Fiberglass – Newest Improvements
|Be sure to read the special Author's Note at the end of this column. It provides updated information on this topic.|
As I mentioned in a previous article, insulation manufacturers are responding with new products. Two exciting technologies have emerged in response to some of the problems that installers have experienced in using existing materials.
When installing fiberglass batts in standard width wall, floor or ceiling stud (joist) bays, you generally have no problems. However, wires, pipes and irregular framed areas make for big problems. Fiberglass batts depend upon a tight fit to achieve desired R-values. This is tough to do around pipes and wires.
This problem led to the development of blow-in-blanket fiberglass insulation. The loose fiberglass is treated with an adhesive and blown behind a tightly stretched plastic membrane. This allows the fiberglass to fill every void and plug all holes. Plus, it's guaranteed not to settle!
Manufacturers are also producing fiberglass batt insulation which is wrapped entirely in plastic. This minimizes airborne fiberglass particles which recently are thought to be a possible carcinogen.
Another advantage is comfort of installation. Fiberglass can and does irritate your skin. I never looked forward to installing it. The new plastic wrapped batts are a plus!
You can also purchase high density fiberglass batts. These products offer a higher R-value per inch because they have more fiberglass fibers per cubic inch. This means that there are more small air pockets available to slow down heat loss or heat transfer.
The new products are exciting!
Routinely I am blessed to hear from professionals and industry experts who share in-depth and updated information about a topic. You'll absolutely want to read the letter I received from the President of NAIMA (North American Insulation Manufacturers Association). It really helps clarify some of the points I just touched on in the insulation columns.