Not a single modern apartment today can do without an insulated balcony or loggia. This is done in order to increase the living space, creating conditions for a comfortable stay in the premises of people in the cold season. It often happens that the balcony is used to store unnecessary things, that is, trash. But modern residents of apartment buildings prefer to use this additional space more productively, creating coziness and comfort.
Indeed, on the balcony you can equip a small workshop, a small gym, a room for children or even your own greenhouse. There are a lot of options and they will all be much better than an ordinary pantry made of old unnecessary things, which, moreover, pollute the apartment, as they collect dust and are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Therefore, the insulation of the balcony is a very important stage for creating a cozy and comfortable additional room.
There are several ways to insulate a loggia or balcony. We will consider some of them in more detail in the article. The main stage in the insulation of an apartment is of course its glazing.
First option. Insulation of the balcony with glazing
Which balcony glazing to choose?
Without glazing, the balcony will be cold in the cold season, which will not even allow you to go there. In the warm season, it will not be very good either – it is wind and noise. The most practical and effective is the installation of a PVC profile, that is, metal-plastic frames with a glass unit, which are used everywhere. They have good sound insulation, keep warm indoors, are easy to clean and look pretty good.
- You can of course choose cheaper options for glazing the balcony. For example, by installing wooden frames with single-layer glass, as was done the old fashioned way. But this approach will not allow you to create a warm additional room, since such a structure will let the cold through. At the same time, the tree is afraid of moisture and the effects of weather conditions. To do this, you will have to paint and process wooden frames regularly, about once a year, otherwise they will simply rot.
- You can also put aluminum frames, which in appearance practically do not differ from plastic ones and can be painted in different colors, even under a tree. They are thinner than PVC and much lighter, but less efficient at keeping heat indoors.
Creating a partition from a brick or foam block
Many balcony systems do not have a concrete partition, which is often replaced by an iron fence with railings. In this case, for effective insulation of the balcony, it will be necessary to build a partition made of brick or foam block for installing metal-plastic balcony frames on them. Let’s figure it out – which is better?
A brick partition will be a perfectly acceptable option, since brick is an excellent durable material that also has an attractive appearance. Therefore, additional external finishing may not be required.
A foam block partition will weigh less and has excellent thermal insulation. The disadvantages are poor resistance to moisture in the case of buying a low-quality material (fakes that do not meet manufacturing standards), which can negatively affect the strength of a structure made of this material (it is better to buy products from trusted manufacturers). Therefore, additional waterproofing will be required on the outside of the balcony.
What is high-quality thermal insulation for?
After the partitions have been erected and the balcony has been glazed, it is necessary to carry out high-quality thermal insulation with special materials, which are available in a wide range in modern building supermarkets. Let’s look at four main types of insulation materials for creating an effective barrier against heat loss.
- Mineral wool
- Extruded polystyrene foam
- Foil foamed polyethylene
All of these insulating materials have good heat retention properties inside the visit, which will make your balcony very warm. With high-quality waterproofing, you can even expand the room by removing the window frames inside the balcony, thereby creating an extension of the room.
Second option. Thermal insulation of a balcony with mineral wool
This is a fairly effective material for insulating a balcony or loggia. It is absolutely harmless and made from natural ingredients of natural origin. At the same time, the cost of mineral wool is very low, therefore it is widely used to create reliable protection against heat loss through walls, floors or ceilings. In order to carry out the repair work correctly, planned actions are needed.
Stages of thermal insulation with mineral wool
- First you need to create waterproofing, since mineral wool is afraid of moisture and loses its heat preservation properties. Therefore, an initial layer of waterproofing materials should be created to prevent moisture penetration through the wall or balcony partition. For this, you can use special polyethylene or other similar material, for example, based on foil. In this case, you should check if there are any cracks in the walls through which air and moisture penetrate. If such are found, they should be repaired using polyurethane foam, which is quite effective for such work.
- Then you need to build a wooden lathing from the bars. For this, wooden slats with a size of 40 × 50 cm are suitable. This is done for attaching decorative finishing materials such as plastic, wood or other decorative panels to them.
- Having fastened the crate, we proceed to the installation of mineral wool. This will require a special cement-based adhesive. You can use a construction stapler if the base where the insulation will be attached is wooden. We take a roll of mineral wool and cut it into pieces of the desired size to fix it with glue in the space between the battens. Thus, it is possible to insulate both the walls and the ceiling with the floor.
Third option. Thermal insulation of the balcony with foam
Polyfoam is the most economical and affordable insulation of our time. It is cheaper than mineral wool and is much more convenient to install, since it is very lightweight and does not require special skills when working with it. Polyfoam consists of 85% air, but it has excellent thermal insulation and sound insulation properties. The process of laying this material is not very different from the previous version.
Stages of thermal insulation with foam
- The first thing to do is to create a barrier against moisture penetration through the balcony walls. To do this, you can use a special waterproofing compound on a cement basis and treat the entire surface of the balcony walls and ceiling with it. You can use special polyethylene or other similar material that will keep the insulation from moisture penetration. Condensation and water accumulation under the decorative cover can cause the development of mold or mildew.
- Then we also construct the lathing, with a step of approximately 50 cm, attaching the wooden planks with a perforator drill to the walls and ceiling of the balcony using corners and dowels. If you are insulating the floor, then proceed according to the same scheme, but using wooden planks of a greater thickness of 50 × 100 mm to create good strength.
- Then cut out the sheets of foam plastic you need to size and put them in the cells formed by the crate. At the same time, additionally gluing them to the surface with an appropriate composition. The choice of glue for such work in hardware stores is quite wide.
Fourth option. Thermal insulation of the balcony with extruded polystyrene foam
Unlike foam, extruded polystyrene foam has better qualities. This is, first of all, its stiffness and lower thickness, which is only 20 mm versus 30-40 mm for foam or mineral wool. Which is quite important when insulating a balcony, because the area of the room is so small and if it decreases by another ten centimeters, it will not be very good. In addition, polystyrene foam boards can be laid without the construction of a crate, due to its rigidity. It has protection from moisture and is not as picky in this regard, as minawata and foam.
The material is quite easy to install, so you can do it in one step. The material is glued to a flat surface of a wall or ceiling that has been pre-cleaned and leveled. It is advisable to treat the surface with an additional waterproofing compound in order to create an even better thermal insulation effect. The joints between the polystyrene plates are covered with cement mortar, and then a reinforcing mesh is placed to create an additional layer of plaster. It is not necessary, but it is desirable to do such work. Then comes the decorative coating.
It is a very effective material with good thermal insulation properties, which is quite popular with construction craftsmen. True, its cost is higher than that of mineral wool and foam. You also need a minimum of effort and skills to insulate the walls, which is suitable for beginners who decide to insulate the balcony with their own hands.
Fifth option. Thermal insulation of a balcony with foamed polyethylene foam
This material has quite universal properties, the main of which is excellent thermal insulation. In addition, the material will provide high sound insulation and at the same time will not allow moisture to penetrate into the room. The structure of foil-clad foamed polyethylene (FVP) consists of a foil layer on which an airy polyethylene with a cellular structure is formed. Also, the material has an acceptable cost and has a very small thickness, which is important when insulating a balcony.
You can use this material on its own, but it is better to combine it with other heat-insulating structures. For example, creating a kind of sandwich of foam and polyethylene foam with foil.
When installing a combined system, first put a layer of FVP on the wall surface, and then build a crate over the top and lay foam plastic between the wooden planks. Then, for better efficiency, put another layer of polyethylene foam. It should be noted that installation is carried out with the foil side to the wall. This is done to avoid moisture penetration.
Final finishing of the balcony
After thermal insulation has been carried out with one of the types of materials presented in the article, work is carried out to decorate the insulated surface of the balcony wall. For this, you can use plastic or wood panels. The latter will create another thermal insulation layer, since the wood retains heat well. Moreover, it has a beautiful appearance when varnished. You can simply paint the wooden surface in any color, which will also be beautiful.
The modern market for building finishing materials is represented by a huge selection. The main thing to create a warm and cozy balcony requires thermal insulation. Then in winter you can arrange on the balcony, for example, your personal office, thereby expanding the space of the apartment.