If you want to bring isolation into your home, you’ll first need to be aware of the various options on the table.
Here’s what you need to know about the three main types of isolation.
In terms of thermal and acoustical insulation, fiberglass and mineral wool are among the best options out there. This material is actually often used in constructions. You can find them in rolls, often yellow or in flake form. Mineral wool is efficient, economical and easy to install.
If you end up installing it yourself, protect yourself against any risk of irritation, especially in the case of fiberglass.
On the other hand, the effectiveness of the insulation is sensitive to moisture and condensation. This is the reason why the material is protected by a vapor barrier, always towards the heated side. This thermal insulation can be covered with plasterboard or paneling.
Sprayed foam and other polyurethane insulation come in many variations, including polystyrene, depending on the manufacturing techniques used and additives from the process.
These insulators perform great in terms of insulation for temperatures, but are poor in terms of the acoustics.
They are generally insensitive to water. This may paradoxically generate moisture problems by stopping the natural migration of condensation through the masonry. The problem can be compensated through the use of mechanical ventilation (CMV).
Cellulose, plant, and animal wool
In recent years, many new types of insulation have appeared on the market, beyond the previous two major families.
Even if they have hastily been classified as “natural” insulation, we should first talk about their performance. Only thermal resistance should be used to compare insulating capabilities between fabrics. This is usually dependent upon the thickness of the product.
With that said, these new insulators generally appear comparable to those of conventional product performance. This is particularly the case for wood fiber, hemp, cellulose or straw. There are also alternative options, such as cotton insulation, recycled textiles, feather and sheep wool.
When purchasing these new options, always ask about the exact composition of the product. Some of which may be filled with exotic additives, such as flame retardants.