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While mineral wool has been around for decades in the insulation industry, it’s recently made a comeback for a variety of reasons. It offers cost-effective thermal protection and outperforms comparable fiberglass batt insulation in a number of ways. Homeowners and contractors alike are turning to mineral wool to insulate new construction or upgrade existing home insulation systems.
Mineral wool is appealing for its high recycled content and relatively high levels of thermal insulation. Increased R-value, soundproofing, and fire resistance are just a few of the ways in which mineral wool outperforms common fiberglass alternatives. Added mildew-resistance and easy one-step installation make mineral wool insulation highly appealing to contractors and property owners.
While mineral wool insulation may look similar to fiberglass, it offers higher thermal insulation capacity and lower air permeability. Mineral wool batts have an R-value of R-23 in 2’ x 6’ walls, compared to a value of R-19 for fiberglass batts in a similar space. Mineral wool also outperforms blown-in cellulose which has an R-value around R-13.
Due to its high density, mineral wool is highly effective as a sound barrier. Acoustic insulation in your home helps reduce noise pollution from the outdoors and stops noise flow from one room to another. Mineral wool is a particularly excellent insulator along floors and ceilings to reduce noise in a home.
Because mineral wool is made of stone, it offers superior water-resistant performance. Mineral wool does not absorb moisture and is therefore resistant to mold and mildew build up. Other types of insulation (cellulose and fiberglass) often lose their shape in moist conditions, which can create gaps and compress the insulation. Mineral wool, however, maintains its shape and effectiveness, even when wet.
Mineral wool is also highly fire-resistant and outperforms fiberglass in its home fireproofing capacity. While fiberglass is non-combustible, mineral wool can act as a firestop product. In other words, a wall insulated with mineral wool will help resist incineration and can help slow the spread of flames in case of fire.
Unlike fiberglass, mineral wool batts do not require staples or wires to hold them in place. Mineral wool is held in place by friction fitting, making it easier to install. Once installed, mineral wool batts won’t slip or lose their shape and will resist damage more than other types of insulation.
Mineral wool is made from two materials: basalt and slag. It typically contains 70-75% natural rock with additional volume provided by slag contents. Volcanic basalt is a plentiful resource, and slag is a byproduct of the steel refining process. Slag is the glass-like rocky material made of silica and other natural elements that are left over when purifying steel ore.
If you’re thinking about installing mineral wool insulation in your home, you’ll want to take material costs and installation methods into consideration when planning your project. It is always helpful to contact an insulation professional and get an upfront estimate for the time and cost of your project.
Mineral wool installation requires knowledge of insulation handling safety. Like fiberglass, mineral wool particles can become airborne and are natural irritants. Airborne particles can enter the lungs and also cause a rash or itchiness on the skin. Professional insulation contractors will wear masks, goggles, coveralls or long sleeves, and gloves when handling mineral wool insulation.
Ready to get started on your mineral wool insulation project? TruTeam is the leading installer of insulation in the nation. Our installation professionals can help advise, plan, and safely execute your next mineral wool insulation project. Contact a TruTeam branch near you to get started. We would be happy to have one of our local contractors provide an on-site consultation and thorough estimate for your insulation needs.