Different Types of Insulation
What are the trade-offs?
The trade-offs between different insulation types include general differences based on the techniques and materials (e.g. foam vs. fiberglass), and some specific differences based on your structure (home or business). Even though our name is Upstate Spray Foam Insulation, we install all forms of insulation, from spray foam to fiberglass batt, blown-in blanket, reflective barriers, intumescent coatings, and more.
Insulation Types: Similarities & Differences
The most common solutions for a home are fiberglass, blown-in (loose fill), and spray polyurethane foam (SPF). Depending on the product, blown-in/loose fill insulation can be made up of cellulose and/or fiberglass.
Compared to SPF and cellulose, fiberglass batt (rolled out) material generally costs less, though the installation cost is much higher, and it insulates less well, especially in extreme cold. Fiberglass is easier to install as a do-it-yourself job, though safety precautions still need to be taken.
Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF)
SPF insulates much better, pays back much faster in saved energy costs, adds structural strength, and (depending on the type of SPF used) achieve a high quality vapor-resistive barrier, sealing the cracks and gaps in your home against air and moisture leakage. With SPF, you save more on energy costs, reduce pollutants and allergens, and increase your protection against mold. An added benefit: it also protects your home from pests. Fiberglass and blown-in also lose their insulating properties more quickly over time, while spray foam retains its effectiveness much longer.
Blown-in or Blow-in
Blown-in insulation—also known as blow-in insulation—costs a little more, and it also doesn’t insulate as well as SPF. Blown-in products are often used in retrofit applications, where your home is currently occupied and is not under construction. In these cases, solutions would include blowing insulation into your exterior walls, but also include installing a specific depth in your attic space. Blown-in insulation has many advantages over traditional fiberglass batt (rolled-out) insulation. Blown-in can be installed as a dense-pack in your walls (providing a much better air-barrier), and it can also be seamlessly installed in an attic space without any of the gaps, voids, or seams that allow heat to escape.
What’s Best for You?
While any insulation is “good” and is serving a purpose, blown-in insulation can only do so much. That’s where spray polyurethane foam comes into play. SPF provides superior insulation, but more importantly, provides air-sealing qualities that blown-in insulation can’t. Where moisture and dampness may be a concern in a crawlspace or basement, SPF stands alone as the best solution for these conditions. In today’s world, you want to insulate your home to make it as air-tight as possible, and in turn include mechanical ventilation to maintain proper indoor air quality for you and your family. Spray foam makes this task simple.
Want to see what the difference will be for you? We’ll give you a breakdown of costs, trade-offs, and options.
Contact us today to schedule your free estimate!