Innovative Insulation Options for a Rental Property


The list of reasons to insulate a rental property are extensive. By creating an energy efficient building, landlords can appeal to a wider base of tenants looking to save on utility costs. In addition, insulation can help protect the property’s “bones” and ensure that moisture does not cause any structural damage. Insulation can even protect against pest infiltration and lower ongoing maintenance costs. With this in mind, keep reading for 6 innovative insulation options at the disposal of rental property owners.

Synthetic Stucco

When constructing any type of property in 2022, the goal is to create a net-zero structure that produces as much energy as it consumes. While features such as solar panels and PV glass are required for the production aspect, the best way to limit the consumption aspect of this net-zero equation is to install a continuous insulation system that eliminates thermal bridging and unwanted air transfer into and out of the building. 

With this in mind, one of the best ways to create an airtight building envelope is to use synthetic stucco as the cladding choice. Otherwise known as an exterior insulated finishing system (EIFS), synthetic stucco provides the same understated textured look as traditional stucco, only with a much higher R-value. It uses a layered approach to insulation and flashing, helping guarantee that any air or moisture that somehow makes it past the finishing layer will be immediately stopped at the next line of defense before it can infiltrate the framing. This makes it an ideal choice for a wide range of building types in southern California, from beachfront bungalows to inner-city high rises. 


If stucco is not a choice or is simply not compatible with your exterior design sensibilities, attaining a continuous insulation system is still more than possible. One of the best materials to help in this regard is polyiso exterior wall insulation. In addition to being fabricated in solid, nonporous insulation boards, polyiso offers a number of benefits for protecting the property’s building envelope. Its inorganic fabrication makes it moisture and pest resistant, and it also offers a high level of fire resistance. 


Hemp insulation is becoming a favorite material for property owners looking for a natural, sustainably sourced insulation option. Hemp wool insulation is non-toxic and safe to touch, free of the harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) given off by many types of commercial insulation products. Designed using an innovative pressure fit system, hemp wool will not sag or slump in the face of force, providing a high R-value insulation solution during all seasons. 


Many people think of insulation in terms of walls and crawl space. However, insulation can actually begin with the framing. In this respect, insulated concrete forms (ICF) are proving to be a superior option over traditional steel and wood framed structures. Using interlocking steel rebar panels, this concrete frame is poured onsite to provide a solid, one-piece framing solution. Leveraging the inherent durability of concrete, ICF fortifies concrete’s porous properties by providing continuous double layer insulation. The result is a monolithic air barrier that gives the framing an R-value in excess of 23, making it one of the most insulative framing materials on the market. 

Below Grade 

The floor is another underrated area of a property to insulate. While exact figures vary among sources, it is estimated that between 10-15% of all heat is lost through the floor or basement of a property. Therefore, it is important to add insulation to basement walls and to the floor substrate prior to applying the final flooring material. For those property owners looking to take their floor insulation to the next level, it is worthwhile to consider the benefits of radiant floor heating. Using a system of subfloor mats, this innovative system provides an insulative layer against unwanted heat loss while also permeating heat up through the floor throughout the day, allowing the building to rely less on HVAC and forced air to keep the property at a comfortable temperature. 

Attic Door

It is fairly common knowledge that hot air rises. Therefore, property owners have long realized the importance of attic insulation to prevent heated air from escaping through the top of the home. However, problems arise when it comes to accessing the attic. No matter how much blow-in cellulose is added to an attic space, many of the benefits are lost if air just escapes through the attic door. By using innovative attic tents to seal the attic door, property owners can help curb their utility bills by as much as 20%. 

6 Innovative Insulation Options for a Rental Property

Choosing the right insulation is a critical component for securing the energy efficiency and longevity of a building. With this in mind, synthetic stucco, polyiso, hemp, ICF, below grade, and attic door are 6 different types of insulation to strongly consider when creating a continually insulated rental property. 

Ryan Shure is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on real estate. He lives in Tampa, Florida where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Ryan’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.

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