At the face of ever-increasing energy costs, wall insulation is now a very important part of buildings worked or lived in by humans. High-quality wall insulation enhances the comfort within a home, reduces its environmental footprint, and finally increases its selling value. While fiberglass batts stay the most commonly used kind of wall insulation, it pays to consider additional insulating materials too.
Comparing Insulation Materials
The primary measurement for comparing the efficacy of different insulating materials begins with the R-value — a standardized measurement of a substance’s resistance to heat transfer or loss. The greater the R-value score, the better the insulating material performs. But other differences exist between insulating materials besides their R-values. Some insulation include air-polluting chemicals, while others offer greener options and emission-free certification. Particular insulation materials also do double duty by lowering the transfer of outside sound, or by decreasing drafty air leaks.
Debate and Denim
Fiberglass batt and roll insulation, one of the simplest kinds of insulation that do-it-yourselfers can install, typically requires an installer outfitted with a long-sleeve shirt, gloves, safety glasses and a cotton face mask. Denim cotton insulation provides the same thermal protection as fiberglass — as much as R-3.7 per inch of depth — however it is safe to touch barehanded and poses no danger from inhaled stray particles. Better yet, denim’s acoustical performance speeds 30 percent greater than fiberglass. Both denim and fiberglass offer opposition against mold and a Class-A fire rating.
Shredded Newspaper as Insulation
If you live in an older home in which the walls lack insulating material, loose-fill cellulose insulation often provides the simplest approach to insulating the building envelope. Cellulose insulation — recycled and shredded newspaper — undergoes a treatment with borate to leave it mold- and also fire-resistant. Fantastic excellent cellulose insulation approximates an R-value of 3.5 per inch of depth; it also represents a good option for new home construction and room improvements since it also can help block drafty air leaks. Well-suited for older homes, cellulose insulation doesn’t demand the elimination of existing inside walls — contractors operate a device that blows the insulation into place via temporary holes drilled in the upper portion of the empty wall cavity.
If you always experience family drafts and dislike the idea of letting your precious energy dollars leak out into the area, closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation solves your problems while also insulating your walls in a speed of R-6.0 per inch of depth. As its title suggests, operators spray the item into the wall cavity through structure as a two-component foam that expands to fill in all the nooks and crannies of the available space. Do-it-yourselfers can utilize a single-component spray for a quick and straightforward setup.