We are all familiar with the pink or yellow fiberglass insulation that comes in rolls. This method of home insulation has been the go-to since Owens Corning introduced the first fiberglass insulation in 1938. It’s now the most widely used type of insulation in the country. Although it is common, there are some drawbacks that you should be aware of.


Prior to 1980, asbestos was used in the production of fiberglass insulation. In 1980, asbestos production was banned in the United States and other countries. If you have insulation installed prior to 1980, you should have it removed by a professional remediation company.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a report back in 1994 listing fiberglass as a human carcinogen and OSHA and IARC required that all fiberglass insulation packaging have health warning labels. There is now some debate as to whether or not there is any cancer-causing potential, but it is widely agreed upon that it is an irritant. It can affect skin and breathing when exposed to the fiberglass fibers.


Regardless of whether the fiberglass is considered a carcinogenic or not, you should protect yourself when handling it. Make sure you wear goggles and work gloves, in addition to long sleeves and pants. Wear a dust mask to protect your lungs and throat and make sure you wash your face and hands completely when you are done.


Although fiberglass insulation is less expensive and easy to install, according to the US Department of Energy, fiberglass insulation only has an R-value between 2 and 3. Installers have to use several layers of the insulation for it to be effective, thus increasing the cost of installation. In addition, your energy bills will be higher with a low-rated insulation, up to 50% higher, in fact. Traditional insulation is usually measured in square feet, whereas polyurethane foam is measured in board feet. One board foot equals an area 12″x12″x1″. To calculate board feet, multiply the square footage of an are by the depth in inches. An example would be a 10-foot wall that is 20 feet long would be 200 square feet. If the wall is 3.5″ thick, 700 board feet of foam would be needed to insulate that wall. A reliable contractor, like the ones at Dalinghaus Construction, will be able to calculate your needs and use the correct amount of insulation. Polyurethane foam has a higher R rating than traditional insulation and is mold-resistant. It also provides complete air-sealing and is the most effective insulation on the market.


Whether you have new construction or an older home, Dalinghaus Construction can install polyurethane foam installation quickly and easily. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to make your home safer and more comfortable.