For most homes in the temperate parts of the world, roof insulation is very important in many ways. Your house will be warmer in cold weather and colder in warm weather. You can save on the costs of electricity necessary to run the heater or the air-conditioner. In the process, you are also doing your share in lessening greenhouse emissions.
Unfortunately, the most common material used in roof insulation in most homes is neither eco-friendly nor health-friendly. We are talking about fiberglass batts, which contain formaldehyde – a known carcinogenic that induces respiratory problems in humans even on short-term exposure. Plus, the production process for fiberglass batts is very energy-intensive. Fortunately, you have many eco-friendly options available. Just choose the one that best fit your house, your preferences and your budget.
Recycled Cellulose Fiber
Although recycled cellulose fiber is comparatively more expensive than the other types of eco-friendly insulation, its benefits are well worth the price. Since it has better insulation properties than fiberglass batts, you can save more on energy bills. It is also fire-resistant, thanks to the environment-friendly boric acid. As such, your roof can better resist fires without the noxious fumes involved. Along with this property, you also need not worry about vermin since recycled cellulose fiber is also treated against rats and bugs. Plus, if you live in or near the flight path of airplanes, your house will be better protected from the deafening sounds because the sprayed-on roof insulation deadens the noise.
Who would have thought that your favorite denim and cotton trousers could be transformed into eco-friendly roof insulation? Just like recycled cellulose fiber, recycled denim is also treated with boric acid to make it fire and vermin-resistant. Unlike recycled cellulose, however, recycled denim comes in rolls. You can basically apply it yourself and with no itching.
You have heard of soy being used for food like ice cream, for natural medicines like soy tablets, and even for biofuel. Well, now you can add soy to your list of eco-friendly roof insulation. It is sprayed on the roof, which will expand and fill up the cracks and leaks before hardening into solid mass. Although it will char, it will not encourage the flame to spread. Plus, you need not spray it once too often because most soy insulation will last the building’s lifetime.
Sheep’s Wool Insulation
This brings to mind the nursery rhymes about the black sheep with three bags of wool. You may ask the sheep for his wool to be used for roof insulation nowadays, if and when you know how to process it, that is. But since the manufacturing process for sheep’s wool is complicated, you should just settle for the ready-made roof insulation. It is the most expensive of all the eco-friendly types of insulation but the costs are well worth the price, too.
Sheep’s wool insulation is flame-resistant, possesses soundproofing properties, acts as a filter by trapping toxic substances, does not cause respiratory problems even on long exposures, can be composted and can also be recycled.
Although fiberglass batts rule the roof insulation industry nowadays, it is a relief to our eco-friendly hearts knowing that there are viable options in the market today. So, do look into them and help yourself to their benefits.
Source: Renewable Energy Advances
The potential health hazard of fibreglass insulating material is a compelling reason to use natural alternatives. Some of the green roof insulating materials may be more costly to the consumer but the benefits to health and the environment outweigh these in the long term. These costs can also be off-set by lower electricity bills- often a recycled/natural alternative is more effective than conventional synthetics. Anyone who is in the planning stages of building a new house should thoroughly research the environmentally friendly alternatives, including natural building materials, green design, eco-friendly interior design and any other energy and water saving systems. Water is and will become even more scarce and valuable. Design the building with rainwater harvesting in mind (with rain water tanks hidden from view – possible with Water Rhapsody’s unique rain collection system) and try to use water saving appliances wherever possible.