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Your Guide To 3 Insulation Types

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Whether you're looking to build a new home or just looking to fix up your current one, you'll need to do some shopping so you can replace the house's insulation materials. The insulation needs replacing when it can no longer maintain a set temperature. A little more knowledge about the insulation materials available today will help you find the product ideally suited for the home. There are several different insulation materials available. This guide of three insulation materials provides an amply wide scope of your choices.

1. Fiberglass

  • Applications--Fiberglass is by far the most common material used for residential insulation, and is available in sheet form and also in loose form. You can buy sheeted insulation and install it yourself, but to get into tight or crowded spaces, you'll have to hire a contractor to apply the insulation in loose form.
  • Efficiency--Fiberglass is inexpensive and will hold up well to fire, fungus, pest, and moisture damage. It won't, however, do much to seal out air, much less dampen sound.

2. Site-Manufactured Foam

  • Applications--Site-manufactured foam, also known as foam-in-place insulation, comes in two forms; closed cell foam, and open cell foam. Closed cell foam is rigid and dense once it sets, and will retain its set form for many years. Open cell foam is much lighter, costs a bit less, and is much quicker to apply than closed cell foam. 
  • Efficiency--When applied correctly, closed cell foam is one of the best insulation materials for air leak protection. It is also highly water resistant, which makes it ideal for homes located in very humid climates. While it doesn't form as tight an air seal as the closed cell variant, open cell foam is much more effective at dampening the transfer of sound between walls and floors. As air leaks and moisture infiltration are the two biggest challenges for any insulation system, the closed cell foam's ability to mitigate these factors makes it one of the better insulation materials you can invest in.

3. Structural Insulated Panels

  • Applications--All structurally insulated panels are made of rigid polyurethane board surrounded by drywall and/or plywood. Each piece of material can be used to form walls, floors or ceilings, potentially speeding up the home's construction process greatly.
  • Efficiency--With the insulation occupying the walls, the need for extra space in the attic is eliminated, allowing for higher ceilings and more elaborate shapes without compromising energy efficiency.

This guide makes for a useful resource when looking for ways to reduce your energy costs. The better the material can form air-tight seals and prevent water infiltration, the lower your monthly energy bill will be. Talk with a local contractor, like Alaska Quality Insulators Inc, about the options in your area.


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