Types of Insulation Materials
Unlike before, there are now different kinds of insulation materials available on the cheap. Each individual kind of insulation has its high and low points. So what kind of insulation would work best for you? While ultimately it’s up to you, we can make your decision easier by telling you about some of the most popular choices for insulation materials.
Fiberglass is plentiful because it marries silicon and glass together to insulate your home. This method minimizes heat transfer, ensuring that your home won’t heat up as quickly, or retain much of the summer heat. Fiberglass is composed of silicon and glass powder, creating small shards of glass. The downside of this method is that when not handled with enough care, the glass shards can get into a person’s eyes, skin and throat, causing serious injury. Wearing safety equipment such as protective goggles and gloves can aid in installation without any problems.
If what you need is effective insulation and you’re on a shoestring budget, fiberglass is the way to go.
Mineral wool isn’t just one type of wool—It can be made up of three types: glass wool, rock wool and slag wool. Glass wool was once fiberglass that was manufactured using recycled glass. Rock wool is made from basalt, and slag wool is produced in steel mills. Mineral wool is purchased either as loose material or in sets called batts. Mineral wool doesn’t have any fire-resistant additives, so it’s not the best choice if you live in an area that tends to get fairly high heat temperatures. The good thing about it is that it isn’t combustible, and when used properly with fire-resistant insulation, the mineral wool can cheaply insulate large areas, which is why it’s mostly used in the United States.
One of the most eco-friendly types of insulation is called cellulose, created from completely recyclable materials such as cardboard and paper, and is purchased as loose material. And because cellulose is very tightly packed, there’s no space for any oxygen to get in the way. This means that it’s an excellent insulation method if you want to minimize fire damage. There’s no oxygen for the fire to feed off of, so it isn’t combustible.
Cellulose is one of the most fire-resistant, but for people who are susceptible to allergies because of the newspaper dust that accumulates, cellulose isn’t the most ideal. Furthermore, people who are skilled in installing this kind of insulation safely are harder to find than those who install regular fiberglass insulation. Still, if you can find a company that employs professionals that can install it correctly and you aren’t allergic to it, cellulose is definitely a great idea.
While not the most abundant of insulations, polyurethane foams are an excellent form of insulation. Nowadays, polyurethane foams use non-chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gas for use as a blowing agent. This helps to decrease the amount of damage to the ozone layer. Another advantage of this type of insulation is that it is fire resistant.
If you need insulation that not only keeps your house comfortable, but has excellent sound dampening and is waterproof as well, there’s polystyrene. It’s a type of insulation that has a smooth surface, a trait unique to itself.
Other insulation materials not mentioned are natural fibers such as hemp, sheep’s wool, cotton, and straw.
There are many forms of insulation available, each with its own set of properties. Only by researching each kind thoroughly can you discover which will be the right kind for your particular needs.
As a quick overview:
- Aerogel is top-tier insulation, though it's expensive.
- Fiberglass isn't painful for your pocket, but extreme care must be taken to install it properly.
- Mineral wool isn't a good idea if you live in an area that gets hot very quickly.
- Cellulose is fire resistant, eco-friendly, and effective, but hard to apply. Cellulose is fire-resistant, made from recycled materials, but is not recommended if you're allergic to the newspaper dust.
- Polyurethane is an all-around good insulation product, though not particularly eco-friendly.
- Polystyrene is a diverse insulation material, but its safety is debated.
When in doubt, we at Paradise Home Improvement would be happy to assist you! We’re dedicated to giving you the most comfort for the best price.
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If you'd like the very best service in helping you with insulation installation, look no further! Choose Paradise Home Improvement, where we give firm quotes, not estimates. Every charge is submitted in writing and approved before any job begins, so you know that there are no add-ons or hidden charges afterwards.
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