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Fiberglass Loose Fill Insulation and Fiberglass Batt Insulation in Cambridge

The Essentials of Residential Home Insulation

For homeowners who are thinking about installing fibreglass loose fill insulation or fibreglass batt insulation in Cambridge, it's not a bad idea to understand the essentials. When it comes to residential home insulation, the primary aim is to potentially eliminate what the experts call “heat transfer”. This is what happens in the winter when warm indoor air is escaping outside. And it happens in the summer when warm air from the outside flows in. Neither situation is good for a home, and both will make for very poor energy efficiency. Bottom line - more energy is being consumed from season to season, and energy bills are higher than they should be.

Professional insulation contractors see a home in terms of a “building envelope". In the majority of homes, the “building envelope" comprises materials that have an impact on “heat transfer”. Sometimes, it's a positive impact, which is good for the home, sometimes a negative impact. When it comes to insulating, the idea is to eliminate the negative impacts. Which is why it’s so important to select the insulation that will best eliminate the “heat transfer”. The result:  better energy efficiency from one season to the next, and reduced utility bills for heating and cooling. Simply put, a properly insulated home translates into money savings.

Usually, homeowners know about the various insulation products and installation techniques that are available to them. But whatever the product or install, the aims of insulating the home are the same – to halt the movement of air; to halt the accumulation of moisture; and to improve and increase R-Value in areas where new insulation is being installed. Also important with home insulation is to consider working with a professional. And although there are situations where money savings could be had with a do-it-yourself approach to insulation, it's a proven fact that the best outcomes will be derived by working with a professional contractor.

In North America, Fiberglass Insulation is Quite Popular

For homeowners in most of Canada, and throughout the northern United States, fibreglass insulation (batts/loose fill) is quite popular. Batt insulation and loose fill insulation are particularly popular for attics and roofs. The products will deliver satisfactory levels of R-Value wherever installed. As well, the installation improves energy efficiency in the home. And finally, energy consumption is significantly reduced in winter and summer. When properly installed, fibreglass products have a satisfactory lifespan, and the installed R-Value should sustain for the long term.

Just like so many other home projects, home insulation requires a certain amount of expertise and experience in order to generate good results. And the truth is, the professionals are the ones who understand product and installation best. This is particularly true when installing the fibreglass “thermal blanket” that actually provides the insulation value. Batt insulation, for instance, has to be installed very strategically to assure product performance. Similarly, loose fill insulation must be applied consistently so that the “thermal blanket” performs to the maximum.

There are Benefits to Installing the Fibreglass Products

Ideally, fibreglass insulation (batts/loose fill) should be professionally installed, and always according to manufacturer's specifications. The products are safe; asbestos free; odour free; and certified for air-quality. Fibreglass insulation will not combust or corrode, and should not retain measurable amounts of moisture. Most of the brands today contain recycled “glass” as part of the overall composition. In general, fibreglass insulation does not settle over the long term.

Fibreglass insulation is manufactured so as not to attract rodents, animals, or insects. And neither does an application provide a friendly environment for mold to develop, grow or spread. With proper ventilation as part of an insulation project, fibreglass insulation should not deteriorate with time. This is a very cost effective product and installation. And for homeowners thinking about fibreglass loose fill insulation or fibreglass batt insulation in Cambridge, the project cost is reasonable.

There are also Downsides to Installing Fibreglass Products

For professionals, fibreglass insulation products do not properly address the primary issues of air movement and/or moisture collection. This would be a serious downside in the attic or roof because undesirable air and/or moisture is going to  compromise the performance of the insulation.

Another issue with fibreglass insulation is residual air movement. Here, the problem is that fibreglass doesn't seal well (even when professionally installed). And in any insulation project, sealing is essential for product performance. Simply put - poorly sealed is poorly insulated.

The biggest problem with any fibreglass insulation product is wetness. A wet fibreglass installation will quickly lose product integrity and will subsequently lose valuable R-Value. When deterioration sets in, professional remediation is required, including removal and reinstallation.

The worst possible situation with wet fibreglass is mold growth. Mold, regardless of the extent, must be remediated, and because it's dangerous, it should be handled by a professional who has the experience and expertise to remove, repair and restore. Mold can quickly compromise air quality.

Spray Polyurethane Foam as the Insulation Product of Choice

Because of the various issues associated with fibreglass insulation, Spray Polyurethane Foam products (SPF) have become a favourite for many installation professionals. It's simply because a single SPF application will inhibit air movement, prevent moisture collection, and insulate the space all at one time.

Air leakage is a problem for every single insulation application. It will cause heating and cooling to escape from the home in both winter and summer. However, with Spray Polyurethane Foam, this is resolved - one application seals the entirety of a given space and makes that space totally airtight.

The truth is, SPF does more with one installation than any comparable product. It’s an air barrier; a vapour barrier; and an insulation barrier. And the finished space provides R-Value that is unequalled.

Combining SPF and Fibreglass - The “Hybrid” Installation

Spray Polyurethane Foam is commonly acknowledged as the best insulation product. Indeed, more and more professionals are recommending the install for attics and roofs, as well as basements and walls. But SPF is not always suitable for a project budget, and remains a premium priced product. This is essentially why the professionals at Great Northern Insulation developed the “hybrid” install. It combines SPF insulation with fibreglass insulation into one install. Best of all, this approach delivers the best of each product, with results that exceed any other approach. SPF is the superb sealer and insulator, while fibreglass delivers added R-Value, and a cost-effectiveness dimension to the project as a whole.

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