What is a type of insulator used in home construction?

The most common types of materials used for loose fill insulation include cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral wool (rock or slag). All of these materials are produced from recycled scrap materials. Cellulose is mainly made from recycled newsprint. Most fiberglass products contain between 40 and 60% recycled glass.

Structural insulation panels (SIP) offer higher energy savings, of 12 to 14 percent, but they are also more expensive. The sheets, although some manufacturers manufacture them up to 8 by 24 feet, are mostly used for new construction. The choice of insulation material will depend on these factors. The four most common types of insulation are spray foam, fiberglass, cellulose, and mineral wool.

Fiberglass is one of the most popular insulating materials and is made by weaving fine glass threads together. It is mainly manufactured from recycled glass. Cellulose is manufactured from recycled paper products, mainly newspapers. During the manufacturing process, the paper first breaks down into smaller pieces and then fibrizes.

Cellulose is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of insulation and is available in loosely filled and blown versions. Polyurethane is available in closed-cell foam and open-cell foam. Closed-cell foams have high-density cells filled with a gas (without HCFC), which allows the foam to expand. Open-cell foams are not as dense and are filled with air, which produces a spongy texture when applied.

However, some low-density varieties use carbon dioxide as a foaming agent. Many natural fibers have applications in building insulation. Examples include cotton, sheep wool, straw, and hemp. Polyisocyanurate or polyiso is a closed-cell thermosetting plastic similar to polyurethane.

It contains a low-conductivity HCF-free gas and can be foamed in situ, which is more economical and efficient than using foam plates. As the name suggests, this insulation material is cement-based. It's non-toxic or flammable, and it's made from minerals extracted from seawater. Cementous foam is similar to polyurethane foam and can be sprayed and foamed in situ.

Mario Krakowsky
Mario Krakowsky

Mario is a dedicated writer with over 15 years of experience in home remodeling, possesses an innate passion for transforming spaces and giving life to homes. His deep industry knowledge, coupled with practical insights, has made him a trusted source of inspiration for DIY enthusiasts and professional remodelers alike.