New prod­uct aims to sim­plify home in­su­la­tion

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Todd Lewys

ANEW prod­uct de­signed and made in Man­i­toba is making in­roads in elim­i­nat­ing dou­ble vapour bar­rier in homes and build­ings. De­signed by Win­nipeg-based Quik-Therm In­su­la­tion So­lu­tions, the prod­uct — So­lar Dry — is un­like any other prod­uct on the mar­ket, said Quik-Therm’s founder, Ted Cullen. “To the best of my knowl­edge, there’s no other prod­uct that al­lows mois­ture to dis­perse as well as So­lar Dry does.” In or­der to understand how So­lar Dry works, it’s im­por­tant to get a han­dle on how dou­ble vapour bar­ri­ers oc­cur. In a nut­shell, con­di­tions for a dou­ble vapour bar­rier are cre­ated when a lack of ven­ti­la­tion causes mois­ture to get trapped be­tween in­su­la­tion placed on a home’s in­te­rior and ex­te­rior walls. That can lead to the for­ma­tion of mould, rot and mildew, which, as it in­creases over time, can cause health is­sues.

“So­lar Dry is de­signed to breathe,” said Cullen, adding it was ini­tially de­signed for Van­cou­ver’s damp cli­mate to mit­i­gate mois­ture is­sues. “It’s a (patent-pend­ing) high-per­for­mance, con­tin­u­ous rigid ex­panded poly­styrene in­su­la­tion sys­tem with built-in drainage planes and rain screen ca­pa­bil­ity. Its con­toured de­sign al­lows walls to breathe, drain, dry and dis­perse mois­ture.” Not only has So­lar Dry been de­signed to breathe, its de­sign pro­vides a mar­gin of er­ror when in­stalling it. “Un­til now, con­trac­tors and do-it-your­selfers have had to in­stall (in­te­rior and ex­te­rior) in­su­la­tion flaw­lessly to avoid cre­at­ing a dou­ble vapour bar­rier,” said Cullen. “It’s not only very ef­fec­tive, it’s also very easy to in­stall.” Mas­ter ren­o­va­tor and builder Grant Sakiyama, who’s us­ing So­lar Dry for ex­te­rior in­su­la­tion in a cut­ting-edge new home he’s build­ing in Charleswood, con­curred. “I’m im­pressed with the fact there’s a drainage plane be­hind the in­su­la­tion that al­lows it to breathe,” said Sakiyama. “My crew has also found it very easy to in­stall. It cuts nice, ap­plies eas­ily and the spe­cial­ized tape that comes with it does a great job of seal­ing pan­els to­gether. Its tongue-and­groove edge also al­lows it to lock ac­cu­rately and snug­gly for a good fit.” Cullen said there’s an­other ad­van­tage that comes with us­ing So­lar Dry. “There’s no ther­mal bridg­ing,” he said. “Be­cause the in­su­la­tion is con­tin­u­ous — there’s no fram­ing on the wall that sep­a­rates the in­su­la­tion pan­els — there’s lit­tle or no air leak­age. When you ap­ply So­lar Dry to a home’s ex­te­rior, you get an ef­fec­tive R-value of 27. Mois­ture build-up and ther­mal bridg­ing won’t be a prob­lem.” He added it’s a prod­uct that can be used by pro­fes­sion­als and do-it-your­selfers alike. “So­lar Dry is a great prod­uct for folks who like to do their own work — it comes with in­struc­tions that tell you how, and where to fas­ten it. Even if it isn’t in­stalled per­fectly, it will still per­form well. The same can’t be said for con­ven­tional in­su­la­tion.” Sakiyama said that So­lar Dry — which has been on the mar­ket for about four months — truly works. “It’s a su­pe­rior prod­uct,” he said. “It’s eas­ier to work with, is ef­fi­cient and is more cost-ef­fec­tive for my clients. Af­ter us­ing it and see­ing how well it works, I’d rec­om­mend it for any­one to use.” So­lar Dry is avail­able through Brock White, QuikTherm’s ex­clu­sive dis­trib­u­tor in Win­nipeg.


So­lar Dry’s drainage planes al­low for mois­ture to dis­perse, thereby mit­i­gat­ing the chances of a dou­ble vapour bar­rier oc­cur­ring.

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