Homeowners often forget about insulation as soon as it's installed. Ideally, it should last for the lifetime of your home, but that's not always the case. Depending on the insulation you have, you may need to check it periodically to ensure it's still doing its job.
Insulation materials have different lifespans. That's because they react to elements at different rates. Below, we'll go over the three most common types of insulation and how often you should check them.
Spray foam is the most durable insulation material. It comprises two main ingredients: isocyanate and polyol resin, that create the expanding polyurethane. The two chemicals form an exothermic reaction that helps it expand and harden. (1)
The spray form is water resistant, and it does not absorb moisture. It also doesn't settle, so you don't have to worry about losing its shape or effectiveness over time. Additionally, it doesn't encourage microbes or pests, so it's unlikely to harbor anything that could damage your home in Orlando.
Because of these features, it's durable and will serve your home for about 80 years without any issues. You don't need to check it annually, but you should keep an eye on it over time to ensure no visible damage.
Cellulose insulation is an eco-friendly alternative made from cellular plant sources. Usually, it comprises wood and specific recycled paper products such as office paper, cardboard, and newspaper. All this material gets treated with boric acid, a fire retardant, to help it resist mold and mildew growth.
While the expected service life for cellulose is about 20 to 30 years, it's spring and settles over time. It also gets damaged by water, microbes, critters, and bugs after nearly 15 years. From that period, you'll need to schedule regular inspections to check for any signs of damage.
Batt or blanket insulation is the market's most common type of insulation in Orlando. It usually comprises fiberglass or wool cut into mat form and placed between studs in a wall. Once installed, it looks like large strips of fabric.
Blanket insulation doesn't last as long as spray foam and can serve you for about 15-20 years. It's also susceptible to water, dirt, and pests and often starts to sug and settle by year 10. For these reasons, you need a reputable contractor to inspect it every few years and add more as necessary.
While you may not start inspecting your insulation the same year you install it, keeping an eye on it over time is essential. Depending on the type of insulation you have, you might need to check it every few years to ensure it's still in good shape. For more information about residential and commercial insulation, contact All Florida Insulation.
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Chris has been an insulation professional for more than two decades, and has experience with all types of residential and commercial insulation products. His passion is green energy and effective insulation applications.