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Alternatives to Traditional Insulation: What are My Options?By admin
Thursday, 8 November 2018
Some 20 or 30 years ago, fiberglass insulation was considered the gold standard. Whenever you wanted to install insulation, refurbish the home, or do a renovation project, fiberglass was the first option.
If you ever had a chance to touch fiberglass, you know that the pink cotton candy looking insulation will turn your hands red and itchy.
Made from tiny and thin strands of glass woven together, fiberglass is slowly becoming a dinosaur in the world of insulation.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the disadvantages of fiberglass, and alternatives to traditional insulation…
Disadvantages of Fiberglass
First and foremost, fiberglass has a coverage problem. The batts are available in strict measurements of 16 x 24 inches. The problem is some constructions have odd-shaped nooks, and many other anomalies that make fiberglass impossible to fit.
Put simply, they cannot accommodate the batts and standard size of fiberglass. Another coverage problem facing interior walls is that they usually have electrical outlet boxes and similar obstructions.
Creating a gap in the fiberglass batts, in order to accommodate the obstructions, will result in loss and flow of heat energy. The overall resistance of your walls will go down, resulting in a lower R-value.
Another problem for fiberglass is air exchange. Fiberglass cannot provide air-tight sealing, which means there will be leaks of air in the ceiling, attic, and walls. Air passes through fiberglass, unless you seal all the air leaks with another layer of insulation.
Fiberglass is also vulnerable to moisture. Wet fiberglass loses its R-value and offers almost no insulating properties. This is until the fiberglass dries out.
Moisture will contaminate the insulation in your house, and usually result in mould problems. You go from moisture to mould very quickly, and before you know it, you need alternatives to traditional insulation.
Arguably the biggest problem with fiberglass is the low R-value of the material. The simple maths is that higher R-value offers better insulation properties. In other words, insulating your home with low R-value materials means wasting money.
There will be some air leaks, just not as many as with fiberglass. Cellulose also has a higher R-value, making it will save more energy and reduce your electricity bills
What About Cellulose Insulation?
Cellulose is one of the best organic traditional insulation sources. Because of its fire-retardant properties, cellulose is also a repellent for home pests. It is much more environmentally friendly than fiberglass. Some would even say it is the most sustainable form of insulation around.
The insulation is made up of shredded newspapers and plant fibers that are later milled into tiny milling waste. The process continues with boric acid, making cellulose flame retardant. Cellulose is sprayed into the walls and roof cavities.
Some of the advantages are that cellulose can fit into tight corners, around poles, around pipes, and other hard to reach places. This results in fewer air pockets.
Still, there will be some air leaks, just not as many as with fiberglass. Cellulose also has a higher R-value, making it will save more energy and reduce your electricity bills.
Cellulose also doubles as sound insulation, reducing the noise that passes through rooms and from outside.
In addition to providing both a heat and air barrier, spray foam also provides an excellent noise barrier for your home. Forget all those troubling and irritating noises coming in from outside and disrupting your well-deserved peace and quiet. With spray foam, such noise niggles are a thing of the past!
Mineral Wool Insulation
People often mistake mineral wool for fiberglass insulation. But there are many differences. For starters, mineral wool has a R-value of 3 to 3.3 per inch, which is much more than fiberglass.
Another difference is sustainability, or, being eco-friendly. Mineral wool is composed of 70% of recycled content, while fiberglass is composed of only 20 to 30% of recycled content. Because it is much more dense, and has a far better R-value, mineral wool is slightly more expensive.
Speaking of density, mineral wool is almost two times denser than fiberglass. Mineral wool insulation is also hydrophobic, which means it is resistant to moisture and water. It does not absorb moisture, so there will be no mould, fungi, corrosion, and other associated problems.
Thanks to technological advancements, spray foam can produce the highest R-value among alternatives to traditional insulation for the internal wall. There are two types of spray foam insulation, open and closed cell
Structural Insulated panels (SIP)
Adopted into the International Residential Code on May 22, 2007, structural insulated panels consist of a foamboard core, sheathed on one or both sides with plywood or gypsum board.
Panels can range in size, but usually come in 4×8 foot sized boards. Their structural strength reduces the need for structural lumber. SIPs also minimise air leaks, and errors that are common with stud frame construction.
Some of the benefits include higher R-value, higher strength-to-weight ratio, energy savings between 12 and 14 percent, a faster construction method, reduced amount of waste and labour, flat surface finish, no need to look for studs to place fasteners, can be used against insects, and many more.
With so many alternatives to traditional insulation, SIPs are definitely worth a look.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation has become one of the most popular insulation options for internal walls in the past 10 to 15 years. Developed 30 years ago, spray foam has come on a long way since then.
Thanks to technological advancements, spray foam can produce the highest R-value among alternatives to traditional insulation for the internal wall. There are two types of spray foam insulation, open and closed cell.
While it is more expensive than other insulation products on the market, spray foam offers insulation properties that are second to none. Thanks to its expansive nature, spray foam can fill all cavities, resulting in a superior, air-tight seal.
In addition to providing both a heat and air barrier, spray foam also provides an excellent noise barrier for your home. Forget all those troubling and irritating noises coming in from outside and disrupting your well-deserved peace and quiet. With spray foam, such noise niggles are a thing of the past.
Based on the latest nanotechnology, wall coating insulation creates a breathable masonry, all while protecting your home against rain, dirt, pollution, algae, oil, and other problems!
Are Wall Coatings Just As Effective?
If you want to insulate your exterior walls, wall coating insulation is one of the best alternatives to traditional insulation. Now, while traditional insulation is designed for interior walls, wall coating is for the exterior walls of a home.
Tests have shown that exterior insulation has much better properties. And unlike insulation for internal walls, it does not take up space in your rooms.
The insulation we propose is tested, and the test showed it can reduce water absorption by more than 95%. That means little to no water will penetrate through the brickwork, to your internal walls inside.
Designed to insulate any porous building material, the insulation chemically bonds to the surface, and then penetrates up to 17mm deep. At that point, the insulation creates an invisible insulation barrier that will keep moisture away from your home.
Based on the latest nanotechnology, wall coating insulation creates a breathable masonry, all while protecting your home against rain, dirt, pollution, algae, oil, and other problems.
Before applying the wall coating insulation, the team of professional and certified contractors will clean the outside of your walls, re-render if necessary, and then apply the coating. Sorted!
Ready to take your insulation efforts to the next level? Talk to our team today by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!
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