Insulation is a practice in which a building (either a home or a commercial building, or any other construction for that matter) is being isolated from outside influence. Even though it is usually done to isolate a home from weather effects (either extreme cold or extreme heat), insulation can also be done to eliminate outside sound (for example, in music studios or concert halls), fire or even impact.
In this article we’ll cover thermal insulation, its different types, and which to use in what situation and under which circumstances.
As the name suggests, this insulation looks like your walls have been covered in blankets. They’re usually done in commercial buildings and uses wide rolls of unfaced insulation. It is made from uniformly textured and tanned blanket, crafted from inorganic glass fibers glued with thermoset formaldehyde-free resin. Their size goes up to 10 inches in thickness, and is usually applied to either walls or roofs.
Concrete block insulation
Perhaps one of the most popular types of insulation is the concrete block insulation. That is mostly because concrete blocks are considered the most useful and most cost-effective type of building material. It’s cheap to make, easy to transport and simple to use. It is filled with foam insulation, either polystyrene, polyisocyanurate or polyiso, and polyurethane. Just make sure that the concrete blocks you are using are hollow.
Foam boards are usually used in private homes, as they are most versatile. They can be used to insulate pretty much every part of your home, from the walls, all the way up to the roof. Besides offering thermal resistance, they are also believed to add additional structural stability to your home. They’re also popular because they’re both lightweight and non-corrosive, as well as being easy to handle. If you are environmentally-aware, then foam board insulation is probably your best choice because it is ‘green’.
Loose-fill and blown-in
Loose-fill and blown-in types of insulation are usually blown into place, through the use of special equipment. Sometimes, depending on the type and the position of the wall being insulated, it can be poured in, as well. This type of insulation is great for areas which are already complete, as well as those that are of irregular shape.
A reflective insulation, also known as Radiant Barrier, consists of a reflective material that is usually placed on an external wall. It is mostly used in extreme hot climates, where the reflective insulation would bounce extra heat off. It is quite a popular solution because it is DIY (do it yourself), and is usually cheap.
The best part about rigid fibrous is that it can withstand extremely high temperatures. That is why it mostly has industrial use, and requires professionals to install it. You’ll need HVAC contractors to fabricate the insulation into ducts. That process is done either in the shop, or at the job site.