Understanding Natural and Recycled Insulation Options

Recycled Building Materials

With more homeowners than ever before looking for eco-friendly solutions during residential renovations, natural and recycled insulation options are growing in popularity. Even if you try to make as many “green” decisions as possible, you might not be familiar with many of these insulation materials. Don’t fret, though! This guide is here to assist you. As you continue reading, you will see details about a number of natural and recycled insulation choices that might be right for your upcoming remodel.

    • Sheep’s wool – Although it isn’t something you probably think about on a regular basis, sheep’s wool is an extremely good natural insulator. It manages to keep sheep dry during rainstorms, cool in the summertime, and warm during the winter months. It maintains all of these properties when it is used as residential insulation. Typically, the wool that is used as insulation is either sheared from living sheep or chemically removed from those animals that were specifically raised to be slaughtered for meat. If you have a preference, research your chosen brand’s sourcing practices.
    • Recycled fabrics – Recycled blue jeans, which typically contain about 85% recycled material and 15% polyester, make especially good residential insulation. They can be formed into batts that are very similar to traditional fiberglass insulation but are significantly better for the environment. They do not contain harsh chemicals, such as formaldehyde, that can seep into your home. More and more U.S. homeowners are choosing recycled fabric insulation when they build new homes or renovate older ones.
    • Expanded cork – Cork is among the most costly natural insulators, but also one of the most effective. When it is turned into boards that can be used for residential insulation, cork is heated until the suberin that naturally occurs in it binds together and expands. Cork has been used as an insulator in Europe for quite some time but is just beginning to gain traction in the United States. If you are interested in this material, talk to your contractor about looking into where it can be sourced.
    • Cellulose – The odds are good that you’ve heard of cellulose insulation before. It is an affordable option that many American families already use. Most cellulose manufacturers use recycled newspaper or sawmill leftovers to make their products, but there are a few brands that utilize virgin wood during the manufacturing process. If you choose this type of insulation, you will want to do your research and avoid these companies if you care about the environment. Overall, however, cellulose is an eco-friendly choice that is blown into your walls without the use of glue or other synthetic binding agents.

If you are intrigued by the idea of these, or any other, eco-conscious insulation options, the Hatch Homes team would love to talk to you about your upcoming project. We work with clients from Virginia to South Carolina and will be there for you every step of the way, from choosing the perfect alternative insulation for your lifestyle to making sure everything is installed the first time correctly. We can’t wait to meet you!

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