Consider Moisture Issues When Choosing Insulation
Insulating for more than thermal properties
We insulate our homes primarily to keep the cold out in winter and keep the heat out in summer. As a result, most of us evaluate insulation based on its thermal properties, which are extremely important. However, there is another aspect of wall and ceiling insulation that should be considered before making a final decision, and that is moisture. If you choose the wrong insulation, moisture can seriously damage the long term performance of the insulation, reducing the benefits it offers to your home.
Although wall and ceiling cavities are invisible after a home is built, they are very important spaces in residential construction and remodeling projects. They play a critical role in managing the temperature, noise level, air flow and mold levels in houses. It is important that the insulation in the walls and ceilings works just as well years after installation as it does the day after the project is complete. This means the insulation cannot change with time. It cannot sag, compress or rot over the many years that we all expect our homes to provide comfort and security for our families.
These are some of the many properties that are attractive about stone wool insulation, such as the insulation products made by ROXUL. Stone wool actually repels water. This property is important year-round, but especially in spring when water levels rise, and rain and humidity levels both increase dramatically.
When stone wool is exposed to moisture it will not absorb the moisture the way other materials such as conventional batt insulation products do. This means it won’t compress, or sag in the wall or ceiling cavity. When insulation materials compress and sag they leave gaps in the cavity and these gaps severely damage the thermal performance of the wall. Cold or heat can pass through much more easily, as can sound, so the living space becomes less comfortable and heating and cooling costs can rise. After exposure to water, ROXUL dries out quickly and won’t slump in the wall cavity. Once the insulation is dry, it maintains its stated R-value.
Stone wool also provides benefits for mold prevention. Mold spores are literally everywhere, so the trick is to keep them from gathering and growing in a home. Mold requires three conditions to grow – moisture, food, and warmth. To stop mold from growing, at least one of these conditions must be removed. Our homes are warm, and we like them that way, so we can’t really remove warmth from a wall cavity. That leaves food and moisture to deal with, so the fact that stone wool repels water is very important to assist mold prevention. In fact, ROXUL stone wool has a unique orientation ideal for repelling and draining water away from exterior and interior walls.
Equally important, ROXUL is an inert product so it does not provide the food source mold requires to survive. Mold feeds on organic matter and since ROXUL is made of rocks it is non-organic and cannot rot. These properties contribute to a safer indoor environment for families.
When choosing insulation it is very important to evaluate all of the ways it can help make a home better. Because stone wool will continue to perform for many years it is a sustainable choice that will save money for homeowners long after it is installed.