Types of Insulation for Home Projects
When it comes to types of insulation for home projects, there are several types to choose from that range greatly in price. Each type of insulation has its own strengths and benefits, and there are some types of insulation that do have a few drawbacks as well.
Common types of insulation in homes include:
Batt Insulation is An Affordable Option
Batt insulation is the fluffy blanket type of insulation. It comes pre-cut in panels, meaning that the user has less cutting to do while working on their insulation project. This insulation types for a roof is traditionally made of fiberglass, or rock and slag wool. Manufacturers are now also offering this product in cotton mix varieties. This product is great for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time cutting, those on a budget, and those planning to tackle the project themselves.
While all this may seem great, batt insulation does have a few drawbacks. The drawbacks of batt insulation are that critters love the stuff, it doesn’t seal the way spray foam does, and it may need to be replaced if it gets wet. Batt insulation is cheap, but if you have to replace it because of infestation or mold, then money was wasted.
Roll Insulation Has Been Around for Generations
Remember the roll insulation that your parents and grandparents used to insulate their attic? This type of insulation is called roll insulation. It’s fluffy, it’s itchy, and it comes in long rolls. Users lay the batting out in their desired area, and then trim off the excess. If the insulation is not as thick as they want, they repeat the blanket layers until they do have that desired thickness. This product is usually made of the same fiberglass materials as batt insulations, they’re just in rolls instead of panels.
A perk of this type of product is that it is super easy to use and very affordable. Like batt insulation, this product is great for the homeowner that is tackling the home insulation project solo. Also like batt insulation, users may have to replace this product. Critters are famous for building nests in this type of insulation. Another negative is that if roll insulation gets wet it takes on the water. This makes the product heavy and can be a place for mold to grow.
Spray Foam Insulation is a Great Investment
Homeowners that want the biggest bang for their buck should consider spray foam insulation. Spray foam expands as it dries, meaning that any tiny cracks and gaps in the roof are sealed up as the spray hardens. While the foam looks heavy when it is dried, it’s very lightweight. On top of being light, the dried product is hard.
Critters don’t build nests in spray foam insulation the way they do in softer products. Rodents and insects that were getting into the home through attic cracks will no longer have a way in if the spray foam seals up their entryways. Another benefit of spray foam is that once the product is hard, it won’t take on water the way some other types of insulation in homes do. This means that this product will not grow mold. It can also last the lifetime of the home, meaning the insulation is a one-time investment, instead of something that may have to be replaced in the future if water or rodents get in.
While the perks of this type of insulation are huge, there one minor drawback in that the product should be installed by a professional. This type of product usually has to be mixed, and mixing it incorrectly can mean throwing away money. A professional will mix it the correct way, and wear protective masks to prevent injury or illness from any fumes that the mix produces. Don’t worry though, as after the product dries it no longer produces those fumes.
Consider R-Value When Choosing Your Insulation
While people may think all insulation is the same, it’s really not. Insulation comes with an R-value rating, which tells buyers how well the product insulates. The higher the R-value, the better a job the product does at keeping hot air in in the winter and cold are in in the summer.
Considerations on Hiring a Professional
While many people think that they can tackle this type of home project on their own, the real question is on if they should. Yes, a person can save money insulating their home and attic on their own, but in the end, it can end up costing much more money to DIY.
Professionals will not waste as much material as the novice homeowner will. Professionals who have done this type of installation before will know how much insulation to buy and will know how to install it properly. If the homeowner is having insulation put in to save on electric costs, they may throw away their money if they do it themselves and do it incorrectly. Installing insulation should be done in a certain manner; one cannot just throw it up there willy-nilly and expect it to properly insulate a home.
Certain insulation products can be skin irritants, eye irritants, or downright toxic. A professional will know the risks and understand how to protect themselves, their crew, and the homeowner during installation. A homeowner having to go to the emergency room due to a reaction to the project products is going to be in the hole thousands of extra dollars. Professionals will also guarantee their work and may offer a warranty on both labor and the product, which can save homeowners big bucks if there is a problem down the line.
In conclusion, there are several types of insulation available for home, attic, and roof insulation projects. Batting, roll, and spray foam are the three most popular in today’s home improvement market. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses, and an insulation professional can help homeowners decide which type is appropriate for their insulation project.