Serving the greater Richmond area and Tidewater
Types of Insulation for Homes and Offices
Insulation can be made from a variety of different materials. Homeowners today have more options than ever before and can choose based on the type they prefer, the method of installation, whether they can handle it on their own, and more. Some of the types of insulation to consider include the following:
Foam Insulation – Foam insulation can be sprayed in place or bought in large pieces that can be cut and put into place. Some materials used in the foam insulation can be fire-resistant, helping to fire-proof the home, or can be made from non-toxic materials for a safer home. It tends to have higher R-values and also forms an air barrier which can reduce or eliminate some other necessities, such as applying caulk.
Blown-in Insulation – Blown-in insulation can be fiberglass, cellulose, or other type of insulation. It is blown into place using a large machine to ensure full coverage. This can be used in various parts of the home and is commonly used in larger spaces as it can fill the space quickly.
Fiberglass Insulation – Fiberglass is, as the name implies, made from tiny pieces of glass fibers. These fibers combined together in batting are easy to install in attics and other parts of the home, and they can add fire resistance on top of increasing the insulation available in the home. This is also called Blanket insulation and is the most commonly know type. It is placed between joists and rafters in ceilings, floors, and walls. This is usually the least expensive form of insulation. Care needs to be taken to install it properly, particularly around outlets, pipes, and wires to insure maximum effect.
Cellulose Insulation – Cellulose insulation is made from wood or paper and is typically blown into place. It’s perfect for attics and other large spaces, and it’s often easy to install. Once installed, it can provide more energy-efficiency to the home than other types of insulation.
Radiant-Barrier Insulation – Radiant-barrier is a type of sheathing that’s generally added during new construction, but it can be added to older homes as well. It is commonly used in attics as it can significantly reduce the temperatures in the attic, helping keep the space cooler.
Radiant heat travels away from any surface and heats up anything that absorbs the energy it produces. The suns heat is absorbed through the shingles or other roofing material into the attic. A radiant heat barrier serves to reduce the heat from the underside of the roof to other attic surfaces. This type of insulation is much more effective in hot climates.
Open-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam – This contains a small amount of petroleum based or plant based plastic. During application, VOCs and chemicals can be released which can have health implications so it is best to wait a couple days before entering rooms where this was done. Without the right equipment to install this, it is extremely difficult to do yourself. This is frequently called 5-pound foam.
Closed-Cell Polyurethane Spray Foam – Refered to as 2 pound foam, it requires significantly more material than its open-cell cousin. It can have environmental impact due to the blowing agents employed.
Polyisocyanurate SIPs – This has the highest R-value of all the insulations with a thickness below 2 inches. It usually has a foil face with is an excellent moisture barrier. It tends to be quite expensive.
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