HOME INSULATION COMPARISONS

Insulation is an extremely important part of your home. However, not all insulation is created equal.

So, how do you know which product is best for you? 

 

When insulating, or re-insulating your home, there are a variety of different types of materials you have to choose from. The following information may help you better understand the characteristics some of these different types.

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SPRAY FOAMS

Open or closed cell Spray Foam insulation is generally used in areas where there are no wall cavities, or ceilings, to keep other types of insulation contained – i.e. metal buildings, exterior or unfinished walls, roof undersides.

 

PROS

 

  • When applied correctly, the foam expands to fill empty spaces not normally filled with other types of insulators.

 

  • It has been known to increase structural stability and provides some sound insulation.

  • When properly applied, Spray Foams have a higher insulation rating, or "R-Value" per inch, than other insulation materials.

 

CONS:

 

  • Spray Foam insulation can be an expensive option. When installing spray foam, you can expect to spend two or possibly three times the cost of loose fill or batt (roll) insulators.

 

  • Spray foams are typically not the best insulator for the environment. Many spray foams utilize an environmentally harmful blowing agent. Spray Foam requires a hazmat suit and hazardous materials precautions when installing. This type of insulation is recommended to be installed by experienced professionals ONLY.

 

  • Spray Foam can shrink if not applied properly, which may lower it's insulation rating. Too thick in one area, or too thin in another, may greatly affect the curing process and is almost always unavoidable, even by the most experienced installer.

 

  • Another common potential problem is over application of Spray Foam. While this can tightly seal your house, you have a good potential of experiencing “Condensation” issues which can develop a whole host of other potential issues within the home (e.g. rotting, mold/mildew, difficult leak detection, etc., especially in the attic).

 

  • The R-Value (insulation effectiveness) of many spray foam insulation products can also potentially diminish over time, which may necessitate re-insulating.

FIBERGLASS

Fiberglass is an insulation material that consists of extremely fine glass fibers and is found in most U.S. homes. It is commonly used in two forms – blankets, or batts (rolls), and loose fill (blow-in).

 

As an insulator, fiberglass slows the spread of heat, cold, and sound in structures. The material does this by trapping pockets of air, keeping rooms warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. 

 

PROS:

  • Fiberglass is your least expensive option for attic projects, as compared to other materials. Which is why it’s most common.

 

  • Is a good flame retardant and poses no fire hazard.

 

  • Can be a Do-It-Yourself attic project for an experienced handy man.

 

CONS:

  • Can be a nightmare attic project for an experienced handy-man. If you’ve never blown-in insulation before, it’s a lot of work. And you’ll need help. Be prepared!

  • Loses air, shrinks and experiences loss of “R-Value” or insulation effectiveness over time.

  • If you need to disturb fiberglass installed in the attic, you should wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and goggles.

  • Any small glass particles that come into contact with your skin can lodge in pores, causing itchiness, rashes, and irritation.

  • Fiberglass in the attic can trap allergens, dust, and moisture.

  • When disturbed in the attic fiberglass insulation releases small particulates into the air which could be inhaled. If you inhale fiberglass, tiny glass particles can cause coughing, nosebleeds, or other respiratory ailments.

  • Fiberglass is NOT an environmentally, biodegradable product.

CELLULOSE

Cellulose insulation is the oldest material used in home insulation. It can be either a loose-fill material or blown-in. Cellulose is primarily made up of recycled newsprint.

 

Cellulose insulation can be used in both existing homes and new construction. It can be blown into attic cavities as loose-fill, dense-packed into walls and floors, or wet sprayed for new construction. It helps increase heat retention and has the potential to dampen noise levels.

 

PROS:

  • Blown-in, cellulose insulation usually gets into some of the smaller corners and hard to reach areas in attics.

  • Cellulose generally doesn’t use any greenhouse gases as propellants.

  • Cellulose has more recycled material than fiberglass or spray foam insulation.

  • Can be a Do-It-Yourself attic insulation project for the experienced handyman.

 

CONS:

  • Cellulose weighs roughly as much as three times per square foot than other loose-fill insulators. Ceiling structures should be inspected for signs of weakness before choosing to insulate with cellulose.

  • Cellulose is very dusty. Homes with furnace duct systems in the attic can expect some of the cellulose dust to recirculate throughout your home.

  • Cellulose must be kept dry in the attic as it absorbs moisture very easily. This not only reduces long-term efficiency but can cause the insulation to mold and rot. Even wet-blown cellulose can suffer from these effects. Both dry and wet-blown cellulose requires a vapor barrier.

  • After cellulose insulation absorbs water, the chemical fire treatment is potentially destroyed.

  • Cellulose generally dries very slowly after absorbing water, which can potentially lead to mold or mildew issues.

  • The R-Value (insulation effectiveness) of many cellulose insulation products can also potentially diminish insulation effectiveness (“R-Value”) over time, which may necessitate the need to re-insulate

MILEX™

MILEX™ is a natural, loose-fill insulation made from grain Sorghum, or commonly referred to as “MILO”. MILEX™ is made from naturally occurring ingredients and without the use of expensive, potentially harmful polymers. MILEX™ is biodegradeable and renewable.

 

PROS:

  • MILEX™ is nearly half the cost of Spray Foams, competitively priced with cellulose and  fiberglass insulators. 

  • Patented “Thermal Puff” technology provides sustained insulation, or “R-Value” over the lifetime of your home. In most cases, you should not have to “refresh” or reinstall MILEX™.

  • MILEX™ repels insects and other pests by including less than 1% naturally-occurring Boric Acid. [2]

  • MILEX™ is hypoallergenic and virtually dust free.

  • MILEX™, made from Sorghum, is renewable and grown by High Plains Farmers. 

  • Comes with our EXCLUSIVE Lifetime Warranty*See warranty for full details.

CONS:

  • Because MILEX™ is in an expanded "puffed" state, it cannot be compressed, so it has very large volume and requires special delivery. This can be a logistical problem for any Do-It-Yourselfer’s.

 

MILEX™ is expected to maintain its thermal barrier and high R-Value over time which makes it extremely cost effective. Couple that with being made using natural ingredients, while at the same time helping out our nation's farmers, makes MILEX™ the perfect choice for you and your home. 

[1] The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. Ask your seller for the fact sheet on R-values.

[2] Please note that, like many things, purposely ingesting large amounts of borate or boric acid can be harmful, or even fatal. MILO Insulation does not recommend ingesting its products.

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