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Fiberglass Batt Insulation and Fiberglass Loose Fill Insulation in Chatham Kent

The ABCs of home insulation for the typical residential homeowner

Most residential homeowners, particularly in colder climates, will have to consider insulation renewal or replacement at some point. For those who may be choosing between fiberglass batt insulation and fiberglass loose fill insulation in Chatham Kent, it’s good to start with the basics. Primarily, the idea behind insulating is reducing/eliminating “heat transfer”. And this is basically about stopping indoor heat from leaking out in winter, while preventing outdoor heat from creeping in during summer.  Both of these dynamics are undesirable - “heat transfer” makes for poor energy efficiency and energy bills (heating and cooling) that can get quite costly.

For the experienced insulation contractor, residential homes are “building envelopes”. They are made of various building materials that have an affect on “heat transfer”. That affect is sometimes positive and sometimes negative. Therefore, the idea behind insulating is to counteract those negative effects. With a good insulation product, and an expert install, the negative effects of “heat transfer” can be reduced/eliminated. For the homeowner, the benefits are several:  overall energy efficiency inside the home is enhanced; heating and cooling cycles throughout the seasons are better balanced; and in terms of energy costs, the utility bills are lessened.

Clearly, there are a great many insulation products on the market today.  They all claim to be the best, and each has their strengths. But for a good contractor, the project aims are the important part: first, reducing/stopping unfavourable air movement; second, stopping moisture from accumulating; and third, boosting up R-Values during the install. Working with an expert has advantages. The experts have broad product knowledge and installation experience, and they will deliver better overall results. At the same time, some homeowners want to save money with the so-called DIY approach. The truth is, the outcomes don’t necessarily measure up.

For attic and roof insulation, fiberglass products are a common option

For many Canadians, fiberglass insulation products are a common install in the attic and roof. The products are most commonly available as “loose fill” or “batts”, and are suitable for home application.  When skillfully installed, the fiberglass products provide good R-Values throughout, and have proven to provide good product lifespan. Whether the choice is “batts” or “loose fill” the outcomes are good - enhanced energy efficiency in the home, and noticeably lower energy bills (heating and cooling).

Like most home projects, insulation requires expertise. Needless to say, experts know their products, and are highly experienced with their installations. Importantly, they have the know-how to install a “thermal blanket” that is effective – in other words, an insulated space that ensures the best possible outcomes. With the “loose fill” product, just as an example, installation must be precise, uniform and consistent. Similarly, the fiberglass “batts” must be installed strategically for the best performance.

There are a number of benefits with fiberglass insulation

For optimum results, it’s best to have fiberglass insulation installed professionally (in accordance with product specifications). The products are safe, with many brands that are air-quality tested. A finished install will be asbestos-free, non-combustible, and non-corrosive. And with the majority of fiberglass products containing “recycled glass”, homeowners can be assured that the project has a “green” factor.  Skillfully installed, fiberglass should not settle and should not retain moisture (small volumes).

Fiberglass insulation is manufactured to deter animals and rodents, insects and vermin. It’s also not an environment that will promote mold. More importantly, proper ventilation throughout the installation space is a must. Amongst other things, good ventilation will ensure fiberglass integrity, and will reduce the chances for the installation to deteriorate. For those homeowners who are thinking about installing fiberglass insulation in Chatham Kent, it’s a cost effective home project with measurable results.

On the downside, fiberglass insulation does pose some problems

Although popular in attics and roofs, fiberglass insulation does not suitably address air and moisture issues to the satisfaction of the experts. Even with the best installation, air movement and/or moisture collection will inevitably affect the integrity of the insulation.

An additional downside with fiberglass is “air leakage”. Because fiberglass doesn’t seal a space, it can’t prevent air from coming in and out of an attic or roof cavity. Once again, for an insulation expert, this is a big problem, since sealing is crucial for a complete job.

Another issue with fiberglass “batts” and/or “loose fill” is wetness. A wet fiberglass environment will lose both product integrity and R-Value. If a situation like this is undetected, the wet environment will deteriorate, requiring removal, repairs, and reinstallation.

Wet fiberglass can also set the stage for mold. Here, depending on the gravity of the situation, there may be a need for the services of a mold specialist. Worst case, the mold will have to be remediated, the insulation removed, and new insulation installed.

One of the better alternatives to fiberglass  - Spray Polyurethane Foam

With the distinct downsides of fiberglass insulation, one of the better alternatives is SPF – also known as Spray Polyurethane Foam. SPF insulation creates an “insulation blanket” far superior to any product – it completely stops unwanted air movement and prevents unwanted moisture accumulation.

SPF is also a superb sealer, creating an airtight environment that stops air leakage entirely. It means that inside heat (in winter) doesn’t leak out, and outside heat (in summer) doesn’t come in. As a result, SPF provides better energy efficiency than any comparable insulation product on the market.

One of the best, and most cost-effective installations is a “hybrid”

For the insulation experts, SPF is the best all round product on the market. Ideal for the attic, roof, basement, and garage, SPF brings a host of benefits with one application. But as a premium product it isn’t always compatible with a homeowner’s budget. As an alternative, the professionals are utilizing a “hybrid” install that delivers great results and a reasonable project investment.

A “hybrid” install basically combines SPF insulation and fibreglass insulation. The first install, the SPF, provides sealing and insulation as a foundation. The second install, the fibreglass insulation, serves to build up R-Value, while ensuring cost-effectiveness for the project as a whole.  Simply put, the “hybrid” approach combines superb homeowner benefits at reasonable cost.

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