Insulation is used in building homes and commercial spaces to maintain comfort and protect building material integrity. They are key to building structures, but they are susceptible to damage, like from critters and rodents. Insulation is found in the ceiling of your attic, the attic floor, and in the walls of the structure. Additionally, insulation may be used on fixtures, like extra pipe wrap insulation may be used around water pipes and heating ducts. Insulation must resist heat flow, which is measured with an R-value. The higher the R-value, the higher the resistance, making a more effective insulation.
Batts or Blankets
This type of insulation is the most common. It may come with a paper liner to serve as a moisture barrier and to install easily with a staple gun between studs in a wall. It may come without the paper for attic floor insulation. The batting may be made of:
- Fiberglass – Most common but can cause skin irritation.
- Rockwool – Does not cause skin irritation.
- Cotton batts – Does not cause skin irritation. It is more expensive.
Loose Fill Insulation
The insulation is fluffy fibers that are blown in by a machine. It is good for getting around small areas insulation. Fiber types include:
- Fiberglass – Effective for attic insulation, but because of lightness over time, it may condense and not insulate as well.
- Cellulose – Heavier and does not condense as easily but may be too heavy for effective attic insulation.
Structural Insulated Panels
These are very energy efficient and used in new construction. Panels include:
- Polystyrene panels – Lightweight foam type panels that are easy to install but need to be cut around pipes.
- Polyisocyanurate panels – Very high R-values and is easy to install.
This type of insulation is very airtight and will eliminate most caulking and other methods to keep complete insulation.
- Open-Cell Polyurethane – Stops air movement.
- Closed-Cell Polyurethane – Stops air movement and moisture movement.
Each material has different R-values and costs, as well as other advantages and disadvantages. You could install the best insulation available, but you'll want to be sure it's protected and not destroyed by critters and squirrels. There are several DIY methods to deter squirrels that are only sometimes effective, and they can feel like a full-time job. Squirrels must chew and can chew through nearly anything. They seek the warmth and shelter of your home's attic or walls. Just running around in your attic will destroy your insulation. They are offensive and odorous. When they create gaps in the insulation, it can be very costly to repair and re-insulate. Additionally, moisture can infiltrate and cause a critter-exposed area to develop mold or rot. Squirrels can chew through wires, potentially leading to dangerous shorts or power outages.
The total way to protect your home against these critters and squirrels is to block their access with Critter Guard systems. Power lines coming into your home are a built-in highway for squirrels. Critter Guard's Line Guard and Pole Guard are the best ways to prevent critters from getting to your home and insulation. It is a proven system used by homeowners and utility companies worldwide. Contact us to learn more on how to protect your home from these common pests.