Insulation can be compared to lineman in a game of football or the A/C; it’s only noticed when it’s not properly working. The goal of our blog is to arm you with correct and sufficient knowledge so the next time you decide to insulate your home, you do it properly. Insulation comes in many different shapes, forms, sizes, and textures; knowing which type of insulation is appropriate for your project is crucial.
Before we continue with the blog, we would like to stress the importance using PPE. Insulation is a wonderful invention in terms of home building, but that does not mean it’s completely safe for humans. Total Restore recommends everyone use a minimum of safety glasses, gloves, long sleeves/pants, and a respirator to avoid breathing airborne fiberglass particles. Additionally, we recommend washing your hands after handling insulation, especially before touching your eyes/skin.
It’s not uncommon for you to have never seen blown-in insulation; it’s commonly found in attics (where it works best). This type of insulation is placed in a large machine which feeds the insulation through a long tube, eventually blowing it out wherever the user desires. The reason blown-in insulation is commonly used in attics because its best when blown in odd shapes, places, and cavities.
With or without facing, this type of insulation comes in fluffy sheets of rolled up fiberglass. Roll insulation must be measured and cut to fit flat surfaces, making it best for long, unobstructed spaces. Since it doesn’t come in predetermined lengths, roll insulation is also great when trying to fill in missing spaces. It’s main application is between living spaces and unconditioned areas.
Batt insulation and roll insulation are basically the same exact thing but with one little difference. With or without facing, batt insulation comes in pre-determined, pre-cut lengths. This little difference is the reason why you’ll most likely find batt insulation between walls in your living spaces (most ceilings across the U.S. are at a standard height, and most drywall framers place their studs 16 inches apart). Like roll insulation, its main application is between living spaces and unconditioned areas.
Spray Foam Insulation
Unanimously voted by all Total Restore associates as the most fun and aesthetically pleasing job duty, spray foam typically comes in a pressurized container. For best results, use it together with batt or roll insulation to ensure a tighter, fuller seal. Once applied, spray foam expands as it cures and hardens; its engineered this way so it can access places where traditional insulation might have a hard time reaching.
Designed for moisture control, foam insulation comes in pre-determined sheets of expanded or extruded polystyrene. You’ll typically find foam insulation in basements and crawlspaces since these places typically suffer damage from moisture. Acting as a partial vapor barrier, foam insulation can be combined with spray foam for better results.
Insulation doesn’t exist for just your walls, basements, attics, and crawl spaces. Other items like hot water pipes, water heaters, and ducts use insulation for energy efficiency.
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