Everything you need to know about external thermal insulation!

News 14 May 2024
εξωτερική φωτογραφία κτηρίου με θερμομόνωση

Why now external thermal insulation; your benefits; what to look for so that your investment is beneficial for your wallet and the environment.

External thermal insulation is a construction operation relating to exterior house walls. It includes the installation of thermal insulation  panels  on exterior walls by specialized technicians. Through a process requiring combined expertise by the producer of the materials and by the fitter as well, technicians apply special materials and coatings that prevent thermal losses from the interior, at the same time shielding the building against wind, cold and heat. This results in modern homes with a pleasant ambience, protected against extreme interior temperature variations.

Thermal insulation can be applied to old or new buildings; however it makes real difference in houses built in past decades which are undergoing renovation. In fact, one might argue that thermal insulation is an essential constituent of any meaningful renovation.

We should explain that thermal insulation represent exterior processes, as opposed to interior thermal insulation, which is the old upgrade model and includes the installation of insulating materials on inner surface of vertical walls. beams, pillars; and on building ceilings. Interior thermal insulation is certainly beneficial; however it is no match to exterior thermal insulation. Hence, references to thermal insulation in this article, only imply  external thermal insulation.   

Benefits of external thermal insulation
There are numerous and major benefits, with immediate positive effect on day-to-day activities, even from the day following completion of insulation works. At the same time, such operations demonstrate your practical commitment to respecting the environment: The reduction in energy consumption for heating and cooling systems, translates into reduced emission of carbon dioxide and other chemical compounds responsible for the greenhouse effect and the climate change as well. The following are a few of the main benefits.

  • Speedy payback
    The cost of such an intervention is not prohibitive. It represents an investment that will pay for itself within a five year period. It represents a mean cost of 30 to 35 Euro per square metre of insulated surface. 
  • Cost savings
    Expenses for heating and cooling in winter and summer, respectively, will be immediately reduced, while heating and cooling equipment evidently operates much more efficiently. In the winter, heat is retained for several hours after heating system ceases to operate. In the summer, even in extreme heat conditions, air-conditioners need not to operate in full power to keep the house cool.
  • Humidity elimination
    This annoying and adverse to the health effect is eliminated following thermal insulation application the same goes for black stains on ceilings, walls and room spaces in general, especially those oriented to the north.
  • Healthier environment, improved quality of life
    Interior spaces smell pleasantly and indoor atmosphere becomes healthier and more comfortable, due to the elimination of mold, pollutants and unhealthy organisms. House interiors enjoy uniform temperature all around the year; they are free from unpleasant cold air streams and temperature differences among individual rooms are eliminated. 
  • Sound insulation
    The use of suitable sound proofing materials can also result in protection against exterior noise, a highly important benefit for urban houses located in metropolitan areas, where such issues are commonplace (e.g. situated close to avenues or other busy locations).
  • Upgraded looks
    External facades are elevated to higher grades, even in terms of design. Such a development will help to preserve or even improve the residence’s value. The exterior of the building looks newer, more robust and also more modern.
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Thermal insulation applications
Thermal insulation is basically applied on exterior masonry and all side surfaces (walls, pillars, beams); however, it can be also applied on other surfaces surrounding the house, and this would encompass the latter in a protective shell. These are the roof, the terrace, the floor, and the  veranda frames. 

  • Roof & terrace
    In such cases, thermal & water insulation is applied on the top floor slab, on the inner surface or (and) on the exterior, immediately above terrace surface. Such operations can provide waterproofing, in addition to energy upgrade.
  • Floor
    Since floors significantly contribute to heat loss, special thermal insulation material can be installed on the floor, especially where the latter is in contact with the ground.
  • Veranda
    Roofs of veranda can be also insulated to prevent building heat from escaping to the environment.
  • Thermal insulation method
    This is a procedure consisting of several stages; however, it is not particularly time consuming. In brief, the procedure starts with cleaning of the surface to receive the materials; old mortars are removed; and thermal insulation boards are attached. Contractors will install corner beads, water gutters, and glass mesh; the surface is covered by renders and these are grinded and smoothed out; finally, the surface is primed, plastered and paint coated. The following are common materials used in the application of external thermal insulation in the form of thermal insulation boards: expanded polystyrene, white and graphite, rock wool, mineral wool, wood fleece boards, extruded polystyrene. Also, special adhesives, acrylic renders, cement based sealants etc., are used.
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Tips and tricks for best results

  • It goes without saying that the first step to a successful renovation and  external thermal insulation application is to refer to an experienced, skilled technician. When you search for contractors , don’t just look for quotation price. Seek customer references and receive input on past projects to avoid fields and poor workmanship. 
  • Selecting the ideal  external thermal insulation for a home should always consider current thermal insulation adequacy, in case of old buildings, or the energy survey, in case of newly built homes. Ideally, homes should receive all - around insulation, where all or nearly all structural components are shield with   thermal insulation material.
  • It is apparent that the location of the home influences selection of materials as well as the overall solution to be proposed. Enhanced insulation will be necessary in colder climate zones (in areas such as Grevena), as opposed to warmer climate zones (such as Chania). One should also consider possible proximity to other buildings and the altitude of the installation site. 
  • It is important to choose state-of-the-art, environment - friendly and high quality building materials; this way, the need for sustainability and viability is applied not only through the thermal insulation technique, but through the parts by which it will be implemented as well.
θερμομονωτικά συστήματα climawall και climaroof

A decisive step for a more sustainable home, one that provides the above benefits, is to opt for a reliable, advanced external thermal insulation system. ClimaWall and ClimaRoof Certified Advanced Energy Building Systems by BIOCLIMA constitute an integrated proposed, designed with the Greek conditions in mind, for a country rich in microclimate and architectural tradition. These are smart systems, certified with EPD (Environmental Product Declaration), capable of adapting to climate and environment variations, as they control contaminants; contribute to the development of healthy indoor environment quality; ensure water tightness; make optimal use of thermal capacity; and improve the building’s energy performance.

In fact, as the ETICS cost is subsidized through “EKSOIKONOMO” programmes, at percentages easily exceeding 50% in the majority of classes, there is no reason to waste time.

Learn more here; find out how to make an energy upgrade to your home without being excessively charged!