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Fiberglass Batt Insulation and Fiberglass Loose Fill Insulation in Essex

Having a basic understanding of insulation

For residential homeowners in Essex, it’s worthwhile to understand the basics of insulation. The bottom line with insulation is to eradicate what the professionals call “heat transfer”. It’s can also be described as “heat flow”, but regardless of the language, it’s an undesirable dynamic in the home. Heat transfer means that in winter, the warm air inside the home is escaping out, and in summer, the warm air from outside is coming in. Neither dynamic is good, and both contribute to energy efficiency that is mediocre.  From season to season, the result is heating and cooling bills that are higher than need be.

For insulation professionals, a residential home is an “envelope". That “envelope” is built with a wide variety of building materials. Even in new construction, building materials affect heat transfer - sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. For the homeowner, an insulation project should focus on eradicating heat transfer throughout the home. This can be achieved by installing fiberglass batt insulation, or a similar product like fiberglass loose fill insulation. But whatever the product option, the main effort should be to eradicate heat transfer. The result: much better energy efficiency throughout.

Whatever product is chosen for the project, the goals for insulating should be fundamental: to avert undesirable areas of air movement; to stop unwanted moisture from collecting; and to augment R-Value levels. Even more important is to make sure that an insulation job is professionally managed. It’s the experts who can best ensure optimum results for the product installed and the installation itself.

Two product options - fiberglass batts and fiberglass loose fill

In most of Canada, and in many regions of the northern US, fiberglass batts and fiberglass loose fill are the popular product option. They are often installed into the attic and the roof. And with a professional install, both options will provide R-Values that are satisfactory, while enhancing the overall energy efficiency of the home. The fiberglass products have reasonably good lifespans, and their R-Values will sustain for a good many years.

For better performance results, a professional installation is highly recommended. Truth is, expertise is a requirement when applying and installing the “thermal insulation blanket” that will insulate the given space. For the fiberglass loose fill insulation, it must be uniformly blown to ensure a “thermal blanket” that is viable. Similarly, the fiberglass batt insulation must be placed tactically to ensure that the product performs as advertised.

There are advantages to the fiberglass products

Both fiberglass batts and fiberglass loose fill are approved for a residential home and are deemed safe for occupants. The products will not combust or corrode, and are asbestos-free and odor-free. Most of the brands comprise recycled “glass”, and when properly installed the fiberglass product does not retain any moisture (in small amounts). Both of the fiberglass products will not settle over time, and under the right conditions should remain intact for years.

Fiberglass insulation products do not present a welcome environment for animals, insects or rodents. Neither do they provide nourishment for mold, and will not promote mold growth. With the proper ventilation installed, fiberglass insulation shouldn’t deteriorate. The installation is affordable for most every home improvement budget, and the initial project investment is cost-effective – it’s an install that will provide satisfactory outcomes for many years to come.

There are disadvantages to the fiberglass products

On their own, fiberglass loose fill insulation and fiberglass batt insulation do not prevent air movement or stop moisture from collecting. For some installations this could be quite problematic (in the attic or roof. This disadvantage of fiberglass should be assessed with an insulation contractor, so that the challenges are addressed prior to any work.

Even with a professional installation, air movement can still pose problems with fiberglass. Simply put, neither the fiberglass loose fill insulation nor the fiberglass batt insulation does an effective job sealing up a given space. Even after a quality installation, neither fiberglass product can fully seal a space on by itself.  It’s just another challenge to address.

Probably the biggest downside of fiberglass is wetness. Wet fiberglass will inevitably lose its integrity, and will eventually lose significant R-Value. Wet fiberglass will definitely deteriorate, and will require removal. The process necessitates professional remediation, and involves complete removal to resolve the deterioration and prevent future issues.

Wet fiberglass can potentially turn into a feeding environment that promotes mold. This can quickly turn serious, and indoor air can quickly be compromised. The insulation and the mold require removal, and again, this is remediation work that must be handled by a professional. Regardless of the scope of contamination, it’s not a healthy scenario.

Spray Polyurethane Foam – a viable insulation product  

Because of the numerous disadvantages of fiberglass, Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is emerging as a viable product alternative. The SPF product creates an impermeable “envelope” throughout a space, and effectively prevents air movement, while stopping moisture from collecting. It’s an “envelope” that seals a space better than anything on the market today.

For professionals in the business, air leakage has always been an issue during an insulation project. But with Spray Polyurethane Foam, an insulation contractor can be sure that a space is totally airtight. In addition, SPF provides an installation with the highest R-Values. With all of these benefits, SPF has quickly become the favorite for many professionals.

Perhaps the best option for insulation - a “hybrid” installation

Spray Polyurethane Foam is widely considered to be the best all round product. With one application, the benefits exceed anything comparable. Therefore, more and more contractors are using the product, and recommending the application as a wise investment.

However, SPF installations may not suit every budget. Because of this, the team at GNI-Great Northern Insulation) has formulated a “hybrid” installation. It incorporates an SPF installation along with one of the previously mentioned fibreglass products.

For customers in Essex, the best option for insulation may well be the “hybrid” approach. It delivers excellent results wherever installed, and allows for a cost-effective project. In the long run, the cost savings offset the upfront cost investment.

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