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Fiberglass Insulation: A Look at Types, Uses and Everything In Between


Installing fiberglass insulation

When it comes to the insulation industry's workhorses, fiberglass is a strong contender. Sometimes referred to as fiberglass wool, it's produced from many short fibers of glass drawn through tiny openings. It has superior sound and thermal insulating properties, making it ideal as an insulation product for homes and loud environments. Here's a quick look at some of the facets of fiberglass insulation.

Types of Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulator

Fiberglass insulation is available in blown-in form, batts and blankets. In the latter two forms, it's fairly fast to install between studs or posts, depending on the construction. It comes in a wide range of formulations, from unfaced batts that can be secured in place with a plastic sheathing to paper-faced batts with side tabs for stapling the batt securely in place with no further materials needed to keep it there. The blown-in form is much lighter in weight than cellulose and can be used in areas where blown-in cellulose would be too heavy, for example over a 1/2" drywall ceiling on 24" centers.

Though it does use high heat to form the glass fibers, it is also manufactured from up to 60% recycled glass. Because it is often manufactured regionally, it can quite often meet the requirements for regionally-sourced materials for LEED certification. It can be a bit itchy to handle due to the small size of the fibers, so make sure you wear long sleeves and gloves when handling it. Small amounts of the fiber can also become airborne, requiring a basic face mask to help prevent it from being inhaled.

How Fiberglass Insulation is Used

Fiberglass provides good to superior thermal insulation and superior acoustical insulation. Because of its light weight, it can be much easier for a homeowner to handle and install. In blown-in form, it reaches an R-value of 2.2 to 2.7 per inch. Batts and blankets achieve a much higher R-value between 3.0 and 4.0, depending on the specifics of the manufacturing process.

Though the blown-in form is lower in R-value when compared to cellulose, its lighter weight allows you to insulate areas that may otherwise prove difficult to impossible. It works very well for a wide range of applications, which is why it's such a popular option for homeowners and contractors alike.

Other Facts About Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation batt

In addition to its use in structures, fiberglass insulation shows up in submarine and ship bulkheads, as well as a wide range of commercial and industrial applications including lining auto body panels to reduce noise. To form such fine fibers, the glass must be maintained at 2,500° F during the process of drawing the fiber. Unlike cellulose, fiberglass doesn't settle and lose some of its thermal properties. Phenol formaldehyde is a binder that has been used in fiberglass batts and blankets in the past that is being phased out of production due to potential cancer risks.

As you can see, fiberglass insulation provides a number of options and benefits in our world. That's why we stock high-quality fiberglass insulation products from Johns Manville and Knauf Insulation. If you're considering an insulation project and want to find the right fiberglass product for the job, please feel free to contact the experienced associates at Wallboard Supply Company today for more details. At Wallboard Supply Company, our job is keeping your job rolling forward.

LEED Certified Building Insulation Product Guide
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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.