Alternatives to Fiberglass Insulation
People have become much more sensitive to environmental and energy savings issues when building homes. Whereas such subjects were rarely discussed 20 years ago, they are now on the front burner for many of us. This transition has been so extensive that homebuilders now incorporate both issues in their projects and use their solutions as selling points. If these subjects have become part of the marketing, you know the transition to more environmental and energy consciousness has come full circle.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the newspapers you haul out to curb with the other recycling every week? Since I am mentioning it in this article, it is probably obvious the newspapers are being turned into insulation products. This relatively new insulation product is quickly overtaking fiberglass insulation in new home building projects, remodels and additions. Known as fiber insulation, it is more environmentally friendly than fiberglass, less expensive and just as good at sealing homes.
Fiber insulation is typically made up of recycled newspapers. Yes, those newspapers you haul out to the curb each week with the trash. Small amounts of ground up cardboard can also be included in some products. The material is shredded and then treated with acrylic binders to make the material hold together. To prevent fires, it is treated with various forms of fire retardant materials.
Fiber insulation almost always comes in a loose fill form. The loose fill is typically blown into cavities requiring insulation instead of being stapled up as seen with traditional fiberglass rolls. The material usually goes in dry, but there are wet versions that are sprayed on much like more traditional spray on insulation products.
As you may know, recycling newspaper is something everyone does these days. Just take a look down the street on garbage day. Recycle boxes of newspapers are on every driveway. This massive recycling produces tons of shredded newspaper material. Frankly, it can't be turned into usable materials fast enough. This inventory problem means the material is extremely cheap. As a result, fiber insulation can cost up to 25 percent cheaper than fiberglass insulation.
Whether you are building new, doing an improvement or just adding on, fiber insulation represents a good deal on all fronts. Just tell them you want the stuff made out of recycled newspapers.