Whether as with new construction or home remodeling, insulation is a must for a variety of reasons, mainly as an energy saver. So many questions arise for the home owner, and the most common pertains to the R-value. Is attic insulation needed? Is spray foam insulation better than the old fiberglass type? Where do I need to insulate? We are a “go green” family, so is there an environmentally safe insulation product. You can find answers to these questions with a little research and making a visit to a large, home supply retailer or a dealer in home insulation products. Also check your local office handling building codes in your area.
There are a variety of home insulation products ranging from the fiberglass batts, spray foam, foam, foil backed among others. The best way to start is to learn about the various types, and how they are to be used. Sprayed polyurethane spray foam has been used since the 60’s. It has a high R-value, provides and air barrier against drafts, and a moisture barrier with its waterproof sealants. This type of insulation is perfect for filling a cavity wall, hard to reach places, and aids in environmental conservation. Although this is an expensive product, it is non-toxic, and more than likely will meet you local building regulations in regards to ventilation. Regardless of whether you purchase this product in a do-it-yourself kit, saving money, or have a contractor do the job, have a fire test performed to see how resistant it is to igniting and burning. Check local building codes for fire safety ratings.
Rigid foam insulation is great for concrete wall as well as interior walls. For the basement, you will need furring strips to nail it to. Drywall is to be placed over top of it. The value of this type of insulation is, that is comes in stiff sheets that do no sag or settle. This product also has a high R-value making it energy-efficient. However, it is advisable to check the local building codes in regards to fire safety regulations before using this product.
The same type of home insulation products does not serve as proper insulation for the entire home. While protecting against drafts to save energy; fire safety, moisture protection, stability, and using each product correctly is important. There may be several types of insulation to use in the attic. Foam, spray foam, foil backed insulation all have a specific purpose. Doors, stairs, including attic stairs, window areas need to be insulated properly while meeting codes for ventilation. When doing attic insulation, the roof should be inspected, repaired before any insulation is applied. The type of insulation around electrical outlets is important due to fire hazards. Effectiveness, R-Values and safety should be the primary concerns over cost. A cheap insulation method very well may not serve its purpose efficiently, and the same goes with the expensive because expensive does not always mean better.
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