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  • Mark Gordos

Five Problems with Fiberglass Insulation


While blown in fiberglass insulation and fiberglass batting have been the standard bearers for decades to insulate residential and commercial structures, neither are the best insulation currently. Other posts cover the benefits of spray polyurethane foam. Below are five reasons to choose spray foam over fiberglass. Naturally, your budget will ultimately dictate whether fiberglass or spray foam is chosen when all is said and done.


Contact with Fiberglass Insulation on Skin, Eyes and Lungs Can Cause Irritations


Fiberglass is composed of small glass fibers that are easily airborne and difficult to remove from skin and clothing. These fibers on skin are often irritating and are not easily removed from the skin or clothing. Fiberglass in the eye can cause discomfort at minimum and may result in damage to the eye. Breathing in fiberglass fibers can cause respiratory problems.


Fiberglass Still Allows for Airflow


In order for fiberglass insulation to work properly, sufficient air flow in and out of the attic is required. That airflow also allows humidity into the attic. In Florida humidity and precipitation are a given. As that moist air travels into the attic, it not only affects the viability of the fiberglass insulation, it also can create problems with condensation forming on HVAC ductwork and plumbing.


Fiberglass Can Trap Allergens


Fiberglass traps allergens, dust, and moisture that can lead to mold growth. Think of your fiberglass insulation like a furnace filter. As air moves through it, that furnace filter traps all of the dirt, allergens, and dust that moves through it. You replace your air filter every few months, so you aren't circulating dirty air through your home. However, your fiberglass insulation remains in place for eight to ten years before it should be replenished or removed.


Moisture Can Get Trapped Inside the Fiberglass Insulation Material


Humidity in sufficient quantities with poor air flow will infiltrate the fiberglass over time. Fiberglass traps the moisture reducing the R-Value efficiency, allows the growth of mold and mildew, and can lead to wood rot of beams and trusses. In the case of a roof leak or burst pipe where the fiberglass is saturated, it must be removed.


Fiberglass Insulation Can Be a Bedding Material for Pests



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In summary, if at all possible it is wiser to spend more on spray foam upfront than replace or use fiberglass.


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