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What You Need To Know Before You Buy Drywall or Insulation

Insulation enhances the energy efficiency of your home and reduces your cooling and heating. When you have enough insulation, your HVAC system can work at its best and make you feel the most comfortable. 

When it comes to insulation, all materials have their pros and cons, and they provide optimal results only when they are properly installed. Here are a few things you need to consider when buying insulation materials.

Thermal Performance

When buying drywall insulation, your goal must be to maximize the R-value per dollar you spend. You also need to choose materials that permit minimal air filtration. When standard air-ceiling methods are combined with mineral wool and fiberglass insulation, it is possible to reduce air infiltration to near zero.

Both mineral wool insulation and fiberglass insulation are UV stable. That means exposure to ultraviolet rays does not affect their thermal performance. By contrast, UV exposure can affect the performance of spray foam. Still, spray foam is not a bad insulator. It has some other advantages. 

thermal insulation

Sound Insulation

Worker in protective goggles and respirator insulating rock wool insulation in wooden frame for future house walls for cold barrier. Comfortable warm home, economy, construction and renovation concept

Insulation also prevents unwanted noise from entering your home. So, if you live in a noisy environment, by properly insulating your home, you can enjoy more peace inside. This might even boost your productivity by enabling you to work or study without being disturbed by outside noise. 

Fire protection

fire insulation

Mineral wool and fiberglass insulation are usually non-combustible. Spray foam insulation, on the other hand, is inflammable at 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Its flammability can be reduced by using cellulose insulation. 

Health impacts

Some insulation materials are hazardous to your health. Mineral wool and fiberglass insulation are not known to cause cancer, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US National Toxicology Program (NTP). Spray foam may contain isocyanates, which can trigger asthma if you are sensitive to them. There are no guidelines regarding the safe level of exposure to isocyanates.

Moisture and mold

spray polyurethane foam for roof

Mineral wool and fiberglass insulation don’t need any time to cure or dry before they are put in. An advantage of this is that moisture cannot get into the cavity. Mineral wool and fiberglass also have the benefit of absorbing less than 1% of their weight in water. Spray foam and cellulose have a wet application. This makes them more susceptible to absorbing moisture. 

Buying Insulation

When buying insulation for your home, the most important thing to consider is the R-value. R denotes the resistance to heat flow. Materials that have a higher R-value have better insulating power. 

Manufacturers are required by law to reveal the R-value of their insulation products. So, two products with the same R-value but made by different companies offer the same level of insulation. This is true even when the two insulation materials are different. 

How much insulation do you need?

Builder insulating wooden frame house

It depends on where you live. If you live in a cold climate, you will need more insulation than people who live in warmer regions. Another factor that determines the amount of insulation you need is the structure of your home. 

Materials with a higher R-value need to be used to insulate attics and rooms with cathedral ceilings. Lower R-value materials can be used in basements. 

The primary objective of insulating your home is to prevent energy loss. To find out where energy is being wasted in your house, you need to do an energy audit. 

Check your home’s insulation, heating system, windows, doors, and any other places where energy could be escaping. You can either get a professional to do this or do it yourself.

Insulation is critical to keeping your home comfortable all year. Here are a few things to keep in mind before buying insulation for your home. 

If you are looking to buy insulation for your garage, the most important consideration is the R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating power. 

For your garage, choose polyurethane insulation. It is more expensive than extruded polystyrene, but while polystyrene has an R-value of 9, polyurethane has an R-value of 18. Obviously, it insulates much better. 

Whenever possible, do not buy paper-faced insulation. Paper-faced insulation is not suitable for standard insulating jobs. Paper facing makes it difficult to cut the batts. Also, with these batts, it is not possible to build a tight vapor retarder. 

Close gaps in insulation

Gaps in the insulation create a suitable environment for mold to grow. Warm air will flow out or in through insulation gaps. When warm air comes into contact with cold surfaces, it leads to the condensation of water vapor in the air. 

This creates a suitable environment for mold to grow. These spots are usually found on outside walls near windows or around outlets. Try cleaning the spot and using a dehumidifier to reduce indoor humidity. If the mold still persists, you have to open the wall to fix the problem. 

Add attic insulation

If the attic is properly insulated, it will reduce heat loss. This is especially true in the case of older homes. The attic insulation should have an R-value between 22 and 49. Your local building department can tell you the level recommended for your area. For insulating the attic, loose-fill insulation is better than fiberglass batts. 

Insulate pipes

Worker's hand is holding insulation for home heating pipes.

Water problems can occur in the basement if you allow condensation to drip from cold pipes. If you use foam pipe insulation to cover all cold water pipes, condensation can be stopped. Foam insulation is cheap, and you can easily cut it with scissors. 

Insulate walls

Exterior walls also need to be insulated to prevent condensation. If you live in a cold area, you can save money on heating by insulating your basement walls. However, before covering the walls with insulation, make sure that water is not leaking in from outside. 

Seal the rim joists

If your rim joists are not properly insulated, your energy bills will go up substantially. A good option is to seal all rim joists with a minimum of 2-inch-thick extruded polystyrene insulation. Small gaps can be filled with caulk and bigger ones with spray foam. 

If you are doing this job yourself, use expanding foam carefully. It is super sticky and nearly impossible to get off your skin or clothes. Make sure that you are wearing disposable gloves when working with expanding foam. 

Invest in mold-resistant building materials.

Areas of your house where moisture has always been a problem will have to be rebuilt. And when you rebuild, make sure that you are using mold-resistant materials. Walls should be constructed with pressure-treated wood and covered with paperless drywall. Mold cannot grow on it. Spray foam insulation is highly recommended for insulating areas around the windows. It is also quite good at keeping the door or window in place. 

A thermal leak detector can help you find drafts. You can buy it online. This is a battery-operated tool that uses infrared sensors to detect spots that are colder or warmer than the surrounding areas. Thus, it allows you to detect poor insulation or an air leak. 

A leaky ceiling is worse than leaky walls because hot air rises. In many houses, the flow of air through the ceilings is the major cause of heat loss. Once you have detected the leaks, all of them can be fixed with foam or caulk. 


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