How to Cut Rigid Foam Insulation – Handyman tips


Rigid foam insulation is the choice for many home builders and commercial contractors. Cutting foam covering isn’t difficult but takes some practice to perfect.

cutting insulation

Here’s how to cut  foam insulation.

What Is Rigid Foam Insulation?

Rigid foam insulation is a material that has a high R-value, meaning it keeps heat in or out of space. It fills gaps between units, such as walls, floors, and ceilings. It also fills gaps in roofs and ceilings. This insulation comes in sheets and rolls. It is most often used to fill gaps or spaces in buildings. The shielding can keep heat in without wasting energy through air leaks. Rigid foam consists of several layers of laminated polystyrene. The polystyrene used in rigid insulation has very low moisture permeability. This makes it an excellent choice for use in places with moisture. Such areas could be your attic or basement. Rigid foam can help you save money on home renovations. You don’t need to replace it as often as other types of insulation. It also doesn’t conduct heat.

Safety First

Cutting rigid froth insulation is a great way to get some extra insulation in your home. If you’re not careful, there are some risks.

Here are a few tips on how to reduce those risks:

  1. Wear protective gear and clothing to prevent injury when working with the foam.
  2. Don’t use too much pressure. When you cut through the insulation with a saw, you should cut it without using too much energy. You may cut into your skin or damage your tool if you use too much force.
  3. Use a blade that fits your cutting tool. The blade should fit well into the handle of your saw.

measuring before cutiing

Measure and Mark the Foam Board

When cutting foam insulation, measure and mark the foam board first. This is so that you know exactly how much material you need. You can still make a mistake even if you have a straight edge. Prevent this by measuring and marking your board before starting the job. Do this with a tape measure or ruler. You can also use a laser level to make your cuts straight and even.

Start Cutting

These are the recommended steps to cutting rigid foam insulation:

1. Unroll the rigid foam shielding. Pull it apart with your hands or by using scissors to cut through it.
2. Cut the insulation with a knife, a rotary tool, or scissors. The knife is best for cutting long strips, and the rotary tool is best for short pieces of insulation. Scissors are suitable for small pieces of insulation that you need to cut.
3. Remove any plastic packaging from the insulation before you begin cutting it. If you leave the plastic, it may get stuck in your blades or make the job harder.
4. If you want to create holes in your rigid foam covering, use an awl or needle-nose pliers. These tools make small holes in each piece so air can circulate.

Cutting foam insulation can be simple if you follow an easy step-by-step guide. Always wear safety gear and take extra precautions when handling it. Cutting the insulation might take some practice. Get good quality rigid foam insulation from a reputable dealer for an easier time.


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