Image by Kimberly Vardeman
Cotton insulation is made from recycled denim strips that are cleaned, broken down into fibres, treated with borates, and rolled into batts. It is a favoured natural building material, even among homeowners who give less priority to using sustainable building methods.
Here are the three biggest advantages of using cotton insulation in architectural projects.
R-Value is the term for a material’s resistance to heat flow; substances with higher R-values are better insulators.
Cotton insulation’s R-value is comparable to that of fibreglass, the most common and less environmentally friendly insulation material. If handled right, cotton can serve as an alternative to fibreglass without you having to make any major changes to your building’s plans. Keep in mind, however, that installation of cotton insulation is best left to professionals. Despite cotton having a reputation of being easy to work with, trying to install cotton insulation without help can lead to problems that could affect the insulation’s R-value.
Cotton insulation is overall a safe material to work with. It does not contain formaldehyde, the boric acid treatment it requires is non-toxic, it does not cause allergies or respiratory problems, and it does not emit toxic fumes during installation or curing.
Also, cotton insulation can improve the structural integrity of your building due to its density. Its density also allows it to better fill a wall cavity and keep out more oxygen. Less oxygen in wall cavities lessens the risk of fire spreading to the wood in the wall.
Foremost of the advantages of cotton insulation is that it is environmentally friendly. It requires significantly less energy to produce than most other insulation materials. Also, being made of recycled material and coming from a plant that naturally grows, the cotton used for insulation is a highly renewable resource.
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