Fiberglass, that itchy substance of which most home insulation is made, is created through a very special process. A fiberglass manufacturing company spends hours each day creating the right combination of glass particles and fibers for both rolled and blown insulation. There are also processes by which a better grade of fiberglass is created. The following information, as it pertains to new home construction, will help you learn more about how fiberglass is made and what makes a better grade (or quality) of fiberglass so that you (the future homeowner) can decide what to use to insulate your home.
Glass Creation and Fibers Made from It
Most fiberglass materials start out the same way in the factory. Glass is created by forging it fire, but then is extruded through tiny openings to make long cylindrical bundles. The bundles are then woven or chopped up into pieces, which are then used to make fiberglass "wool" for home insulation. Lesser grades/quality fiberglass insulation have larger chips of glass in it, while a better grade of fiberglass insulation will have fewer or smaller chips and more fiberglass weave instead.
Woven Fiberglass or Microspheres in Place of Chopped Fiberglass Pieces
When the fiberglass is woven into a mat, the mat form is inserted into the other substances used to make the "wool" part of the insulation. There is less itch, less opportunity to scratch up your skin and bleed, and it is easier to install than fiberglass that has chopped pieces mixed in with that cottony-looking stuff your contractor places inside the walls and attic of your new home. There is also less of a chance that the tightly woven fibers of higher grade/quality of fiberglass will be accidentally inhaled during the installation process because the woven glass cannot move or float around like the chopped glass fibers can.
Additionally, the woven fibers can keep more heat in your house because the heat cannot pass quite so easily through the woven mat style of fiberglass. This higher quality of insulation often contributes to a higher R rating too (R rating refers to the efficiency factor of different types of insulation). If you opt for blown insulation rather than rolled insulation, you may be dealing with a lesser grade or quality of fiberglass fiber because of the fact that blown insulation, by nature, is loose and looks more like pieces of a cloud. To get the fiberglass into these fluffy insulation bits, chopped glass may be the go-to choice, although a higher grade of fiberglass fibers known as microspheres may be used instead.