The different types of insulation
Some types of insulation can be installed yourself. Others need a professional with the proper equipment.
Consider the various types, their R-values and the thickness needed. The type you use for your project will depend on the spaces that need it. Insulation that works best for a ceiling isn’t the same as what works best in wall cavities, for example.
A combination of insulation types is usually the best solution, especially in new construction where all the spaces are open. But there are still many solutions a professional can suggest. No matter how old or new your house is, we can come in and improve your insulation.
BLANKETS — These are flexible batts or rolls made from mineral fibers like fiberglass. The come in widths that fit the standard spacing builders use for walls, attics and floors.
If some of the areas aren’t standard, they need to be hand-cut to fit (not squeezed, as they’ll lose some of their R-value). This would include by windows and doors, around light or outlet boxes, etc.
BLOWN-IN — This is a loose fill insulation made from materials like cellulose or fiberglass. It needs to be blown in with pneumatic equipment and is great for filling wall cavities, around obstructions and other irregular spaces.
This is also used in new construction in walls when mixed with an adhesive, so it doesn’t settle down into the spaces.
FOAM — This is also a type of spray-in insulation, made up of either open- or closed-cell foams. The advantage of the open-cell is allowing water vapor to move through more easily (resisting mold). But it has a lower R-value than closed-cell, so isn’t always the best choice.
Insulations with the names polyicynene, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane are all types of spray-in foams.
RIGID — This type is fibrous materials or plastic foams that are formed into “boards” and pipe coverings. It’s often used for foundations and in wall sheathing.
REFLECTIVE — Some insulation is made from aluminum foils with backings like plastic film, kraft paper or cardboard. It’s most effective in reducing downward heat flow. They’re typically used between floor joists, roof rafters and wall studs.