The evolution of insulation
At USA Insulation, we like to think that insulation makes the world go round. It certainly does for us! In fact, it’s a lot more important than people realize. With over 90% of existing homes being under-insulated as of 2015, many people are still unaware of its benefits, or don’t even realize they need new insulation.
In the distant past, however, having insulation meant being able to survive harsh winters and having relief from the heat during a time when modern means of keep cooling weren’t around. While it may seem hard to believe, the history of insulation is actually pretty interesting! Recalling insulation in all its forms throughout the ages, we followed its evolution over time.
During the medieval era in Europe, walls were stuffed with mud to try to keep the heat in and the cold out. The mud was also mixed with straw to help give it more structural integrity and insulation. Similarly, Vikings also used mud, or clay, to insulate their homes. Mixing plastered mud with straw, they would strategically place it between the logs that they used to build their homes.
Technically not insulation, cloth was still a popular method of keeping out the cold during the middle ages. Since homes were made of the stone that had thatched roofs, cold air could easily find its way into the home. By hanging long tapestries against the walls, damp drafts could be absorbed to keep the home warmer during colder months.
During the industrial revolution, America flourished as new manufacturing processes changed the way people lived and worked. With all the benefits came the widespread use of asbestos. At the time, asbestos was believed to be the next big insulation product since it kept extremely hot factory machines from overheating. The next step was to apply it to homes. Eventually, the truth came out about the health dangers of asbestos use, turning the housing and construction industry upside down.
Fiberglass and cellulose
While fiberglass and cellulose rose to popularity some years apart from each other, they were the mainstay of insulation during the 1960s and onward (thanks to the fall of asbestos). Accidentally made, fiberglass commonly took its form as pink cotton candy-like blankets, or batts, that homeowners could lay down in their attics and insert into walls. Used as an alternative to fiberglass, cellulose was commonly blown into home structures and provided a better R-value than fiberglass because of its ability to fit compactly into tiny spaces.
Today, the newest form of insulation comes as a spray foam. With many spray foam insulation options out there, nothing compares to USA Insulation’s Premium Foam®. With its ability to be inserted into wall spaces in a fast application process, it can get behind every crack and crevice that other insulation products can’t. USA Insulation’s spray foam offers the highest R-value, improves indoor air quality, provides soundproofing, is fire resistant, eco-friendly and the best of all, will save you money in the long run!
Having taken many different forms over time, there is one thing that hasn’t changed about insulation: it’s ability to help people, in any era, feel comfortable in their homes year-round. Don’t go another day without insulation, contact us today for a FREE in-home consultation!