PROPERLY INSULATE YOUR HOME
TYPES OF RESIDENTIAL INSULATION
Insulating your Calgary home is a necessity. From keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter to protecting your property from water damage, your attic insulation, wall insulation and other forms of insulation are very beneficial. Insulation also provides large energy savings. These energy benefits can increase the resale value of your property. Most Canadian climates recommend that homes carry and average R-Value of R-40 or higher to provide adequate airflow resistance.
A number of different residential insulation types can be used in various aspects of your home. Leave your residential insulation needs to 4 Weather. Our team will inspect your entire property and install the ideal forms of insulation to provide you with the most benefits possible.
Blanket and Batt
This is the most commonly used type of insulation. Insulation blankets are ideal for unfinished walls as well as floors and ceilings. Insulation blankets are made of fibreglass, mineral wool and natural fibres. The blankets can be efficiently installed between studs and are rather inexpensive. 2×4 inch walls spacing can use R-13 or 15 bats while a 2×6 inch wall spacing can use R-19 or 21 batts. These batts can be installed with custom facings that increase their resistance to water. The blankets often carry and average R-value of 2.9-4.3 per square inch, so roughly 10 or 11 inches of the insulation will be required for an R-40 rating, which will cost about 50 cents per square foot of material.
Foam boards are made of polystyrene, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane. These boards are ideal for insulating concrete blocks in your home’s foundation and walls as well as for floors and unvented, low-slope roofs. These boards can also be ideal for special applications, such as attic hatches. These insulation boards need to be covered by a 1/2-inch building code-approved material, like gypsum board for interior installations. Exterior installations need a waterproof layer. These boards offer relatively high R-value of 5.7 on average per square inch of insulation thickness.
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs)
Poured concrete walls that are insulated with foam boards to offer increased thermal resistance. ICFs utilise interlocking foam boards that are fastened together with plastic ties and often are reinforced with steel rebar. Insecticide-treated foam blocks can be the most long-standing ICF insulators as they are more resistant to ground water and insects than a traditional foam board. A properly installed ICF can provide an R-value of R-20 in the concrete wall.
Loose-fill or blown-in insulation is made of cellulose and fibreglass materials and is most commonly used in attic space and wall cavities. This insulation’s spraying and pouring abilities can also make it perfect for installing in hard to reach areas. The insulation can be efficiently installed with an insulation blower and hose. Loose-fill insulation that is cellulose based offers an average R-value of 3.5 per inch. Fibreglass loose-fill can provide an average R-value of 2.5 per inch. Rock wool can provide average R-values of 3.1-3.2 per inch of thickness. To effectively insulate Canadian attics, around 12 inches of loose-fill insulation needs to be installed.
Reflective barriers are made of foil based craft barriers and work to radiate heat back out of the attic space and keep it out of the home. This insulation is more commonly used in warm climates and is most effective with another form of insulation. An insulation that carries and R-value of R-19 can jump up to R-30 when backed with a radiant barrier. This insulation type can help reduce your home’s cooling bills by up to 10% through the summer months.
Spray foam insulation is made of Cementitious, Phenolic, Polyisocyanurate (polyiso) and Polyurethane materials. The foam is mixed and sprayed into either the crevasses of a home or used a full insulating layer on your home’s attic space, walls and other areas. A layer of gypsum board is installed beneath any layer of spray foam insulation. There are two types of spray foam, closed and open cell. Closed cell is more costly but offers an industry leading R-value of 6.2 per inch and can be used to seal water and air leakage points in the home. Open-cell is less costly but only offers and average R-value of 3.7 per inch of thickness. Spray foam should only be installed in areas with proper ventilation to avoid trapping air and creating moisture issues in the home.
Rigid fibreglass insulation is made of mineral wool and fibreglass materials. This insulation can withstand very high temperatures, which makes it ideal for insulating ducts in unconditioned areas. This insulation is often sold in 1-2.5 inch widths and offers an average R-value of 4 per inch of thickness. Unfaced boards can be finished with cement or weatherproof plastic, which can improve their durability, relative R-value and moisture protection.
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
Structural Insulated panels can be built in a range of sizes from foam board and straw core materials. These panels are installed during new construction projects to unfinished walls, floor, ceilings and roofs. SIPs can save upwards of 14% on your energy bills and can be built to sizes of 8 by 24 feet. These custom insulation boards also offer an average R-value of 4.2 per inch. These boards can be susceptible to fire damage, but with the installation of gypsum board, most fire damage risks can be avoided.