Understanding Fiberglass InsulationFiberglass insulation has been the standard for home insulation for several decades now. It is made by spinning glass fibers into thin strands, which are then woven into batts or blown-in loose-fill insulation. Fiberglass insulation typically comes in varying thicknesses and widths to fit inside wall cavities, attics and crawl spaces. Pros:
- Fiberglass insulation is affordable and readily available in most home improvement stores.
- It is easy to install for DIYers, and can typically be completed in a weekend.
- It is fire-resistant and does not emit any toxic fumes or chemicals when exposed to high temperatures.
- Fiberglass insulation can settle over time, reducing its effectiveness at insulating your home.
- It can also irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory system during installation, and should be handled with protective clothing and gear.
- It is not as effective at soundproofing as other types of insulation, which can be a hindrance for homeowners located near noisy streets or highways.
Examining the Pros and Cons of Foam InsulationFoam insulation is made from a chemical reaction between two components (polyol resin and isocyanate). Once mixed, the solution expands and hardens to create a tightly sealed barrier between your home and the outside elements. There are two main types of foam insulation – open-cell and closed-cell. Open-cell foam has a spongy texture and is not as dense as closed-cell foam. Closed-cell foam has a rigid texture and is more expensive. Pros:
- Foam insulation offers higher R-values per inch compared to fiberglass insulation, meaning it is more effective at insulating your home.
- It can also help reduce outside noise pollution, creating a more peaceful environment inside your home.
- Foam insulation is resistant to mold and pests, helping to keep your home healthy and free of infestations.
- Foam insulation is more expensive than fiberglass insulation and typically requires professional installation.
- There can be some chemical odors during installation, which might be a concern for those with chemical sensitivities.
- Foam insulation is not a DIY-friendly project since the chemicals must be mixed together in precise ratios, which can be hazardous if not done correctly.