When it comes to home insulation, fiberglass is one of the most common and effective materials. But among some groups, it has struggled to shake a reputation of being unsafe. This may have been true early on, but today’s product isn’t your grandparent’s fiberglass insulation. It’s far superior. We’ll explain why — but first, a brief overview of how we got here.
A Quick History of Insulation
Like most anything else that’s been around for a while, insulation has undergone a series of metamorphoses. Centuries ago, people used mud and straw for protection from the elements. Then came horsehair, cork, tapestries, animal hide, wool and likely much more. As you can imagine, the results left something to be desired.
Then, with the dawn of the Industrial Age and proliferation of factories, asbestos use took off. A tough, durable material, asbestos is highly resistant to heat. For that reason, it was the product of choice to insulate steam pipes and other machines. Of course, it was only a matter of time before it found its way into households… and a bit more time before people understood its toxicity.
Luckily, another product hit the market in the 1930s. Fiberglass insulation, made up of extremely fine fibers, proved effective in slowing the spread of heat, cold and sound within a structure. The lightweight, versatile product became the go-to choice in most American homes. There was just one problem… it may not have been asbestos, but it contained it.
After some time, people began to realize a correlation between asbestos-containing materials (including fiberglass insulation) and certain health conditions. Policy makers acted, and the use of asbestos in new products was banned in 1977 in the U.S. But that didn’t mean the end of fiberglass insulation — far from it. Manufacturers found a new way to ensure thermal efficiency and safety.
What is Today’s Fiberglass Made Of?
Today’s fiberglass is free of asbestos. The material’s primary component is sand. It’s made when molten glass is spun into extremely fine fibers* and broken into short pieces. As those pieces cool, they pile up and form a tangled mass. The material travels through a curing oven for the final stage of production, which hardens and stabilizes it, resulting in a durable product able to resist extreme temperatures, humidity, mold and more.
*If produced in batt-form, the fibers will be coated with a binding agent at this stage. If loose fill, that binding agent is not applied.
Benefits You Can Expect from Today’s Fiberglass Insulation
The benefits of fiberglass insulation are plentiful. In a nutshell, it’s effective, safe and long-lasting. Below are several more specific benefits homeowners gain by choosing fiberglass insulation for their ceilings and other areas.
Safe, Eco-Friendly and Lasting Performance
Fiberglass insulation is built to last. Because of its natural strength and durability, when properly installed, fiberglass insulation can maintain its form for decades. Longer lifecycles translate to less waste, which make it an eco-friendly choice.
Additionally, homeowners who install other products run the risk of more frequent material breakdown, some of which contain harmful elements. As these materials disintegrate, contaminants can be released into the air and enter living spaces, posing certain health risks. With fiberglass, this simply isn’t a concern.
In fact, when installed by the A+ Insulation team, our InsulSafe SP fiberglass spray-in insulation comes with a lifetime warranty, making it one of the wisest investments you’ll ever make in your home. Which brings us to the next point…
Versatility to Fit Any Space
Homeowners can choose between a batted or spray-in fiberglass product, depending on the space they’re insulating. Batt insulation delivers fantastic thermal efficiency, coverage and sound absorption and experiences little settling. It’s great for areas without a lot of pipes, wires or other obstructions, since the material would have to be cut to fit around them. This can cause gaps, which could negatively affect performance.
In those instances, InsulSafe SP fiberglass spray-in insulation is an excellent solution. Despite its loose-fill form, it also experiences very little settling over time. And because of its form, it delivers stellar coverage as its able to fill in tough-to-reach nooks and crannies to prevent air leaks that would otherwise be difficult to fill. Essentially, it morphs to your space, providing a tight, blanket-like seal.
Because fiberglass insulation is made primarily from sand and recycled glass, it’s naturally non-combustible, and thus, fire resistant. Better yet, no chemical treatment is necessary to ensure this.
Mold and Mildew Resistant
Again, thanks to its natural properties, fiberglass insultation is mold- and mildew-resistant. And as long as it’s properly installed, it will not absorb or retain water, eliminating the risk of premature deterioration from moisture exposure.
Compared to other materials, fiberglass is one of the most budget-friendly options. Combined with its long lifecycle and energy savings, properly installed fiberglass insulation is the only home-improvement project that boasts an average national return on investment of more than 100 percent.
Is Fiberglass Insulation Right for My Home?
Yes! Whether you live in an historic home or are settling into a new build, fiberglass insulation is a safe and effective option for your house. For ceiling insulation specifically, it can be essential to a well-functioning, comfortable environment because as much as 30% of your home’s heat can be lost through your roof.
If you’re unsure whether your existing insulation is safe and/or performing as it should, A+ Insulation experts can perform an inspection and provide an estimate if improvements are recommended.
See for Yourself — This Isn’t Your Grandparents’ Fiberglass Insulation
Over its nearly century-long lifespan, fiberglass insulation has secured a well-earned top ranking when it comes to best product available. Today’s fiberglass is safe, extremely effective, affordable and long lasting.
Working with an expert team like A+ Insulation to install fiberglass insulation is one of the best investments you can make in your home, delivering decades-long performance and top-notch energy efficiency. Regardless of roof and ceiling type — from gabled, metal, flat, tapered or even cathedral — our team can devise a solution for your space that will promise peace of mind for years to come.
Let our licensed and knowledgeable insulation contractors evaluate your Kansas City home’s insulation needs. Call us at (913) 281-2250 or visit insulatekansascity.com/contact to schedule a free, no obligation evaluation.