Since its conception, fiberglass has managed to establish a name for itself as one of the top insulating materials. This can be attributed to its cheap cost, ease of installation and availability. They have also done a great job advertising and thus its relevance
Fiberglass is an insulation material consisting of very fine glass fibers. It is fitted between studs, joists, and rafters and therefore, depending on their spacing, the fiberglass will come in different width and thickness. The fiberglass can either be faced or unfaced. Common materials used for facing include: kraft paper and plastic. The trick is to know that during installation, the faced side should be in the interior of the wall. Also, you should be very careful to avoid other errors during installation. Just because installation is easy, does not mean it will go smoothly. Small mistakes happen and they can be costly in terms of comfort and energy consumption.
For starters, it is almost impossible to insulate the whole wall without leaving a small area or at least a small gap. This, in turn, allows air into the wall cavity significantly reducing the wall’s R-value. The lower the R-value the lower the insulating power of the material.
Another common mistake is that sometimes, in a bid to perfectly fit the fiberglass you may be tempted to apply pressure on it. Guess what? Compressing the fiberglass is a sure way reduce its R-value
Unfortunately, no matter how well you fit in the fiberglass, It will still be prone to air leakages. This is where cellulose dense -pack and foam injection comes in. These are insulation upgrades that enable you to achieve an airtight space between your wall and the fiberglass. This means your wall has a maximum R-value.
How does this work?
The first step is to drill holes through the fiberglass so that you are able to inject the cellulose or foam inside. The holes are usually made between each stud. The foam or cellulose is then pumped into the cavity after which the holes are sealed. The foam will then flow seeking out any cracks and gaps that may be existing in your wall. It will then harden filling all the holes it has gone through. What’s more is that in addition to sealing off the wall, the chemical composition of cellulose makes it not susceptible to fire, molds, and insects.
An important thing to note; when it comes to insulating your basement, fiberglass may not be your best bet. This is because exposure to water reduces the insulation’s R-value. And you know just how damp the basement can get. Couple this with the formation of molds and you have yourself a recipe for disaster.
Some people find it tricky to install the fiberglass around areas with electric cables and pipes. This is how you do it:
i. Split the batt into two pieces starting from the top to bottom.
ii. Place one piece behind the cables while you use the other piece to cover the cables.
iii. For electrical boxes, cut the batt so that it fits snugly around the box.