The Importance of Home Insulation
There are several choices when selecting the type of home insulation for your Madison residence. The suitability depends on where the insulation will be installed and the recommended R value of the area to be insulated. The R-value is a measure of a material’s ability to inhibit heat transfer. All R-values are based on the specific thicknesses of insulation materials and are usually indicated on their packaging.
Our guide will give you the basics of the different types home insulation materials with the benefits of each for your Dane County home.
Blanket insulation is the most common type of home insulation. It comes in flexible batts or rolls that are easy to carry and transport. These are made from fibers such as fiberglass, mineral wool, plastic fibers or natural fibers such as sheep’s wool and cotton.
The batts are available in widths that can be fitted between wall studs, floor joists and attic rafters or trusses. Continuous rolls can be cut and trimmed to fit in different areas such as those around wires, electric outlets and plumbing pipes. Blanket insulation is generally suitable for use in unfinished walls, ceilings and floors.
Loose-Fill or Blown-In Insulation
This type of insulation requires a blowing machine which shoots a stream of insulation material in the form of loose-fill insulation material. The materials are typically cellulose, mineral wool and fiberglass. The insulation material can conform to any kind of space. Blown-in insulation is especially suitable for irregularly-shaped areas and hard-to-reach areas like edges, corners and around framing. It neither settles nor decays. It can be installed in enclosed spaces as walls as well as unenclosed ones such as attics. Our favorite is Expanding Blown-In Insulation by Owen Corning. It allows us to give you the best total blown insulation for your attic.
Foam Board Insulation
Foam board insulation consists of numerous tiny bubbles that are set in a medium such as polyurethane and polystyrene. It is usually installed under a concrete floor, interior and exterior parts of a house during a major renovation. It’s a popular application for insulating floors and basement walls. During installation, the boards are glued and screwed to the foundation and floor. Dry wall covers the interior application and a weatherproofing veneer is put on top when used for exterior walls. It comes in standard lightweight framing sizes that can be easily cut for fitting small areas. Another benefit is that its properties don’t expel harmful vapors or cause skin irritations. The downside is that it has lower R-value than batting or blown-in so it’s generally used in areas that aren’t heated such as basements.
Spray Foam Insulation
This involves the use of insulation materials in the form of liquid foam. The materials can be injected, poured, sprayed or foamed-in-place. It will stick to anything it comes into contact with including pipes, ducts and wires. The foam starts expanding within seconds of application filling in gaps and cracks to stop air leaks which reduces energy cost. Spray foam insulation is suitable for reinforcing insulation in finished areas and also for application in irregularly-shaped or hard-to-reach areas such as those around obstructions.
Why Insulation is Essential
Insulation is important as it ensures optimal energy efficiency in your home. If your house is properly insulated, warm air will remain inside during winter. Similarly, cool air will remain inside during summer. Since indoor air won’t be lost, a uniform temperature will be maintained throughout your house to maintain comfort. Proper insulation is also a great benefit to the resale value of your house.
One of the most important places to insulate in your Wisconsin home is the attic. As you already know, hot air rises. If your attic is not insulated, this air will be lost through the roof in the cold weather. This will increase your expenses of heating the house.
With proper attic insulation, you will be amazed at the benefit of controlling the temperature of your home therefore reducing your energy bills. If you’re ready to see how Ridge Top Exteriors in Madison can help you, fill out our contact form or call to schedule a Free Estimate 608-249-0831.