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May 2018

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Home Insulation Options And Their Qualities

Worker filling walls with insulation material in construction site

Insulation is necessary in homes and buildings. It aids in temperature regulation and gives the home a barrier. There are a few types of insulation that can be purchased, and they’re made of different materials and have their own properties. Here are some insulation options and their good and bad qualities.

One type of insulation that is often seen in new buildings is spray foam. Application of spray foam is pretty simple, with the foam being applied via spray holders aimed at a target. Often the spray is used to provide insulation to attics and new and existing walls. Putting the foam down can be a little bit messy, and in order to do it, specific respiratory equipment is needed to prevent the breathing of harsh chemicals. In comparison to other insulation types like fiberglass, spray foam can be more costly.

Fiberglass insulation is the most common insulation that is found in homes. This insulation is made of thin glass fibers that create a thick mass. The foam can be found in loose fill and batt or blanket varieties. The best thing about fiberglass insulation is the price, as it is one of the cheapest options on the market. Fiberglass is simple enough to install that practically anyone can do it without being skilled in construction. Fiberglass isn’t flammable and resist moisture damage. Fiberglass is susceptible to sagging as time passes and will need to be reinstalled. The tiny fiberglass particles can irritate the skin and lungs when it comes in contact with the body.

Mineral wool or rock wool insulation is an insulation type that isn’t too different from fiberglass. It is created when molten minerals are dragged and spun. Like fiberglass, it can also be easily installed in a loose fill format or by being blown into a specific location. Mineral wool can withstand temperatures as high as 1000 degrees Celsius. It also works well as a sound proofing form of insulation. Although this insulation has things in common with fiberglass, it doesn’t share its inexpensive price, as this insulation is more costly and not as common. Protective clothing and equipment must be used when installing this insulation to prevent the fibers from irritating the lungs and causing respiratory problems.

A more organic form of insulation on the market comes in the form of cellulose insulation. This insulation is created from paper that has been recycled, particularly cardboard and newspaper. This insulation can be found in loose fill varieties. The recycled paper has chemicals added to it that gives it the ability to resist heat and moisture while standing up to invading pests. The insulation can still get damage as time passes, which means that after a period of five years, it will need to be reinstalled. The cost of cellulose is more expensive than fiberglass and a vapor barrier is needed to prevent dust from the insulation.

Each insulation type can be useful, but their strengths and weaknesses must be considered when selecting them for use in a home.