At Trade Insulations we stock many brands of fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass is commonly used in two types of insulation, slabs or blanket rolls with varying thermal properties. It is also available as rigid boards and can be used to insulate piping and for soundproofing too. Fiberglass insulation comes in slabs or rolls, can be blown-in, and can also be manufactured into boards.

Fiberglass insulation has been used in homes since the 1930s and was invented by Games Slayter, an engineer working for the Owens Corning Company. It has a long history and is still used in modern construction today, as well as being the most popular choice when looking at loft insulation.

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What is fiberglass?

Fiberglass is an insulating material using extremely fine fibers of glass and sand mixed with a binding material until it reaches a texture similar to that of wool.

Natural sand and recycled glass are mixed and heated to 1,450 °C, to produce glass. The fiberglass is usually produced by a method similar to making candy floss, the molten glass fibers are spun through a fine mesh, cooling once in contact with the air. For cohesion and strength, the glass fibers are mixed with a binder that cements the fibers together. This is heated again to 200°C, then calendared, passed through high-temperature calendar rolls to give it strength and stability.

This process traps many pockets of air between the glass and these small pockets create high thermal insulation properties. In order to accomplish the formation of small gas cells (the gas being air) in man-made thermal insulation, glass and polymer materials can be used to trap air in a foam-like structure.

How is fiberglass used?

Fiberglass insulation is especially used as an indoor thermal and acoustic insulation material. They are most commonly applied underneath pitched roofs, wooden floors or on internal walls, primarily inside the home as it loses its insulation value once damp. In addition to blocking airflow, fiberglass also has a knack for blocking sound.

Unfortunately, many homes are under-insulated, leading to higher energy bills and enormous corresponding greenhouse gas emissions.

Fiberglass insulation can be used to help keep a balanced temperature within buildings. It can trap air to keep rooms cool during the summer and also warm during the winter. This control of temperature can reduce the need for heating, which is better for the environment as it can help save on energy usage and therefore reduce energy bills. Fiberglass batt insulation is very popular on our website. It is effective in keeping in heat and keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.

The use of fiberglass became prominent in 1932. The colour of fiberglass can differ depending on the product. In the UK, it is often yellow or brown in colour, however, it can come in colours such as white, green, and even pink. Fiberglass itself has a spongey feel to it and is sold in rolls or slabs. When found in blanket form, it is known as insulation batts. Insulation batts are popular as they are easy to cut into size and adjust to match the requirements of a project.

Fiberglass is an inexpensive type of insulation. It can help protect from hazards such as short circuits, fire, and also sound. This makes it an ideal insulation material for a building. Fiberglass resists moisture and therefore doesn't absorb or hold water. This can help prevent the growth of mould and bacteria. It is highly fire-resistant, which makes it an excellent choice to meet strict health and safety measures. Fiberglass itself is a natural sound absorber, which can reduce noise pollution and therefore help a building adhere to acoustic standards in England as stated in Document E. Fiberglass is great for the planet and can help reduce energy bills. In addition to this, is easily recycled to reduce the impact of waste on the planet.

Fiberglass has many application types and is often used in loft spaces. Fiberglass makes excellent loft insulation and can easily be fit in tricky spaces.

It is worth noting that Fiberglass can cause itchiness and rashes. Small particles of fiberglass can cause skin irritation and therefore you should make sure that gloves are worn when handling fiberglass insulation.

Although the installation of Fiberglass Insulation has huge benefits it is worth mentioning that coming in contact with small particles of Fiberglass can cause itchiness, irritation, and rashes. Make sure to wear gloves whenever dealing with this type of insulation.

Fiberglass Insulation Protective Properties

The protective properties of fiberglass insulation differ per product, however, fiberglass as a material has inherent protective properties, which can be seen below.

Acoustic
Fiberglass can act as a sound barrier, which helps block out unwanted noise. The material itself can absorb sound waves, which reduces noise pollution in buildings.

Fire protection
Fiberglass is highly fire-resistant, which can help stop the spread of fire. This can save lives as well as prevent building damage. The fire protective properties of fiberglass is another reason why it is so popular in the building industry. Further details of the protective qualities can be found on product pages.

Resistance to moisture
Fiberglass has good resistance to moisture to preserve the heat flow. Moisture gives bacteria and mould a place to grow and thrive. The absence of water can help prevent these from forming or growing. In addition to this, fiberglass insulation can help stop deterioration which is caused by water, floods of moisture.

Installing Fiberglass Batt Insulation

Batt Insulation by brands such as Knauf and Rockwool can be easily installed. In this short guide, we will give you instructions on how to install fiberglass batt insulation. We cover how to cut and fit fiberglass batts as well as how to work with electrical cables and outlets. Please note, this guide is just for reference. We always maintain that you should seek professional help before starting any building or DIY project.

Before you start any job working with fiberglass, you need to ensure you have the correct PPE and equipment. We recommend that you wear a long sleeve top with gloves and goggles to protect your skin and eyes. It may also be good to wear head protection or a hat to stop fibers from getting in your hair. A utility knife is essential as well as a tape measure and a putty knife to stuff the insulation around windows and doors. It is worth noting that fiberglass also irritates your throat so an appropriate face mask can provide protection.

If you are working around electrical cables, you want to split the batts to fit in nicely. Do this by tearing the batt in half from the bottom. Once you have done this, slide one of the halves behind the cable whilst placing the other half over the top.

To install fiberglass batts, you need to cut the batt to length. You can do this by setting the top of the batt into the required space. Once you have done this, cut against the bottom plate with a sharp utility knife. Make sure you leave an extra half-inch of length for a tight fit.

After this, you want to leave the batt folded in half whilst holding one edge against the edge of the stud. Slice down the length while holding the top of the fiberglass batt and cut against the stud face.

Leave the batt folded in half and hold one edge against the edge of the stud. Slice down the length while holding the top of the batt. Cut against the stud face. Remember, it is better to have the batts slightly compressed than leave big gaps. It is not a cause for concern if the batts look like they are bulging out as the drywall will compress them tight.

You need to fill gaps when installing around windows and doors. You can do this by stuffing skinny strips into the spaces around windows and doors. This should fit in nicely but be careful not to overpack it in. Windows and doors have a shim space, which is an ideal spot for air to get through. You can prevent air leakage using fiberglass. Just remember that packing the fiberglass too tight can cause the window or door to bow and therefore damage functionality.

What is the difference between fiberglass batts and fiberglass rolls

The main difference between fiberglass batts and fiberglass rolls is how they are installed. When you compare the two, you can achieve high quality results from either. Fiberglass insulation rolls are rolled out between the joists of your ceiling. Batt insulation has to be cut and slotted as stated in the guide above.
There may be rare occasions when one is better than the other but this again comes down to application. If the space is tricky and has many obstacles, it may be better to cut and stuff insulation batts.
Both insulation rolls and insulation batts provide excellent results.

If you need help purchasing the right fiberglass insulation, get in touch with us today. We can offer guidance to help you find the right product for your job.