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What is Insulation? Types of Insulation

ist of advantages and places where the insulation could be installed.


Insulation is used to create thermal resistance around your building, saving you money and creating a comfortable place. Insulation, when installed properly, will reduce heating and cooling costs by keeping cool weather inside the building and reducing heat losses. The type of insulation and the form of insulation will depend on your climate and the R-value you would like to have. Remember every type of insulation has also its benefits and cons depending on the type of structure where insulation is being installed.

1. Insulation Type: SIP

Structural Insulated Panels
By Ashley Balsam Baz

SIP could be used to provide a superior and uniform insulation system when compared to traditional building methods. SIP-built houses take less time to build. SIP. SIP is made of foam board or liquid foam insulation core that could be used on unfinished walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs.

2. Insulation Type: Sprayed Foam

Courtesy of diamondmountain.

Sprayed foam could be made of cementitious or polyurethane materials, and applied using small spray containers (foamed-in-place). It is ideal for irregularly shaped areas, around obstructions or can be used to add insulation over existing finished areas. It can be applied in new wall cavities, unfinished attic floors or enclosed existing walls.

3. Insulation Type: Concrete

Concrete could provide increased R-values when insulated concrete blocks are used. Although it is more a specialized task to do, insulated concrete blocks could really moderate indoor temperatures. This type of insulation is ideal to be used on new construction, over unfinished walls, foundation walls or major renovations. Insulated concrete blocks consist of a foam board placed inside of a wall, or outside depending on the type of construction and installed without mortar and surface bonded. R-Values could be increased if the manufacturer incorporates beads or air into the concrete mix (Aerated concrete), achieving at least 10 times the insulating value of traditional concrete. Insulation is literally built into the home's walls, creating high thermal resistance and installed as part of the building structure.

4. Insulation Type: Blanket Batts and Rolls

Insulation in the form of blanket batts and rolls are made of fiberglass or mineral wool. This type of insulation could be used on unfinished walls, foundation walls, floors and ceilings. Blanket batts could be installed between studs, joists and beams. It is one of the most inexpensive forms of insulation and is really easy to install.

5. Insulation Type: Foam Board

Polystyrene or polyurethane foam boards provide superior insulating R-values for relatively little thickness. When used on interior applications, it is recommended to cover them with a ½ inch thick gypsum board panel, or other approved building material. This type of insulation is recommended to be used in unvented low slope roofs, floors, ceilings and walls, although exterior applications must be covered with weatherproof facing. Foam boards can block thermal short circuits when installed over frames or joists.

6. Insulation Type: Loose-Fill and Blown-In

Loose-fill and blown-in insulation could be installed on unfinished attic floor, on new wall cavities, and places where is really difficult to access. It is installed by blowing into place using special equipment, and sometimes could also be poured in. Made out of fiberglass or cellulose materials, this type of insulation is excellent when used to add insulation to existing finished areas, or irregular shaped areas.

7. Insulation Type: Reflective

Reflective type insulation could be found in the form of foil-faced kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, or cardboard. Great when used on unfinished walls, ceilings and floors, this type of insulation consists of foils, films, or papers fitted between wood-frame studs, joists, rafters, and beams. Reflective insulation is suitable for framing at standard spacing, or if framing is irregular then the bubble-form insulation could be used. It is one of the best types of insulation preventing downward heat flow.

8. Insulation Type: Fiber Insulation

Normally used in places that will be affected by really high temperatures, or commonly used in HVAC systems. One the advantages of this type of insulation are that could be installed at shops or at the job sites. They are made of fiberglass or mineral wool.

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