Fiberglass Blankets and Batts
Benefits: Widely available and comfortable, standard widths and thicknesses are made to fit between studs, joists, and rafters. Paper- and foil-faced models have.
Cons: Can be itchy to put in -- you will need protective clothing. Hand must cuts rolls of fiberglass to match spaces.
Environmental issues: Phenol formaldehyde, linked to cancer, has been phased out as a binder. Warning of cancer risk from fibers are being phased out because regulators have concluded that the fibers break in lungs. Content can be around 60%.
Best use: Walls, ceilings, floors.
Price: $0.64 - $1.19 per square foot.
Benefits: More fire-resistant than fiberglass. Springs into shape against studs installation is fast and staple-free.
Cons: Not widely available; keeps moisture if allowed to get damp, it can harbor mold growth.
Environmental issues: High recycled material, up to 90 percent (all pre-consumer). Even though the products may contain quantities of silica, a known carcinogen, studies have shown no evidence that inhaled fibers cause lung disease.
Best use: Walls, ceilings, floors.
Price: 80 cents per sq. ft.
Benefits: Doesn't itch. Comes in rolls that are easy-to-handle. Easy to cut around plumbing for fitting.
Cons: Not widely available and pricier than other batts.
Safety issues: Includes at least 85% recycled fiber and requires little extra energy to make. Includes pests.
Price: About 15-20% more expensive than fiberglass
This insulation is made up of strands of fiber blown into walls and attics . Nooks and crannies fill .
Benefits: Lightweight enough for loft applications over 1/2-inch drywall ceilings with framing every 24 inches.
Cons: The item is so fluffy that loose applications may lose up to half of their efficacy at very cold temperatures unless topped with blanket insulation or higher-density loose fill (see cellulose under ).
Safety issues: Same as for fiberglass batts and blankets, except that formaldehyde is not an issue.
DIY or expert? Insulating an open loft space is relatively simple if you're a competent DIYer. You will save up to 70% over the cost of an expert. Check to determine if you can rent an insulation blower from your local home improvement center or tool shop. But if the job is much more complicated than that hire a pro to create the installation worthwhile concerning energy savings.
Price: 30 cents per cubic foot.
Benefits: Powerful at all temperatures, and can even function better as the air gets colder.
Cons: Too heavy for loft installations; ceiling must have at least 5/8-inch drywall or framing every 16 inches. With time, it can settle nearly 20%.
Environmental issues: Fibers are too large to lodge in lungs; dust is simply a nuisance issue. Cellulose insulation's makeup typically is approximately 85% paper, plus fire retardant. That's typically.
Best use: Ceilings, enclosed existing wall or open new wall cavities, unfinished attic flooring, other difficult to reach areas.
Price: 31 cents per cubic foot.
Structural Insulated Panels
Structural insulated panels (SIPs) have exceptional energy savings of 12% to 14%, but they are also pricier. They come in 4-by-8-ft. Sheets, even though some manufacturers make them as big as feet, used for construction.
If you are replacing roof or siding, or doing an addition, these boards will insulate the wall surface, including the framing. Some sheets have borders to make seams that are energy-efficient. The insulating material can be used for basement and crawl space walls. Building codes require the material to be coated with a layer of drywall when confronting a living space.
This sort of SIP comes in 2 variations: Expanded (EPS) is the cheapest and has the cheapest R-value. Extruded (XPS) kind is generally pink or blue in color; it is more powerful and blocks moisture better than EPS.
Benefits: Lightweight, easy to set up.
Disadvantages: has to be trimmed to fit around pipes and other wall penetrations, leaving gaps which needs to be filled with sealing foam. It is not structural -- you can't pinpoint it and anything together. Pests and insects can tunnel through them. The panels to be treated by best with insecticide. Furthermore, they, venting might be needed by a SIP structure for to meet with building codes and safety.
Although leftovers and scraps can be recycled, they arethey can end up as bead litter in oceans and rivers.
DIY or expert? You can do it yourself, but because these panels are best for new or complete replacement construction, you'll probably have a contractor on the job.
Price : EPS: $6 for a 0.5-inch-thick, 4-by-8-ft. Sheet; XPS: $15 for a 4-by-8-ft. sheet.
Benefits: The maximum R-value per inch of any insulating material with a thickness that ranges from 1/2 inch to two inches. It faced.
Cons: Because the foil type is a moisture barrier, it should not be used where there is an inside moisture barrier. Expensive.
Although leftovers and scraps can be recycled, they are.
DIY or expert? Same as the EPS and XPS, you will probably be using a builder.
Price: $22 for a 1-inch-thick, 4-by-8-ft. sheet.
Foam insulation prices insulation, but it has. Additionally, it creates an air barrier, which can remove some weatherizing tasks, such as caulking.
This plastic insulation goes on as a liquid and expands to fill the available space, sealing all cracks and openings and stopping any air leaks. Experts spray on the foam insulation mix into framing cavities; once dry, the excess is cut off, leaving a flat surface.
Benefits: Stops motion of air.
Cons: Allows water vapor to pass through, thus a moisture barrier is still needed in certain situations.
Safety issues: Often called half-pound foam, this insulating material comprises a modest quantity of petroleum-based or plant-based plastic. Chemicals and VOCs released during application and while treating can cause asthma and other health consequences, so wait around 3 times to re-enter.
Best use: Walls, ceilings, floors.
DIY or expert? Although DIYers can purchase cans for smaller jobs, like filling spaces around doorway framing, you want a professional with special equipment to insulate walls, the attic or roof, and flooring, particularly in the event that you want to find the maximum R-rating possible.
Price: $0.44 to $0.65 per board foot
Benefits: Stops motion of moisture in addition to air.
Disadvantages: Comparatively expensive.
Environmental issues: Uses blowing agents which have a high global warming potential. Often called 2-pound foam, it uses significantly more stuff than foam. Issues are very similar to foam.
Best use: Walls, ceilings, floors.
Price: $1 to $1.50 per board foot
We'll provide you for insulating regions of your house, instructions, but always follow the directions of the insulation manufacturer. Here are some things before you start, you need to do:
Seal openings that let unconditioned air to the space you are insulating. Focus on areas where ductwork, pipes or wiring enters the area. In basements and crawlspaces, ensure that there are no cracks in the foundation.
Measure between joists (if insulating a floor or attic) or studs (if insulating unfinished walls) to locate the proper width of insulation. If you are insulating walls that are framed, ensure that the insulation is the depth to your wall studs.
Use our Roll Insulation Calculator to gauge how much roll or batt insulation you require.
Insulation is available in confronted (using a vapor retarder) and unfaced rolls and pre-cut batts. The R-value of this item indicates how well it insulates. See our Insulation Buying Guide to find out more on determining the kind and R-value you require for different applications.
The paper side of insulation that is is flammable and should not be left exposed. Cover with a material, such as drywall. Watch our movie How to Hang Drywall for step-by-step directions.
Insulating an Attic with Roll or Batt Insulation
Determine the insulation material Prior to installing. There are several types of roll and batt insulation, but the most common are cellulose, fiberglass, and stone wool:
Fiberglass is most likely the most common material. It is budget-friendly, and the lungs and skin do not irritate. Insulation is made to impede airflow.
Cellulose is made from recycled paper and it is treated for fire resistance. The substance is packed to resist airflow.
Rock wool (also called mineral or slag wool) is made by drawing or turning fibers from molten materials to make the insulation.
Ascertain the type of insulation
They work in open spaces. They're a type of insulation for DIY jobs. Insulation was utilized by us .
Loose fill insulation (also called blown-in insulation) is wonderful for tight spaces and topping off insulation. It needs a machine which can typically be rented. For more information, visit Install Blown-In Attic Insulation and our Insulation Buying Guide.
Determine the R-value that is needed. R-value, the resistance rates Every kind of insulation to heat flow. The greater the R-value, the more resistant the material. Depends on your climate. Colder climates will need a greater R-value (between 49 and 60) to avoid loss of heat during the winter. Batt insulation is not accessible with an R-value of 49-60, so you will want to use two layers to get your complete. By way of instance, if your attic has an current layer of insulation between the joists with an R-value of 21, and the complete recommended R-value to your area is 49, consider the complete recommended R-value to your area and subtract the present R-value to acquire the R-value required for your surface.
R-value Formula: Recommended Total R-value -- Present R-value = Desired R-value
Ex: 49 -- 21 = 29, the R-value Necessary for the layer
You should put in two layers of insulation because timber joists allow air to move through the spaces, so they have to be covered. The first layer will sit between the joists, and vertical wills run . The first layer should have confronting against the drywall to act as a vapor barrier. (The general rule for insulation is the confronting constantly goes toward the conditioned area.) The second layer of insulating material should be unfaced, so moisture does not accumulate between the layers.
Ascertain how much insulation you will need in your loft by multiplying the length times the width to find the square footage, or use our Roll Insulation Calculator. Bear in mind that rolls are great for continuous runs when you buy your insulation. Batts are best for smaller spaces.
Remove and replace any insulation thathas mold on it, has been compressed, or's in poor shape. Fix it For those who have a mold problem. If you see signs of roof damage, call a specialist.
An insulation's R-value--the material's thermal resistance or resistance to heat flow--depends on what area of the nation you reside in and what portion of the home you're insulating. The greater the R-value the greater the material insulates. R-values vary from zero to 40 and more--the smaller value suitable for warm weather areas, such as Florida, the large value appropriate in cold climates, such as Chicago. The Department of Energy has an Internet site that shows what the R-value needs to be for your area. There are a range of environmentally friendly insulation products on the market. Blown-in cellulose insulation made from 100% recycled paper and treated with borates for fire-resistance and protection against insects is tagged by the Environmental Protection Agency for efficacy against termites, cockroaches, ants, earwigs, and a number of other insects. This product includes no free formaldehyde, no ammonium sulfate, no fiberglass, and no debris. A buddy reopened sealed pocket doors on the top floor of his 1900 triple-decker in Boston recently and from within the walls--and the pocket doors--came shredded paper. From the late 1800s primitive insulation could be comprised of a range of mundane substances, such as paper, wood shavings, corncobs, and even seaweed. Mineral wools--materials like rock slag"spun" into fibers--were installed in homes as early as 1875 and are still in use today. These ancient substances can be left in place. Another merchandise winning green accolades from the market place is polyisocyanurate, a rigid material that each depth has a higher R value than batt or blown-in fiberglass, cellulose, and cotton insulation. Polyiso also offers an effective moisture barrier when used with aluminum foil facers in masonry cavity wall applications. This sort of insulation can be installed between furring strips once the walls in your home have to be replaced entirely. Another green insulation product is cotton insulation made from recycled denim; this item is itch-free and simple to install. Additionally it is treated with borates to keep insects off. Keeping warm in an old home can be tricky business. Houses built before 1940 were seldom insulated, and when they were the products initially used may have slowed or settled over time, allowing heat to escape and the chilly air to creep in. I was raised in an 1880 Queen Anne in Newton, Massachusetts--a balloon-framed home with very little insulation. I recall those icy January times well. When I complained that the house was too cold, my dad would simply answer,"Put a sweater on." Among the biggest mistakes is installing insulation with no proper ventilation path between the insulation and the building outside. This can create moisture issues. Thermal insulation shouldn't be set around old wiring. The National Electrical Code recommends against blown-in or batt insulation about old knob-and-tube wiring, which could protect against heat dissipation in the electrical conductors and start a fire. Old houses can be drafty areas, and hot air can escape from a great number of areas. Check and see where you might be losing heat in your home. Notice that the principal site of heat loss is through the top of the home. Heat rises and can escape though roofs which aren't adequately insulated.
How can you limit moisture issues?
What kind of insulation do you use?
How much insulation do you want for your property?
The most common insulation retrofit for older houses is loose fill because it can reach areas where it is hard to install insulation. The National Park Service (NPS) recommends using loose-fill cellulose (recycled paper ) insulation that's been treated only with borates as a flame retardant, as opposed to insulating material treated with ammonium or aluminum sulfate. "Insulation handled with sulfates reacts with moisture forming sulfuric acid, which can cause damage to many metals (like copper plumbing and wiring), rock, brick, and timber.
Are there any alternative green insulating material? Asbestos was a frequent part of heating insulation by 1910, and by the 1930s it was also being added to a building insulation products. Total removal of the insulation could be too invasive to many old homes so it needs to be left alone--unless your job is a entire rehab and you will be removing ceilings and walls. If the asbestos is flaking, you can encapsulate the substance --recall asbestos fibers are a health issue only when airborne. This answer will differ from old home to old property. Since warm air has a tendency to rise and cool air to collapse, insulating the loft is where to begin. If the loft is used as a living area, say a house office or play area, the insulation should be placed between the rafters.
It had been largely stopped in the 1980s because of concerns of off-gassing as the product remedies, but now we have a better comprehension of the item and that the quantity of vapors generated is finite. Following the first curing the material won't off-gas, unless it comes in contact with moisture or water, then it can break down and start off-gassing once more. You can have your house tested for these vapors by an environmental firm in your region. When retrofitting an old home with insulation, among the main points is to avoid creating moisture issues. Mold growth, peeling paint, and even rotting wood are signs of elevated moisture levels. In northern climates, moisture from living spaces (bathing, cooking, etc.) can cause problems when it migrates into walls and condenses in insulation, particularly during cold weather. In southern climates, moisture problems happen in the summertime when moist air from the exterior migrates to the construction. In such cases there is controversy over where to put the vapor barrier. Ask your insulation manufacturer for the appropriate placement.
Where do you put in insulation?
When insulating unfinished attics, place the batts on the ground with the vapor retarder facing toward the living area.
How can you decide whether you need insulation?
What should you do with insulation? Building insulation can be categorized into four basic categories: loose fill (cellulose, mineral, or glass fibers); batts (fiberglass, cotton, or different wools); rigid boards (composed of plastic foams or glass fibers); enlarging sprays (proprietary methods ). Batt and rigid insulation typically come into play during a significant restoration that needs replacing walls or when you're installing insulation in unfinished spaces such as attics. It's easy to confirm whether you have attic insulation--typically loose fill between ceiling joists or vulnerable batts of colored fiberglass. You can even check your outside walls for a collection of patched holes. Cotton batting treated with borates is a fantastic selection for an old-house retrofit. The National Park Service advises using insulation treated with borates in historical structures because it will not corrode piping. Blowing in insulation is the least invasive way of insulating your old property. You can add blown-in insulation on the inside or out the house. There is better guidance available than my dad dished out. Today there are tons of energy-saving, cost-effective thermal insulating choices available on the current market, and choosing what's acceptable for your house is dependent upon several factors. Here are a few suggestions to guide you through your old-house insulation project. An early insulating material still on the market now is Homasote fiber board, which is made up of 100 percent recycled paper mixed with a small quantity of additional components, such as paraffin wax as a water repellent and copper metaborate for immunity to fungi, termites, and carpenter ants. It's a Fantastic soundproofer, and although it has an R-value of just 1.2, South Pole explorers from the 1930s and'40s lined their buildings with it