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Fiberglass batt insulation and fiberglass loose fill insulation in Scarborough

It’s important to understand the basics of home insulation

For the typical homeowner considering fiberglass batt insulation or fiberglass loose fill insulation in Scarborough, it’s important to understand the basics. Insulating a home, or any building structure, is primarily about decreasing and potentially eliminating “heat flow” (also known as “heat transfer”). In winter, “heat flow” means that warm inside air is leaking out. In summer, it means that warm outside air is coming in. Neither of these dynamics is desirable for any home. “Heat loss” contributes to energy inefficiency throughout the home, and seasonal utility bills that are quite often higher-than-need-be.

For the experienced insulation contractor, the home is seen as a building “envelope". Like all building structures, a home is made of materials that affect “heat flow”. Some materials have an effect that is positive, while others have an effect that is negative. And that’s why the main aim of insulation is to decrease and eliminate pockets of “heat flow”. In this regard, it’s essential to choose the insulation that will best achieve the aim. Once “heat flow” is arrested, improved energy efficiency will be restored throughout the home, and those high utility bills will be reduced noticeably from season to season.

Insulation products and installation methods are wide and varied. But in general, the goals of each are the same: to stop undesirable air movement; to stop moisture from collecting; and to significantly increase R-Value in areas where new insulation is installed. Another important thing with insulation is to ensure a professional installation. And while there are some ways to save money with the old do-it-yourself approach, the best results (especially over the long term) will be attained with a professional install and an insulation contractor who has experience with the product and expertise with the install.

Two popular fiberglass insulation products

In most parts of Canada and the northern States, fiberglass batts and fiberglass loose fill are a popular insulation option for attic spaces and roof cavities. Properly installed, the fiberglass products deliver good R-Values and should measurably improve energy efficiencies in the home. A fiberglass install will have a satisfactory lifespan overall, and the R-Values should sustain well for a good many years.

Like many home improvements, insulating a home requires experience and expertise. The professional installer knows the ins and outs of creating an effective fiberglass “thermal blanket”. With loose fill, for instance, a consistent and uniform application is essential for product performance. In a similar way, fiberglass batts must be installed strategically so that the “thermal blanket” delivers desired results.

There are definitely benefits to installing fiberglass

With a professional install, fiberglass batts and loose are safe. The products are air-quality certified, completely asbestos-free and also odor-free. Fiberglass does not combust, and will not corrode. Most of the top brands contain recycled “glass”, and in general, a fiberglass install will not retain moisture in small quantities. Typically, a fiberglass installation will not settle significantly over the long term.

Fiberglass batts and loose fill insulation will not attract rodents, animals, insects, or vermin. And with a proper installation, the finished environment will not promote mold. As well, when the appropriate ventilation is provided, fiberglass shouldn’t deteriorate after installation. For homeowners considering fiberglass batt insulation or fiberglass loose fill insulation in Scarborough, this is a cost effective install.

There are also some disadvantages when installing fiberglass

For the professional, neither the fiberglass batts nor the loose fill product will satisfactorily address the issues of air movement and moisture collection. This is certainly a disadvantage in the attic or roof, where air and moisture are a challenge. It’s worth discussing this with a contractor before any work.

Residual air movement, specifically in the attic, can be an issue with a fiberglass install. It’s because the fiberglass products do not effectively seal a cavity. Sealing is critical to every installation, and without it, there are compromises – it’s just another reason to evaluate prior to any insulation work.

A serious problem with fiberglass is wetness. A wet environment will cause fiberglass to lose essential product integrity and valuable R-Value. When left unattended, fiberglass will deteriorate after time, and will need professional remediation – complete removal, repair, and re-installation.

In a worst-case, wet fiberglass could allow mold to develop and spread, and this could compromise the air quality inside the home. With a mold infestation, there is no other option but to remediate the space professionally. Here, an expert with experience and know-how is definitely required.

The professional’s product-of-choice:  Spray Polyurethane Foam.

With the characteristic drawbacks of the fiberglass products, spray foam is fast becoming an excellent option alternative. It’s known as Spray Polyurethane Foam or SPF, and has become the professional’s product-of-choice. SPF creates an insulation “envelope” that is impervious – it stops unwanted air movement and unwanted moisture collection with one application.

Air leakage is a problem in the majority of insulation projects. It means that indoor heat is leaking in the winter, and indoor cooling is leaking in the summer. This is never an issue with SPF because the finished space fully sealed and air tight. In short, it’s a combined air barrier and vapor barrier in one. SPF also provides the highest R-Value rating of any other product.

The “hybrid” install – a combination of SPF and fiberglass

SPF products are acknowledged as being the best, with product performance that is hard to match. As such, many contractors are recommending the installation. However, SPF does not always fit into each project budget – it’s a premium-priced product that can be costly.

Because of the cost, Great Northern Insulation has come up with the “hybrid” install - a combination of SPF and fibreglass. The “hybrid” application brings primary benefits from both installed products, and excellent results for both the short term and the long term. The SPF provides effective sealing and effective insulating, while the fibreglass product augments the insulation value and provides excellent dollar value. The “hybrid” application is a cost-effectiveness insulation project for every homeowner.

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