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Question DetailsAsked on 6/25/2015

What are the pros and cons of various types of insulation?

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2 Answers


Spray foam

PRO's : Completely air sealed, Great insulating value

CON's : Messy and Expensive

Blown-in Fiberglass

PRO's : Least expensive option, MED. DIY level, Not dusty, Does not settle

CON's : Not an air barrier,

Blown-in Celluose

PRO's : Least expensive option, MED. DIY level, somewhat of an air barrier

CON's : Dusty, product settles after time, not recommended by fire departments, hold moisture.

Rolls of Fiberglass - never used it

PRO's : ?

CON's : ?

If you buy the blown in products from a big box store they will rent you the blower unit for free.

Answered 5 years ago by KnowledgeBase


Couple of comments to add to the prior response -

Spray Foam Con - open cell (cheaper type) is not vapor tight - moisture moves through it

Spray Foam Con - open cell can support mold/mildew growth

Spray Foam Con - highly combustible except for very pricey fireproof types, and produces very poisonous smoke when burning, if you are a fire leery person

Blown In Fiberglass con - can blow around in a ventilated attic, making for thin spots in the insulation

Blown In Fiberglass con - will settle with time, leaving gaps at tops of walls

Blown in Cellulose con - can mildew and mold when damp

Blown in Cellulose con - can blow around in ventilated attic, leaving thin spots

Blown in Cellulose con - insulating value drops with time as it settles and compacts, and settlement can result in significant gaps at top of walls

Roll Fiberglass pro and con - clean to use and in place, unless you are sensitive to working around fiberglass- irritates some people's skin when placing it

Roll Fiberglass pro - easy to install and requires not blowing equipment

Roll Fiberglass pro - only common type of insulation other than sprayed foam that will not settle in a wall, which leaves an uninsulated gap at the top

Roll Fiberglass con - lets air flow through joints between rolls unless faced and taped at joints

Roll Fiberglass con - not a real effective air barrier unless faced type (foil or paper) - though in most applications proper penetration sealing and vapor barrier/housewrap should inhibit airflow anyway, as that is not generally a design purpose of insulation

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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