When buying or updating a new home, you may find various types of ways of keeping your home nice and toasty. Yet, if it isn’t done correctly, it can feel like living in an ice box which only makes your home renovation more of a challenge.
That’s why mineral wood insulation is a top solution for insulating your home. Mineral wood is used to insulate the outside of your home’s infrastructure including the pillars, crawl spaces, basements, attics, and walls.
This type of insulation has been called “superior” at regulating your home’s internal temperatures and keeping the air clean. Let’s learn more and find out what makes mineral wood so popular.
What is Mineral Wool Made Out of?
Mineral wool is made from natural and synthetic materials that are capable of absorbing the foul air particles and excess moisture that is in your home’s air at any given time. Mineral wool consists mostly of stone wool, which is melted, shredded, and spun into extended fiber strands and condensed into stacks of highly-dense mats.
Think of it like strongly packed cotton candy for your home’s walls. Fun fact, did you know that mineral wool is what replaced asbestos for protecting houses? Clearly, mineral wool is a healthier choice!
Due to the organic material being used, stone wool is easily broken down for manufacturers to create a generously beneficial product, along with the material being deemed safe for self-insulation.
What Are the Benefits of Mineral Wood Insulation?
One of the top benefits of mineral wood insulation is its ability to improve the climate inside of your home. The material has specific properties that allow for the insulation to absorb and eliminate microorganisms that can pollute your home’s air and potentially your body due to breathing it in.
Additionally, due to the stabilizing of internal temperature, your home’s functional performance improves, making your home more comfortable to live in. Another strong benefit is that it acts as a sound barrier between walls, which reduces the excess noise that you may experience from room-to-room.
Let’s also add that because of the stone wool’s earth property, mineral wood insulation is fire-retardant and enhances fire safety for you and your family.
What Are the Disadvantages of Mineral Wool Insulation?
Like any other style of insulation, mineral wool does come with only a few, yet significant shortcomings. One of them being the cost considering the base materials of the product and the high-quality of its work.
Mineral wool can cost on average 35% more than fiberglass, but has the ability to perform at a greater level of protection and insulation than fiberglass.
Another con of mineral wool is connected to its exclusivity.
The material is not found everywhere and is not made into various sizes and styles like fiberglass. They typically come in big mats that you will have to manually cut for the specific size that you need, which can become a hassle and time-consuming.
How Long Does Mineral Wool Insulation Wool Last?
Mineral wool can last in your home successfully for 80-100 years! The reason for this is because of the organic stones mixed with the synthetic material that binds the overall wool together.
The fact that the material is densely packed is a second reason as to why mineral wool insulation lasts longer than other types of insulation, including fiberglass. Although the wool lasts for up to 100 years, it’s in your benefit to know that after about 35 years, its abilities will start to slowly diminish.
However, this isn’t cause for immediate replacement as it still has about another 30 years of quality effectiveness. Nonetheless, mineral wool insulation outlives most people!
How Does Mineral Wool Insulation Work?
The secret to mineral wool’s effectiveness comes down to one thing: the ability to lock-in air. Mineral wool is mixed with ingredients like stones, glass, and synthetic material which becomes a thick mat with little pore, and it’s the pores that do most of the work.
Once the pores are open, as the air circulates, they pass by the holes of the mats and become absorbed by it, making the insulation the new home for different particles, dust, and any other micro-attributes that float in your home’s air.
There is no need for injected gas, which means no leaks and decades of effective use before deterioration sets in. Excellent thermal performance of mineral wool is the ultimate result of how mineral wool works.
How Much Does Mineral Wool Insulation Cost?
There are several factors that go into the cost of mineral wool insulation that makes it worth its premium price. Take into consideration the material that it’s being made from.
Stones are organic and can be found abundantly, glass can be made from organic materials, but the synthetics are the cause for increase in price because they have to be man-made, which creates extra labor costs. Square footage is next in deciding how much money you’ll spend on mineral wool insulation.
Cost per square foot is between $1.40 and $2.10; based on a filling in approximately 1,000 square feet, you’re looking at spending between $1,400 and $2,100 for complete coverage. However, the value for the money is worth the cost due to its superior effectiveness for thermal regulation and longevity.
Is Mineral Wool Insulation Worth It?
Based on reviews from millions of users, mineral wool insulation’s value is worth its cost.
Many homeowners and renovators are proud to use the mineral wool mostly because of it being environmentally safe and healthy for the home because 70% of each mat is produced from recycled material, making it a greener product.
However, this is also the reason why it’s a bit more pricey, but still worth it! Let’s also add that mineral wool insulation has a higher R-value than other materials because of the recycled material as it’s composed of.
Overall, mineral wool insulation is deemed worth it because of its high level of environmental safety, great R-value, fire-retardancy, and quality pores for trapping air and loose particles.
What is the Difference Between Rockwool and Mineral Wool?
Some experts would say that rockwool and mineral wool are simply interchangeable words to describe the same type of insulation due to the fact that both wools are made from the same material, stone wool.
However, other users and manufactures of the insulation have found that there are minor facets that make them differ. For example, mineral wool uses recycled residues as their raw material while rockwool also uses basalt.
Throw in the fact that in most cases, rockwool is typically used in commercial buildings because of its strength, while mineral wool is used in the residential communities. A final note is that they are approximately the same in cost, yet, when used in industry areas with more buildings, thus a higher overall cost to insulate.
What is the R-Value of Mineral Wool Insulation?
The Resistance value – or R-value – of mineral wool insulation is 3.7-4.2 per inch of thickness, with an average of 4.0 per inch, which is higher than the average R-value connected to other insulations like fiberglass.
You may be wondering what keeps its R-value so high, and the answer to that is the inorganic material that it is made from including molten glass, stoney materials known as “slag”, and other recycled materials.
Let’s note that the stellar R-value and powerful protection is part of the reason as to why mineral wool has a higher cost than other insulation materials.
Where is Mineral Wool Insulation Best Used?
Mineral wool insulation may be used in both commercial and residential industries including homes, apartment complexes, business buildings, and other skyscrapers.
Within all the residences and industry buildings, it’s best to use mineral wool insulation on the exterior of basements, attics, pillars, pylons, and walls of the home or building.
Its ability to regulate the temperatures is most effective on the outside of the walls, which will keep those attributes from degradation due to small critters, excess moisture, and even mold!
You can even go as far as to use mineral wool insulation in small crawl spaces for extra protection. However, you will have to manually cut the large mat into small pieces to make it fit inside, yet, very doable and highly beneficial to your home and you.
What Happens If Mineral Wool Insulation Gets Wet?
A great attribute about mineral wool insulation is that mineral wool is moisture resistant and typically can handle getting wet without any damage caused to the material.
If your mineral wool does get wet, simply use a dry cloth or towel to completely dry it and it will return to its original state with its high performance still intact.
However, because mineral wool insulation is very porous, it does have the ability to be vapor-accepting, which could cause one simple problem: accumulation of water inside of the material over time. This could create minor spots of mold, yet take refuge in the fact that it would take more than 40 years for this to occur.
What Temperature Is Mineral Wool Good For?
Mineral wool can withstand temperatures of between 1,200 fahrenheit and 1,800 fahrenheit.
The ingredients that make up the mineral wool – stones, slag, glass, and recycled materials – are what makes the material so strong against fire and other sources of heat that’s found in your home, including heat from the sun.
Even if the mineral wool was to catch fire, it has been tested and proven to not melt, spread the flames, or even create smoke!
Can You Compress Mineral Wool Insulation?
Mineral wool insulation has a challenging time being compressed due to the materials that it’s made out of. While the broken-down, spun glass and recycled materials are easily thinned and compressed, the slag and stones are thicker, and will only allow for the wool to be pushed to a certain width of inches.
Professionals have considered trying to compress mineral wool “not worth it” due to the excess effort that it takes to still not achieve the goal of having thinner wool. On the bright side, this is why the R-value is so high and makes the material so valuable.
Does Mineral Wool Insulation Need A Vapor Barrier?
As the professional state, mineral wool will need a vapor barrier for a few reasons. First, mineral wool comes un-faced without any protection on it like kraft paper, plastic, or foil.
Because of that, moisture will accumulate within the wool and eventually become oversaturated, which is where the barrier comes in. You will need a separate barrier of any of the aforementioned material to add to the mineral wool as a form of extra protection from excess vapor and moisture buildup.
Some builders suggest using a cement board as a sturdy tool to help apply and stabilize the vapor barrier, keeping it attached for the next several decades.
When To Use Mineral Wool Insulation?
When you realize that the temperature outside is increasing your home’s internal thermal regulation, it’s time to apply mineral wool insulation. The benefit of this is that it will save you money on your monthly electric bill and keep your house cool with clean air.
Additionally, if you are looking to renovate our home with upgrades, mineral wool insulation can increase the value of your home due to its energy-saving components and carbon emission reductions.
Is Mineral Wool Insulation Eco-Friendly?
Not really. The minerals used are stones derived from the Earth, which is a form of depleting our natural resources. Mineral wool insulation also isn’t biodegradable nor are the stones able to return to their original states once they are melted and mixed.
However, keep in mind that mineral wool also comprises recycled materials. Therefore, although the final product isn’t as eco-friendly as we would like it to be, it does help out by accepting and utilizing recycled material that could have been placed in a landfill.
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