Do you have any questions regarding the installation of any insulation? Read below to see if we answered them for you.
What insulation do I need?
When making a decision about which type of material you need, you need to first answer a simple question: Is this an existing home or a new home? If it is a new home is it a custom, spec or tract home? Tract homes are primarily the builder’s choice. Spec homes are the builder’s choice but with the possibility to upgrade. Custom homes allow the owner/builder to put in at their own discretion. If it is an existing home your primary choices are Fiberglass and Cellulose. Radiant Barrier is no an insulation; it’s a reflective material with typically no R-Value.
- Enclosed Existing Walls – Pressure Fill with Cellulose by drilling small 3/4″, 1″ or 2″ holes through sheetrock, brick, cedar shake or wood
- Open Cavities – Batts, Web & Fill or Spray On
- Floors – Pressure Fill, Batts or Spray On
- Attic Knee Walls – Batting or Denny Board & Pressure Fill
What is R-Value?
R-Value does not always relate to insulation value. It can also mean ‘R’ for Reflection value or Refrigerant value. R-Value is the resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-Value the more resistance. Heat molecules move quicker than cold, so heat will always find a path to overtake the cold no matter the reason. Insulation helps control radiant heat, conduction, and convection.
What R-Value do I need?
A minimum of an R-38 is code for Zone 2, which is where Houston is located. Fiberglass has a 2.2 to 2.7 R-Value per inch while Cellulose has 3.4 to 3.8 R-Value per inch. Fiberglass requires more inches on the application due to its low R-value per inch and because it is dependent on air between the fibers, that typically results in settling due to vibration, moisture and installer originally over fluffing. Cellulose is required to be installed at a settled density and other products are primarily initial installed thickness.
Where should I insulate?
There are several places where you should insulate:
- Attic Floor – to separate the attic from the living space
- Hot-Cold Attic Walls – your attic can have temperatures exceeding 120 F so you have to reduce the temperature from the attic walls and floors to 90 F in order to air condition properly and not overwork your A/C
- Exterior Walls – code required after 1965
- Common Walls – walls inside of the house can be treated for sound transfer and noise reduction
- Floor – pier & beam, cold floors, between the floors, and overhangs
- Roofline – not required but it will knock down attic heat to the A/C equipment and ducts
How can I reduce the moisture in my home?
First, you should properly insulate and second have your A/C sized adequately to avoid short-cycling, which would not allow the unit to fully remove the humidity.
When is the best time to insulate?
How is insulation used to control sound?
By installing the insulation into the walls it will fill up an empty cavity and absorb the sound. The best type is Cellulose fiber due to its heavier density; instead of filtering the sound it will absorb it.
How long will the product work for? When will it need to be replaced?
All insulation, if it is wet from roof leaks, walked through by repair companies, rodents nesting, or has been affected by a fire, needs to be replaced. Fiberglass needs to be re-insulated every 2-5 years at the minimum because contractors typically fluff the material.