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Is Your Insulation Eco-Friendly?

If you’re thinking of insulating your loft, then it may have crossed your mind about the materials you will use. It may surprise you to find out that insulating materials aren’t necessarily environmentally friendly, and this is probably part of the reason that you’re insulating your loft in the first place. All types of insulation will benefit the environment by helping you keep your heat in, but the materials that are used to create the insulation may not be so beneficial.

Fibreglass

Fibreglass is a material widely used for loft insulation in particular. It has great insulating properties, but it has a negative side to it too. Fibreglass requires a lot of energy to manufacture and the process may produce harmful emissions. It is also non-biodegradable, and will emit toxic fumes when burnt. It is very irritable to skin, eyes and throat and on installation protective clothing is advised.

Mineral Wool    

Mineral wool is made from a combination of recycled steel slag and basalt rock. Mineral wool is recyclable, but often non-biodegradable and emits toxic fumes when burnt. They are durable and resistant to rot, but also requires protective clothing to install.   

Wool

Wool is one of the most eco friendly insulating materials that you can use. Its insulation qualities are good enough to rival fibreglass and mineral wool, and it comes without the environmental and health issues. As a natural material it is relatively expensive, but it is completely biodegradable, recyclable and is resistant to rot. It contains 15% polyester fibre to help it retain lift and stability. Wool will is safe to install, absorbing sounds and tolerating moisture without any affect on its ability to insulate. It even has the ability to neutralise harmful toxins like nitrogen oxide.

Recycled Newspaper  

 Another environmentally friendly insulation, recycled newspaper is full biodegradable and if kept dry, recyclable too. The manufacturing process requires little energy, and it is less expensive than wool. It is usually treated for fire resistance and a fungicide for resistance against mould, but it can be affected by moisture.

Hemp

An excellent insulator, it is a natural material that is fully biodegradable and safe to install. The production requires low levels of energy and at the end of its life it can be put on to the compost heap. It has a natural resistance to insect attack, but it does include polyester fibres, like wool, to give it lift and stability. It is also treated for salt additives to make it resistant to fire.

You should think carefully about where your insulation comes from and what it is made of. If you go for an environmentally friendly insulation solution, its thermal performance may not be as good as one that might be less environmentally friendly. You can find environmentally friendly building solutions from www.sustainablebuildingsolutions.co.uk