The Pros and Cons of Common Types of Insulation for Your Home
A well-insulated home is more comfortable throughout the year and helps to reduce the cost of heating and cooling during winter and summer. Good insulation can also keep out moisture and excess humidity so your home is less likely to develop mold and mildew. There are a few common types of insulation that are available for a home, including blanketed insulation, loose fill insulation, and blown foam insulation. Note a few pros and cons of each of these so you can determine the best choice for your home.
1. Blanketed insulation
One of the best things about blanketed insulation is that it's very easy to install on your own. This insulation comes in rolls which you simply put into place, unroll, and then cut. The rolls are very lightweight and usually available at virtually any home improvement or hardware store. They also come in a wide variety of thicknesses, so you can opt for something very thick for maximum protection or something thinner if you're on a budget.
The downside to blanketed insulation is that it can be very irritating to your skin and dangerous for your eyes and nose. You need protective clothing, long gloves, wrap-around safety goggles, and a breathing apparatus when you install this type of insulation. It can also compress over time so that it loses its insulating properties and needs to be replaced.
2. Loose fill insulation
Loose fill insulation consists of loose fibers that are blown into areas behind walls and which then fill in all the nooks and crannies. It can be very efficient as the smaller pieces reach crevices that are not always covered with blanketed insulation. It may have a high recycled content so it's good for those who are environmentally conscious. However, using the machine that you need to blow this insulation into the home can be cumbersome and you may need to rely on a contractor to install this material for you.
3. Spray foam
Spray foam is very lightweight and it expands when it starts to dry. This allows it to fill in even more cracks, crevices, and tiny openings that would otherwise be missed with other forms of insulation. Often the foam is sprayed, allowed to expand and dry, and then cut to be level and even. It may better insulate your home against drafts and also provide sound insulation as well. Spray foam may also need a professional to install it because of the equipment used so it may not be the right choice for the do-it-yourselfer.