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Know Thy InsulationJanuary 12th, 2012 by
This article was crafted with the help of Woodman Insulation.
When deciding what kind of insulation to put in your home, you need to consider the kind of material you will use.
Cellulose insulation is made out of paper and recycled plant materials. This is one of the greenest insulation options. Cellulose batt and blown-in insulation are common options for attics. Some cellulose insulations are embedded with borate, which repels bugs, and some are made with rodent deterrents—a handy feature in an attic, where pests like to nest.
Fiberglass insulation consists of glass fibers and plastic. According to Jeff Woodman of Woodman Insulation in Atlanta, Georgia, “Fiberglass isn’t that far behind cellulose insulation when it comes to being green, especially with advancements it’s made in recent years.”
Fiberglass batt is a common choice for insulating basements, but before you unroll, know that because of the damp environment, some insulation companies believe that only fiberglass without craft paper backing should be used for basement installations.
“The craft paper serves as a vapor barrier. If you’ve got moisture, the barrier will trap it, and moisture damage is one of the quickest ways to ruin your insulation,” Jeff advises.
Foam insulation is an expensive choice, but foam is one of the best options when it comes to energy savings. “If you’re planning to live in your home for two or three years, foam doesn’t offer you a good return on your investment.
But if you intend to live there for the long haul, we always suggest foam insulation, simply because it offers such substantial energy savings,” explains Jeff.
Keep in mind that the varying density of each product affects how much of it you will need.
To achieve an R-Value of R-30 with a cellulose product, you need about 8 inches of blown-in insulation, while to get the same results with fiberglass, you may need closer to 12 inches. After you’ve installed insulation, you should not need to do much follow-up, unless there’s a problem.
“If you have a roof leak, you’ll need to find the area where the moisture damaged the insulation. It will need to be removed and replaced. It’s not uncommon for rodents or animals to find their way into the attic and nest up there, and that can cause damage and smells.
House fires too—even if the fire didn’t burn all the way through, there may be water damage,” Jeff says. “But if insulation is left undisturbed, it doesn’t go bad.”
This article was crafted with the help of Woodman Insulation, an Atlanta expert in Insulation. While we strive to provide relevant information to all homeowners, some of the material we publish may not pertain to every area. Please contact your local Best Pick companies for any further area-specific advice.