An insulated home is absolutely essential for a hassle-free winter. Insulation will help your home stay warm for longer, saving you hundreds in energy bills over the years and generally making your heating system more efficient.
But insulation can be hard to install in homes that didn’t already have them planned from the start, since the process involves opening up walls, installing the thick strips of insulation, and then sealing them once again. A great project, but pretty messy.
That’s where blown-in insulation comes in.
In many cases, blown-in insulation is an easy way to insulate the attic and certain walls, since it’s not necessary to break them apart and the insulated material can be – as the name suggests – blown in directly.
Yet, this is not ideal for every case, so let’s see where and when you can use it for the best effect and save yourself some hassle!
“A good laugh is sunshine in the house. - William Makepeace Thackeray
The advantages of blown-in insulation
Minimal mess. Since in most cases it doesn’t require breaking or cutting drywall, blown-in insulation can be done without any dramatic changes. For the inside of drywall, a small hole can be carved and patched later once the job is done.
Environment-friendly. Blown-in cellulose insulation is made of recycled paper and wood with little to no chemical or synthetical processes applied. An excellent solution for homeowners who prefer greener alternatives!
Same price range. No need to worry about paying more for a convenience here, the price for blown-in insulation materials are roughly the same as common insulation batts.
Fast installation. For attics, a professional crew can usually get the job done in a couple of hours, which can ultimately save you money in labor costs. Of course this will depend on the complexity of the task and how big the attic is, so keep that in mind.
The disadvantages of blown-in insulation
Careful with leaks. This is particularly true when your roof suffers with leaks or ice dams, it can make the insulation wet and that will be very hard to clean. The materials are often treated to resist mold growth, but they can take a long time to dry. If you’re going for blow-in insulation on the attic, it’s worth inspecting your roof first to make sure it won’t give you a headache in the first few months.
Settles after some time. When inside walls, it’s common for blown-in insulation to settle in a few years time and end up covering less area, thus making it less effective. While not a huge deal breaker, maintenance might be necessary.
Fire concerns. The cellulose used as blown-in insulation is not exactly flammable, but it can ignite under very high temperatures caused by electrical malfunctions or near very hot light sources. It won’t easily ignite and burst into flames or anything of that nature, but it can smolder and cause issues, so it’s worth pointing out.
What are the types of blown-in insulation?
Cellulose is the aforementioned environment-friendly option. Made of recycled materials, it’s probably the most common and widely used type of blown-in insulation due to an accessible price range and efficiency. The only major downside is that in the event of getting wet due to leaks or ice dams, it can be tricky to get it to dry.
Loose-fill fiberglass is an incredibly light insulation made of glass. Not as weak to humidity as cellulose and very light, but it’s considerably more expensive as a result.
Rock wool is probably the most hardy of the bunch, with high fire resistance that’s ideal for areas that need to follow certain fire codes or as precaution for specific fire hazards. It is pricey though, the most expensive out of the bunch too, as a trade-off for its niche qualities.
Hopefully with these pros and cons laid out you can decide whether blown-in insulation is ideal for your home. It’s a much easier and faster way to get insulation without breaking up walls, but you do need to take other precautions (such as proper roofing) to make sure it’s and effective and long-lasting solution!
Need help with insulation in your home? Talk to a professional today and get free quotes in your area!