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Finding The Best Fit For Your Home

Choosing the best Perth Insulation for your home depends on many factors. These include the climate and location of your home, as well as your budget and whether you are building a new house or retrofitting an existing one.

insulation

There are several types of insulation available: batts, blown-in insulation, and rigid foams. Each has its pros and cons.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is the most popular insulation on the market, and it’s an affordable option. It’s available in blanket form (called batts), which can be easily cut to fit into spaces like wall cavities and between floor joists, or in sheets, which can be installed over existing drywall and other materials. Depending on the R-value needed, fiberglass can reach thicknesses of up to R30 for walls and R60 for attics.

Before fiberglass became a popular insulation material, the go-to options were mud, horsehair, straw, and wool. These were highly combustible, but when fiberglass was invented in the 1930s, it quickly became the insulation of choice. It is non-conductive and is easy to install, making it an ideal DIY insulation project.

In addition to being an inexpensive choice, fiberglass insulation is also one of the most energy-efficient types of home insulation. It effectively blocks heat flow, lowering heating and cooling bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

However, homeowners must be aware of installation issues that can reduce fiberglass’s effectiveness. Several important factors must be taken into account when installing insulation, including the proper measurement of your home and the use of proper tools and safety measures. Choosing the right contractor can help you avoid these installation issues and get the most value from your home improvement investment.

When installing fiberglass, it’s important to follow the guidelines outlined in a three-part guide on all things insulation. This includes double-checking your measurements before cutting, ensuring the right R-value is chosen for your specific needs, and using a dust mask, long sleeves, and gloves to minimize contact with airborne fiberglass particles. It’s crucial to seal gaps and cracks in the building envelope before adding insulation to maximize efficiency.

Fiberglass insulation is the best choice for your attic, as it’s easier to install in open attics than cellulose or foam board insulation. However, blown-in fiberglass may also be the best choice for other trouble areas, such as poorly insulated walls. However, it’s important to note that fiberglass only blocks the flow of heat, and doesn’t block air movement.

Cellulose

A sustainable option, cellulose is made from up to 85% recycled paper (mostly old newspapers) that is treated with non-toxic fire retardants. It’s blown as loose-fill insulation in attic cavities and dense packed into walls and floors of existing homes or sprayed wet for new construction. It has a high R-value and provides superior thermal resistance to keep homes warm while saving energy. Cellulose is also hygroscopic and can manage moisture in the building envelope by wicking it from areas of higher concentration to less-concentrated areas, preventing mold growth and other damage.

It’s also treated to repel pests, although it doesn’t repel rodents as well as fiberglass insulation. This makes it an ideal choice for older homes that may already have a rodent infestation or for those who are concerned about the potential health hazards of rat urine and droppings in the home. It has good soundproofing properties, too, reducing the transmission of noise from room to room.

While it does have some great advantages, cellulose is not without its drawbacks. It’s naturally flammable, and while it’s treated with chemicals to reduce the risk of fire, it still poses a more significant fire risk than fiberglass. It also tends to settle after installation, reducing its R-value and making it less effective. It’s also prone to mold, especially if the boric acid used to treat it becomes corrosive in water.

In addition, cellulose is not as effective as fiberglass in cold conditions, which can make it a bad fit for some climates. However, its low cost and high performance make it a popular choice for many homeowners.

If you’re looking for a feel-good insulation option that offers the highest R-value, is environmentally friendly and affordable, and helps control noise transmission in your home, cellulose is the right choice for you. You’ll want to have a professional install it, though, as improper installation can lead to gaps and voids that decrease its effectiveness and R-value by up to half. Make sure you have a reputable insulation company follows a coverage chart to ensure your attic or wall insulation has the correct R-value for your home’s needs.

Foam

Foam insulation is an insulator that consists of low-density polyurethane. It provides better insulating qualities than traditional fiberglass batt insulation due to its ability to block radiant, convective, and conductive heat flow, as well as seal air leaks, reduce outside sound, and protect against moisture.

Foamed-in-place foam insulation is typically sprayed or blown into place in walls, attics, and crawl spaces. It can be installed in new construction and retrofit applications. It’s available in two forms: open-cell and closed-cell. Open-cell foam is comprised of tiny bubbles that aren’t completely encapsulated, so it’s softer and more flexible than closed-cell foam. Closed-cell foam is more rigid and has a higher R-value per inch than other types of insulation, but it’s also heavier and denser.

While spray foam is the most commonly used type of insulation, several other types of foam insulation can be applied to the walls, ceilings, and floors of a home. Window and door foam works best for filling large gaps or cracks up to an inch wide, while multipurpose foam helps to insulate and seal a variety of different gaps and cracks around the house.

Foam insulation can be injected into the walls and roof of new home construction or retrofit projects, as well as poured directly onto floors. It can also be added to the cellulose or fiberglass insulation in an attic to help boost the R-value and provide more resistance against moisture and pests.

Most foam insulation products and installations cost more than fiberglass or cellulose, but they provide superior R-values and form an air barrier that eliminates the need for other weatherization tasks such as caulking, applying house wrap and vapor barriers, taping joints and sealing gaps and seams with foam tape or mastic. Additionally, foam insulation can reduce the amount of time and number of specialized contractors needed during new home construction.

Before selecting an insulation material, it’s important to consider if the project will be above- or below grade. Above-grade projects include all areas in the upper portion of your home, such as the attic and the roof. Below-grade includes any area in your home that is buried underground floor level, such as the basement or crawl space.

Mineral Wool

This type of insulation is made from blown rock strands that are combined with recycled binders to create a solid and dense product. Some brands of mineral wool also use natural minerals like basalt, diabase, and dolomite, or slag — a byproduct of the production of molten metal. Other raw materials for mineral wool insulation can include reclaimed or reprocessed construction waste, such as glass and steel scrap. In addition to its thermal efficiency, mineral wool is highly acoustical and offers excellent fire protection.

As a general rule, this type of insulation is less expensive than fiberglass. However, it can be difficult to find compared to fiberglass options that are often in stock at hardware stores. Fortunately, insulation companies can help locate and order tailored options for clients.

Mineral wool also carries a higher R-value than fiberglass, offering between R-13 and R-15 per inch of thickness. As such, it can be an excellent option for homes in colder climates, or for those looking to maximize energy efficiency. It also has superior acoustic properties, making it a good choice for multifamily dwellings or homes located near highways or other noisy areas.

One of the downsides to mineral wool is the presence of formaldehyde in its binders, which some green builders dislike. However, the industry is moving away from using formaldehyde in these products as manufacturers switch to alternate binders.

Those interested in green building should consider that mineral wool is typically produced at lower embodied energy than fiberglass since it is made from heated and naturally occurring minerals. Additionally, when compared to fiberglass, this type of insulation has a high recycled content and does not require any petrochemicals.

Despite its acoustical and thermal qualities, fiberglass is generally considered the more popular type of insulation in the country. This is due to its availability, ease of installation, and low cost. While these factors are important to keep in mind, it is also important for homeowners to explore all their options when choosing an insulation type that will best suit their needs.