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Insulation Simplified Part One: Foam Insulation vs Blanket Insulation

There is no denying we are living in new times and need to change our behavior as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe. You will have read how we are continuing to work with our clients to ensure they can achieve their dream homes, while ensuring the health and safety of all (if you have not read it yet, you can read it here). As noted, we are adhering to the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and can assure you we are doing our best to come together as a community to ensure life does not just simply stop, but that we are doing everything we can to continue our work during this period with safety and health in mind. 

As social distancing becomes the norm, we are all going to be spending a lot more time in our homes. As such, it is more important than ever that your home is working at its best and that it is a comfortable and healthy space to be in. And, as we come into the warmer months of the year, it is inevitable we will be using our air conditioning units more, especially as we will be inside for most of the day. Increased air conditioning means increased bills - something we certainly do not want! So, how can you ensure you remain comfortable inside without sending your energy bills through the roof? Insulation. In this two part series, WoW will be sharing with you the difference between foam and blanket insulation (part one), while in part two, we will be discussing loose fill insulation vs rigid insulation. Let us get right into it. 

What is Foam Insulation?

Foam insulation is still a relatively new method of insulating your home. You can spray polyurethane foam into ceilings and walls and when it expands, it forms an airtight seal. In some cases, this seal can also be moisture tight. You can use it to insulate a new home or to add to the insulation of an existing one, especially since it effectively seals the many small crevices and cracks along the outside of the home.

The Different Types of Foam Insulation

You can find foam insulation in various forms, such as aerosol cans with one-part formulas (ideal for DIY jobs like insulating your doorways). You can also get foam insulation in low pressure sprayers with two-part formulas (ideal for smaller jobs), or two-part kits that need to be applied with high-pressure sprayers (ideal for bigger jobs). 

Why Choose Foam Insulation?

There are a few reasons why you might choose foam insulation. Energy efficiency is one of them. Foam expands naturally after applying it, so it seals off the crevices fiberglass cannot reach. It is also highly durable because it does not break down as easily as your typical fiberglass. Furthermore, foam insulation also keeps pests and mold at bay. 

The Disadvantages of Foam Insulation 

The cost of foam insulation can be an issue for some. Due to its high level of energy efficiency and durability, it is often more expensive than other options and requires expensive equipment at times. It can also be a little tricky and messy to apply. Unless you are using an aerosol can for a small job, this is a job best left to professionals. 


What is Blanket Insulation? 

Fiberglass insulation in the form of a blanket comes in rolls or batts, and you can easily cut it and fit it in any space, including around electrical boxes and pipes. This makes it the ideal choice for new construction and spaces that are easy to access, like attics. Blanket insulation is made from flexible fibers, most commonly fiberglass. You also can find batts and rolls made from mineral (rock and slag) wool, plastic fibers, and natural fibers like cotton and sheep's wool.

Why Choose Blanket Insulation?

One of the great benefits of blanket insulation is its affordability, as it’s often cheaper than foam insulation. It is also relatively easy to install, especially if your house does not have problematic areas or a lot of small crevices that need to be sealed off. It is also easier to find professionals to install blanket insulation because fiberglass has been around for much longer than foam, so there are more people available who have experience installing it properly. 

The Disadvantages of Blanket Insulation 

However, in terms of energy efficiency, blanket insulation is not as effective as spray foam due its lower R-value. It is also less durable as blanket insulation tends to settle and break down faster, which means the thermal protection decreases over time.

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Topics: Insulation