Insulation 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting New Insulation

If you’re wondering how to install insulation, you should take a step back and first get to know more about insulation, why it’s important, the various types of insulation, and how to find the right insulation company to install it for you. 

Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about both commercial and residential insulation so you can best protect your home or business.

Why is Insulation Important?

When your home or business has the correct amount of insulation, it will reduce the flow of heat, thus reducing the energy the building needs to either heat or cool it. 

Proper insulation from the basement to the attic to protect it against the brutal cold in the winter as well as excess heat during the hot summer months. 

Additionally, insulation combats noise pollution by containing sounds to their room and preventing them from leaking through walls and ceilings. 

What Does Insulation Do?

Insulation works to stop heat gain and loss by slowing the overall rate of heat flow. Insulation plays a major role in how comfortable you are in your home or business and how much the energy bills are. 

Various Types of Insulation

There are numerous types of insulation that all serve a slightly different purpose. 

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation, or spray polyurethane foam (SPF), is the most energy-efficient and advanced kind of insulation. 

This foam insulation also serves as an effective air sealant, keeping cold and hot air from leaking throughout the property. 

There are two options, closed-cell and open-cell SPF. Closed-cell adds additional structural strength and is resistant to vapors, while open-cell is not a water barrier or vapor retardant.

How Much Does Spray Foam Insulation Cost?

Open-cell spray foam typically costs somewhere around $0.2-0.5 per foot, while closed-cell insulation costs a bit more at $0.9-1.50 per foot.

Attic Insulation

Attic insulation not only keeps the building protected from bad weather outside like wind, snow, and rain, but it also helps a building retain its temperature, whether it should be cooler in the summer or warmer in the winter. Attic insulation can be spray foam, fiberglass batt insulation, or cellulose insulation.

Foam Board Insulation

Foam board insulation is a good alternative to other types of insulation, especially fiberglass batt insulation that is found in most homes. It consists of large sheets of foam, ranging from ¼ inch thick to 2 inches.

Blown-in Insulation

Blown-in insulation uses a high percentage of recycled material to provide a dense barrier that is effective at avoiding heat loss especially in walls, attics, and areas that are hard to reach. It is an efficient and eco-friendly option.

Rockwool Insulation

Rockwool insulation is made up of stone mineral wool. It is highly resistant to heat flow due to its stiffer batts. It’s water-resistant and fire-resistant as well, which provides some safety benefits in addition to its protection.

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation is a commonly used type of insulation mainly due to its affordability. It is usually made up of about 20-30% recycled material, making it somewhat green. It’s incredibly easy to install and is available in loose-fill options to fill in odd spaces.

Crawl Space Insulation

Crawl space insulation is a great idea for any buildings that have it. For this purpose, you can use spray foam or foam boards to protect the area and contain the heat from the bottom of the home.

How to Install Insulation

The insulation process varies depending on the type you’re using, but the basic steps that insulation installation uses are as follows:

  • Check the space where you intend to insulate for any obstructions such as plumbing, wiring, or ductwork.
  • If using insulation boards, cut to the desired length and width for the area you’re insulating.
  • If using spray foam, prepare the equipment for use.
  • Apply the insulation where it is needed until the area is completely insulated.
  • Apply vapor barrier if necessary to prevent mold growth.

Commercial Insulation

Commercial insulation is not all that different from residential insulation, the space in which insulation is applied only varies a bit. 

The most common insulation types used for commercial buildings include fiberglass insulation, mineral wool or Rockwool insulation, spray foam insulation, and cellulose insulation.

What is Commercial Insulation and What All Does it Include?

Commercial insulation is simply insulation that would be used in a commercial building, such as a warehouse, office building, convenience stores, or any building in commerce. One of the most common types of commercial building insulation is spray foam insulation, as it’s easy to apply even in hard-to-reach areas like within interior walls. 

Commercial insulation contractors can walk through your commercial building to identify the areas where insulation would benefit you, or is in use. This likely includes any attic space, wall space, basements, ceilings, and floors. 

Another important place to apply commercial insulation is the roof, where heat can easily flow. You want to use a material with high resistance to conductive heat flow since the roof directly interacts with the outside elements. Some of the most widely used materials for commercial roofs include Rockwool, fiberglass, spray foam, and batting boards.

After a walk through, they’ll discuss the best insulation material to use for your specific building and needs. Finally, they’ll complete the application and may check back in later to see how the insulation has impacted both comfort and efficiency of the building.

Residential Insulation

Residential insulation is important because it keeps you and your family comfortable indoors all year long. If you’re looking for insulation for residential homes, you should look for residential insulation contractors who specialize in this line of work specifically. 

The type of material used will depend on your home and your local area’s weather conditions, but many homeowners prefer to use standard fiberglass batt insulation for areas such as the attic and basement or spray foam insulation for the areas that are particularly hard to reach.

How Much Does Insulation Cost?

The cost of insulation will vary depending on how large your building is and how many areas you need to be insulated. The material you choose to use will also impact the pricing. 

A typical price for insulation is about $0.60-$1.20 per square foot. If your area is 500 square feet, it would then be around $200 to install yourself or $300 to get it installed by a professional. Of course, pricing will vary based on your location and the contractor you choose.

How Much Insulation Do I Need?

To figure out how much insulation your home or commercial building needs, you could either measure the square footage of the area you wish to insulate, use an online insulation calculator, or talk to a professional insulation technician, who can provide you with more details.

Insulation Contractors – What You Need to Know

When considering different insulation companies, there are a few things you should look out for before you make your final decision. 

What to Look Out for

  • Licensing. To see if they are licensed, you should check with your state or county’s licensing department.
  • Reviews. You can get an idea of how satisfied past customers were by looking at online reviews.
  • Experience. How long has the contractor been insulating buildings? Do they have experience with the particular kind of insulation you’re looking for?
  • Cost. Is their quote in your budget? A good contractor won’t be the cheapest option, but they shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg, either.

What Questions to Ask Your Insulation Contractor

Ask these questions to your contractor before you agree to work with them:

  1. Are you licensed and insured?
  2. How long have you been in business?
  3. Do you offer any warranties on your work?
  4. How long will my evaluation take? How long will the application take?
  5. What type of insulation do you think I should use? Why?
  6. What will this cost me?

If you are satisfied with their answers, you may have found yourself the right insulation contractor for you. 

Insulation For You

If you need insulation to better protect your home and keep your indoor environment comfortable all year long, contact our team to learn more.

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