SIPs panels are an energy-efficient choice for wall, floor and roof construction. They are manufactured according to the customer's drawings and delivered to the construction site already pre-cut and drilled for wiring and plumbing, ready to be assembled.
Typically, two people – with the help of a crane - can erect the SIP house in just a few days.
But in spite of this simplicity, that doesn't mean that you can do it yourself. Installation demands know-how and there are details and do’s and don'ts that installers should have into account.
Stacked Up Like Lego's
SIP panels are delivered by the manufacturers to the construction site, ready to be installed. They are the building blocks of walls (and roofs and floors).They provide framing, insulation and sheathing.
There is too much at stake, and small mistakes can have disastrous consequences. It’s your home and dozens of thousands of dollars that are on the line.
Insulated Panels & Moisture
SIP construction isn't foolproof, and can be damaged by moisture, unless the panels are very carefully protected.
Proper sealing of all the joints and voids, and proper flashing, are crucial; the panels should not have direct contact with concrete and all possible sources of moisture should be conveniently considered.
SIP Installation & Moisture Cares
Exterior moisture sources:
SIPs are very durable but not water-resistant. The panels should be carefully protected from water; proper underlayment for siding and roofing is of extreme importance. All possible penetrations, involving windows and doors should be properly sealed and flashed; exterior lights, chimneys, skylights, and other devices, should also be carefully flashed. Keeping water out of the wall structures is absolutely crucial.
Indoor humidity should be carefully controlled; moisture can percolate through crawlspaces, slabs, basements and foundations, damaging the panels. Foundations should have a good drainage.
Joints and voids:
Joints and voids in the walls need too be carefully sealed to avoid air movement and moisture infiltration. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Handling the panels:
During and prior to the construction, keep the panels dry and away from direct contact with the ground. Panels can’t be exposed to the elements, and should be conveniently stored in a weather-protected spot, above the ground.
For more technical details, take a look at the SIPA documents here.
SIPs Installation & Home Ventilation
SIP homes are very airtight, which provides comfort and lower energy bills. But that also means that - at least in cold climates - you have to install a modern mechanical ventilation system for fresh air and to control the humidity.
SIPs & Termites and Pests
SIP panels should be treated with acid boric or other systemic insecticide; acid boric is effective and harmless to pets and humans.