pvc corner beads aluminum, aluminum stucco plaster PVC Corner Bead with Mesh galvanized corner bead construction materials products Exterior Thermal Sheathing jacketing insulation wall Exterior Insulating Sheathing One of the most important energy-saving materials in a home is the insulation. Without insulation, many of the other energy-efficient components, like energy efficient heating and cooling equipment and windows, won't perform as intended. Building codes cite the minimal amount of insulation needed by law. In general, more insulation, or insulation with a higher R-value, will help to make the home more efficient and comfortable year round. The best practice for increasing the R-value in exterior walls is to protect them with insulated foam sheathing. Some builders use 1/2-inch wood sheathing (R-0.6) or asphalt impregnated sheathing, usually called blackboard (R-1.3) to sheath the walls. By using a 1/2-inch foam insulated sheathing (R-2 to R-3.5) in combination with wall cavity insulation, the total R-value of the exterior wall will be increased, contributing to greater energy efficiency. Sheathing thicker than 1/2 inch will yield even higher R-values. Another advantage of insulated foam sheathing is that, when properly installed, it provides moisture control. It protects against condensation on the inside wall by keeping the interior of the wall warmer. Insulated foam sheathing has these additional advantages: The continuous layer of insulation reduces thermal bridging through wood studs, saving energy and improving comfort. Thermal bridging occurs when there is a break in the continuity of the insulation layer, which results in heat loss.