Issue # 13: Insulation
ISSN 1703-5597
June 18, 2003


Contents:
Issue #13 Insulation

  1. The Basics: Glossaries, Insulation Types & R-Values
  2. Where & How: Wood Buildings, Bottoms & Top
  3. Fibreglass: Info Library, Batts & Loose Fill
  4. Cellulose: Technical Info & Wet-Spray Report
  5. More Types: Foam Boards, Spray Foam & Reflective
  6. Problems?: UFFI, Foundation Insulation & Vermiculite
  7. Other Resources: CCMC Listings, Articles & More Articles

1. The Basics: Glossaries, Insulation Types & R-Values

Glossary: Batt & Fibreglass
Baffled? Owens Corning has a glossary that covers a lot of terms used for batt and fibreglass types of insulation.

Glossary: Blown-in & Foam
This glossary from Icynene explains some different insulation terms. It focuses on blown-in and foam types of systems.

Fact Sheet: Insulation Types & R-Values
CMHC provides a listing of the different types of insulation and a chart showing the R-values per inch for each type. Its helpful if you ever want to compare various products.


2. Where & How: Wood Buildings, Bottoms & Top

Wood Buildings: Where To Insulate & How
The Canadian Wood Council site shows you how to insulate different sections of a building. The links on the left bring up drawings for each and show R-Values for every component.

Bottoms: Foundation, Slab, Crawlspace & Floor
Southface Energy Institute has a good tech sheet with diagrams that gives you options for insulating your bottoms.

Top: Story-And-A-Half Ceiling Areas
This area is one of the harder areas to insulate properly. Here is an Oikos report and drawing that show some ways to insulate so you get best results and the most energy savings.


3. Fibreglass: Info Library, Batts & Loose Fill

Info Library: North American Trade Association
NAIMA is the North American trade association for fibreglass, rock wool and slag wool insulation products. Their library has lots of articles on products, problems, and installation.

Batt Installation Tips: Fine Homebuilding Article
Here is a step-by-step article that gives you tips (with pictures) for each stage of installing batt insulation.

Loose Fill: What, Where & How (PDF FILE)
This detailed article from NAIMA shows how to properly install loose fill fibreglass insulation in different areas of a house.


4. Cellulose: Technical Info & Wet-Spray Report

Technical Info: Manufacturers Association
CIMA is the Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association in the US. Their site has info on cellulose benefits, technical bulletins, special reports and video clips.

Wet-Sprayed Cellulose: Research Report (PDF FILE)
CMHC did a study on wet-sprayed cellulose drying rates, moisture damage potential, and its air-barrier effectiveness.


5. More Types: Foam Boards, Spray Foam & Reflective

EPS: Expanded Polystyrene: The White Stuff
The EPS Molders Association website has lots of good info on installation, national standards, and issues such as moisture, insects, energy efficiency and the environment.

Spray Foam: Overview
The NAHB Toolbase site offers this report with an overview of spray foam insulation, benefits, and links to more contacts.

Reflective: Industry Association Handbook
The “reflective” industry has come under fire for making false R-value claims. This RIMA handbook provides an overview of both reflective insulation and radiant barriers.


6. Problems?: UFFI, Foundation Insulation & Vermiculite

UFFI: Info For Homeowners (PDF FILE)
Remember the big UFFI fiasco in the 80’s? CMHC has an info sheet for homeowners that explains UFFI, potential problems, and what to know if buying or selling a house with UFFI.

Foundation & Basement Insulation: Dr. Joe’s Findings (PDF FILE)
Here’s a heads up on potential problems of moisture on the insides of concrete walls with interior insulation. Joe Lstiburek gives a good explanation of causes and ideas for solutions.

Vermiculite: Are There Potential Asbestos Problems?
There is a growing concern that vermiculite insulation installed in the past might be contaminated with asbestos. This info from EPA in the US provides some advice for homeowners.


7. Other Resources: CCMC Listings, Articles & More Articles

Product Evaluation Listings: Insulation: CCMC
CCMC evaluates products according to national standards. Their listings of insulation products show the relevant standards (“Preface” link) and company info (“Listing” link).

More Insulation Articles: From JLC
If you’re looking for more good articles on insulation the Journal of Light Construction site has quite a number of them. Click on “Thermal & Moisture Control” link.

Even More Articles: NAHB Toolbase
The NAHB site also has a number of articles on insulation. These tend to cover newer types of products and applications, as well as research and demonstration reports.


Dittie For Today: A Bit Of Advice
Never do card tricks for the group you play poker with.




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