Insulation is the wonder material that keeps you comfortable in your home. It keeps the interiors warm in winter and cool in summer. For all the good it does, however, insulation can pose a threat to your home’s safety and to your health when not installed properly.
Safety Hazards of Insulation
Improper insulation can cause costly damage to your property, depending on what type you have. That’s why it’s essential to have a professional evaluate your current insulation for safety and health implications. They consider the following during an evaluation:
Fire safety – insulation materials can be susceptible to fire, so it’s important to determine the fire resistance of the material before using it. Insulation materials have different levels of fire resistance, for example:
- Fiberglass and mineral wool insulation – these materials are noncombustible and don’t require extra fire-retardant chemical treatments. Specific fiberglass and mineral wool facings like kraft paper and foil, however, are flammable. A code-approved barrier, together with proper installation, won’t make these facings a fire hazard.
- Cellulose insulation – the materials used in this insulation consist of newspaper, a highly combustible material. It has to be treated with fire-retardant chemicals before being installed; otherwise, it can cause a fire in your property.
- Spray Foam insulation – this type of insulation is likely to ignite at 700°F.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) – clean IAQ is vital for a safe, healthy, and comfortable living environment; keeping your home’s IAQ in optimum condition reduces allergy and asthma triggers. Your insulation also contributes to the level of indoor pollutants like asbestos, a toxic mineral substance present in building materials that’s dangerous when inhaled.
If your safety from asbestos has been compromised, it increases your risk of contracting various diseases, such as:
- Pleural plaques
- Lung cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Laryngeal cancer
Improving the IAQ of your home should also involve controlling both indoor and outdoor pollutants, as well. Other indoor pollutants include pesticides, tobacco smoke, and stoves. Outdoor pollutants, meanwhile, include automobile exhaust and industrial emissions.
Choosing the Right Insulation for Your Home
If you’re planning to replace or install a new insulation, you have to choose from different types according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which include:
- Blanket: batts and rolls
- Concrete block insulation
- Insulating concrete forms
- Foam board or rigid foam
- Loose-fill and blown-in
- Reflective system
- Rigid fibrous or fiber insulation
- Sprayed foam and foamed-in-place
- Structural insulated panels
Each type uses different materials, from fiberglass to spray foam. Their performance varies, too, depending on what part of your home you want to insulate and the material’s R-value (its resistance to conductive heat flow.) Working with an insulation professional helps you identify the right material to use in your home.
Professional Installation of Home Insulation
Although you can do some basic installation work with some insulation materials on your own, hiring professionals is still the best option. They have the expertise, tools, and knowledge needed to install insulation correctly to minimize safety problems. DIY installation could also affect the efficiency of the insulation, which can cause higher electricity bills in the long run.
A+ Insulation provides insulation services to homes in the Kansas City area. Our High-Performance Insulation Professionals (HPIP) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certified insulation technicians install safe and efficient insulation in any area of a home to keep your indoor living area comfortable all year. We will assist you in finding the insulation that suits your home and your budget.
Schedule an appointment with us today.