Rockville Insulation Contractors
types of INSULATIONs on the market
Choosing the right type of insulation for your home can be daunting due to the number of options in term of types and forms available on the market. Even within each type and form, the R-value ratings can vary widely. The following are the common types of insulation.
Blanket: Insulation in the form of batts and rolls
Most blanket insulation is available as batts or rolls in the home improvement store. Fiberglass is the most common material for making it. Mineral (rock and slag) wool, plastic fibers, and natural fibers like cotton and sheep's wool are also used to make batts and rolls.
Fiberglass, plastic filaments, or natural fibers such as cotton or wool are woven into thick sheets by suppliers. In order to protect against moisture or act as a vapor and/or air barrier, manufacturers often attach a facing (such as kraft paper, foil-kraft paper, or vinyl). A facing also aids in installation by making handling and fastening easier. Flame retardant backing should be used when putting insulation in unfinished areas like a basement or attic.
Cheap blankets made of fiberglass are easy to find, simple to install, and inexpensive. They can be used in incomplete floors, attic insulation, and ceilings in a variety of widths.
A drawback for the blanket insulation is the amount of space each layer of insulation occupies. Also because of their low R-value, one may need to use a large amount, reducing the amount of usable space in your home.
Concrete Blocks Insulation
You can insulate concrete blocks in various ways when building a house or building a foundation or wall. Insulation can be used to fill the cores instead of steel or concrete for structural reasons, which raises the average R-value of a wall. To date, research shows that no matter how the core filling is implemented, it will not result in significant fuel savings due to the fact that heat can easily pass through the walls' solid portions.
Installing insulation over the block's surface on the foundation's exterior or interior walls is preferable. When external insulation is used, the blocks' thermal mass is kept within the conditioned space, which helps keeping things more comfortable indoors.
Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) and autoclaved cellular concrete are concrete block insulation type now available in the United States as precast solid masonry units (ACC). Since the late 1940s, this material, which is about 80% air by volume, has been widely used in Europe. Conventional concrete has a thermal conductivity of about 10 times that of autoclaved concrete. As a result of their size and weight, the blocks are simple to work with. Because of the material's high absorption rate, it must be kept dry at all times.
Concrete and wood chip hollow-core units are other variations that are also available. Dry-stacking is used to stack the units and fill the cores with concrete and structural steel before they are installed. This type of unit has the potential to have issues due to the wood being exposed to moisture and insects.
Insulating concrete blocks are commonly used in new home construction or major renovations to create solid walls. Existing homes with block walls can have their interiors insulated.
Rigid foam or foam board
When it comes to insulating your home, rigid foam panels can be used to insulate almost any part of it, from the roof to the foundation. They're great for exterior wall sheathing, basement wall sheathing, and other unique uses like attic hatches. This material has a high (R-value) thermal resistance (up to two times that of most other insulating materials of the same thickness) and reduces heat transfer through structural elements such as wood and steel studs. However, Foam board is more expensive than fiberglass and it is hard to fit in odd-shaped areas or existing walls, which make it better for new constructions. Polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane are the most commonly used materials in foam board production.
Concrete Form Insulation
Wall assemblies often include Insulating Concrete Form (ICF), which serve as the structural form for poured concrete walls. With this system, you can build walls that are extremely thermally resistant, with an R-value around 20. Despite the fact that ICF houses are made of concrete, they have the appearance of being stick-built.
Foam boards or hollow-core insulation blocks interlock to form an ICF system. Using plastic ties, foam boards are attached to one another. Before the concrete is poured, steel rods can be used for reinforcement along with the foam boards. Steel rods are frequently used inside the hollow cores of foam block walls in order to reinforce them.
Because of the foam webbing around the concrete cores, insects and groundwater have easy access. Insecticide-treated foam blocks and waterproofing methods are two solutions offered by supplier to address these issues. An experienced professional is required to install an ICF systems.
Loose-fill and blown-in Insulation
Loose-fill insulation is composed of material particles which include foam and small fiber. A material made of these tiny particles acts as an insulator and can fit into any area without damaging the structure. Because of its adaptability, loose-fill insulation is often used for renovations and places where other types of insulation would be hard to install such as for attic or existing walls.
When it comes to loose-fill insulation, cellulose, mineral wool in the form of rock or slag, and fiberglass are the common types of material it is made of. All of these products are made from repurposed waste. Recycled newsprint is the primary raw material for cellulose. Recycled glass makes up 40-60% of the content in most fiberglass products. In most cases, mineral wool insulation is composed of 75% recycling from post-industrial.
Polystyrene beads and perlite are uncommon fill materials for loose-fill applications. It is possible to use loose-fill insulation in both enclosed and unenclosed spaces, such as attics. Experienced installers who know how to get the right density and R-values with blown-in cellulose, fiberglass, and rock wool must handle the job.
It is mandatory for manufacturers of loose-fill insulation to determine the R-value of their product at settled density and create coverage charts showing the minimum settled thickness, minimum weight per square foot, and coverage area per bag for different total R-values. For this reason, installing more loose-fill insulation will result in higher settled densities because the insulation will be compressed under its own weight.
So, the R-value doesn't always change in proportion to the width of loose-fill insulation. It is specified in the insulation coverage charts provided by manufacturers how many insulation bags they recommend using per square foot of insulation coverage; how much coverage one bag can provide; how much insulation one bag should weigh for every square foot; and how much initial and settled insulation width is required to achieve a given R-value, among other things.
Reflective Insulation and Radiant Barriers
Radiant barriers and reflective insulation work by reflecting radiant heat, as opposed to the majority of common insulation systems, which resist the flow of conductive and convective heat.
Radiant barriers are commonly found in attics and are used to keep homes cooler in the summer and save money on air conditioning. As a result of the term "reflective insulation," it includes reflective surfaces like aluminum foils in insulation systems that may also include thermal insulation materials and a variety of backings like kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, or cardboard.
A direct line of radiant heat travels away from a surface, heating anything solid that takes in the energy. As the sun warms a roof, the radiant energy from the sun is primarily responsible for the roof's warmth. The attic receives a significant amount of this heat via conduction from the roofing materials. Heat energy is radiated from the hot roofing material to the cooler attic surfaces, such as the air ducts and the attic floor, through convection. It reduces the amount of the heat that is radiated from the roof’s underside. This needs a lot of open space to be effective.
Hot climates benefit most from radiant barriers because cooling air ducts can be located in the attic, where they are more efficient. Radiant barriers, according to some research, can reduce cooling costs by 5 to 10 percent in a warm, sunny climate. Because of the reduced heat gain, it's possible to use a less powerful air conditioner. Thermal insulation though is usually more cost-effective in colder climates.
Insulation made of rigid fiberboard
Foam board insulation, also known as rigid fiber or fibrous insulation, is used to insulate air ducts in homes. It is typically made of fiberglass or mineral wool. It's also employed when a high-temperature insulator is required.
Insulation made of sprayed foam and foamed in place
This type of insulation is applied with spray holders. Containers dispense foam, which is sprayed around the house. It works well in already finished spaces, as well as in oddly shaped spaces and around obstacles. This type of installation works best in finished attics, unfinished floors in the attic, existing walls that have been enclosed, and new wall spaces. It is possible to apply a large amount of foam by using spray holders rather than the foamed-in-place method.
This type of insulation, on the other hand, is much more expensive than fiberglass insulation. Hiring of a professional with foam installation experience is always recommended because even distribution is critical, and a chemical content needs a careful handling.
Spraying, foaming-in-place, injecting, or pouring liquid foam insulation materials are all options. It is possible to insulate and reduce air leakage by blowing foam insulation into walls, attics, or under floors. Traditional batt insulation can achieve better insulation values for the same thickness when installed, but some newer methods are able to fill even small gaps and create effective air barriers. To reduce air leakage in holes and cracks, such as window and door frames and electrical and plumbing gaps, small pressurized cans of foam-in-place insulation can be used.
Foam Insulation Types
Liquid foam type of insulation is prayed into walls, or in places that need insulation. It provide a sealing by filling every crevice. This makes it one of the best and effective types of insulation.
Foam-in-place insulation comes in two varieties: closed-cell and open-celled. Polyurethane is commonly used to make both of these materials. Closing the high-density cells in closed-cell foam allows the foam to expand to fill the surrounding space. There is less density in open-cell foam cells because they are filled with air. This results in a more spongy insulation.
In comparison to open-cell foam, closed-cell foam has a higher R-value, but it's also denser and more expensive. Open-cell foam is less expensive and lighter than closed-cell foam.
Foam insulation alternatives include the following:
• Polyisocyanurate or polyis
Icynene foam and tripolymer foam are two uncommon types of polyurethane foam to find. Icynene foam is the most adaptable because it can be sprayed or injected. Air and water have a hard time getting in. Wall cavities are filled with water-soluble tripolymer foam. It is highly fire and air intrusion resistant.
Using a chemical agent and a small spray container, fluid foam insulation can be utilized. However, large amounts can be pressure sprayed (foamed-in-place). With time, the combination helps to cure, both types expand and harden into their final forms. They fill and seal the cavity completely while also conforming to its shape.
There are also liquid foams that take a long time to dry. Existing buildings often use these foams to fill empty wall cavities because of their ability to flow over obstacles before expanding and curing. Liquid foam materials are also available in a canister that can then be poured.
Most liquid foam insulation installations necessitate specialized equipment and certification, and should only be performed by a trained professional who are familiar with the product. All foam materials must be covered after installation with an approved thermal barrier that has a fire resistance of half an inch of gypsum board. As a result, sprayed foam insulation may need to be installed with an additional vapor retarder in accordance with some building codes.
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Foam insulation is generally more expensive, both in terms of the materials and the labor involved in installing them. Though it is more expensive, foam insulation has a higher R-value than other kinds of insulation and forms an air barrier, making it an excellent choice for weatherizing a home, because it eliminates the need for regularly applying seal to cracks, vapor barrier, and taping joints. This type of insulation can help save money by speeding up construction and reducing the number of specialized contractors needed when building a new home.
Structural Insulated Panels
It is possible to build roofs, ceilings, walls, and floors with SIPs, which are prefabricated insulated structural panels. Compared to more traditional construction methods, they provide superior and uniform insulation, saving between 12 and 14 percent in energy. SIPs, when properly installed, create an airtight home that is more energy efficient, quieter, and more comfortable for its occupants.
Compared to their weight (weight to strength), SIPs are extremely strong adding to their R-values that are also elevated. Other structural facing material is sandwiched between two sheets of 4 to about 8 inch thick foam board insulation in a SIP. Outside façade and inner sheathing materials can usually be customized by manufacturers to meet specific customer needs. Afterward, the sheathing and core are then bonded together by pressing or vacuuming the panel. The facing is glued to the foam core first.
SIPs are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. A crane is needed to erect some of the larger panels made by some manufacturers, which are as large as 8 by 24 feet.
The long life and performance of a product are directly related to the quality of the SIP manufacturing process. To prevent delamination, the panels must be properly glued, pressed, and cured. As well as smooth surfaces and square edges, panels must be connected at the job site without gaps. Inquire about the quality control and testing procedures used by the manufacturers before making a purchase of SIPs, and compare and read warranties thoroughly before purchasing. Polystyrene or polyisocyanurate foam is commonly used as an insulating material in SIPs, but other options are available.
In a manufacturing facility, SIPs are created and delivered to job sites. Then, home builders put them all together to make a structure. For a skilled builder, a SIPs home can be constructed much faster than a conventional house, saving both time and money while maintaining high quality. SIPs are more expensive on average, but these savings can help offset that.
In addition to "panelized housing kits," many SIP suppliers also offer other products. The contractor only needs to put the pre-cut pieces together, and any extra door or window gaps can be trim with common construction tools on the job site.
Particularly Troublesome Areas
Because of this, it's important to use fire-rated materials such as gypsum board to cover the interior of the SIP. This protects the foam from being consumed by the flames, giving those trapped inside time to flee.
Rodents and other pests are a possibility of potential issues as well. For example, some manufacturers also released guidance to avoid insect and rodent tunneling through SIPs, including:
There are also insulation panels that have been treated with boric acid. These panels are effective at keeping insects away, but they are not safe to use around people and pets.
For reasons of health, safety, and effectiveness, a well-built SIP structure may necessitate the use of controlled fresh-air ventilation. This is required by many building codes. The energy-saving benefits of a SIP structure can't be realized without an air - conditioning system that's well-designed, installed and properly operated.
Foils and rigid foam boards are two common types of insulation materials, but there are a wide range of other options.
Types of Insulation Materials:
Fibers that come from nature
This is by far the most popular option when it comes to insulation. Unfinished walls, including foundation walls, floors, and ceilings are all possible application areas. Loose fill form or batts shape are available, depending on preference. What is great about this approach to home insulation is that it's low-cost and easy to use. Aside from that, fiberglass insulation shields house from moisture. This is a great option for protecting your home from fire. Homeowners prefer to use this material for home insulation because of all the benefits.
Insulation made of fiberglass is commonly used to keep out heat and cold. As long as there aren't any obstructions between the studs and joists, this method will work.
Caution is required when installing this type of insulation because it could be harmful and a professional may be required. To prevent moisture from getting in, a vapor barrier is needed over the top of the fabric. Fiberglass will sag over time and will need to be replaced on a regular basis.
Fiberglass is a common form of insulation because of its fine glass fibers. Blanket (batts and rolls), loose-fill, rigid boards, as well as duct insulation are all common uses of this material.
Medium fiberglass and high-density types of fiberglass batt insulation products are now available with relatively higher R-values than standard batts. Denser insulation is used in areas like cathedral ceilings where there is a limited amount of cavity space.
Molten glass is blown into fibers to form fiberglass insulation. Open-blow applications (such as attic spaces) require Fiberglass insulation. This requires an insulation-blowing machine to apply the loose-fill insulation.
The Blow-In-Blanket System® (BIBS) is a variation of loose-fill insulation fiberglass. Due to the obvious effective coverage obtained by using BIBS, studies have found that better filled wall result is obtained using this insulation system than using other types of fiberglass insulation.
Mineral Wool Insulation Material
When people talk about "mineral wool," they usually mean one of two things:
It is widely available as loose-fill and blanket batts and rolls insulation.
Polystyrene Foam Insulation
In general, cellulose insulation contains between 82 and 85 percent recycled material. Paper recycled is used in Cellulose insulation products, mostly newsprint. A high- density prototype is manufactured by reducing the paper to tiny pieces and fiberizing it.
For flame and insect resistance, manufacturers often use a mineral crystalline blend that includes cheaper ammonium sulfate. Unless it is installed at a high enough density, cellulose insulation will not settle in a building's cavity.
Cellulose insulation is often used in new and existing homes. It can be damp-sprayed or installed dry with netting in new construction. Natural starches in the product are activated by the spray nozzle tip adding a small amount of moisture, which causes the product to cling around the inside of the compartment. Damp-sprayed cellulose can be used as a wall covering 24 hours after it's been installed.
Cellulose Insulation Material
Cotton material, and wools are part of natural fibers insulation, including hemp and straw material.
In cotton insulation material, recycled cotton comprises 85% of the material. The rest of the 15% comprise plastic fibers treated with borate, the same chemical for repelling insect and rodent and fire retardant used in cellulose insulation. One product's trim is made from recycling of blue jean fabric. This system utilizes very little energy to make because of the recycled materials it contains.
Wool from a Sheep
Sheep's wool is treated with borate before being used as insulation to keep out pests, fire, and mold. Sheep's wool batts have an R-13 value for a 2 by 4-inch wall and an R-19 value for a 2 by 6-inch stud-framed wall.
It was in the 1930s when the process of fusing straw to wood without adhesives was invented. On both sides of heavyweight kraft paper faces the panels, which are typically 2 to 4 inches thick. The boards can also be used to create sound-proof (sound insulation) interior partitions by laminating them together. Multiple-layered compressed-straw panels have been used by some manufacturers to create structurally insulated panels.
There is a lack of awareness and widespread use of hemp insulation in the United States. It has a comparable R-value to other types of fibrous insulation.
When it comes to insulation, polystyrene, a colorless, transparent thermoplastic, is commonly found in foam board or bead-board products as well as concrete block insulation and a loose-fill product made up of polystyrene pellets.
It is also possible to buy polystyrene in the form of tiny foam beads instead of the larger sheets. For concrete blocks or other hollow wall cavities, these beads can be used as filling insulation, but they are extremely light, easily charge with static electricity and extremely hard to control in use.
Like molded expanded polystyrene (MEPS), expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS), and extruded polystyrene are polystyrene insulation materials (XPS). Both EPS and XPS use tiny plastic beads that are combined, whereas XPS starts as a molten liquid and is then pressed into sheets in a press. For the most part, foam board insulation is where you'll find XPS. To make board insulation, EPS is typically made in blocks that can be easily cut with a utility knife. Both EPS and XPS are frequently used as insulation (ICFs) in structural insulating panels (SIPs) and insulating concrete forms. Thermal drift or aging is a phenomenon where the XPS insulation R-value decreases over time because some of the gas with low-conductivity releases and is replaced by air.
Polystyrene foam board's heating rate, also known as R-value, is density-dependent. In comparison to foam board, bead insulation also known as polystyrene loose-fill insulation typically has a lower R-value.
Fiberglass Insulation vs. Fiberglass Composite Insulation
This thermosetting plastic, closed-cell foam contains a low absorption hydrochlorofluorocarbon-free gas in its cells, and is known as polyisocyanurate or polyisocyanurate.
Liquid polyisocyanurate insulation, sprayed foam, and rigid foam board are all forms of polyisocyanurate insulation. A variety of facings are available for use in coated insulation panels. Polyisocyanurate insulation foamed-in-place applications are less expensive than installing foam boards, and the liquid foam performs better because it molds to all of the surfaces it touches.
When semi-conductive gas escapes and air replaces it, the R-value of polyisocyanurate insulation decreases over time. This is referred to as thermal drift or ageing. According to research, the majority of thermal drift occurs during the first two years following the production of the insulation material.
Rigid polyisocyanurate foam panels with foil or plastic facings have been shown to delay the aging process. Installed correctly and facing an open air space, reflective foil can also serve as a radiant barrier. Thermal resistance can be increased by another R-2 if the air space is large or oriented in a certain way in the building.
Structural insulated panels made of polyisocyanurate are used by some supplier as an insulating material (SIPs). A SIP can be made from foam board or liquid foam. Under high pressure, liquid foam can be injected between two wood skins, hardening to form a strong bond between the foam and the skins. Polyisocyanurate wall panels have a typical thickness of 3.5 inches (89 mm). The thickest ceiling panels can be up to 190 mm thick. These panels are more expensive than EPS, but they have better fire and water vapor resistance. They also insulate by 30% to 40% more effectively than comparable materials of equal thickness.
Thermally set polyurethane foam has a low conductivity gas in its cells, making it a good insulator. Closed-cell and open-cell polyurethane foam insulation are both available. Closing the high-density cells in closed-cell foam allows the foam to expand to fill the surrounding space. Open-cell foam has a lower R-value because the cells are less dense and filled with air. This results in a spongy feel to the insulation.
R-values degrade slowly over time due to thermal drift, but after two years the R-value remains stable unless the foam is damaged.
Thermal drift can be slowed with the use of foil and plastic facings on rigid polyurethane foam panels. Installed correctly and facing an open air space, reflective foil can also serve as a radiant barrier. Thermal resistance can be increased by another R-2 if the air space is large or oriented in a certain way in the building.
Liquid sprayed foam and rigid foam boards are two forms of polyurethane insulation. A variety of facings are available for use in laminated insulation panels.
Polyurethane insulation can be sprayed or foamed-in-place, which is less expensive than using foam boards, but provides better insulation because the liquid foam adheres to all surfaces. The foaming agent in all current closed-cell polyurethane foam insulation is non-HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon).
Polyurethane foams with a low R-value, such as open-cell polyurethane foams, use air as the blowing agent. Unlike traditional polyurethane foams, these ones are pliable. The foaming agent in some low-density varieties is carbon dioxide (CO2).
The cavity is sealed and filled with low-density foam sprayed into open wall cavities. There's also slow-expanding foam for existing homes' cavities. Overexpansion is unlikely with liquid foam because of its slow expansion rate. While the foam is water vapor permeable and flexible, it does not allow moisture to be absorbed into the material. It has the ability to seal well, resist fire, and extinguish quickly.
Polyurethane liquid spray foams made from soy are also offered. Petroleum-based polyurethane foam application equipment is used to apply these products.
Structural insulated panels can be made using polyurethane as an insulating material (SIPs). A SIP can be made from foam board or liquid foam. Under high pressure, liquid foam can be injected between two wood skins, hardening to form a strong bond between the foam and the skins. Polyurethane wall panels are typically 89 mm thick (3.5 inches). The thickest ceiling panels can be up to 190 mm thick. These panels are more expensive than EPS, but they have better fire and water vapor resistance. They also insulate by 30% to 40% more effectively than comparable materials of equal thickness.
Perlite Insulation Material
Attics in homes constructed before 1950 often have perlite insulation as a means of energy conservation. Perlite is made up of tiny, light-weight pellets that are heated up till they crack in a furnace. A lightweight, less heat-conductive concrete is created by mixing wood pellets with cement to create a loose-fill insulation that can be filled in place.
Cementitious Foam Insulation Material
Cementitious insulation is a foam cement-based that can be sprayed on, and also foamed in place. It has the initial consistency of shaving cream and is a cementitious spray foam insulation called aircrete® that includes magnesium silicate. Cavities are filled with Air krete®, which is pumped into them. For the same price as polyurethane foam, you can get cementitious foam, which is non-toxic and non-flammable, and is made from seawater minerals.
Insulation made of phenolic foam material
Rigid foam board insulation made of phenolic foam was once popular. It's currently only available in board form, but it can also be foamed in place.
Air is used as a foaming agent by phenolic foamed-in-place. Phenolic foam has the disadvantage of shrinking after curing by about 2%, making it less common today.
Faces of Insulation
During the manufacturing process, facings are attached to insulation fabrics. In addition to providing protection, a facing also serves as a means of holding the insulation as one together and making it easier to attach it to various building components. Apart from being a radiant, air and or vapor barrier, some facing types can also provide resistance from fire.
Aluminum foil, vinyl sheeting, and kraft paper are all common fronting materials. Whenever the insulation board joints are sealed with tape, these materials act as a vapor barrier as well as an air barrier. Radiant barriers made of aluminum foil are also effective. The type of facing and/or barrier needrf will be determined by the climate, where and how the insulation will be installed.
Best INSULATION material
BEST INSULATION MATERIAL
The R-value is a metric that can be used to figure out which type of insulation is most effective. The heat flow resistance of a material is measured by its R-value. The greater the R-value, the better the material will be at insulating.
Below is a table that shows various types of insulating materials and their associated R-values.
The cost of installing the insulation is determined by the R-value. Durability is another factor to consider. If you want to use fiberglass to insulate your house, it's significantly less expensive than the other options.
TECHNIQUES TO REDUCE HEAT LOSS
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