Compare Insulation Types for Homes
All insulation is not created equal. USA Premium Foam® Insulation not only has a higher R-Value but also provides a range of benefits that most other common forms of insulation don’t. See how our products stand out from the rest.
The pros and cons of insulation types:
USA Premium Foam Insulation
This is a foam-in-place injection insulation that outperforms the other retrofit insulation products for many reasons. USA Premium Foam® is a semi-permeable foam that provides superior thermal and acoustical insulation. This environmentally friendly foam emits no CFCs or VOCs. Unlike blown-in insulation products, our injectable insulation for homes is pumped into wall spaces in a liquid form with the consistency of shaving cream. It flows freely throughout the wall cavity to create a highly effective thermal envelope preventing air infiltration. Blown-in insulation can settle over time and does not seal bypasses or conform around outlets like foam does. USA Insulation is a healthier, cleaner, safer, quieter type of insulation with a higher R-Value. When you compare insulation types, you’ll discover the many advantages of USA Premium Foam Insulation.
Spray foam insulation is generally used in areas where there are no wall cavities to contain other types of insulation – on concrete slabs or unfinished walls.
THE UPSIDE: When sprayed on the surface, the foam expands to fill bypasses as it resists air infiltration. It can be used in small quantities to fill tight spaces while increasing structural stability and providing sound insulation.
THE DOWNSIDE: Due to expansion, installation of SPF is not recommended in closed cavities like stud walls with drywall, lath-and-plaster, or sheetrock. The foam can shrink while curing if not applied at the correct temperature. Many spray foam products need to be protected from sunlight and solvents and most can release toxic fumes when burning. The R-Value (insulation effectiveness) of many spray foam insulation products will diminish over time.
Fiberglass Batts and Blankets
Typically made with 20-30% recycled industrial waste and similar post consumer content. Fiberglass blankets are provided in continuous rolls while batts are precut.
THE UPSIDE: This material is not flammable, with the possible exception of its facing. Blankets can cover joists and studs, as well as the space between them.
THE DOWNSIDE: Blankets can be difficult to hang under floors between joists. Gaps between batts can defeat the purpose of the insulation because they invite air infiltration or condensation.
THE UPSIDE: Cellulose insulation is made of recycled paper products treated with boric acid to be fire-retardant. Its R-Value is approximately 3.2 per inch.
THE DOWNSIDE: It is typically a blown-in form of insulation which makes it most appropriate for new builds and not retrofit insulation projects. Cellulose insulation can settle over time reducing its effectiveness and it’s also subject to mold and rot if it gets wet.
Loose Fill / Blown-In Insulation
THE UPSIDE: Materials can be blown-in to attics, finished walls and tough to reach areas. The loose fill material can also be sprayed in with a water-based adhesive. It is environmentally friendly, consisting of 80% recycled newspapers, and is less of a health hazard to the installer than fiberglass.
THE DOWNSIDE: Compared to other insulation types, loose fill insulation does not seal bypasses as effectively as foam. If materials are heavy, there is a risk of sagging ceilings. Some of its effectiveness can diminish over time due to material settling.
Types of radiant barriers include foil or foil laminates. Foil-backed bubble packs are thin and flexible and are often used as vapor barriers for cold pipes, ducts and roof sheathing. Foil-faced polystyrene panels are more flexible than rigid panels and operate as a thermal break as well as a vapor barrier. These are used on roofs and should not be used to fill cavities. Other radiant barrier methods can be as simple as light colored roofs and reflective paint, or metal roofs made of aluminum or copper.
THE UPSIDE: Effectively prevents the transfer of radiant heat, equally, in both directions. R-Value cannot be determined for radiant barriers.