Every home is required to have a minimum amount of insulation installed in its walls and attics. Prior to selling, a home must adhere to these specifications to pass inspection. Unfortunately, many older homes are under-insulated and thus require work to adhere not only to building code but also maximize its effectiveness in mitigating moisture and minimizing your energy bill.
Blown-in insulation comes in many types – fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, and rock wool insulation. Blown-in insulation cost varies depending on the type installed and each type of insulation blowing renders certain pros and cons. The end goal for our clients is to ensure that the solution presented provides maximum conditions for your home, as well as reduces your monthly energy bills. Our specialists will be able to determine whether insulation blowing is the best option for the space. From there, they can provide a custom setup of cellulose insulation or rockwool insulation, depending on your home. The blown-in insulation cost will depend on a few factors which will be discussed in greater detail.
Insulation Blowing is a Quick-Fix Solution to Fit Between Wall Studs and Ceiling Joints
When a home is initially built, batt insulation is custom cut to fit in between wall studs and ceiling joints, prior to installing the drywall. Batt insulation is made of spun fiberglass and lives in the wall board, rendering it basically impossible to install after the drywall is placed. Install batt insulation after a home is fully built is an incredibly time-consuming and expensive process. Fear not, however! There is a solution! Insulation blowing can be added to your attic and provide the same type of insulation benefits without the hassle and additional remodeling expense. Depending on the type of insulation used – loose-fill fiberglass, cellulose insulation, or rock wool insulation -- the smallest gaps and furthest back spaces can be covered, blocking any cold air from entering and maintaining a proper temperature in your attic. Insulation blowing provides not only a soft layer (think a raincoat!) of insulation on the floor of your attic, but also provides an additional barrier to muffle sounds between your home and the outdoors.
What Does the Insulation Blowing Process Look Like?
Insulation blowing is installed into existing walls by drilling from the outside of the home into the stud space. We use a long, flexible hose to blow in the insulation. When finished, the hole is plugged with a stopper that is made to match the color of the siding of your home. Insulation blowing can also be installed on the main level of your attic. This process is very simple. Using the same long hose, our installers will simply blow insulation all across the floor of your attic, creating a blanket layer. This will immediately begin to insulate the attic, creating a relative humidity level and reducing large temperature fluctuations.
Types of Blown-In Insulation
There are three common types of insulation that are used for insulation blowing. These are loose-fill fiberglass, cellulose insulation, and rock wool insulation. Each type of insulation provides specific pros and cons. Our specialists are trained in all types and will be able to recommend the best type for your specific space. Each geographic zone has its own standard for minimum insulation values. Check out this Energy Star Map to see the required levels for your region.
The insulation used in insulation blowing is calculated by R-value. The higher the R-value of blown-in insulation, the greater effect the insulation has in protecting your home. Different types of blown-in insulation offer different thermal values. Our specialists will be able to recommend a custom-fit for your home. Remember, though, some insulation is better than none!
a. Loose-Fill Fiberglass:
Composed of glass that is heated into a liquid and spun into thin fibers, this type of fiberglass is incredibly light. Due to its lightness, loose-fill fiberglass offers an average of R-2.5 thermal value per inch. To reach the standard insulating value of a batt of R-19 insulation, about 7.5 inches of loose-fill fiberglass would need to be blown into the space.
b. Cellulose Insulation:
Think green! Cellulose insulation is perfect for those who are more eco-conscious, as it is made of finely shredded cardboard or newspaper. The most common type of insulation used for insulation blowing, cellulose insulation is specially treated with chemicals to ensure it is both mold and fire resistant. Cellulose insulation has a higher thermal value, with an R-3.7 thermal value on average, requiring only about five inches thick to equal an R-19 batt.
c. Rock Wool Insulation:
Rockwool insulation is created from blast furnace slag. Also referred to as “mineral wool,” rock wool insulation is a byproduct of firing iron and iron ore. When the slag is heated, it is combined with other minerals to create rock wool insulation. It has a sheep’s wool like texture, hence its name. A little less than cellulose insulation, rock wool insulation has a thermal value of R-3.3. It is exceptionally fire resistant and used specifically in areas that are subject to fire codes. We also suggest using it between connecting walls between the home and garage or the floor between your garage and the bonus room above the garage.
Longevity of Insulation Blowing
Here’s the good news: insulation blowing is a cost-effective, long-term solution for your home! This is not a job that will be completed and then require replacement a year later. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Blown-in insulation can last anywhere from twenty years to a house’s lifetime. How great is that? In a home with proper conditions, the insulation material will serve its purpose, remaining thermally resistant for decades.
Fiberglass insulation is created with the intention of lasting between 80-100 years. For your home’s safety and to maximize longevity, it is recommended to check for signs of damage to your insulation every 15 years. Rock wool, specifically, is incredibly moisture-resistant and can last up to 100 years. Of all the types of insulation blowing, rock wool insulation is the least likely to require replacement. Cellulose insulation, however green, lasts about 20-30 years on average due to the nature of the material used. It is essential, however, that the job is done correctly to ensure it only has to be done once. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you to do just that.
Removing Insulation Blowing: How is it Done?
As discussed previously, while insulation blowing is created to have a long life span, due to certain factors, there may be times when insulation removal is required. Replacing attic insulation requires the right tools and special protective equipment, due to the nature of the insulation itself.
Our installers use large industrial vacuums for insulation removal. To ensure maximum safety for our team, they will be dressed in full PPE suits – long sleeve coveralls, gloves, and a respirator to protect against lung and skin damage. The insulation will be sucked up through the vacuums and then properly disposed of at a designated facility. Certain types of insulation require specific disposal properties.
Blown-In Insulation Costs
Blown-in insulation costs are determined by a few different factors. We hire only the best staff to ensure that your home is treated as our own – with the best care, concern, and effort. Labor is a factor in blown-in insulation costs. The type of insulation blowing also influences blown-in insulation costs. Insulation blowing into the walls requires more work and time than insulation blowing on the floors in the attic. Thus, the time and labor costs reflect that. In addition to the labor, different types of blown-in insulation have varying costs. Loose-fill fiberglass insulation is the least expensive option of the three. Rock wool is the second most expensive type followed by cellulose. The location of the insulation also affects the cost, as building codes require greater R-values for insulation in attics than walls. Attics require R-30 to R-60 while walls only require R-13 to R-23 thermal resistance. Attics tend to have greater surface area than the walls, as well, thus making insulation blowing in attics more expensive than blown-in wall insulation. These varying blown-in insulation costs are well understood and recognized by our specialists. They will be able to sit down and discuss your concerns and budgets, to find the safest, most cost-effective plan to serve you and your family.
We recognize there are a lot of options to choose between to protect and secure your home.
Insulation blowing is a very important part of fully securing your attic from the outside air and unnecessary moisture. Our specialists are here to serve you and provide you with a custom solution for your home. They look forward to discussing the options and recommending the best type of insulation for your home. Whether it be loose-fill, cellulose insulation, or rock wool insulation, our specialists will work with you to find the best fit for your family. Making these small changes to your home will make a huge difference in the future. We can offer custom options that fit your budget and long-term plans for your home. We’re here to serve you.