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6 questions to ask when selecting insulation

(NC) Nowadays, homeowners are presented with an eclectic range of home improvement options, both traditional and green, all of which can boost the value of the investment. Whether building a new house or renovating an existing property, it is daunting to fully understand which products provide true value.

While television home renovation personalities will promote the latest and greatest, it's wise for homeowners to assess their individual needs, what they want to achieve, and understand the options that can be delivered over the short and long-term. Taking time to evaluate the products on the market is an important step to save headaches in the long run.

The same can be said for insulation products. Although hidden behind the walls and forgotten by many, insulation is one of the key areas where an investment in a quality product can boost both the value and comfort in the home. From traditional products like fibreglass and cellulose, to modern technologies like the spray foam insulation, it can be confusing if you are unsure what to look for.

Here are six key questions homeowners should ask themselves and their contractor when making their selection:

How well does the insulation control air leakage that can account for up to 40% of a building's energy loss?

Can the insulation create an air barrier without the use of extra finishing materials such as tape, gaskets, plastic wrap and labour?

How well does the insulation reduce air leakage in hard-to-insulate areas such as rim joists, cathedral ceilings, crawlspaces and garages without extra materials?

Is the insulation a qualified air barrier that minimizes air infiltration to help keep out allergens, dust and other pollutants?

Will the insulation maintain consistent performance at the rated R-value through the life of the building, or will it sag/settle over time, creating gaps and voids?

Can the insulation help control sound around plumbing, between rooms, street noise?

Spray foam insulation is the answer to these questions. Leading product, Icynene, explains:

The advanced material gives homeowners long-term performance reassurance and adds significant value to their home. Spray foam insulation acts as an insulating and air-sealing material that can cut heating and cooling costs by half as well as help improve indoor air quality. More information can be found at www.icynene.com.

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