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It has long been known that fiberglass insulation is a popular choice for slowing the movement of heat through the walls and ceilings of a home, as it reduces the amount of heat that enters the home. There is no doubt that fiberglass still can’t compare to Rockwool’s natural abilities, despite its added benefit of adding a fire-resistant layer between interior and exterior walls. As with fiberglass, Rockwool is also a material that is commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings as an insulation material.
However, Rockwool can be differentiated from fiberglass by comparing the heat retention, fire resistance, moisture resistance, and soundproofing capabilities. Keep reading to find out more about Rockwool insulation.
1. Rockwool is made of rocks heated to become lava-like liquid.
As a matter of fact, it is this process by which Rockwool insulation is manufactured that gives us the ability to explain its true fire resistance. There are two components to this product, basalt rock and recycled steel making byproduct slag. It is superheated to allow these components to liquefy and mix together to form lava-like liquids. The temperature must be higher than 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit in order for these substances to melt.
There is a large spinning chamber in which the superheated liquid is stretched into fibers. These fibers are then gathered together and compressed into a mat, which can be cut into slabs of Rockwool insulation in order to achieve the desired result.
When Rockwool is created through this process, all organic matter is eliminated, resulting in a finished product that is mold- and mildew-resistant, ensuring that your home will be mold- and mildew-free for years to come.
2. It contains between 16 to 75 percent recycled material.
The confusion about the amount of recycled material used to make Rockwool insulation can mostly be attributed to the statistics about mineral wool insulation in general. Rockwool is a brand-specific type of mineral wool insulation that is so popular the name became synonymous with the appropriate term, which is mineral wool. The brand-specific Rockwool insulation is typically made of between 16 to 40 percent recycled materials, according to the manufacturer.
There has been a claim that mineral wool insulation contains 75 percent of recycled material, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
As far as the Department of Energy is concerned, this estimate is hard to support since it differentiates between standard ‘rock wool’ insulation and ‘slag wool’ insulation, but does not mention how much recycled material is included in each product. A perfect example of this is the use of the Rockwool brand name in place of the generic material name, creating a blurred line between the two products.
Generally, it can be concluded that Rockwool insulation has a high proportion of recycled material, as the quantity of recycled material ultimately depends on the specific product. There is a difference between standard Rockwool insulation and slag Rockwool insulation as slag Rockwool insulation can contain up to 75 percent recycled material, whereas standard Rockwool insulation may contain between 16 and 40 percent recycled material.
3. Rockwool has excellent heat retention.
In terms of keeping a house cool during the summer and warm during the winter, both fiberglass and Rockwool are effective, but the particular thermal efficiency of Rockwool makes it more effective. A fiberglass insulation panel is capable of offering an R-value of around 2 to 2.7 per inch of insulation, while Rockwool insulation has an R-value between 0 and 3.3 per inch of insulation.
It is also common for fiberglass insulation to lose its thermal efficiency over time since it begins to degrade over time. Rockwool insulation maintains a stable thermal performance throughout the lifetime of the building due to the method of construction and the materials used to manufacture it. As a result, Rockwool insulation is generally more expensive per square foot than fiberglass insulation is generally.
4. The material is fire-resistant up to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit.
As noted previously, Rockwool insulation is formed from literal rocks and steel slag that must be heated beyond 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit in order to mix the component materials and create this highly effective insulation.
Because of this, mineral wool products in general are able to resist fires, flames, and heat of 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit in general, while some Rockwool products are capable of resisting temperatures of 2,150 degrees Fahrenheit without melting, smoking, or catching fire, while others are able to resist temperatures up to 2,150 degrees Fahrenheit.
This impressive heat-resistance is ideal for building homes because the insulation forms a fire-resistant barrier between the interior and exterior of the home, between rooms, and even between floors, slowing the spread of fire. It should be noted that fiberglass insulation is also highly heat-resistant, though it begins to melt at about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Rockwool is a highly durable insulation option.
Despite the fact that there is no disputing the longevity of this insulation material given that it is able to maintain its thermal efficiency for several decades without deteriorating its R-value in any substantial way. Essentially, this is due to the fact that Rockwool insulation is made from a combination of rock and steel slag, which are known for their durability and natural resistance to decay and corrosion, which are a major component of the durability of Rockwool insulation.
There is, however, more to Rockwool’s durability than its heat retention capabilities. It is important to note that Rockwool insulation is not just durable but also fire-resistant, mold-resistant, mildew-resistant, and water-resistant, all of which contribute greatly to its durability and capability. A material that has moisture-resistant qualities is particularly crucial to the material’s longevity, since it can absorb and retain water from extremely humid air, which would cause it to breakdown prematurely.
6. Rockwool insulation is great for soundproofing rooms.
Some people may not appreciate the heftiness of Rockwool insulation because it does tend to be thicker than fiberglass insulation, but this helps to slow the transmission of heat and it has the added effect of slowing sound waves. As sound waves attempt to move through the material, they are slowed and sometimes completely blocked, creating built-in soundproofing.
The Rockwool insulation is not only thick enough to block noise, but it is also dense enough to provide soundproofing as well. It is estimated that fiberglass insulation has a density of 0.5 to 0 pounds per cubic foot, so it will reduce sound by 4 to 10 decibels per cubic foot. With a density of around 1.7 pounds per cubic foot, rockwool insulation can consistently dampen sound by between 10 and 15 decibels, which makes it the most sound-absorbing insulation on the planet.
7. Rockwool allows moisture to escape and prevents the growth of mold.
Despite the fact that Rockwool is a moisture resistant and vapor permeable insulation, it has the unique ability to resist high levels of humidity, so it is ideal for areas that are prone to high humidity levels, such as bathrooms and kitchens. The moisture-resistant and vapor-permeable properties of Rockwool insulation means that any liquid water will drain away from the insulation rather than soaking into it, while any gaseous water vapor will pass through the insulation without dampening it.
As Rockwool insulation is inorganic and therefore does not provide any energy for mold and mildew to grow in, it makes it a poor medium for them to grow. The Rockwool products are also tested and certified as resistant to the growth of fungi, reducing the risk that users will find themselves opening up a wall only to discover a dangerous biological issue.