What is a thermal bridge and why does it disturb the comfort of the home?

September 2, 2021

What do you need to know before insulating your home?

In modern construction, energy efficiency has become one of the most important factors in the insurance of good living comfort in a home, as well as in the reducement of the cost of household bills. Home insulation is a crucial element in the achievement of superior energy efficiency.

Often, despite the investment of insulation of the home, the result of the implementation does not satisfy the original intentions and the expected outcomes are not achieved. Issues with heat loss persist and household bills are not significantly reduced..

We analyze what the reasons may be behind this trend.

What is the thermal bridge exactly?

The thermal bridge is a specific zone, which is part of the constructive elements of a building, forming a communication with the outer environment. In this specific zone, the thermal insulation layer is compromised and, for this reason, high thermal conductivity exists, which leads to the loss in heating energy of the outer part of the building.

There is a number of reasons forthe breakage of the thermal insulation layer and the decrease of its functionality. The most important question, however, is how this problem can be avoided or solved.

The comfort of a home, especially in the colder months of the year, is largely due to the temperature of the rooms. Therefore, heat loss from the building has the most massive effect on the functionality of the heating in the home.With a high loss, the efficiency of the heating methods can drop significantly, which would automatically increase household bills or the cost of investment of the chosen heating method.

How exactly does the energy loss happen?

The greater the temperature difference between the outside environment and the inside of the home, the faster heat loss occurs.

The image shows the heat loss at a difference in temperature outside and inside

The generated heat energy from the inside of the building is moved to the lower temperature locations, i.e. it is gradually transferred to the thermal bridge area. In this way, it moves from one structural element to another and allows the free movement of heat that is lost to the outside space.

What could be the damage in your home?

The presence of a thermal bridge in the building causes cold and warm air to circulate through the rooms, creating discomfort and an unpleasant cold environment.

As previously mentioned, heat loss can also become a cause of direct financial lossIn addition, such situations also lead to the formation of condensation in the rooms, which often causes high humidity. In turn, this becomes a serious prerequisite for the formation of mold and mildew on the ceiling of the premises, detaching parts of plaster or plasterboard.


Modern ways of dealing with this problem

In the search for high energy efficiency , the goal of specialists is to reduce these areas to a minimum. Poor quality thermal insulation or insufficient attention to critical areas during construction, retrofit or renovation often results in the retention of these thermal bridges. This also becomes the reason why the comfort in the home does not compare to the expected levels of owners and investors the thermal insulation process is started.

Often, this also happens due to ignorance of the latest technologies and materials in building physics.

There are now systems available, which concentrate precisely on the critical areas and offer a range of solutions that improve comfort by cancelling out these problems and at the same time allowing freedom in the design and organization of facade solutions.

In a well-insulated building, thermal bridges are minimized or completely eliminated. One of the most high-tech solutions in this direction is Schöck IsokorbThis is an innovative construction detail made out of steel and EPS insulation material that is housed in the building slab, right at the boundary between the room and the balcony - a critical location for the occurrence of a thermal bridge.

The image shows the successful disconnection of the thermal bridge and inside heat retention

This way, the condensation point remains outside of the structure, which prevents the aforementioned negative effects. This is one of the few solutions that not only reduces the presence of the thermal bridge, but eliminates it altogether, as it "breaks "the direct connection between the building structure and the surrounding external environment.

Learn more about Schöck Isokorb HERE.

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