External thermal insulation of buildings
Domestic insulation installers
Good insulation is not only very important in keeping your home warm, it will save you money, protect your property from frost damage, and is a legal requirement for new buildings and roofs. As with everything in life, insulation comes in different grades and types. We can offer you a range of products to suit your requirements, and we can also advise you on what is required by law. Mineral wool insulation has been in use since the late 1800s, so it’s nothing new. But as the market shifted in the 1960s to less-expensive and better-promoted fibreglass insulation, the mineral wool industry shifted its focus to industrial and manufacturing applications, where mineral wool became a perfect replacement for the asbestos materials being phased out due to health concerns. Yet over the last 25 years, the cost of energy, the public’s awareness of health and environmental impacts, and building science research have led to a renewed interest in mineral wool for the residential market also. It’s not hard to see why mineral wool is regaining lost ground. It’s got an R-value of 3.8 to 4.3 per in., it’s chemically inert, it contains almost no VOCs, it’s fireproof, it absorbs sound, and its embodied energy is lower than that of most petroleum-derived foams. Sold most commonly as batts, it’s also available as boards and as loose fibres for blown installations, and it can be used in all the critical locations: walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, exteriors, and even below grade. It is vapour permeable— which has its disadvantages as well as its advantages—and is fairly easy to install well. In a category that has long been dominated by fibreglass batts, mineral wool is worth a fresh look.
Insulation is protecting your home from cold in winter and excess heat in summer, and can even reduce noise pollution (like the sound from a road or passing aircraft). What’s more, some key insulation measures are ‘low cost’, in that they pay for themselves in less than five years.
Mineral-wool batts can be installed in framing cavities, but expect them to be heavier than fiberglass and less likely to compress. Manufacturers recommend cutting them with a serrated bread knife because they are not as easy to cut with a utility knife as fiberglass batts.
External wall insulations
In most cases, insulation work does not require planning permission from your local council. The exceptions may include external wall insulation and, in areas where there are conservation schemes, glazing. Even if you don’t need planning permission, building regulations could apply, so check with your local council’s building control department.
As do the manufacturers of many building products, mineral wool producers exercise care with the phrasing “does not support mould growth.” In other words, the insulation itself does not provide a food source for mould or other fungal growth, but if temperature and humidity levels are high enough, mould could still appear in framing cavities. In fact, one of mineral wool’s other markets is a growing medium for plants.