Man installing insulation

The Anatomy of a Great Insulation

What makes an insulation system great? Is BIBS insulation in Kansas City the best option?

While there is no single answer to these questions, insulation experts provided a list of things you should be looking for insulation material. First, it should be able to perform its insulating ability efficiently. Second, it should last as long as your building exists, if possible. Lastly, it should conserve energy as it insulates your place.

Performance

An insulator’s performance is measured in a variety of ways. Knowing whether your insulator can perform according to standards will depend on the following thermal conductivity, thermal resistance, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat capacity, among others.

Thermal conductivity refers to how easy it is for heat to be transmitted by a material through the process conduction. The lower the rate, the better. Thermal resistance refers to how resistant a material is to heat flow. This is measured via the R-value. The higher the value, the better.

Thermal diffusivity concerns a material’s ability to transmit heat in relation to its ability to store thermal energy. A good insulator should have a low diffusivity rate. The specific heat capacity refers to an insulator’s ability to absorb heat before being hot. High specific heat capacity is what you should look for.

Insulators can also be either vapor permeable or vapor resistant. The former refers to its capacity to let water pass through while the latter is the opposite. Permeability is necessary to make your space “breathable.” This means condensation is avoided by transferring water vapor from the inside to the outside of your home.

Durability

To ensure that your insulation lasts, you should look into its protection against moisture, shrinkage rate, compaction, and settlement.

As mentioned above, insulators may be vapor permeable to avoid condensation. However, if your area has a high level of moisture, then a resistant one should be installed instead. You may also opt for insulators with moisture protection. The best way to know which fits your requirements is to ask the manufacturer or an insulation expert.

Aside from moisture, insulation may also wear off over time due to different factors, mainly installation and design. As a result, it may shrink and get compacted over time. Letting an expert install it carefully or asking for more information from the manufacturer about its risks should help maximize its service life.

Sustainability

Worker installing insulation

Going green is the trend in construction these days and that applies to insulators, too. When choosing the best insulation, you should ensure that the energy it conserves when insulating should outweigh the energy used when it’s manufactured.

You may also opt for insulators that use natural fibers for its materials. Some examples of these are cotton, sheep’s wool, straw, and hemp. Cotton uses minimal energy to manufacture because the majority of the materials are recycled—blue jeans trim waste and plastic. It’s treated with borate to repel insects and rodents and to make it flame retardant.

Sheep’s wool, on the other hand, has a high vapor permeability rate because it can absorb large quantities of water, making it an excellent choice for areas with a high level of moisture.

Straw and hemp are two of the oldest insulation materials, although the latter is more commonly used in other parts of the world. Both of them are vapor permeable and are protected by polyester binding and soda to make them fireproof.

A great insulation system is a combination of how it performs, how long it lasts, and how it helps conserve the environment. If you’re planning to install an insulation system in your property, call a professional and get the best material for the job.

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