Still one of the more popular choices for home insulation, fibreglass insulation has proven itself effective in both new construction and reinstallations. The product is available in pre-cut batts, blankets, and loose-fill composition. And while many insulation products are competing in the marketplace today, fibreglass insulation offers specific benefits and advantages, depending on the application. What’s most important is to get professional input on both product and installation.
Labeled R- Values
Fibreglass insulation products are labeled according to R-Value. Based on various test standards, the installed product is manufactured to retain thermal performance for the life of the product. Importantly, this product must be professionally installed, so that significant sagging/settling is avoided. A professional installation will ensure that the advertised R-Value will be maintained.
Ideal in the Attic
In attics and roof cavities, fibreglass insulation (both batts and loose-fill) can provide satisfactory R-Value. Thermal performance is comparable with other product installations, and R-Values can be achieved or exceeded when expertly installed. Available in different densities, a well-installed fibreglass application can be easily customized to provide varying R-Values depending on need.
Air Leakage Effect
When it comes to wall assemblies, fibreglass insulation suffers in thermal performance because air can move through the assembly. In Canada, the National Building Code requires that an AIR BARRIER be installed when insulating with fibreglass. This will control air leakage in and out of the building envelope, which will ensure better performance for the installed thermal insulation.
Fibreglass insulation products are made primarily of material that is non-combustible. The glass fibres won’t burn and therefore require no additional fire-retardant chemicals. For the most part, fibreglass batts and loose-fill insulation products are listed as non-combustible, and remain this way for the life of the product. This is a particularly important feature in the attic and roof.
Fibreglass insulation is inherently non-absorbent – it means that moisture stays on the surface of the material and does not penetrate. If there is exposure to moisture vapour, the water droplets either evaporate or drain off. This feature allows the insulation to resist any R-Value loss. Once again, in the attic and roof cavity, where air moisture is problematic, non-absorbency is key.
Fibreglass insulation doesn’t corrode metal objects, and does not damage steel framing. Because of the glass fibre composition, and the built-in resistance to moisture damage, fibreglass products do not support any biological or bacterial growth. This is a principal product feature, especially in parts of the home where air moisture (humidity and condensation) might be common.
With fibreglass insulation products, professional installation is key for long-term performance. Expert installers abide by the building code, and follow the manufacturer’s specifications. As for the homeowner, it’s important to be well informed, so that astute decisions are made during the installation process. At Great Northern Insulation, the in-house team can recommend the product and installation that will deliver the best results and the best return-on-investment. For more information, visit the website at www.gni.ca or call toll-free at 1-800-265-1914.