Insulation simply refers to the process of reducing the amount of heat lost or gained in a building through the use of various materials. This is also referred to as thermal insulation.
Being able to thermally insulate one’s home, has always been an area that presents unimagined problems to homeowners. These problems ranges from whether the insulation was properly done, what is the best time to insulate your home, what materials assures you of having the best insulation, which parts of the house to insulate and the prices of these materials. All these makes the mere thought of insulating one’s home a tall hill to climb for most homeowners.
Though trying to insulate your home is as challenging as the word challenging itself, insulating your home is for the greater good of the entire world. Insulating one’s home helps in ensuring that the house becomes energy efficient and this provides the following benefits;
It helps you to save a lot of money that would have been spent on energy bills.
Conservation of fuel is also ensured.
It aids in the provision of an environment that is safe for all mankind.
· When to insulate your home
This is a question that has always baffled homeowners. Most homeowners are always left in a state of indecision when it comes to the time that it is most important to insulate a home. Homeowners ask themselves questions like, ‘’Do I insulate my home during the construction stage or after the completion of the building? ‘’Do I do it in the winter or during the summer? However, when it comes to the question of when to insulate your home, it is better to take into consideration the cost involved.
Ø Insulating your home during the construction stage
This helps you to have an already installed insulation system in your house even before the building gets completed. This type of insulation gives you a more permanent way of checking the amount of heat that is gained or lost within your home. It also ensures that the building gets insulated in a more complete way as every part insulation done at this stage always gets done perfectly well without room for any errors.
Insulation of such buildings mostly make use of insulating materials such as foam, fibreglass, cellulose and sometimes rock wool (mineral wool), rigid foams, (SIP’s) structural insulated panels and sprayed foam. New homes also make use of blanket insulation.
When one insulates his or her home during the construction stage, it helps one to have time to carefully select the best insulating materials. In other words, one is able to select the insulating materials that have the highest R-values or have the best ability to control the amount of heat gained or lost in the building.
Ø Insulating your home after the building has been completed
This is the most common insulation that one is likely to find these days. People are sometimes obsessed with having a house that they live in insulated to their taste and needs. The possibility of an individual getting his or her own house constructed is becoming a bit outmoded as these estate developers acquire vast plots of land and develop entire communities on these lands and sell them to people who are ready to own a house. With such agencies around, the idea of getting your house insulated during the construction stage is eliminated. This leaves a homeowner with no other option than to go in for an after completion insulation.
This type of insulation offers homeowners some advantages which include;
It provides one with the opportunity to insulate the house to meet your requirements.
It makes it possible for you to insulate places that really need to be insulated instead of having to insulate everything.
It also helps a homeowner to know the right insulation materials to use in order to gain maximum results.
Insulation during construction stage and insulation after construction of the building are the two major periods during which one can insulate his or her home. It is therefore up to a homeowner to choose which of these periods to insulate his or her home whilst taking into consideration which is most appropriate.
· What to insulate your home with
This is also another aspect of the problems associated with insulation of one’s home which has for some time now worried most homeowners. Finding the right materials to insulate one’s home with has always been a tough nut to crack for homeowners and it is only expedient to take a brief look into such an area.
Materials for insulating various parts of a building:
- Blanket (batts and rolls): This is used in the insulation of uncompleted walls, floors and ceilings. The materials used include fiberglass, mineral wool, plastic fibers and natural fibers.
- Concrete block insulation: This used in the insulation of walls that have not been finished, new constructions as well as major renovations and concrete blocks. The materials used include foam board and foam beads.
- Rigid foam: This is used in the insulation of roofs, floors, ceilings and unfinished walls. The materials used are polystyrene, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane.
- Insulating concrete forms (ICF’s): This is used in the insulation of all unfinished walls in a new building. The materials used are foam boards or blocks
- Loose-fill and Blown-in: This is used in the insulation of enclosed walls or open spaces found within walls, attic floors that are not yet completed and other places that cannot be reached easily.
- Reflective system: This is used in the insulation of uncompleted walls, ceilings and floors. The materials used include foil-faced Kraft paper, plastic film, polyethylene bubbles and cardboard.
- Fiber insulation: This is used in the insulation of ducts in spaces and places that have the capability of withstanding very hot conditions. The materials used include fiberglass and mineral wool.
- Sprayed foam: This is used in the insulation of enclosed walls, open places within walls and uncompleted attic floors. The materials used are polyurethane, polyisocyanurate, phenolic and cementitious.
- Structural insulated panels (SIP’s): This is used in the insulation of uncompleted walls, ceilings, floors and the roofs of new buildings. The materials used include foam board and straw core insulation.
These are the various materials that can be used in insulating different parts of a building. It is worthy to note that each material should be used specifically for the stated part of the building so as to ensure maximum results.