Unless your home was built in the 1970s or earlier, it most likely has sufficient insulation. But does it have the right kind of insulation? This is a whole other question, and it largely depends on the area of the home where the insulation is installed.
Fiberglass batts are one of the most popular types of insulation in the Sacramento area because they’re cost-effective and simple to install. While fiberglass insulation can last a long time, it can easily be damaged by water, mold, pests and dirt.
If your home is over a few decades old, it’s important to consider the condition of your fiberglass insulation and whether your home has enough insulation according to modern standards.
What Is Fiberglass Insulation?
Fiberglass insulation is made from thin strands of glass that are layered to create air pockets that slow the transfer of heat from one area to the next. Fiberglass batts use glass fibers that are formed into a thick blanket, often with a paper facing that acts as a vapor barrier.
Blown-in fiberglass is made from loose glass fibers blown into place using specialized equipment. Blown-in insulation is ideal for retrofitting homes with minimal damage to finished walls, floors and ceilings.
How Much Insulation Should My Home Have?
Insulation levels vary by area, but in climate zone 3, which includes the Sacramento area, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends the following amounts of insulation:
- R-49 to R-60 in the attic
- R-19 in the floors
- R-13 to R-20 in the exterior walls
- R-5 to R-15 of continuous insulation under the siding
The R-value refers to the amount of resistance to heat flow that an insulating material provides, with higher numbers reflecting better performance. Fiberglass batts have an R-value between 3.1 and 3.4 per inch of thickness.
The effective R-value can be reduced if the insulation gets compressed, wet, dirty or damaged by pests. If your home doesn’t have enough insulation, more can be added with fiberglass batts, blown-in fiberglass, blown-in cellulose or other options.
If your insulation is damaged, it should be removed and replaced.
How Long Do Fiberglass Batts Last?
In ideal conditions, fiberglass batts can last as long as 100 years, but due to factors like moisture infiltration, pest damage, installation errors, or everyday dirt and debris accumulation, they can degrade in as little as 15 to 20 years.
The layers of fiberglass may start separating and falling, the insulation can be compressed, reducing its effectiveness or it can become dirty or damaged. In all these cases, the fiberglass batts should be replaced.
Alternatives to Fiberglass Batts
If you need to replace your fiberglass insulation, there are several alternatives available:
- New fiberglass batt: Economical and easy to install, fiberglass batts are a good choice for accessible locations like attics or garages.
- Blown-in cellulose: If you have finished walls that need more insulation, blown-in cellulose is easy to install with minimal damage. Made from recycled newspaper, it has been treated to prevent the spread of fire and resist damage from mold, moisture and pests.
- Blown-in fiberglass: Like cellulose, blown-in fiberglass is ideal for finished walls and can be blown into place to create a good barrier against heat loss, heat gain and air leaks.
- Spray foam: A great alternative to fiberglass batts, spray foam adheres tightly to the installation surface, creating a high-performance thermal barrier and an effective air seal. It’s best for areas with unfinished walls or where the walls have been opened to remove fiberglass batts.
Insulation Services in the Sacramento Area
When you need to remove and replace fiberglass batts, upgrade your insulation or install all-new insulation in your Sacramento home, turn to our team at Gold Star Insulation. We offer professional insulation services throughout Sacramento and the surrounding areas, including Davis, Carmichael, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks and Rancho Cordova.
We offer exceptional service and work quality, our company is BPI certified and we have an A+ rating with the BBB.
Call (916) 229-8445 today or contact us to request a quote for fiberglass batt replacement in Sacramento or the surrounding communities.