Types Of Insulation

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Numerous types of insulation are available for buildings, and some of them are better than others for use in walls, floors, ceilings, attics or roofs. Before hiring Denver roofing and insulation contractors, homeowners and businesses need to familiarize themselves with which types of insulation will best meet their needs.

Blanket insulation is the most available type, and it comes in rolls, or batts. The material often contains flexible fibers such as fiberglass, but it may also contain plastic fibers, mineral wool or natural fibers such as sheep’s wool or cotton. With an R value of 2.9 to 4.3 per inch of thickness, blanket insulation is best used in unfinished walls, floors, ceilings and attics. The rolls can be cut by hand to fit the space in which it’s being installed. Although rolls are available without facings, which aid in the fastening process, manufacturers usually attach vinyl, foil kraft paper or kraft paper to act as an air or a vapor barrier. Batts have special facings that are fire resistant as well.

Rigid foam insulation comes in panels that can be used to insulate walls, floors, ceilings and roofs. They are usually made with polystyrene, polyurethane or polyisocyanurate.

The inserts reduce heat conduction via structural materials such as steel studs and wood, and their R values range from 3.8 to 6.8 per inch depending on the composition.

Loose fill and blown in insulation are options meant for existing walls, attic floors and other open cavities that are hard to reach. The small particles conform to the space without disturbing finishes or structures. The most common materials used in loose fill insulation are cellulose, mineral wool and fiberglass. However, vermiculite and perlite as well as polystyrene beads may also be used. Blown in insulation usually consists of cellulose, rock wool or fiberglass. The R values for this type of insulation range from 2 to 3.6 per inch.

Structural insulated panels are prefabricated structural panels that are installed in new walls, floors, ceilings and roofs. They typically have R values of 3.8 to 8 per inch depending on the thickness of the foam board, which generally ranges from four to eight inches. The most common materials used for the foam are polyisocyanurate and polystyrene. The facing materials around the foam may be customized to meet the property owner’s specifications.

Liquid foam insulation can be foamed in, injected, poured or sprayed. It generally consists of polyurethane, phenolic, polyisocyanurate or cementitious materials. With R values of 2.3 to 8 per inch depending on the material used, liquid foam is best installed in existing walls, attic floors and new wall cavities.

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