The Hidden Power of Continuous Insulation

November 18th, 2014

One of the most important systems in home construction is never seen once the home is complete. But if built poorly, this one component will be noticed in a very negative way. This system is comprised of the materials and methods used to insulate the home.

Today the most cost-effective way of keeping a house heated and cooled is called continuous insulation, usually referred to as CI. In this method, insulation is continuous across all structural members with no thermal bridges other than fasteners and service openings. This method stops thermal bridging between the outside temperature and the interior wall. Heat loss is reduced and the effective R-value of a wall system is increased. Continuous insulation can move the dew point from inside a cavity to outside of the sheathing of the exterior wall, which can help stop condensation for less chance for the formation of mold and mildew. When used as a drainage plane and moisture barrier, CI can extend the lifespan of a home as it provides protection against water intrusion and degradation of materials. You won’t see it, but you will definitely feel the hidden power of CI.

CI Choices

Many products are classified as CI, but one stands above the others by providing very effective continuous insulation benefits. Wall CI Board products, by Atlas Roofing Corporation, are manufactured with a polyiso foam core and give a much higher level of performance when compared with Extruded Polystyrene (XPS), Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), or even mineral wool. Closed-cell polyiso wall insulation is an effective choice for CI, and Atlas Wall CI Board is a leader in polyiso products.

Atlas Wall CI Board products are backed by a 15-year thermal performance warranty. The air and moisture barrier properties of Atlas CI Wall Board have been proven in the field, lab tested, and have earned code compliant low flame/smoke propagation ratings. Unlike other plastics, polyiso chars in place and doesn’t drip. Wall CI Board products are stable, durable, non-corrosive, and usable with most sealants and adhesives. Lightweight Atlas Wall CI Board products are much easier to install, requiring only standard tools and fasteners.

The New Mandate

More than 90% of the U.S. jurisdictions now prescribe the use of continuous wall insulation for steel-framed walls above grade according to the building code. Building Science shows us that CI is the most effective way to insulate building envelopes for energy savings. Furthermore, this is a responsible building method that by reducing energy use, the resource drain to heat and cool the building is diminished and doesn’t take valuable resources from the environment or strain a homeowner’s or building owner’s finances.

All Atlas Wall CI boards pass the ASTM 2178 requirement for an air barrier material and can be part of a properly detailed and sealed air barrier assembly. This is achieved when rough openings, roof-wall intersections, and below grade connections are taped or sealed with proper flashing and sealants, to provide more protection from air infiltration. If Atlas CI boards are used as a Water Resistant Barrier (WRB) and drainage plane, as well as thermal insulation, the costs and efforts of adding a house wrap product are eliminated. The sealed or taped foam boards act as the WRB.

Atlas Roofing has eight state-of-the-art manufacturing plants dedicated to the Wall CI Board product line. Complete details on the hidden power of Atlas Wall CI Board products can be found at