What is building insulation

What is building insulation?

If you’ve ever poked around in your home’s attic or had renovations carried out, you’ve probably caught a glimpse of building insulation at some point.  While it comes in many colors and forms, building insulation serves a singular purpose in every home or commercial building.

To brief you on this purpose and explain the various types of building insulation, we’ve prepared a quick guide.  As a bonus, we’ll also provide resources for insulation technicians, home builders, construction firms, asbestos removers, and other related topics.

Building Insulation Types

Building Insulation Types

Loose-fill and Blow-in

Loose-fill and blow-in insulation is composed of small particles of fiber, foam, cellulose, and mineral wool.  This unique composition allows this form of insulation to mold to various structural shapes and forms.

For applications where retrofitting and improvisation are required, loose-fill and blow-in insulation are strongly preferred by professionals.  This is due to the fact that it is significantly easier to install compared to other types of insulation.

Batt and Roll

Batt and roll insulation is the most common type of insulation used in cookie-cutter homes and standard commercial projects.  Since it comes in batts or rolls, this insulation can be rolled out much like a blanket to cover uniform spaces.

While it may not possess the same level of adaptability as loose-fill insulation, batt and roll materials are still quite popular among specialists.  This is generally due to the fact that they are quick to install and standardized to fit various industry-wall spacings, trusses, and floor joists.

Beyond this, it’s also worth noting that batt and roll insulation can be covered with protective layers to act as air barriers, vapor barriers, and flame-resistant facings.

Reflective Insulation

While most insulation materials resist conductive and convective heat sources, reflective insulation earns its name by reflecting radiant heat.  This makes it well-suited for protecting homes against summer heat which primarily comes from directed sunlight.

Reflective insulation works considerably well as it deflects sunlight thereby decreasing radiant heat transfer.  This is usually accomplished through the use of reflective materials such as aluminum foil backed with kraft paper, plastic film, or even cardboard.

Spray Foam/Foam-In-Place

Among the many insulation types available, we would say that spray foam insulation lends itself best to irregular spaces.  This is because spray foam is transported in a liquid state and deployed through the use of a sprayer much like roof paint.

Once it has been exposed to air, the foam expands to effectively fill cavities and spaces.  A side effect of this expansion is an extremely tight air seal which works to eliminate heat transfer as a result of airflow.

Most spray foam insulation is composed of polyurethane in either an open-cell or closed-cell configuration.  The former is less dense and works well for more delicate surfaces while the latter is considerably denser and by extension, firmer.

Now that we’ve covered the basic types of insulation, we sincerely hope you’ll have a better understanding of what insulation is and what it can do for your home or commercial property.