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Fiberglass vs. Spray Foam Insulation: 3 Things to Know

Fiberglass vs. Spray Foam Insulation: 3 Things to Know

When it comes to insulating your home, you may not know that you have a couple of choices to consider. Primarily, this consists of choosing between spray foam and fiberglass. Each type of insulation is ideal for specific conditions, so choosing the best alternative comes down to understanding the differences between these products.

1. How Will Cost Factor into Your Choice?

Since spray foam is packaged differently, it cannot be sold using the same units of measurement as fiberglass insulation. 

Fiberglass is typically sold in rolls and is priced by the square footage of coverage your home will require. Additionally, when you need a higher R-value (greater level of insulation protection), you may need to apply several layers of insulation.

The nature of spray foam requires that it is sold differently, and it is generally more expensive than fiberglass rolls of insulation.

Spray foam is sold by board foot measurements, which are one-inch thick by one-foot wide and one-foot long. A three-inch layer of spray foam that covers 1,000 square feet would come to a total of 3,000 board feet. 

One board foot of spray foam is usually twice or three times the cost of one square foot of fiberglass insulation.

2. Which Lasts Longer: Fiberglass or Spray Foam Insulation?

Since fiberglass doesn’t seal securely against your housing materials, there will always be a gap between the surface and the insulation. 

This gap collects moisture and encourages mold growth over the course of several years. While fiberglass insulation will last many years, it will need to be replaced as moisture and mold cause the fiberglass to degrade.

Once spray foam insulation is applied, it dries and hardens to form a secure bond against the wood frame of your home. This bond provides much better protection and takes longer for foam insulation to degrade. 

In general, spray foam can last for up to 80 years before it will need to be replaced. Even though the upfront costs are higher, the durability of spray foam makes it the more cost-effective option in most cases.

3. How Does Insulation Affect Your Family’s Health and Safety?

Fiberglass is more porous, which means it isn’t very effective in reducing noise pollution. It also allows pollen and other allergens to pass into the home more easily. The more cohesive bond that spray foam forms keep pollutants out. It also helps to provide some soundproofing in the home.

Another factor to consider is flammability. Fiberglass can easily catch fire when exposed to a spark or an open flame. While spray foam is also flammable, it can be coated with a sealant that will reduce its flammability. Your insulation contractor can apply a layer of intumescent paint, which will create a thermal barrier. 

The best way to determine how to use these types of insulation is to contact a professional contractor. They can help you choose the best options for effectively insulating your home. 

A professional’s expertise will also be beneficial in ensuring your home is properly insulated. In this way, a contractor can help you save money and conserve energy for years to come.


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