Insulation is any material that resists heat transfer. They keep the building warm during winter and cool during summer, thus reducing energy costs.

The unit of measurement for the effectiveness of an insulation product is its R-value. This is based on the insulation’s thickness, material and density. The higher the R-value, the more effective an insulation product is.

Types of Insulation

Insulation products commonly available in the market can be categorized into four types: loose-fill, blanket, rigid board and spray foam.

Loose-fill Insulation

Loose-fill insulation consists of small particles of fiber, foam or other materials. The most common type of materials used for loose-fill insulation includes cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral wool, which are produced using recycled materials. This type of insulation is more costly but well-suited for retrofits and for places where installation of other types of insulation products is difficult.

Blanket Insulation

Blanket insulation is the most common and widely available type of insulation and is the least expensive. It is manufactured in sheets or rolls of different widths. It consists of flexible fibers, most commonly fiberglass but also mineral wool, plastic fibers and natural fibers such as cotton and sheep’s wool. A facing such as kraft paper, foil-kraft paper or vinyl is usually attached to the blanket insulation to act as a vapor barrier or air barrier as well as facilitate fastening during installation.

Rigid Board Insulation

Rigid board insulation is generally composed of fiberglass, polystyrene or polyurethane.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation contains a polymer agent and a foaming agent. It is sprayed into small spaces and cracks for an airtight structure. Originally in liquid form, this type of insulation expands quickly into solid plastic when applied.

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