reinforced foil on one side and plastic white finish film on the other side.
Insulation Reviews - What to Believe (Must Read)
Fiberglass loses R-value with moisture, neither it or spray insulation will prevent radiant heat transfer.
It takes more than foil and air to make radiant barrier insulation. If you only have foil and a mesh than you don't have insulation. If your product is composed of air bubbles it's subject to collapse in time or lose effectiveness when punctured. It requires a quality core of foam and aluminum to make a great radiant barrier insulation.
Updated April 16, 2018