Many homeowners in Austin and surrounding areas choose fiberglass for insulating their homes, and while it isn’t as good as spray foam, it has its good qualities. Fiberglass has been around for centuries and remains one of the most popular options today. What is it, and how does it work?
Available in either loose-fill or batts, fiberglass is a plastic material reinforced by tiny glass fibers. The glass in the insulation prevents heat from transferring through walls and other solid objects due to the fact glass isn’t a good heat conductor. In summer months, the fiberglass traps heat attempting to come into your home; in winter months, it keeps heat from escaping to the outdoors.
Fiberglass insulation is often used in attics, walls, crawl spaces and basements, helping enhance comfort while keeping energy costs down. Fiberglass is also commonly used between joists, studs, and beams with many of today’s products offering a somewhat higher R-value than standard batts used decades ago. Fiberglass insulation is relatively inexpensive, one of the primary reasons it’s still used in many applications.
A big issue with fiberglass is that it isn’t that easy to install properly, resulting in air pockets and gaps that allow air to flow through. While it is efficient for blocking heat, it doesn’t offer a lot when it comes to resisting air flow. Unless it is professionally installed in a way that all sides are enclosed so there are absolutely no gaps, fiberglass insulation will not perform well.
If fiberglass insulation becomes wet or damp due to a leak in a ceiling or wall, stop the press! Its fibrous composition means it is notorious for retaining moisture, which substantially reduces its R-value. Dampness will also cause the insulation to sag and break down over time.
We aren’t knocking fiberglass insulation; in fact, it’s one of the types our Austin insulation experts install, although we recommend spray foam in almost every situation. At HabiShield we understand there are circumstances in which fiberglass may be a better option – especially when it comes to price.
No matter what type you choose, trust HabiShield for all of your residential and commercial insulation needs.