Insulation Tapes and Glues
No matter how good the insulation you installed in your home is, it won’t lead you to the result you were hoping for without the assistance of sealing materials. That’s right, without them the air will always find some open seams and enter your home making sure the temperature inside is not consistent, and the space itself is not enough energy efficient.
So it is very important that we don’t forget about insulation tapes and glues when we are about to improve or set up our house insulation for the first time. In the lines below you will find everything you need to know about insulating tape and sealant glue, and how you can use them for the right purpose.
What is insulation glue and how it works
Insulation glue is a sealant adhesive used for many different insulation materials with the purpose of closing the smallest and tiniest gaps in insulation, so the overall result is complete home insulation with the highest rate of energy efficiency. The thing with glue is that it’s an insulator on its own, it’s easy to apply usually, it sets quickly, and if anything goes wrong, it can be peeled, so no damage is done.
Be aware that not all insulation glues are suitable for all insulation materials - sometimes the wrong usage of glue can damage the insulation material, which can lead to insulation not providing enough energy efficiency or not being the best moisture barrier. For instance, contact cement should never be used on foam insulation given it will eat it through almost instantly, while this glue is great for craft foams. So it is essential to consult with the professional about the compatibility of the main insulation material and the adhesive you plan to use.
What is insulating tape and how it works
The insulation tape is one of the most cuticle elements of any insulating process because it's what makes the whole thing done for real. The people from this field claim there is no seamless construction, no matter how the insulation material is good or how great the insulation process has been done - the air will always find its way through. So thermal insulation tapes are what’s making the final say in this matter.
But besides the fact that insulation tape will keep the hot air from leaving the house, or the cold air from entering your home, like reflective tape, it has the ability to keep moisture out. Now, choosing the right tape is crucial when insulating, so make sure to check all the boxes regarding the criteria the tape needs to fulfill to be truly efficient.
- Durability - it is essential for your insulation tape to last longer than a few years. If it starts curling up after a year or so it means it has a very low quality, so you can expect the tape to fall off soon enough.
- Adhesion - every tape has a certain level of adhesion adjustable to different materials. The adhesion level needs to be just right for the tape to stick to the surface of the material firm enough, but so it's not impossible to remove it.
- Flexibility - the flexibility is tied to the thickness of the insulation tape. For instance, tapes used as vapor barriers need to be flexible, but not too thick, because they will not do the job properly around vapor seams. The good choice here is white patch tape.
What is the best insulation tape?
It’s hard to claim what is the best insulation tape you can use given there are many types and they are suitable to different types of insulation materials, but here is the short list of what we believe would be your best choice:
Aluminum foil tape - according to reviews, this insulation tape is a great option for several reasons. It has the ability to be attached to different textures and uneven surfaces, it’s a great solution regarding thermal insulation, and it has a very durable adhesive.
Under concrete tape - this particular house insulation tape is used as a vapor seal and a very effective closure system when it comes to thermal insulation and exterior vapor barriers. It also has high UV resistance and it can be applied to many different materials. Besides, under concrete tape is ideal for repairing tears, rips, and punctures.
Fiberglass tape - the thing with fiberglass tape, besides the fact it is an ideal solution for sealing fiberglass insulation, is that it can withstand extremely high temperatures. That’s why it can be used on plumbing pipes. It usually has a very long lifespan.
Double-sided tape - this tape is super useful because it has an adhesive on both sides. So it can firmly hold both insulation and the material beneath it. It is proven this tape can greatly increase the energy efficiency of an insulated home.
Electrical tape - it is a high-pressure-sensitive insulation tape that’s used for insulating electrical wires. It is very durable, it has a great ability to stretch, and it can provide a long-lasting insulation effect.
What is the best insulation glue?
There are many different types of sealant adhesives we call insulation glue but we are going to point out just a few that are most commonly used:
- Spray glue - widely used type of insulation glue because it's’ easy to apply and can be used for DIY insulation projects. It makes it possible to cover larger areas of insulation material in a short time frame, so it’s often used for insulation panels or building foam insulation sandwiches. Also, it barely ever reacts negatively with other materials, and it doesn't add thickness or weight to the existing insulation, which is especially important in some cases.
- Double-sided glue sheets - these sheets are designed to be peeled off and attached to almost any type of material, from both sides, and they too are super easy to use. Double-sided glue sheets are used by both professionals and homeowners who need to improve their house insulation on their own, and the best part is you can cut the sheets in the shapes you like to make them adjustable to whatever size or shape of insulating material they need to cover up.
- Wood glue - wood glue is an ideal solution for attaching insulation on large pieces of wood, like with wall insulation. You can do it before or after wood painting, it doesn’t matter, but you can also use this glue to seal all the small openings between two wood pallets.
- Super metal sealant - this type of insulation glue comes in cans and with a silicon top that allows you to inflict the sealant precisely and only at the desired places. These glues are used to attach any type of insulation to metal surfaces, or ones made of aluminum, steel, fiberglass, etc. It usually doesn’t need an additional fastener, and it sets up in quite a short time frame. The good metal sealant will work well in both hot and cold climates.
- Hot glue - even though hot glue is a valuable option when talking about sealing insulation, it is rarely used because it may damage the insulation material. Because of the heat, it can melt foam for instance, as well as some other materials, but only for a second. It sets up extremely quickly, so these damages won’t matter if the insulation won’t be in a visible place.