Insulation is available in various types. The common types of insulation are batt or rolls, loose fill (blown in), spray applied foam insulation, rigid insulation, and reflective insulation.
The batt or rolls insulation consists of fiber glass insulation, rock and slag wool insulation, cotton/denim insulation. These types of insulations are generally installed in sidewalls, attics, floors, cathedral ceilings, and basements. The fiberglass batt are made from molten glass and sand. The rock and slag wool is similar to fiberglass except for the difference that it is made from rock like materials and slag. Cotton / denim insulations are made from recycled scrap denim. These types of insulations are available in rolls and can be custom cut as per need. Pre-cut lengths are also available for these insulators. The batt or rolls insulations are suitable for the following applications.
- Timber floors
– Ceilings: flat ceilings / Pitched roof and Cathedral or Raked ceilings
– Suspended slabs
Batts are mainly used in standard spacing free of obstructions (they should be particularly well fitted between beams and joists).
The loose fill or blown in insulation usually consists of materials such as rock wool, fiberglass, cellulose, and polyurethane foam. These materials are particularly suited for irregular areas and around obstructions, or for adding insulation to existing buildings. For example, fiberglass insulation is a very effective loose fill insulation since it prevents air movement which causes heat loss. The rock and slag wool insulations are best to insulate the hard to reach places. Cellulose is made from recycled newspapers. This insulator needs a mechanical blowing machine for the installation. It is used in insulating the attics and walls. It is very common to have these types of insulation installed by a professional.
The spray applied insulation is available in fiber glass, rock and slag wool, cellulose, and polyurethane foam. These insulators are used to insulate the sidewalls. This type of insulation i ideal to insulate places like plumbing chases, electrical outlets and pipes which are hard to reach. It is also used to insulate the building envelope. The fiber glass spray insulations do not have the weight and corrosion problems like the cellulose insulations. The polyurethane foam is best against air leak which is a major cause of heat loss. The spray applied insulation is generally more expensive than the batt or loose fill insulation. It is better to have a professional to install these types of insulators.
The class of rigid insulation comprises of fibrous materials, and plastic foams like extruded polystyrene, expanded polystyrene, polyurethane and polyisocyanurate. This type of insulation is commonly installed in foundation wall, exterior wall, interior basement walls, under slab, and pipes. These insulators consists of millions of densely packed air cells. These insulators provide good acoustic and thermal insulation. The insulation boards can be coated with reflective coils to reduce potential heat flow.
The reflective insulations are constructed using aluminum foils. They use Kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles, and cardboard laminated onto paper or plastic. These insulations are commonly installed in roof rafters, floor joists, wall studs, crawl spaces, ceilings and basements. This type of insulation is very effective to reduce downward heat flow. It reduces heat gain through roof in summer and heat loss through floor in winter. This is used in warmer climate mainly.
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