What is the Best Insulation Option: Blown or Rolled?

When it comes to insulation, there are two main options: blown and rolled. Blown fiberglass insulation has an R-value of 3.2 to 3.8, making it slightly less likely that rolled fiberglass will prevent heat flow in and out of your home. However, blown fiberglass insulation is not designed to cover huge areas like rolled fiberglass insulation. In general, blown insulation will be easier for you to manage if you master the machine needed to distribute it.

Blown fiberglass insulation is injected into building cavities and attic floors with a blowing machine. It is best for small spaces, attics of irregular shapes or sizes, tight spaces, ceilings and walls. You can also use blown fiberglass insulation in ducts and pipes. For attic floors or walls that already have drywall in place, blown insulation is placed much faster. Usually, adding blown insulation to an attic can be done in one day, while rolled insulation can take much longer.

It all really depends on your home or business and how the roof was built. The insulation company will be able to help you decide what's best for your home and help you make a decision that's affordable and effective. Blown insulation is better for the environment as it is mainly composed of recycled materials such as cellulose and fiberglass. Cellulose is generally comprised of recycled newsprint, while fiberglass is mainly glass or mineral wool. Because blow insulation is absorbed with a machine, the product can easily fit into tight, oddly shaped areas, better isolating those areas. Cellulose charring and reddens, and then turns black when it comes into contact with fire, but it doesn't catch fire or spread the fire anywhere.

This can cause mildew and also reduce the R value of the product until it dries. Often there are rare cracks and uneven surfaces in the attic floor, and thermal insulation tends to penetrate these areas more effectively. For customers who want to add that insulation to existing walls, blow insulation is a cost-effective and fast option. For rolled insulation, it is necessary to apply layers of insulation in the perfect amount, and then spend time meticulously cutting out the perfect shapes for installation. Having different sizes of laminated insulation allows practically no waste to be generated and the installation of the insulation can be customized. Installing fiberglass blocks on a poorly insulated wall means removing all drywall to access the space between the beams, for example.

While blown insulation isn't suitable for DIY, it's faster to install because a certified attic specialist will handle everything. Blow insulation requires the use of a machine, but it is easier to manage a machine and some workers compared to the laminate insulation process. Rolled insulation is long, bulky, and sometimes heavy, and can be physically demanding and uncomfortable to transport and install in attics. The most notable difference between the applications is that the loose padding must be installed in a place where it can rest without falling, but which can easily isolate unusually shaped spaces. If blown fiberglass insulation looks like fluffy cotton candy, imagine insulation rolled up like a rolled blanket that can be extended to cover long stretches. In addition, blown insulation can blow into existing walls, increasing the level of insulation. When deciding between blown or rolled fiberglass insulation for your home or business, consider factors such as cost-effectiveness, installation time frame, environmental impact, fire safety rating and ease of installation. Ultimately, it depends on your home's needs and where you need insulation.

Janis Newey
Janis Newey

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