When you start looking into how you can replace your old insulation, you will encounter many technical terms and pieces of information. This post will guide you on this matter, and it will introduce you to the top three types of insulation most contractors install in homes: spray foam, batt insulation, and blown insulation.
What Is Spray Foam?
Spray foam is a liquid plastic material that expands between 30 to 100 times its size when exposed to air. As it grows in size, it can fill any hole or crevice. This makes it an effective insulation for stopping air and liquid from entering your home.
You can use spray foam to insulate and seal rim joists, crawl spaces, and attics. It effectively fills crevices, gaps, and cracks. Its shape does not change, so it will not settle, sag, or compress over time. Out of the three insulation types, spray foam is the most expensive solution.
There are two types of spray foam: open cell and closed cell. Open-cell spray foam is often used to seal hard to reach gaps, cracks, and crevices. It is also excellent when it comes to soundproofing.
On the other hand, closed-cell foam is excellent for walls, as it can act as a vapor barrier and add structural strength to your home.
What Is Batt Insulation?
Batt insulation uses insulating fiber panels that are often made from fiberglass and cotton. There is batt insulation made from stone wool, but this type is not as common. Batting is inexpensive, and installation costs are often minimal compared to other types of insulation.
You can place batt insulation between joist blocks, rafters, and studs. However, batt insulation does not fill and fit empty spaces in the same way that spray foam can. You will need to spend extra effort to compress the material to ensure optimal insulation.
Nonetheless, a professional's proper installation of batt insulation can effectively reduce the amount of energy used by your HVAC system by 50%.
What Is Blown Insulation?
Blown insulation is blown wood or paper-based insulation material. This material is clumpy, dense, and thick. Its appearance is like fine down feathers. A machine blows the insulation into empty spaces to form an insulating barrier that will conform to the target area’s shape.
Blown insulation is similar to spray foam but is generally much cheaper. The biggest disadvantage that this type of insulation has is that the insulation material settles down to the bottom over time. As it settles down, it creates an uninsulated empty space on top.
Blown insulation is often used to fill and insulate attics and ceilings.
Why Get Professionals To Install Insulation?
Replacing your home's old insulation is a tiring and tricky project to tackle. Insulation materials degrade over time. And if moisture or water has already penetrated it, you should replace the compromised insulation. Leaving it alone can lead to problems with mold, allergens, and rodents.
Applying new insulation can be easy if you have the material and the appropriate application tool or machine ready. The most challenging part, however, is removing and disposing of the old insulation material. The type of insulation you use can also add complexity to the project.
At this point, you should now have an idea about the basic types of insulation that you can use for your home. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional help to get more information or have your insulation replaced.