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The Story of Insulation: How Did It Get To Where It Is Now?

10 December 2019

Evolution of Time

Let’s just say Insulation has come a long way throughout the years. As society progressed and building homes transformed, when did we start thinking about keeping the heat inside the home? From the beginning of time, each revolution had its own unique way of finding ways to keep their home warm. Check out how insulation has changed from an early age to today’s time.

History of Insulation

 

  • The BC Years AKA Before Comfort

The Egyptians and Vikings had to work with the materials they could find. Mud was one of the first insulation materials because well that’s all they really had back then. Egyptians built their homes out of mud bricks, while the Vikings put mud and straw in between the logs that made up their home to keep the air and extreme temperatures out.

 

The Vikings used local material to build their homes. With the conditions they lived in, the mud was a thick blanket used in the walls to keep them warm.

 

  • Ancient Times Called For Asbestos

The Greeks and Romans had their own way of insulating the home. The Romans insulated their water pipes with cork while the Greeks discovered Asbestos. Asbestos means inextinguishable because of its resistance to heat and fire. They were basically the first engineers who built a double wall system. They created a cavity between the inside and outside where the empty space served as a barrier to keep the temp inside steady.

 

These Asbestos cloths were used for insulation in buildings. What no one knew back then was the number of serious diseases that could come from breathing it in. 

 

  • The Middle Ages: Materials Were Scarce 

Homes in the Middle Ages were very damp, drafty, and cold. While we use tapestries as home decor, they used them to keep the drafts and dampness out. They also used animal hide as rugs to keep the floors warm.

 

Tapestries are not only a way of art but a way to keep the home warm in the winter. These were handwoven and used as a way of decorative display too.

 

  • The Industrial Revolution: Beginning of Factories

Asbestos became very popular during this time. With manufacturing becoming a big-time thing and companies using steam for their business, companies needed to find a way to keep the work area safe. The steam from their factory usually went through pipes which got very hot. They used asbestos to wrap the pipes to make a safer area for workers to be around.

Asbestos was used to keep the heat in so workers could work in a safer environment.

 

  • 1930’s: Fiberglass

Fiberglass was an accident invention. The inventor was attempting to create a vacuum seal between two glass blocks when the high pressured air turned the glass into thin glass fibers. This material was made into blankets which we call batts today. It was used to make building warmer and more efficient. This was the common insulation for America.

A lot of homes have Fiberglass insulation in their homes because it was the cheap and common one for all homes.

 

  • 1950’s- 1970’s: The Creation Of Cellulose

Cellulose Insulation which is a common insulation type used today was created in the ’50s. While it is a top choice today because it is made of newspaper, cardboard, straw, sawdust, or cotton was not popular at first due to fire safety regulations. Like all products, trial and error is common so once they figured out how to make it fire safety it became one of the popular insulation types. In the mid-1970s, the span of the harmful effects of asbestos was brought to everyone’s attention making everyone realize that fiberglass and cellulose insulation was the one to choose.

attic Blow-in insulation
Cellulose insulation is blown into attics or wall cavities to provide a thick layer of insulation that provides the R-value your home needs.

 

  • 1980’s: Spray Foam is Born

Spray Foam was actually discovered by the military in the 40s but didn’t become popular until four decades later. The greatest thing about Spray Foam was that it expands when sprayed and could fill in areas that fiberglass couldn’t provide. Spray Foam has evolved into more options today.

 

Spray foam offers nearly double the R-value per inch, air-seals and insulates in one step, won’t be damaged by mold or moisture, and won’t settle, compress, or otherwise be damaged to the point it needs replacement.
Spray foam offers nearly double the R-value per inch, air-seals and insulates in one step, won’t be damaged by mold or moisture, and won’t settle, compress, or otherwise be damaged to the point it needs replacement.

 

  • Fast Forward To Today: Options For a Warm Home

While a lot of what we used today was introduced in past years, we have found new and better ways to provide the basics of insulation. There are over 10 different types of insulation for your home but the main three include Fiberglass, Cellulose, and Spray Foam. The newest advancement that a lot of homeowners are getting done to their homes is Air Sealing. Air Sealing provides a more in-depth closure to areas of the home that insulation can’t cover.

Insulation services
Today, insulation is seen as a home science. Over the years, technology has advanced giving homeowners a better understanding of how heat and air can determine the comfort of the home.

Is Your Home Under-Insulated?

After reading about how insulation has changed over the years, you may be wondering if your home is well insulated. About 90% of homes across the U.S are under-insulated. Some signs you can look for are cold walls and drafts, fluctuating temperatures, soaring energy bills, and melting snow on your roof. If you are experiencing any of these, it is crucial to reach out to us for a Home Performance Evaluation. We will come out and identify where heat is escaping from your home. From there, we offer a wide range of home comfort options include Air Sealing, Spray Foam Insulation, Cellulose Insulation, and Rigid Foam Insulation. Contact us today for your free Home Evaluation!

 

Our Heat Map technology, will show you the areas of energy loss in your home.
Our Heat Map technology will show you the areas of energy loss in your home.

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