Differences Between Foil Only, Single Bubble, Double Bubble and Prodex Total Ceiling Insulation
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
The Core Of Your Ceiling Insulation Makes A Difference
Prodex Total has a high quality core that keeps its shape when exposed to forces. Prodex Total has a nominal thickness of 5mm (0.2 inch) and 10mm (0.4 inch) closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reinforced 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.
Comparing Foil and Bubble Ceiling Insulation to Prodex Total
Double and Single Bubble Radiant Barriers - Balloons That Burst In Your Ceiling
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 Ceiling Insulation - Unlike foil only products (no inner substance), this reflective ceiling 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!
More benefits of Prodex Total Ceiling Insulation
Protects Content From Vapor
Prodex is a class 1 vapor barrier. A vapor barrier (moisture barrier) refers to any material that prevents moisture from passing through the walls or roof of a building. This material can be plastic or better yet, Prodex Total Insulation - (Vapor Barrier, Class 1. perm<0.1 ).
Prodex Insulation Prevents Rodents, Bugs and Birds from Nesting
Unlike fiberglass insulation, Prodex does not provide for the nesting of rodents, bugs and birds. Rodents, bugs and birds aren't able to digest the aluminum.
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 a quality ceiling 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 reinforced foil to make a great ceiling insulation.