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Fiberglass Loose Fill Insulation and Fiberglass Batt Insulation in St. Catharines

Understanding residential home insulation

When it comes to fiberglass batt insulation or fiberglass loose fill insulation in St. Catharines, it’s good for a homeowner to understand at least the basics. The main idea with insulation is to stop what the experts call “heat flow”. During wintertime, it’s about stopping indoor heat from flowing out of the home. And during summertime, it’s about stopping outside heat from flowing into the home. Whether its summer or winter, “heat flow” is not good and not desirable. It makes for a home that is not energy efficient, and results in seasonal utility bills being higher than should be.

Insulation experts who are experienced see homes as “building envelopes". The “envelope” is made of different building materials, which have an affect on the “heat flow”. Some materials have a positive effect, while some have a negative effect. And when an insulation expert comes to insulate a home, the main objective is to eliminate the negative effects. This is why it’s so important to pick an insulation product that will properly address “heat flow”. It’s an effort to make the home more energy efficient, and to reduce costly heating bills in winter and just as costly air conditioning bills in the summertime.

Most residential homeowners know that there are countless insulation products on the market, each with its own product claims and promises. But whichever product is chosen for installation, the main aims have to be the same: effectively stopping unnecessary air movement; effectively stopping vapour and moisture from collecting; and increasing R-Value after the insulation is installed. It’s also a good idea, with most insulation projects, to work with an experienced professional installer. And although a homeowner can save money with a DIY effort, there are better results with an expert professional.

Fiberglass insulation (batts or loose fill) is a popular choice

For homeowners in most regions across Canada, and through the northern U.S.A., fiberglass insulation products are a popular option. They are frequently used in roof and attic cavities, and depending on the quality of the install, they will deliver good R-Value. With a good insulation product, and a proper install, fiberglass can easily improve the energy efficiency in a typical home and significantly reduce energy consumption. Product lifespan is reasonable, and thermal values should maintain for years.

Just like any other home improvement project, home insulation needs some experience and expertise. This is where the professionals have an advantage – they understand the products and the associated installation. With fiberglass batts, for instance, the “thermal blanket” must be installed meticulously in order for the batts to best perform. The same thing applies to loose fill fiberglass - it’s an install that must be consistently uniform for the “thermal blanket” to provide effective insulating value.

The benefits of fiberglass insulation

For performance, fiberglass insulation must be installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications and requirements. The better brands are air-quality tested, and are deemed safe for residential installs. Fiberglass products (both batts and loose fill) are asbestos-free; odor-free; non-combustible; and non-corrosive. Most of the brands contain recycled glass. Fiberglass should not settle much over time.

Fiberglass insulation is manufactured not to attract rodents, animals, or insects. Properly installed, and under the right conditions, the finished installation is not friendly to mold. However, proper ventilation is required throughout, to ensure that the fiberglass won’t deteriorate. For homeowners thinking of installing fiberglass insulation in St. Catharines, it’s considered a cost-effective installation.

The disadvantages of fiberglass insulation

Although quite popular, fiberglass insulation products do not entirely address some of the basic issues. This is particularly true when it comes to stopping air movement and preventing any moisture from collecting. And in attics, both air and moisture issues need to be fully addressed.

Residual air movement is also a problem with fiberglass batts or loose fill. Here, it’s an issue because fiberglass does not effectively “seal” (even with the best install). For the professionals, sealing is vital for insulation to perform, and without a sealed space, insulation performance is compromised.

Potentially, the biggest problem with fiberglass insulation products is wetness. Simply put, when fiberglass gets wet, it loses product integrity along with R-Value. When this is undetected, the insulated area will deteriorate to the point where it will necessitate complete removal and then reinstallation.

The worst when fiberglass gets wet is the potential for mold to grow. This is not unusual, and when the infestation is serious, the only option is professional remediation. This is work for an expert with the mold experience, and with mold removal know-how. Needless to say, new insulation must be installed.

Clearly, these are all issues that are worth discussing with an insulation contractor in an effort to do the job right – with the right product and the right installation approach.

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) – a good alternative to fiberglass

In addressing the problems of fiberglass, SPF (Spray Polyurethane Foam) has become an alternative insulation option for many professionals. They appreciate the single application approach: an air seal that stops air movement; a vapor seal that stops moisture collection; and a superb insulation “blanket”.

For insulation to be effective, air leakage must be stopped, both in winter and in summer. With Spray Polyurethane Foam this is just not a problem – a good install will create an environment that is totally sealed and completely airtight. No other insulation product compares with this level of performance.

Another insulation option - the “hybrid” strategy

SPF is widely recognized as the best product for the job. Performance is unmatched, and professionals are installing the product in attics, basements, and even attached garages. But SPF does not suit every budget – it’s a premium product with a premium price. As a result, the “hybrid” installation from G.N.I. (Great Northern Insulation) has been introduced as an option that is both effective and affordable.

The “hybrid” strategy from G.N.I. simply combines SPF with a fibreglass insulation product. Benefits are derived from both of the products, and the outcomes are excellent. The SPF product provides exceptional sealing and insulating, and the fibreglass product provides added R-Value along with project cost-effectiveness and good dollar value. It’s one of the best options for insulation.

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