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How Long Does Insulation Last?

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Posted April 12, 2013

There are many different types of insulation, and not all are created equal. In theory, you should only need to insulate your home once, and the material should last a lifetime. In practice, you must choose the right type of material and have it installed properly to make it last. Learn about the different types of insulate and how long you can expect each to last.

R-Values and Insulating Materials

Based on classifications from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the Houston area is classified as Zone 4. As such, recommended insulating materials must meet minimum levels of resistance to the movement of heat, measured as the R-Value. Attics must meet a level of R-38, and walls need a minimum of R-13. There are many materials that meet these government standards, and each will ensure your heating and cooling systems retain the conditioned air produced inside the house. However, not all insulate materials will last a lifetime under the conditions of the Houston climate.

Comparing Types of Insulate for the Houston Region

Due to higher humidity and temperatures, it’s important to choose an insulating material that does not absorb moisture. Otherwise, the material may become damaged, absorb water or incubate mold and mildew. Therefore, the local climate eliminates mineral wool and natural fibers, like sheep’s wool and cotton. Likewise, cellulose is too absorbent and can serve as a food source for termites. It’s also prone to settling due to the humidity. Spray foam is an option, but it can be more expensive and prone to uneven distribution. That’s why fiberglass, both blown-in and rolled, is still one of the best choices for those living in and around the Houston area.

Advantages of Fiberglass

Fiberglass, as the name implies, is made up of small strands of glass. It has many advantages as an insulating material. One of the most prominent is that fiberglass cannot absorb water. This reduces the hazard of water damage, mold and mildew. Likewise, fiberglass is resistant to fire, and it doesn’t need to be treated with questionable chemicals. The price of blown-in fiberglass is one of the most affordable, and it installs quickly. On top of all that, you can expect fiberglass to last for the entire lifetime of your home. That’s why it’s one of the most popular choices for the Houston area.

Air Specialist – A Houston Attic Insulation Pro

With proper installation and choice of material, your insulation should last a lifetime. It’s a one-time job, and you should not have to replace it ever again. Air Specialist is an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) company serving greater Houston, TX and surrounding areas for more than 40 years. Our technicians are NATE certified, the only third-party certification body for HVAC technicians in the United States. We give you free estimates on insulating any building. To learn more about insulating your Houston area home, call us today.


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