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Spray Foam Insulation has Many Advantages – Boston, Worcester

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 13, 2014

Spray foam insulation is a smart choice in insulating your home. Spray foam insulation not only keeps your home warm, it also protects your home from mold and mildew, as well as insects and pests. Additionally, it is a safe way to insulate your home because it fire resistant.

When moisture gets into your home, mold can grow causing major health problems. Traditionally home insulation cannot keep the water out of your walls, ceilings and floors.

Spray foam insulation works against water because it expands to fill all open spaces causing a seal and it will not chip and crack over time. Water leaking into wall and floor cracks is leading cause of mold in basements. With spray foam insulation, these cracks are filled and sealed.

Cracks in insulation mean air pockets. Insects and pests are attracted to these air pockets.  Spray foam insulation fills all the cracks and holes in your foundation walls and basement ceiling. Because all the cracks are sealed, no bugs can find a home in your walls.

Spray foam insulation expands and fills spaces and exactly fills the crevices and cracks around the basement or attic where it is installed.

Another advantage of spray foam insulation over traditional home insulation is that it is fire resistant. Having your ceilings, walls and crawl spaces insulated with spray foam protects you and your family from house fires that would traditionally travel through walls. With traditional insulation, not only is it flammable, there are air pockets around it. Spray foam is fire resistant and there are no air pockets to feed the fire.

For more information on spray foam insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

Types of Insulation - Worcester, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Monday, October 14, 2013

When insulating your home, you can choose from many types of insulation. To choose the best type of insulation, you should first determine the following:

  • Where you want or need to install/add insulation
  • The recommended R-values for areas you want to insulate.

Installing Insulation

The maximum thermal performance or R-value of insulation is dependent on proper installation.

When hiring a professional certified insulation installer:

  • Obtain written cost estimates from several contractors for the R-value you need, and don't be surprised if quoted prices for a given R-value installation vary by more than a factor of two.
  • Ask contractors about their air-sealing services and costs as well, because it’s a good idea to seal air leaks before installing insulation.

Blanket: Batt and Roll Insulation

Blanket insulation -- the most common and widely available type of insulation -- comes in the form of batts or rolls. It consists of flexible fibers, most commonly fiberglass. You also can find batts and rolls made from mineral (rock and slag) wool, plastic fibers, and natural fibers, such as cotton and sheep's wool. Learn more about these insulation materials.

Batts and rolls are available in widths suited to standard spacing of wall studs, attic trusses or rafters, and floor joists. Continuous rolls can be hand-cut and trimmed to fit. Manufacturers often attach a facing (such as kraft paper, foil-kraft paper, or vinyl) to act as a vapor barrier and/or air barrier. Batts with a special flame-resistant facing are available in various widths for basement walls and other places where the insulation will be left exposed. A facing also helps facilitate fastening during installation. However, unfaced batts are a better choice when adding insulation over existing insulation.

Loose-Fill and Blown-In Insulation

Blown-in insulation consists of small particles of fiber, foam, or other materials. These small particles form an insulation material that can conform to any space without disturbing structures or finishes. This ability to conform makes loose-fill insulation well suited for retrofits and locations where it would be difficult to install other types of insulation.

The most common types of materials used for loose-fill insulation include cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral (rock or slag) wool. All of these materials are produced using recycled waste materials. Cellulose is primarily made from recycled newsprint. Most fiberglass contains 20% to 30% recycled glass. Mineral wool is usually produced from 75% post-industrial recycled content. The table below compares these three materials.

Sprayed-Foam Insulation

Spray-foam insulation materials can be sprayed, foamed-in-place, injected, or poured. Some installations can have twice the R-value per inch of traditional batt insulation, and can fill even the smallest cavities, creating an effective air barrier.

Today, most foam materials use foaming agents that don't use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are harmful to the earth's ozone layer.

Liquid foam insulation -- combined with a foaming agent -- can be applied using small spray containers or in larger quantities as a pressure-sprayed (foamed-in-place) product. Both types expand and harden as the mixture cures. They also conform to the shape of the cavity, filling and sealing it thoroughly.

Slow-curing liquid foams are also available. These foams are designed to flow over obstructions before expanding and curing, and they are often used for empty wall cavities in existing buildings. There are also liquid foam materials that can be poured from a container.

For information on types of insulation, contact Custom Insulation.

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