Is Fireproof Insulation Worthwhile?
Fireproof insulation is definitely worth your consideration! Whether you are constructing a new house or are thinking of replacing your existing insulation, there are plenty of benefits to reap from fire retardant insulation. For instance, normal insulation has the potential to become fuel for a fire once the flames reach it. Fireproof insulation is considered to be fire retardant because it can resist temperatures up to a certain extent. Although this insulation may not stop a fire, it can definitely resist the flames to an extent and provide a barrier between the fire and the frame of the building, buying the firefighters time to get to the house.
So, what is fireproof insulation made of?
Fireproof insulation comes in various types depending on the material that it is made of. Some varieties are made of fiberglass. This is literally melted glass which has been spun until thread-like fibers are formed. Imagine a giant cotton ball made of spun glass. The good thing about fiberglass is that it will not catch fire. There is the chance, however, that the packaging which surrounds the glass—usually brown paper or foil—can burn.
Another fire retardant material used in fireproof insulation is minerals. Much in the way that glass is melted and spun to produce fiberglass, stones are heated at an incredibly high heat and spun or blown with air until a porous and lightweight material results. Mineral wool has such a high melting temperature that it would be virtually incapable of melting in a house fire. An alternative to mineral wool is glass wool. Glass wool is made from bits of fiberglass that have been woven together to produce a wool-like bunch. This can easily be cut and arranged into a formation perfect for squeezing the insulation into tight or awkward spaces.
Asbestos is one of the most durable insulators around and is made from a variety of different minerals. It is resistant to high heats as well as chemicals. Unfortunately it is also very hazardous to one’s health and many states have banned the use of this product in new constructions. If this type of insulator is to be considered, you should consult your local building authority to determine whether asbestos insulation complies with the building and safety codes in your city.
How should fireproof insulation be installed?
If you’re looking to save money by installing the insulation yourself, you need to make sure that you understand how to correctly go about it. After all, what is the point in paying for special fire retardant insulation only to find out the hard way that it didn’t work properly due to poor installation techniques? Insulation can be blown into place if you want to invest in a costly machine that you may only use once. The average homeowner is more likely to use insulation in the form of a roll or a batt. Insulation in the form of a roll should be cut to fit the measurements of the cavity it is going to fill, leaving an extra inch on all sides just in case. Always make sure to cut on the unfaced side of the insulation. See if the insulation will fit into the space. If it is too big or requires that you stuff it in, then go ahead and trim away the necessary amount so that the insulation fits snugly on all sides—especially in the corners. In most cases, the faced side of the insulation should face the room. Use a staple gun to staple the faced portion of insulation to the surrounding joists. Do not stretch the insulation as you staple. There should not be any portions which appear stressed or that gape between staples. The procedure works the same way with batts, which are basically pre-cut strips of insulation that come in different sizes.