Best Insulation For Exterior Walls
Written by Barrier Insulation

Best Insulation For Exterior Walls

The best insulation for exterior walls is spray foam insulation if it is new build and retrofitting with loose fill insulation for existing homes. Paying for cooling your home in Phoenix during summer is expensive! It’s possible to cut down on those electricity bills with quality insulation. We will show you the best insulation for your exterior walls in this post.

There are 3 main types of insulation commonly installed in walls.  The type that works best for your home depends on if the walls are still open during construction or a remodel, or if you’re improving the insulation of an older home. See below for more information about the exterior wall insulation options.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is sprayed on wet and it expands rapidly into gaps, cracks, and solidifies as a hard, thick foam.  This insulation type can be used to insulate the walls of new build and existing homes.  One of the best features of spray foam insulation is how well it conforms automatically to all of the odd shaped cavities and air leaks.  The R-value of spray foam depends on the chemical makeup as there are two variants, closed and open cell spray foam insulation.  Spray foam insulation does require a slightly greater investment, but it does offer superior performance.

Fiberglass Batt Insulation

For most people when they imagine insulation they think of those pink rolls of fiberglass batts.  It has been a staple for much of the country as it is effective and affordable.  As a favorite of both contractors and homebuilders fiberglass batts are designed to fit between common stud spacing.  This option is susceptible to air permeability unless it has a facing which acts as a vapor barrier.

Loose-Fill Insulation

Loose-fill insulation comes in various compositions from rock wool and fiberglass to the incredibly popular cellulose insulation.  For existing walls cellulose loose fill insulation is an excellent option as it requires less demolition to install.  In fact the only demolition required is to drill small homes in the outside of the exterior walls and install the insulation via a tube which blows the cellulose into the walls.  Much of cellulose insulation is comprised of recycled newspaper which is treated with fire retardant products to make it safe for homes.

How To Insulate Exterior Walls

There are three popular ways to insulate exterior walls.  The first and highest performance is spray foam insulation.  The second and widely used is fiberglass batt insulation.  The third is loose fill blown in insulation.  The first two types of insulation can be installed in exterior walls when the property is first built or during renovations.

Loose fill insulation can be installed in exterior walls by a process called “retrofitting”.  Retrofitting is an insulation installation process where small holes are cut into the sheetrock of your property and insulation is blown into the wall cavities to improve your building or home’s energy efficiency.

Spray Foam Exterior Wall Installation

Spray foam is an excellent option for exterior wall insulation.  Used widely in basements, attics, crawl spaces and exterior walls it not only provides insulation but seals air leaks in your property.

Step 1. Understand Scope Of Installation

For jobs bigger than sealing around dryer vents, windows, or other common gaps or cracks its typically more cost effective to hire professional insulation contractors.  Professional spray foam installers will have years of experience, safety gear, high pressure spray foam applicators, and the right spray rigs to do large areas efficiently

Step 2. Installation Safety Gear

Spray foam insulation installation produces fumes that are harmful if inhaled.  During installation it’s important for installers to use respirators.  Once the insulation has cured it is no longer has an impact on indoor air quality.

Step 3. Use The Right Equipment

A big part of making sure spray foam lives up to it’s design specifications is installing it correctly.  While some homeowners will get low-pressure sprayers the risk of spending the money to do it wrong isn’t worth the risk.  We use high pressure applicators with years of experience to get the job done right, the first time.

Step 4. Choose The Type Of Spray Foam

There are two types of spray foam insulation, open and closed cell.  While closed cell spray foam does have a higher insulation performance value it is more costly to install.  For this reason, many homeowners choose open cell spray foam as it is fast to install and more affordable.

Step 5. Clean & Clear Debris

Before spray foam can be installed extra nails, dirt, and debris must be removed from inside walls.  If it’s left it will affect the quality of the installation.  It’s also a good practice to identify areas where it’s especially drafty to ensure they get sprayed correctly to seal air leaks.

Step 6. Install Spray Foam Insulation

This is the most important and sometimes challenging step.  The spray must be applied evenly and around the edges of each void before laying a nice layer in the center.  This helps seal the air leaks in your exterior walls.  It should be done at the right temperature, which is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fiberglass Batt Exterior Wall Installation

Fiberglass batt insulation is another very popular exterior wall insulation.  The sections are sold in rolls and are the sold in standard widths that fit between your exterior wall studs.  With most having a paper backing vapor barrier they are installed with heavy duty staple guns.

Step 1. Calculate How Much Is Needed

The first step is to calculate how much fiberglass batt insulation you’ll need.  This is done by measuring the total area of your exterior wall or walls.  Tally up the number of voids you need to insulate on your exterior walls and buy a little more than needed for odd areas and mistakes.

Step 2. Buy The Right Type Of Fiberglass Batt

Fiberglass batts are sold with different grades and thicknesses for various applications in your home or business.  Some are designed to be installed in exterior walls while others are meant for basement or attic walls.  Ensure you are choosing the right types for each of the exterior walls you need to insulate.

In addition to standard fiberglass batt you have the option of choosing types of non-fiberglass batt insulation.  Some consumers are choosing batts made from cotton, mineral wool, sheeps wool and other natural materials which guard indoor air quality.

Step 3. Collect Tools Of The Trade

Whoever is installing the batt insulation must wear protective gear and have a staple gun and utility knife. Protective gear should include a face mask, gloves, goggles, and clothing that covers the arms and legs.

Step 4. Cut Batts To Fit

Measure the height of each exterior wall void and cut the batts to fit each of these spaces.  The width should have been factory made for your walls but the length is variable as some homes have vaulted ceilings.

Step 5. Set In Place & Staple

The next step is to simply put the batts into the wall cavities and staple them into place.  This is done by unfolding the side of the paper backing on your batts and stapling it to the wall stud or attic joist.  Ensure you have a staple at least every 6 inches to securely hold the insulation.

Retrofit Exterior Wall Insulation

Retrofitting insulation into exterior walls is a hugely popular option for older homes.  Whether there just isn’t insulation or the insulation has settled and isn’t effective, retrofitting will help.  This type of exterior wall insulation is best done by professionals with the right tools and training.  It is done by cutting holes into the walls and using blowing machines to pump the walls full of loose fill insulation.  Cellulose is a popular type of loose fill among other good options.

Insulation for Exterior Walls in Phoenix

There are few places in the world that can boast the summer time temperatures that Phoenix has.  As we continue to set record highs each summer it is increasingly important to have quality insulation in your home, attic, and exterior walls.  Keeping your home cooler with insulation is more than a question of staying comfortable, it is about staying healthy and keeping utility bills reasonable.

Barrier Insulation Inc. is the premier provider of quality insulation in Phoenix. You can trust your insulation to the professionals at Barrier Insulation Inc. knowing your house will be optimized with the finest quality insulation in the marketplace. For all of your insulation needs call us today at 602-499-2922.

What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like
Written by Barrier Insulation

What Does Asbestos Insulation Look Like?

When it comes to asbestos, it rarely needs introduced at this point. The majority of homeowners need to be educated on the general danger of breathing and disturbing asbestos fiber. Older buildings and homes may have asbestos within products from hot water piping insulation to furnace insulation, even floor tiles. Typically, it is recommended to simply leave it as-is without disturbing it. Otherwise, hire a professional asbestos removal company.

However, there are loose-fill wall and attic insulation which can contain asbestos. If you’re insulation is the batt style insulation, as the loose fill insulation has the higher risk as it’s loosely poured into wall or joist cavities. You may also find thousands of loose particles within walls or under attic flooring. These are the insulation types that pose the most risk.

So, how do you identify if your attic insulation contains asbestos? Below we will discuss specifics about loose fill insulation which could contain asbestos.

Vermiculite Attic Insulation

Vermiculite attic insulation is the main source of concern with asbestos dangers, although asbestos is not in every brand. Vermiculite insulation alone is not dangerous, being a pellet style mineral, which expands with higher temperatures. In addition to building insulation, vermiculite is commonly used with gardening for loosening soil.

More specifically, vermiculite insulation which was mined in Montana by the Libby company is one to watch for. It was sold under the brand Zonolite, for about 70 years.

Because Zonolite had been contaminated with tremolite, it resulted in being a health hazard. Tremolite is similar to asbestos. About 70% of U.S. vermiculite attic insulation originated from the Libby mine, while 30% came from other sources.

Loose Fill Insulation Could Contain Asbestos If:

Your home was constructed prior to 1990. The Libby mine was closed down in 1990, meaning any homes that were built and/or remodeled prior to their closing date could have attic insulation containing asbestos. If your home was constructed after their closing date, it reduces the chance of asbestos containing insulation, but there’s still a chance overstock insulation was used a while after closing.

  • Zonolilte is often a silver-gold or gray-brown color, which is another way to identify the insulation particles.
  • Zonolite particles have an accordion style texture. This texture is the result of particles puffing due to heat.
  • Zonolite will lay flat against a joist cavity, and remain firm. Loose fill fiberglass often fluffs and appears more like a snow drift.
  • Zonolite is a lightweight mineral, and reacts with high temperatures that result in puffing particles.

Is Loose Fill Soft, Gray and Lack Shine?

If this sounds like what you have, it is likely cellulose insulation, which contains a higher amount of recycled paper, without minerals. A closer inspection indicates this gray puffy material has no minerals, but appears like gray shredded paper. This means cellulose insulation does not contain asbestos and is a safe insulation, blown into the cavities.

Is Loose Fill Fluffy and White, With Some Shine?

If this sounds like what you have, it is likely fiberglass fill. Due to being a byproduct of glass, it has some shine in light. The texture is fluffy, similar to that of cotton candy. When it comes to breathing, fiberglass can be annoying, and known to cause cancer.

Is Loose Fill Puffy, Gray and Fibrous?

If this sounds like what you have, it is likely rock wool, a mineral based loose fill. It is commonly found in fiber bundles, with a cotton style look. Rock wool comes in brownish white, off white, or white. Rock wool insulation is fabricated from belted basaltic rock and dolomite, with binders being added. Raw materials get exposed to temperatures up to 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit, making it melt. Then, fibers are spun from the molten material. It is common for rock wool to be found as a woven insulation batt or loose insulation. Similar to fiberglass, it should be handled carefully, but rock wool is not known to cause cancer.

What To Do If I Suspect Zonolite Vermiculite Insulation?

If you have loose fill insulation in your wall or attic that fits the visual aspects above, you can verify if it contains asbestos with a DIY asbestos testing kit. If you would prefer not to be around the insulation, to be on the safe side a commercial firm can be hired for testing insulation for asbestos. Generally, DIY kits can be purchased under $50, which may be a cheaper route.

In the event you find your insulation contains asbestos, it is best to locate an abatement company that has professional experience in handling asbestos removal, and never disturb the insulation. Although, asbestos removal is expensive, but if left it could cause many health issues for you and/or your family.

Phoenix Valley Insulation Removal

If you’ve got asbestos insulation in your property it poses a health hazard.  Barrier insulation provides insulation removal services in the Phoenix Valley and is an insulation installation contractor.  That means we can remove dangerous, damaged, or ineffective insulation and replace it with the highest performance insulation on the market.  From spray foam insulation to loose fill blown in insulation we will help you choose a cost effective and high performance insulation solution to help keep you comfortable all year long.

How To Insulate Walls Without Removing The Drywall
Written by Barrier Insulation

How To Insulate Walls Without Removing The Drywall

To insulate walls without removing the drywall holes on the interior or exterior of the home are cut.  Insulation materials are blown or sprayed between the studs to fill in wall cavities with insulation.  This, along with attic insulation, helps create a more energy efficient home that requires less natural gas or electricity to stay comfortable.

Wall Insulation

When it comes to high energy costs, it has really made homeowners much more aware of having the right insulation. There are some experts that have stated that a person can save about 15% on their energy bill by sealing up any air leaks and even adding some insulation, but that will be based on the location and age of the house.

Older houses, especially those that were built around World War II, are not insulated to more modern standards, but almost every house can benefit from adding insulation. Specifics will be based on the type of house, but there are many options for all without having to remove the drywall in your home.

Check Your Needs

You will need to check out sources such as the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association to see just how much insulation you are going to need. Insulation will be rated by R value, which is the resistance to heat. Most of the United States will need to have between R-60 to R-37 in the attic and between R-16 to R-12 in the walls.

Exterior Walls

You may add insulation to your walls without removing it by cutting holes into the siding. You can blow spray foam or cellulose into the walls from outside. Just cut a 1 inch to 2-inch hole between the studs at the top of the wall and then spray the insulation into the hole using a hose. Replace the cutouts, fill using wood filler and then sand smooth and paint to restore your siding.

Basement Walls

Insulating the basement walls in your home helps keep your home a more even temperature throughout the year.   Basement walls can be insulated with foam board, spray foam, blown-in, and spray foam insulation.  For basements that are finished and have sheetrock insulation contractors use similar methods to retrofitting exterior wall insulation installation.  Holes are cut to install the insulation and then are patched and painted over.


The easiest place for you to add insulation is going to be in your attic, under your roof. That is where adding insulation will be most beneficial. Another option is to add some loose fill insulation like fiberglass beads, cellulose, or rock wool. These types of insulation can be bought in bags at a supply store. You can add the loose fill on your existing insulation which has been installed in older homes. You should add between 7 to 12 inches of insulation which meets the requirement.

Roll or Batt

Another option for your attic will be roll or batt insulation which is made of wool, fiberglass or cotton. They will have similar R values, but fiberglass is very common and easily purchased at a supply store. Fiberglass batt is similar to those that are placed in your house wall during construction. You can lay rolls or batts between the joists in the ceiling or over them and make sure to place them on top of existing insulation.

Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation is a more modern and popular insulation type that you can add without needing to remove your drywall. This material is sprayed as a liquid which will expand when it makes contact with air. It will have a fluffy, soft appearance but a high R value. It will expand to fill any cracks so there will be no air openings where cold air can get in or for hot air to escape. In the attic it is normally sprayed between the rafters and the excess material is trimmed using a saw or knife.

How Blown In Insulation Is Installed Behind Drywall

This process is often called retrofitting and involves cutting access holes, blowing in insulation, and then patching.  Some homeowners with the time and tools are able to do this, but professional retrofitting is faster and generally more effective.  Training and experience make a big difference in how well the new insulation performs.  It’s possible to add blown in insulation to attics, walls, under floors and even the crawl space in your home.  Learn how the pros install insulation between studs without removing the drywall.

Step 1. Drill Holes In The Wall

To install the insulation without completely removing the drywall our pros find the studs in your walls.  Using a stud finder to mark off the studs with a pencil.  Drops cloths are used to protect floors and make cleanup easier as 2 inch holes are drilled to fill each of these wall cavities.  The holes are drilled as high as possible so insulation naturally piles up and creates an even layer of insulation.

Step 2. Blow In The Insulation

Our professional team of insulation installers work together to place the hose in the wall and slowly inch it out as the insulation is blown in tight.  This creates the evenly distributed effective insulation you need for your walls. Dirt and dust may be kicked up during this process so our team wears masks, gloves and goggles for personal safety and protection.

Step 3. Patching & Painting

Once the walls are filled with the insulation the installation holes are patched.  This is done by either saving the drywall discs cut as you created the access points or cutting new plugs.  Use drywall tape to secure the disc or patch in place, cover it with spackle and let it dry.  Once all of the holes are patched and dried the last step is painting the walls to make sure it looks uniform.

This process drastically improves home’s thermal efficiency in both summer and winter.  Stay cooler in when it’s hot and warmer when it’s cold without blowing your budget on utilities.

Home & Attic Insulation Service

Barrier Insulation provides retrofitting insulation services for all types of properties.  Our team can help you with insulation removal and install new insulation in your home, attic, walls, and floors without having to do major demolition to achieve more energy efficient homes.  If you’d like to learn more about how insulation can help save you money and stay more comfortable please call 602-499-2922

Is Spray Foam Insulation Worth It?
Written by Barrier Insulation

Is Spray Foam Insulation Worth It?

Spray foam insulation is worth the additional cost as it performs better and seals air leaks.  It’s R-Value is higher, so it keeps the heat out in summer and holds it in during summer.  In addition spray foam insulation expands into gaps and cracks to seal air leaks.  This means that your conditioned air stays in your home and the hot air with it’s dirt, dust, and allergens stays out.

Much like any investment in real estate choosing good insulation options is important.  A lot of people are searching for “Is spray foam insulation worth it?”.   Spray foam typically does cost a little more than other traditional types of insulation; so homeowners are trying to understand if the performance difference is worth the extra cost.  This post will cover some of the differences spray foam insulation has and why it is worth the additional cost for many business owners and homeowners.

6 Reasons Spray Foam Insulation Is Worth It

Homeowners, businesses, and even charity organizations who build houses have realized the value and advantage of spray foam insulation.  Spray foam insulation’s advantages include that it seals air leaks, offers better performance, improves indoor air quality, and even helps keep your home quieter.

1. Seals Air Leaks

One major difference between spray foam insulation and every other type is that spray foam seals gaps and cracks that let air move in or out of your home.  This characteristic of spray foam leads to many of it’s unique advantages and superior performance as an insulation option.

2. Lower Utility Costs

Habitat for humanity did a case study where two identical homes were built.  One with traditional fiberglass insulation and one with spray foam insulation.  After only 5 months of utility bills the house with spray foam insulation owed $547 dollars less in heating and cooling costs!

3. Superior Indoor Air Quality

As the air leaks are sealed off allergens and humidity from outdoors is kept outdoors.  This helps prevent mold in the home and pollen or dust from entering the home.  Many people and children react to both pollen and dust with mild to sever allergic reactions that can significantly impact their quality of life.

4. A Quieter Home

Another great advantage of spray foam is having a quieter and more peaceful home.  Your house is likely the place you come to escape the noise and busied activity of the day.  Hearing less of the traffic passing your home and what the neighbors are up to will leave you with a greater sense of relaxation.  Spray foam insulation helps keep the noise outside and can even help soundproof rooms inside your home.

5. Better Resell Value

When you invest in better materials in your home it is worth more money.  Spray foam insulation is widely know for its advantages and being able to list that you have the best insulation option helps fetch a better sale value if you decide to move. Best of all once your spray foam insulation is installed you’ll enjoy lower utility bills for the rest of the time you live in the home.

6. Improved Wall Strength

Spray foam insulation adds strength to the walls of your home as it solidifies.  This additional strength will help keep your home standing strong as your it ages and improve the longevity of the structure.  So in addition to keeping you more comfortable, lowering utility costs, it will help keep your home in better condition for longer.

Phoenix Spray Foam Insulation Contractors

If you have a commercial property or home in Phoenix that’s costing you an arm and a leg to cool or heat; Barrier Insulation is here to help!  We offer the best spray foam insulation installation service in the state and provide it to all the cities in the Phoenix Valley.  From Phoenix to Mesa and Gilbert to Glendale we have you covered with the very best insulation and professional installation.

Call Today For A Free Spray Foam Insulation Quote (602) 499-2922

How To Save Energy and Cut Your Electric Bill In Half
Written by Barrier Insulation

How To Save Energy & Cut Your Electric Bill In Half

To save energy and cut your electric bill in half you’ll need have more energy efficient appliances, energy star HVAC systems, and cut down on the need to use electricity with insulation, energy efficient bulbs, and more.  Read about how you can cut your electric bill in half with these energy savings ideas.

12 Best Ways To Save Energy

The best ways to save energy and cut your electric bill involve installing more energy efficient items but also making it so your home doesn’t need as much electricity to be comfortable.  This involves weatherizing, insulating, using less hot water, and simply being more aware of how you use electricity and changing your habits.

1. Solar Power

A huge game changer in cutting your electric bill in half is the advent of solar power.  Being able to get energy to use in your home straight from the sun saves energy. See how much you can save with solar here.

2. Energy Star HVAC

No matter how well you insulate you’re going to need to heat in winter and cool your home in summer.  Energy Star air conditioners and central heaters help use less electricity to keep you comfortable.   So, consider upgrading your homes heater and air conditioning unit to Energy Start rated equipment.

3. Install Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats and those that are programable help you save even more energy.  While no one is at home during work, school, or even vacations your home doesn’t need to be kept as cooled or heated.  Programable thermostats can be manually programed for when you’re away.  S

mart thermostats can be programmed, controlled remotely, and even learn your household’s habits and save energy while your away automatically.  Then before you arrive home they kick the system back on to make sure the home is comfortable when you arrive.

4. Energy Efficient Appliances

The refrigerator, oven, range, water heater, and other home appliances all use energy.  Even your flat screen TV draws power and should be considered.  All home appliances and larger electronics are available in energy star models that will help you save energy.

5. Use Less Hot Water

Water heaters use a significant amount of electricity to be ready to provide hot water for showers, cleaning dishes, baths, and everything else you need hot water for.  By installing an energy start hot water heater you’ll save.  You can also turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater, so you simply use less hot water.  Adjust your showering and bathing habits to use less and you’ll use less electricity.

6. Insulate Your Home

Insulating your home is a huge way to cut your electric bill in half.  Without insulation or without insulation that is in good shape you’ll be cooling and heating like crazy to stay comfortable.  Running around with an insulated mug for your ice water in a home that’s doesn’t have good attic insulation or insulation in the walls keeps your HVAC system running and using much more electricity. Learn about how you can get quality home and attic insulation here.

7. HVAC Duct Sealing

Many homes HVAC ducting goes through the attic.  As this cool or hot air travels to the rooms it needs to the attic can steal some of the efficiency.  Gaps in the ducting of your home’s HVAC system makes your heater and air conditioner work harder and use more electricity.  Consider having your attic insulated so it’s more temperate and getting duct sealing to help cut your electric bill.

8. Weatherize Your Home

Weatherizing is similar to insulating but it deals more with vents, gaps, and cracks around windows or doors.  By checking door frames, windows, and vents for air leaks you’ll be able to save energy.  You can purchase and install some caulk to seal up these energy wasting gaps and cracks.  In addition, new weather stripping on doors and windows help keep cut your electric bill.

9. Upgrade To Energy Efficient Windows

The windows in your home can help keep your home more efficient. Not only the material but coatings can help reflect the sun’s energy and help cut your electric bill.  Single pane windows waste about 10 to 25% when compared to energy efficient windows that are available today.  You can also save by installing awnings, screens, and shades around windows on your home.

10. Smart Power Strips

Smart power strips save you energy by reducing load from electronics that are switched off.  Studies estimate that 75% of the energy your electronics use is done while they are sitting in standby mode.  Your smart power strip can be set to shut off automatically by remote switches, when inactive, or even when the main item is turned off, such as the TV.

11. Low Energy Light Bulbs

Let there be light, but let it be bright and much cheaper.  LED bulbs use anywhere between 25 to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs!  Better yet they last 25 times longer.  So, you’ll be saving electricity, lowering your bill, and not having to break out the ladder to replace bulbs again any time soon.

12. Adjust Daily Routines

Don’t underestimate the importance of your habits on your electricity bill.  Simply by remembering to shut off lights, turn off appliances and electronics will help cut your electricity bill.  You can also choose to wash your dishes and dry by hand or even dry your clothes without the use of a power sucking dryer.  You can also learn to use less cooling and heating in your home to save money.

Duct Sealing & Insulation Service

Barrier Insulation provides insulation removal, installs new upgraded insulation, offers duct sealing, and attic ventilation to help you save energy and cut your bill.  How much you can save depends on how well equipped your home.  Find out how much you can save by calling our team today 602-499-2922.

How Much Does it Cost to Insulate a House?
Written by Barrier Insulation

How Much Does it Cost to Insulate a House?

The cost to insulate a house depends on how much you plan to insulate.  For example the cost to insulate an attic ranges between about $300 and $2,000.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as each house varies in size, condition, and whether there is already insulation.

The cost will depend on if it’s a new home your building or if an older home will need insulation removal before installation of new insulation.

Read below to get an idea of how much it may cost to insulate your house by insulation type.  Prices will vary depending on the brand and type of each insulation along with how much of the home needs to be insulated.

How Much Does it Cost to Insulate a House?

There are four main categories of insulation.  Each have their pros and cons and will have a different cost for the insulation materials and labor to install them.  The four main categories of insulation are;  fiberglass batt insulation, spray foam insulation, blown-in insulation, and radiant barrier insulation.

Fiberglass Batt Insulation Cost

The average insulation project usually involves about 500 square feet of insulation.  Cost for 500 feet range between $145 and $200.  For installation labor, fasteners, cutters, and tape it can run from about $170 to $420 dollars.

Fiberglass rolled insulation or batt insulation is one of the least expensive ways to insulate homes in the United States.  This is especially true if the wall or attic is open in new construction or during a remodel.  The cost of this insulation depends on the brand, type, if the insulation is boxed or comes in rolls, and the area that needs to be covered.

Batt insulation can be effective but only if it is installed carefully.  Any tears in the backing or gaps will throw away the value of the insulation.  Each roll will display an “R-value” which is a measurement of how well the insulation performs.  As high as that number is if the insulation isn’t installed correctly it will not be effective.

Spray Foam Insulation Cost

To calculate the cost of spray foam insulation you take the square feet x depth.  This gives you the “board feet” needed to complete your insulation project with spray foam. Then you can multiply that number against the cost per board foot for two options for spray foam insulation.  There are two options for spray foam, open and closed cell.

  • The cost of open cell spray foam is about $0.35 to $0.55 per board foot
  • The cost of closed cell spray foam is about $1.00 to $2.00 per board foot.

So if you have a 500 square foot area needing spray foam at 6 inches deep you’d need 3,000 board feet.  You can take that 3,000 board feet needed and multiply that against the price per board foot.  For 3,000 board feet of spray foam in a 500 square foot area at $0.35 the cost for materials would be about $1,050.  Rates for installation vary by company, for specific information about your home please get in touch with your local insulation contractor.

Spray foam insulation is popular for a number of reasons.  Firstly it has great thermal performance.  Secondly it seals up air gaps and leaks to keep your home more comfortable. This means that it solves two problems when installed and helps reduce energy bills.

Blown-In Insulation Cost

Blown-in insulation is popular due to how inexpensive the material is.  For a 1,500 square foot area you might only pay about $500 dollar for materials. This makes it an attractive option for DIY homeowners, however there is a learning curve to installing it correctly.  Trained professionals will help ensure your insulation is installed correctly and is the right investment for your home.  Rates vary from company to company and for the area you need insulation installed.  Contact your local insulation contractor to get specific information about what their labor rates will run for your home.

Radiant Barrier Insulation Costs

The cost to install radiant barrier insulation depends on it is boxed, rolled, brand, and type.  With that said costs for radiant barrier range between $0.15 and $0.30 per square foot. That means that for a 550 square foot attic you’d be looking at spending between $83 to $165.  Double sided radiant barrier is a bit more costly but more effective.  Professional installation of radiant barrier costs between $500 to $750.  So plan accordingly when budgeting for your insulation project.

Insulation Return On Investment

Whenever we spend money on our lives, homes, and hobbies these days we are concerned with the return on investment.  Investing in quality insulation which is installed correctly is a great way to get bang for your buck.  Quality insulation makes your home more energy efficient and improves the value of the home.  In addition, insulation just keeps your home more comfortable and reduces strain on your HVAC system.  This leads to reduced energy costs which add up to big savings!  So it does cost to install insulation, but the savings more than pay for your investment and keep saving you money on utility costs.

Phoenix Valley Insulation Contractors

If you’re searching for insulation contractors in the Phoenix Valley, we can help!  As one of the leading insulation installers we offer whichever type of insulation you prefer that fits your home and your budget best.  For more information about how much it would cost to get your home insulated please give us a call to discuss the size of your home, which areas you’d like to insulate, and what type of insulation will work best.

Call Today for more information at 602-499-2922

Benefits of Garage Door Insulation-1
Written by Barrier Insulation

Benefits of Garage Door Insulation

Garage door insulation helps keeps cold and heat out of your garage and helps maintain comfort inside the home.  This saves energy on heating and cooling which lowers your utility bills.

Whether you work in your garage during the heat or cold keeping your garage a comfortable temperature saves energy.

The wall between the garage and the home isn’t always a perfectly insulated barrier. That means during the summer and winter the heat and cold in the garage can affect how much energy it takes to stay comfortable inside your home.

Garage door insulation, attic fans, and insulation for your garage walls and under the roof will help!

Insulating A Garage Door

Whenever you combine the benefits of insulated garage doors with an organized garage, you will have endless possibilities.

Insulated garage doors are no longer considered to be a vital thing in cold climates. They offer a lot of great benefits for all homes. Below are a few:

  • Creates a stronger garage door
  • More energy efficiency if the garage is attached
  • Climate control in the garage
  • Less noise in your attached home

In older days, insulated garage doors were hardly seen. Wooden garage doors were the norm and steel garage doors were a single layered, cheap alternative for those who couldn’t get wooden ones. Things have really changed.

Click to read: How to keep a garage cool

Insulated Garage Doors and Climate Control

If you often spend most of your time in the garage than what it takes to leave your car and go inside, then an insulated door needs to be on your shopping list. Modern garages often tend to serve as not only a parking space, but a craft room, rec room, workshop, and a showplace for your cars and much more.

Based on the time of year and your climate, you may want to heat or cool your garage to make it more comfortable. Your garage is one of the biggest rooms of your home, so why not maximize the use.

If you cool or heat your garage, then you need an insulated garage door to minimize heat transmission through the door and keep your costs for cooling and heating lower. Whenever you combine the benefits of insulated garage doors with an organized garage, you will have endless possibilities.

Energy Efficiency of an Insulated Garage Door

Insulated doors have a lot of benefits for attached garages. The insulation in the home reduces transmission of heat into your garage, and the insulation within the garage door limits that transmission even more. If your garage door isn’t insulated, then that is a barrier that keeps your cool or warm air in, and one less barrier to get money from your wallet.

Even if the garage door is insulated, if there aren’t proper door seals in place, then you may be costing yourself money. The most common seals are the threshold, bottom, and weather stripping. These insulating devices are inexpensive and simple and can provide comfort and save your money.

Less Noise in your home

If you have an attached garage and a living space above or next to the garage, then insulated garage doors will offer noise buffering. Just like insulation keeps in the cold out and the heat in, insulation also keeps the noise out as well. If you live next to a noisy neighborhood, then you should consider an insulated door.

Stronger garage doors

Your garage door strength will depend on the rigidity and strength of your construction material and how it was constructed. For instance, a single layer steel door isn’t as strong as an insulated door with triple or double layer construction.

The double layered garage door is normally made of galvanized steel with polyurethane or polystyrene insulation on the inside. Even though it is called a double layer, it actually contains a third layer of plastic or vinyl on the inside for cleaning ease and looks.

The triple layered garage door will sandwich insulation between 2 layers of wood or steel. The outer layer can be created to match your home, and the inside is smooth. The higher R-value and highest soundproofing come with this strong garage door option and it is the ultimate insulated garage door.

What is the best insulated door?

When it comes down to the door, it depends on your taste and your needs. If you are wanting the benefits of economy, energy efficiency, low maintenance, and design, then you need a steel door. Steel doors have endless design options and are great for insulating.

If youare looking for a traditional option, then wooden doors can be custom designed to fit your style. Even though by wood it is better insulated and has better soundproofing than steel. Multilayered wood construction provides decent insulation by sandwiching polystyrene insulation between 2 different layers of wood.

If you are wanting a raised panel door or something besides smooth designs, then insulation may still be maintained between wood with added wooden elements added to the outer skin of the door.

What is the best insulation?

There are 2 types of insulation: polyurethane and polystyrene. Polyurethane is an injected foam type of insulation that bonds to the garage door. It is similar to the cheese in grilled cheese. It is in there, but it is bonded to the outer layers. Polystyrene is a rigid block that is placed in between the layers of your garage door. It is similar to the meat on your hamburger, it is in there but it isn’t attached to anything.

Polystyrene is less expensive but polyurethane is a better insulator as it has twice the R-value. It also makes your door much stronger. When you use a polyurethane foam with wood or steel, it will chemically bond to the door and creates a more rigid and stronger structure.

How important is the R-value?

The higher that your R-value is, the higher the resistance for heat flow. R-values when it comes to insulated doors will normally run between 5 – 10, with some being as high as R-17. Whenever people think of R-values, they think of keeping heat out of or in their home, depending on the season and what their climate is like.  You need to consider your lifestyle such as how you will use the garage, climate, where its located etc. for your R-value to be picked.

If you plan to control the climate in your garage with an air conditioner or heater, the insulated garage door that have higher R-values will be vital. This will be the case if your plan to use the garage as a rec room, craft room, or workshop. The higher that the R-value is, the lower the cost will be to cool and heat the garage. Remember thatyour garage door is the largest opening in your home, it is simple yet often overlooked.

If you happen to live in a very cold or very hot climate, your garage may be attached to your home and higher R-values will contribute to the efficiency of your area, but to your home as well.

Your higher R-values will also contribute to quieter garages and a quieter home. This is great if your garage is attached to your home or if you happen to have bedrooms above the garage.

Radiant Barrier Garage Door

Radiant barrier garage door insulation works to reflect the energy of the sun the same way it does in attics.  In many cases garage doors don’t have room for thick sheets of foam board insulation and radiant barrier garage door insulation is a better fit.  It can reflect up to 95% of the radiant heat that’s trying to get into your garage.  This is especially effective if your garage door faces south or west.  The more direct sunlight your garage door gets per day, the more effective radiant barrier garage door insulation is.

Installing the radiant barrier garage door insulation consists on settling on a product, cutting the sections to fit, cleaning the inside of the door, and applying the radiant barrier.  For longer durability some homeowners choose to add aluminum tape to increase the lifespan of their radiant barrier insulation.

Insulated garage doors are for all climates

Depending on where you live and how you use your garage, you need to consider an insulated door. One last thing that you should think about is how well the door will be sealed.

If you happen to have a new door with a high R-value, but there is a gap under the door, then you are losing a lot of the benefit of the insulation. Ensure that your garage weather stripping is attached and in good shape and ensure that the gaps between your garage door panels are sealed completely when the door is closed.

Phoenix Valley Garage Door Insulation

If you want to keep your home cooler and get more use out of your garage insulation is the key.  Insulating your garage ceiling, walls, and garage door will make it so you can use your garage during the heat of summer and cold of winter.  It also makes it so your home stays more comfortable as heat isn’t infiltrating through the garage walls into the living areas.  If you are interested in having garage door insulation in Phoenix contact the insulation experts at Barrier Insulation.

Call Today – 602-499-2922

How To Install Spray Foam Insulation
Written by Barrier Insulation

How To Install Spray Foam Insulation

To Install spray foam insulation you’ll need to select which type you want, cover windows and doors with plastic, wear protective gear, and follow spray foam installation guidelines.

Cooling and heating homes is costly and saving money is a priority.

Installing spray foam insulation provides homes with the best insulation you can buy.

This post will show you how the pros get the job done and save homeowners money!

How To Install Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation isn’t as easy to install as say fiberglass batt insulation.  There’s no hold up the section and staple it into place.  Spray foam is a two part water based spray that expands quickly upon contact with air.  You’ll need to have a plan, continue to spray, and ensure you change out the tips if you stop for more than 30 seconds.  Spray foam is installed best by trained and experienced professionals.

Step 1. Select Your Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam is available in two main categories, open cell and closed cell spray foam.  Closed cell spray foam is higher performance, but is more costly. If you’ve seen those cans of foam insulation at the hardware store, it’s not what the pros install.  Canned spray foam is for filling in gaps and cracks around wiring or plumbing coming through your walls.

Step 2. Cover Windows & Doorways

Spray foam insulation by nature is sticky.  You don’t want to spray onto windows or past doorways and onto the floor.  Much like you do when you’re painting you’ll use tape to protect the widows, doors, and doorways.

Step 3. Wear Protective Clothing & Safety Gear

As much as you don’t need spray foam insulation on your windows, you don’t want it on your skin.  In addition you don’t want to breathe it in or get it in your eyes.  So a protective suit, googles, gloves, and a respirator are all necessary to safeguard your health.

Step 4. Only Apply To Dry Surfaces

Spray foam insulation is designed to be installed on dry surfaces.  If sprayed onto a surface that’s got greater than 20% moisture it will not stick.  The plywood, wall studs, and joists need to be measured to ensure they are dry enough for spray foam insulation.

Step 5. Plan Spray Foam Installation

As you cannot stop for more than 30 seconds you need to plan what sections you’re spraying and in what pattern.  Have the plan worked out in your head before you pull the trigger on your gun.  If you’ve got high sections that need to be insulated, make sure you have ladders set up before getting started.  It’s also a good idea to plan for ventilation to remove the fumes from your workspace.

Step 6. Spray Perimeter First

To apply it correctly and fill in the gaps and cracks that spray foam is famous for filling you’ll need to spray the top, sides, and bottom first.  Allow this to dry before filling in your center sections in voids between your wall studs.  It’s a good practice to do a large set of these perimeters on the walls in a room.  This will allow them to dry in succession and make it so you can start over filling them in where you started in the first place sooner.

Step 7. Fill In Sprayed Sections

Allow your perimeters to dry for a few minutes and then fill in the center sections of your spray foam insulation areas.  If you spray too soon before the first perimeter was applied you’ll impact your R-values and not get the full benefit of your spray foam insulation investment.

Step 8. Remember To Keep Applicator Lubed

It’s important to make sure you lube the applicator each time you replace a spray tip.  If you’ve stopped spraying for more than 30 seconds replace the tip and apply the lube to the gun.  Each gun has a different approach for this so follow the manufacturer directions on which lube to use and how to apply it.

Spray Foam Insulation Service

There’s a lot that goes into installing spray foam insulation correctly.  To get the most from you investment and ensure you’re saving the most money heating and cooling your home; hire the pros.  If you live in or around the Phoenix Valley our team can help!  Barrier Insulation is Phoenix’ #1 Spray Foam Insulation Contractor with decades of experience.

Call 602-499-2922 or CONTACT US

How To Keep A Garage Cool In The Summer
Written by Barrier Insulation

How To Keep A Garage Cool In The Summer

To keep a garage cool you need good insulation, ventilation, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and should consider awnings and painting the roof and door heat reflecting colors.

Working in a hot garage during summer is unpleasant and forces you to take more breaks.

It’s possible to keep your garage comfortable to use during the summer.

This post will give you ideas on how to keep your garage cool so you can work.

How To Keep A Garage Cool In The Summer

This post gives you great ideas on how to make your garage more comfortable in the heat of summer.  Even though your home may stay cooled down in the hot summer months, this rarely says much for the garage, and it does not make any difference if it is attached to the home or not. If your one of those people that use your garage on a regular basis, it can get pretty hot at times and you work up a sweat.

There are several different approaches to keeping your garage cooled down, depending on your budget you can choose the way that is right for you.

Garage Cool Ideas:

Here are several different ways to keep the garage cooled down when the temperatures outside get high:

Have an insulation upgrade:

Since garages are usually poorly insulated, and that is the reason they are hot in the summer and cold in the winters. You can pick-up some Batt insulation for very little cost and it is easy to install anywhere there is not any drywall. If your local building code allow it, you can use foam board to cover it with, however, you can always use drywall to cover it with, whether or not the building code allows foam to be used or not. If the drywall in your garage already exists, you can use insulation that is blown in. Then just put in some weather stripping and caulk, then paint your garage door. Keep an eye out for other areas of the garage that could use a little attention.  Homeowners also have the option of installing insulated garage doors or applying garage door insulation products.  Insulation products for garage doors include sections for the inside of the door and garage door radiant barrier.

Natural ventilation:

Have the doors facing the outside open, including all other doors and the windows (if any), this will increase the amount of air to circulate inside the garage. If your garage is attached to the home, do not open the door going into the home. The noxious fumes that are sometimes in garages can get into your home. This should be enough to give relief from the heat long enough to do what you do in the garage. A fan or two could also be added.

Install ceiling fans:

If there is enough height in your garage (8 ft. or more), the installation of ceiling fans would be an effective way to go, and the cost would not be that much. If you go with ceiling fans, make sure that the blades on the fan are going to be between 7 and 9 ft., higher than the floor, and at least 10 to 12 in., below the ceiling. Most ceiling fans in garages work more sufficiently when the diameters are measuring between 36 and 44 in. However, should your garage be bigger than 225 sq., ft., then you should get a ceiling fan that is 52 in., in diameter, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Go with air-conditioning:

It can be very costly to extend your home’s air-conditioning system into your garage. It would be less costly to install a window unit, and there are also floor units that could be used. Another option is to install the mini-split air-conditioner, they do not have to have a window to be used, and you would not need to install any additional ducts to the garage. Let’s not overlook dehumidifiers, which can help to reduce the humidity in what small space a garage has, and they can be used with the other cooling choices that you decide on.

Take into consideration some additional options:

While looking for ways to cool down the inside of the garage, you need to give some thought to the outside as well. The sun in the afternoons comes from the west, so if your garage faces the west you can expect the heat to come into the doors and windows. Since light reflects heat, you could paint the garage doors a light color. Remember, anytime your garage is in need of a new roof to choose a light color.

How To Cool A Garage With No Windows

In addition to insulation and the other tips in this post you can cool a garage with no windows by fitting an ac unit, improving ventilation, and using fans.

Install A Window AC Unit In The Wall

You don’t have windows but most times you can cut a hole to fit a window AC unit.  This project requires that you’re good with hand tools and a circular saw, but it is possible.  You’ll also need to know how to frame in the opening to support the AC unit. If you have the tools and time it’s a great way to cool off your garage.

Install Attic Ventiliation

Just like in garages that have windows giving hot air a way out is critical.  This is especially true for when you’re not actively cooling the garage to work.  Attic fans and ventilation help keep the garage naturally cooler.  So when you do need to work in your garage it will take less for your ac system to cool the space.

Use Portable Fans

Simply moving the air makes it feel cooler against our skin.  If it’s cooler outside of your garage you can set it near a door to pull in cooler air from outside.  If you’ve got a large garage you may consider more than a single fan to feel a good solid breeze while you work.

Garage Insulation Phoenix Valley

If you live in the Phoenix Valley and want to maximize your home’s comfort and keep your garage cooler during the summer use these tips and consider having professionals install garage insulation and insulate your garage door.  The combination of tips and insulation for your garage will make it a usable space during the summer and help keep the heat out of the rest of your home.

Call 602-499-2922 or Contact Us

Best Insulation Materials For Arizona
Written by Barrier Insulation

Best Insulation Materials For Arizona

If you own a home in Arizona using the best insulation material is an important element of staying energy efficient.  Summer’s skyrocketing temperatures force homeowners to run their AC all day and night to keep occupants comfortable.  Cheap insulation materials work for some situations while investing in higher performance insulation options makes sense for many home owners.  Read more about your insulation options that work best for Arizona in this post.

The Best Insulation Saves You Money!


This means that you’re using much more electricity during the summer.  The best insulation materials will lower your electricity usage and help save money on your utility bills.

Best Insulation Materials For Arizona

There are many types of insulation materials, bulky fiber type materials include rock, slag wool, fiberglass, natural fibers and cellulose, to more rigid foam boards or sleek foil. Each have a different purpose. The bulky materials are able to resist conductive heat, and to a point convective heat flow within the building. Whereas, rigid foam boards are used for trapping air or gases while resisting conductive heat flows.

Choosing the Best Insulation Is Easy With Barrier Insulation Inc.

Radiant barrier or foils that are highly reflective are used in reflective insulation systems and radiant barriers for reflecting heat from the area, which makes them useful for cooling. Although, less common materials include phenolic foam and cementitious, perlite and vermiculite.


Fiberglass, also spelled fiber glass, is fabricated using fine glass fibers. It is the leading insulation materials and commonly used for two various insulation types: loose-fill and blanket (batts and rolls). It also comes in rigid duct and board insulations.

Today, manufactures are able to produce high and medium density fiberglass batting insulation providing R-values a bit higher than a standard batt product. This denser product is intended to be used with insulation where cavity space is limited, like a cathedral ceiling.

A high density fiberglass batting that is fabricated for a 2-inch by 4-inch (51mm x 102mm) stud-frame wall provides an R-15 value, whereas low density offers R-11. Meanwhile, medium density batting provides R-13 for the same area. The high density batting fabricated for a 2-inch by 6-inch (51mm x 102mm) framed wall offers R-21 value, and the high density batting for 8.5-inch (216mm) areas offer around R-30. However, when designed for 12-inch (304mm) areas, it can have an R-38 value.

Safe Modern Fiberglass Insulation

There is an unconventional fibrous insulation which uses two forms of glass, fusing them together.

When these two type of materials cool in the manufacturing process, it forms random curling material that could be less irritating, and potentially safer to handle. In addition, it does not require a chemical binder or holding the batting together, and has a perforated plastic sleeve to help with the handling of the product.

Whereas, fiberglass loose-fill insulation gets fabricated using molten glass that is blown or spun into usable fibers. The majority of manufactures use 20-30% recycled glass. The process requires an insulation blowing machine to apply loose-fill insulation, using either a closed-cavity application (i.e those found in covered attic floors or inside the wall), or open-blow applications (attic spaces). Want to learn more on areas to insulate?

Another type of loose-fill fiberglass insulation is the Blow-In-Blanket System (BIBS). This is blown-in dry, with testing indicating BIBS insulated walls have a significantly higher quality fill compared to other forms of fiberglass insulation, such as batting.  There is a more recent economical hybrid system called BIBS HP, combining spray polyurethane foam with BIBS system.

Mineral Wool Insulation Materials

Mineral wool is a term commonly referring to two forms of insulation materials:

Slag wool, which is a material fabricated using blast furnace slag, which is the scum on molten metal surfaces.

Rock wool, which is a material constructed of natural minerals such as diabase or basalt.

On average, mineral wood consists of 75% post-industrial recycled contents. Additional chemicals are not required to provide fire resistance, and it tends to be available as loose-fill insulation or blanket (rolls/batts).

Cellulose Insulation Material

Fabricated from recycled paper product, cellulose insulation is mostly made from newsprint, with a high amount of recycled material, commonly between 82% and 85%. First, the paper is shredded and fiberized to create a product which can be tightly packed in the cavities of a building, while inhibiting airflow and offering R-values between 3.6 to 3.8 per inch.

There are times when manufactures add borate, blended using less expensive ammonium sulfate for ensuring insect and fire resistance. Usually, cellulose insulation does not require a moisture barrier, and with proper density installations, is unable to settle within the building cavity.

Cellulose Is Considered Eco-friendly and Inexpensive

Cellulose insulation applications are used for new and older homes, while loose-fill applications are applied to attics and packed into cavities like cathedral ceilings and walls. Within existing structure, the installation requires removing strips of exterior siding at waist height, drilling three inch holes into stud bays. This creates an entry for positioning a special tube at the top of the cavity for blowing insulation. Usually, the density is applied at 3.5lb per cubic foot. Afterwards, holes are sealed using a lug and the siding is placed back with necessary touch ups to match the wall.

Within new construction, cellulose applications can be installed dry behind netting or damp-sprayed. Damp-spray applications add a little moisture at the spray tip to activate the natural starches within the product to adhere properly. This type of application tends to be ready to cover within 24hrs. If celluloseis applied dry, it is held behind netting with staples.

Plastic Fiber Insulation Material

The majority of plastic fiber insulation is created with recycled plastic, such as milk containers (PET/polyethylene terephthalate). These fibers form into batting insulation, similar to that of a higher density fiberglass insulation.

Plastic fiber insulation is treated to be fire resistant, although it will melt when exposed to extreme heat it reduces risk of bursting into flames.

Plastic fiber insulation has R-values that vary based on batt density and ranges from R-3.8 per inch for 1lb/ft3 density, to R-4.3 per inch for 3lb/ft3 density. Also, plastic fiber is considered non-irritating, but batts have been reported as challenging t cut and handle using standard tools. In many areas of the U.S, plastic fiber insulation may not be available.

Natural Fiber Insulation Materials

There are natural fibers, such as sheep’s wool, cotton, hemp, and straw used for insulation material.


Consisting of 85% recycled cotton with 15% plastic fibers, cotton insulation is treated using borate for adding insect, rodent and flame resistance, similar to that of cellulose insulation. There is a product using recycled blue jean trimmings. This enables the manufacturer to reduce energy. Cotton insulation can be found in batts with R-value of R-3.4 per inch. Also, cotton insulation is nontoxic and can be installed without the use of skin or respiratory protection. Although, it can cost up to 20% more than fiberglass insulation.

Sheep Wool

There are times sheep wool is applied as insulation, also treated using borate for pest and fire resistance. Sheep wool is able to hold larger water quantities, making it an advantage in some areas. Although, repeatedly getting wet and drying eventually reduces the effectiveness of the borate. The R-value or thermal resistance of sheep wool batting is roughly R-3.5 per inch, similar to fiber types.


Straw was a popular insulation type over 150 years ago in the Great Planes of the U.S. There has been recent interest in straw insulation as bales of straw were tested by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory resulting in R-values ranging R-2.4 to R-3.0 per inch. However, there are claims that R-2.4 is more representative due to the gaps of stacked straw bales.

The straw fusing process constructs boards without adhesive, introduced during the 1930s. Generally, panels are 2-inch to 4-inch (5mm to 102mm) thick with a heavyweight kraft paper on either side. While the R-value claims vary between manufacturer, the realistic range is R-1.4 to R-2.0 per inch. Straw constructed boards can be used to absorb sound, and some manufactures use multi-layered and compressed straw to develop structural insulated panels.


Not commonly used in the U.S, hemp insulation is relatively unknown. However, it has an R-value of 3.5 per inch, similar to that of other fiber insulations.

Polystyrene Insulation Materials

Polystyrene is a transparent and colorless thermoplastic often used with making bead board or foam board insulation, some loose-fill insulation constructed of small polystyrene beads and concrete block insulation.

Molded expanded polystyrene (MEPS) is often used with foam board insulations and can be found as small foam beading. Polystyrene bead are available as a pouring insulation for hollow cavities and concrete blocks, offering a lightweight option that has the ability to withstand static electricity charge. However, they are known for being challenging to control.

There are polystyrene insulationmaterials that are similar to MEPS, including extruded polystyrene (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS). Both of these are created using polystyrene, however, EPS is conducted using small, fused plastic beads. Meanwhile, XPS starts as molten material pressed into sheets. It is common for XPS to be used as foam board insulation, while EPS is often constructed in blocks. Both XPS and MEPS are commonly used with insulation of structural insulation panels (SIPs), and insulating concrete forms (ICFs).

Polystyrene foam board’s R-value or thermal resistance varies based on the density, ranging from R-3.8 to R-5.0 per inch. However, polystyrene bead or loose-fill insulation tends to have a lower R-value of R-2.3 per inch.

Polyisocyanurate Insulation Material

Polyisocyanurate, also known as polyiso is a type of thermosetting plastic, which is a closed cell foam containing a low conductivity hydrochlorofluorocarbon free gas. The gas has a high thermal resistance providing the insulation material a range of R-values between R-5.6 to R-8 per inch.

The polyiso insulation is available in liquid, rigid foam board, or spray foam. In addition, it can be used to fabricate laminated insulation panels with various facings available. Whereas, a foamed in-place application tends to be cheaper compared to foam board installation, and performs better due to the liquid foam molding to cavity surfaces.

In time, Polyisocyanurate insulation’s R-values can decrease when portions of the low-conductivity gases escape, being replaced by air. This is referred to asthermal drift. However, experimental data has shown the majority of thermal drift happens in the first two years after manufacturing the insulation. For instance, if insulation initially had R-value of R-9 per inch, within two years it may drop to R-7 per inch with no further change unless damaged.

Plastic and foil facings on rigid polyiso foam panels are able to aid in stabilizing R-values. Tests have indicated stabilization of R-value on rigid foam with metal foil facings were unchanged after 10-years. In addition, if properly installed to face open air spaces, reflective foil is able to act as a radiant barrier. Based on the overall orientation and size of air space, this may provide an additional R-2 to thermal resistance. Foil facing panels have stabilized R-values ranging between R-7.1 and R-8.7 per inch.

There are manufactures which use Polyisocyanurate for structural insulated panels (SIPs). Although, liquid or foam board may be used when fabricating SIPs. A liquid foam is able to be injected between wood skins with extreme pressure. When foam hardens, it provides a powerful bong between the wood skin and foam. Typically, Polyisocyanurate based thickness are as follows:ceiling panels are 7.5-inches (190mm) and wall panels are 3.5-inches (89mm). Although these panels cost more, they have higher water vapor-diffusion and fire resistance compared to EPS. Additionally, they provide improved insulation per thickness, on average 30-40% better.

Polyurethane Insulation Materials

Polyurethane foam insulation material has cells with low conductivity gases. The gas provides a high thermal resistance, providing polyurethane insulation material a range of R-values between R-5.5 and R-6.5 per inch.

In addition, polyurethane foam insulations can be purchased in open-cell and closed-cell form. The closed-cell foam provides a higher density cell that is closed and filled with gas to assist with the expanding of foam to fill cavity spaces. Whereas, open-cell foam is less-dense, filled with air and provides a spongy texture to the insulation, but has a lower R-value.

Like with the R-value of polyiso foam, the closed-cell polyurethane insulation’s R-value may reduce over a period of time as air replaces the low-conductivity gases that escape due to thermal drift. The majority of thermal drift happens within the initial two years after fabrication.

Plastic and foil facings are available on rigid polyurethane foam panels which assist in the stabilization o R-values reducing thermal drift. When properly installed facing open air space, reflective foil is able to act as a radiant barrier. Based on the orientation and size of air space, an additional R-2 may be added to the thermal resistance. Foil facing panels have an average stabilized R-value of R-6.5 per inch.

Polyurethane Or Spray Foam Is The Highest Performance

Polyurethane insulation can come in rigid foam board, or liquid spray. It may be fabricated as a laminated insulation panel, with various available facings.

Generally, foamed in-place or sprayed polyurethane insulation applications are less expensive compared to foam boards. In addition, the performance is often better due to the liquid foam being able to mold to cavity surfaces. All of the closed-cell polyurethane foam insulations manufactured are now produced using non-HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) gas.

Open-cell polyurethane foams have a lower density and use air, rather than gas, for the blowing agent with an R-value around R-3.6 per inch and do not change. While this type of foam is similar to that of conventional polyurethane foam, it provides higher flexibility. There are varieties of low-density foam that use carbon dioxide (CO2) for the foaming agent.

A low density foam is applied by spraying into cavity spaces, then quickly expanding to fill and seal the space. There are also slow expanding foams available, commonly used within existing homes. Liquid foam slowly expands to reduce risks of wall damage due to overexpansion. The foam remains flexible and water vapor permeable. It is also resistant towards moisture. With a good air seal, this type of foam offers R-values about R-3.6 per inch, while being fire resistant.

There are also polyurethane liquid spray foams available which are soy-based. Cured R-value is roughly R-3.5 per inch and this type of foam uses the same equipment for application as petroleum-based polyurethane foam.

There are manufacturers that use polyurethane for structural insulated panels (SIPs). Liquid or foam board can be fabricated as SIPs. In addition, liquid foam is able to be injected within layers of wood skins using extreme pressure. Once the foam hardens, it develops a powerful bond between skin and foam. Typically, polyurethane based products have the following R-values per thickness: ceiling panels are 7.5-inches (190mm) thick, wall panels are 3.5-inches (89mm) thick. Although they cost more, this type of insulation panel provides better water vapor diffusion and fire resistance compared to EPS. Additionally, they provide better insulation with an average of 30-40% more per thickness.

Perlite and Vermiculite Insulation Materials

Perlite and vermiculite insulation materials are common attic insulation found in homes built prior to 1950. Because vermiculite insulation could contain asbestos, it is not a common insulation material used today. Although, asbestos is in all vermiculite according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Trace amounts of asbestos have been found in a few vermiculite sources, but if you have vermiculite insulation in the attic – leave it alone!

If you are wanting to add more insulation to the attic, you should have an insulation contractor with the experience and certification to work with vermiculite insulation and asbestos. This is for the safety of you and your family.

Perlite and vermiculite contain pellets that are small and lightweight, fabricated using heated rock pellets to the point they pop. This results in a form of loose-fill insulation that provides thermal resistance up to R-2.4 per inch. The pellets are poured in place or may be mixed in cement to fabricate lightweight concrete that is les heat-conductive.

Urea-Formaldehyde Foam Insulation Material

Urea-formaldehyde (UF) insulation foam was commonly used in homes build between the 1970s and into the 1980s. Although, because of improper installations leading to various health-related court cases, this type of foam insulation was banned for use in residential buildings. Additionally, it has been discredited due to the shrinkage and formaldehyde emissions. Today, it is mainly used with masonry walls in industrial and commercial buildings.

Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation has an R-value around R-4.6 per inch. Compressed air is often used for a foaming agent, because nitrogen-based UF foam insulation can require many weeks of curing. In addition, UF foam does not expand much, unlike polyurethane insulation. Furthermore, water vapor is able to pass through easily, and prolonged exposure to temperatures above 190°F (88°C) can deteriorate it. Also, it is not fire resistant.

Cementitious Foam Insulation Material

Cementitious insulation is cement-based foam material that is applied using a foam in-place or sprayed method. Air krete is one sprayed foam insulation, containing magnesium silicate and provides an R-value around R-3.9 per inch. Initially, it has a consistency that’s similar to that of shaving cream. It is pumped in enclosed cavity spaces. With similar cost to that of polyurethane foam insulation, cementitious is nonflammable and nontoxic, fabricated from minerals such as magnesium oxide that are obtained from sea water.

Phenolic Foam Insulation Material

Years ago, Phenolic (Phenol-formaldehyde) insulation foam was a popular option in the form of rigid foam boards. However, currently it is only available with a foamed in-place application.

Phenolic foamed in-place insulation uses air for the foaming agent and provides an R-value around R-4.8 per inch of thickness. Phenolic foam provides one major disadvantage, it is able to shrink nearly 2% once cured, this has made it less popular.

Insulation Facings

During the process of manufacturing, facings get fastened to the insulation material. Facings are added to protect the surface of an insulation, holding insulation and building components together. There are some facing types that act as air barrier, vapor barrier, and/or a radiant barrier. Some facings add flame resistance to the material.

Some of the commonly used facing materials today include white vinyl sheets, kraft paper, and aluminum foil. Each material acts as a vapor barrier and air barrier. However, aluminum foil provides the added benefit of acting as a radiant barrier. The type of facing used for insulation installations in your home depends on the climate in your region, determining which barrier or facing, if any you may need.

There are some insulation facing materials that can be separately installed to offer a vapor barrier, radiant barrier and/or air barrier.

Schedule Insulation Installation in Phoenix

If you are looking for the best insulation materials for Arizona installed by the best insulation contractors, Barrier Insulation is at your service.  We have numerous 5 star reviews, countless satisfied customers, and the best energy saving insulation options for your home or office.  We proudly serve every city in the Phoenix Valley including: Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, Gilbert, Tempe, and more.  If you are tired of paying out the nose for keeping your living space or office comfortable, contact the insulation professionals at Barrier Insulation today!

Call Today To Start Your Insulation Installation – 602-499-2922

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