? Question 1
Vertibreak is not your typical EPS insulation. Instead, Vertibreak is made of a special-density expanded polystyrene with enhanced compression resistance. Vertibreak insulation is also aged and dried to limit any warping or moisture-related issues that could otherwise be problematic. The product was designed for use in above-grade walls for all common exterior claddings (fibre cement, wood, vinyl, stucco, manufactured stone etc.).
? Question 2
The Vertibreak products were designed not only to meet new building code insulation and rainscreen requirements, but to do so safely without compromising the ability of the wall from drying out in the event of unexpected moisture intrusion or excessive construction moisture. Only a sufficient amount of insulation applied to the exterior of the sheathing is able to raise the sheathing temperature above the interior dew point and move the condensation plane outward, avoiding condensation on the sheathing. Based on expert opinions and third-party testing, each Vertibreak product (4, 6 and VC) was designed to mitigate the risk of condensation , taking into account the outboard to inboard ratio of thermal insulation within the assembly. At the evaluated ratio of outboard to inboard thermal insulation, the wood sheathing and studs remain at safe moisture levels with the ability to dry out when considering many wetting scenarios caused by air leakage, incidental rain leaks and construction moisture.
? Question 3
Yes, Vertibreak was designed to eliminate the need for furring strips with most lightweight claddings and with most wood and steel framed construction provided that the recommended fasteners are used and that our installation guidelines are followed. Where heavy claddings (greater than 10 lbs/sf) are used, where a stud cannot be located, or where a manufacturer requires it, furring may be friction fit through a Vertibreak channel and fastened through to the framing for fastening of the cladding. In most cases, however, Vertibreak was designed for use without furring strips.
? Question 4
It really depends on your situation but typical savings may be anywhere from $0.25/sf to $1.50/sf depending on the cladding chosen, the code requirement (and thus Vertibreak product used), method of construction (2x4 or 2x6) and the installer.
Are you trying to meet your new building code’s energy requirements? In most cases, this would mean you may need to move to 2x6 construction or even to 2x8 construction. With the proper Vertibreak product, in most areas you are able to stick with 2x4 construction and save on lumber, window build outs, trims and other costs that would otherwise be involved into moving to 2x6 construction, for example. If you’re already using 2x6 construction, with Vertibreak you do not have to add an alternative rainscreen system such as furring strips so you will save on both the cost of the furring strips as well as the labour. Finally certain claddings such as stucco and manufactured stone can be very costly to rainscreen and Vertibreak’s ‘S’ products truly keep the costs down by eliminating the need to increase furring strips (usually takes 2-3x more furring to rainscreen stucco and stone properly) and eliminates the need use a board-type material overtop of the furring strips (to block the stucco or mortar from filling the cavity). Thus dramatic savings are realized. In any case, Vertibreak provides a quick payback period in energy savings (usually 1 year or less) for the building owner and you’re using a product that has been tested and designed for one of the wettest climates in North America and which was designed to extend the life of the building.
? Question 5
Although Vertibreak is comprised of a special expanded polystyrene which is more vapour permeable per inch than XPS and Polysio insulations (semi vapour permeable), more important than permeability is the ratio of inboard to outboard insulation. A warmer wall with the proper inboard to outboard insulation is less susceptible to mould and moisture problems than a cooler ‘unbalanced’ wall. Thus while Vertibreak’s vapour permeability would be higher per inch than XPS/Polyiso but lower than rock wool, more important than permeability is a warm wall with a proper inboard to outboard ration of insulation. As noted above, Vertibreak 4 and 6 were designed in one of Canada’s wettest climates (Vancouver) to perform and dry out safely in both 2x4 and 2x6 construction respectively even when subject to significant levels of unexpected rain penetration and moisture accumulation within the wall. This is not to suggest that attention to installation detail isn’t important, because it is!--but rest assured we have designed a product with safeguards to mitigate moisture breaches in the building envelope.
? Question 6
Most likely yes, although please double check with your building official prior to installation. Although not all areas will do so, written acceptance of our product by some municipalities may be available upon request. Overall we anticipate positive feedback from your municipality, however we would be happy to speak with your building official, engineer, architect etc. so please call us for any assistance you may need at 1-877-337-2802.
? Question 7
Please call us at 1-877-337-2802 and we will do our best find a suitable Vertibreak product for your building and in your climate. For most applications where a modest yet significant increase in insulation values is sought, Vertibreak 6 would be a good choice.
? Question 8
Based on most expert opinions and verified by third-party testing we have undergone, 2x6 construction requires more exterior insulation value than 2x4 construction in order to dry out the wall when the wall is wet from construction moisture, a leak etc. While you may meet your building code with a much thinner product or one that offers less insulation value, we are most concerned with the ability of your wall to dry out under periods of high moisture load. Vertibreak 4 and 6 were designed to ensure that even in conditions where leaks or improper detailing causes rain penetration or high moisture loads, the product is well equipped to allow your wall to dry back to safe levels before mould or rot sets in. This may vary depending on your climate, however, our testing considered this in the “rainforest” climate of Vancouver, BC.
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