Insulation is an often-overlooked piece of the homeowner puzzle. Not only can it keep you warm during winter and cool during summer, it can do wonders for your energy bill.
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With this in mind, if you find yourself making decisions regarding the type of insulation to use inside your home, it can pay off to understand exactly what the pros and cons of each option are.
Perhaps the most well-known type of insulation, fibreglass is created using rock slag, recycled glass, quartz sand, soda ash, limestone and boron. This insulation comes in blankets, segments and loose fill.
It can be found at your local hardware store, and is probably the most widely used insulation material by DIYers.
Comprised of either new or recycled sheep wool, this type of insulation is often blended with other preservatives and materials to make it stronger. It is also usually treated to make it resistant to pests, mould and fire.
Wool is slightly less effective than fibreglass at containing heat, but the chemicals it is treated with make it more fire-resistant.
Synthetic insulation can come in various forms, including polyester and polystyrene. Polyester is more affordable than fibreglass while offering the same heat-containing properties, while polystyrene is actually better than fibreglass at containing heat.
Both types of insulation are long-lasting, but are also vulnerable if exposed, especially to water. Additionally, polystyrene can shrink over time.
Made out of urea and formaldehyde, foam insulation is pumped or injected into existing walls before it dries and becomes a solid shape.
This can be very beneficial to homeowners who do not wish to remove wall linings or cladding. However, foam insulation can lose its heat-containment strength as it dries, and is not suitable for brick homes.
These are only a few of the options available for home insulation, and regardless of which you choose, it's important to take effectiveness and cost into account, as chances are you'll be living with the choice you make for quite some time.