6 Safety Tips to Consider When Installing Fiberglass Insulation

closeup of Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation is one of the most popular insulation types in homes. Extremely fine fibers of glass are used to produce the insulation usually in form of long batts or rolls. Fiberglass does not wear out or decline in efficiency over time. This makes it a cost-effective and energy efficient type of insulation for your home. It is fairly easy to insulate with fiber glass. However, it is important that you observe some safety measures such as the 6 given below.

1. Skin Protection

Tiny fibers of insulation wool can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Prolonged contact with fiberglass can cause inflammation of the skin. It is recommended that you wear clothes that fit loosely. Long-sleeved and long-legged clothes are a good idea. This helps to protect your skin from possible irritations. Should the fiberglass particles make contact with your skin, do not rub or scratch your skin. Wash with warm running water and a mild soap.

2. Head and Eyes

You may have to install fiberglass insulation in areas that are above your head. Wear some form of head cover for overhead installations. This helps to protect your head and face from contact with fiberglass. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from injury by the extra fine materials. For maximum protection, get glasses that have side shields. Be sure to launder the clothes used during insulation separately. This will prevent contamination of other clothes with the insulation material.

3. Breathing

Inhalation of the extremely fine glass fibers can cause respiratory complications. This may be manifested by serious coughing, bronchitis and irritation of the throat and lungs. In severe cases, inhalation can lead to the development of lung disease. It is important that you wear a respirator or dust mask to reduce the risk of respiratory complications.

4. Minimize Dust Generation

It helps if you retain the material in its packaged form for as long as possible. Unpack the insulation only when you are ready to install. The insulation can expand as much as 1,000 percent once opened. This may introduce fiberglass dust into circulation. Avoid the use of compressed air when you clean up to minimize dust generation. It is best to use tools that have an efficient dust collection mechanism such as a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum or a water filtration vacuum. Avoid ordinary vacuums as they tend to distribute the glass fibers vigorously. Do not tear or rip through the batts with your hands as it is likely to generate dust.

5. Ventilation

It is important that you take measures to ensure excellent ventilation during installation. It helps if you have a special filtration system in operation as you work. This reduces the occurrence of fiberglass material in the air and its inhalation or body irritations.

6. Food Consumption

Avoid consumption of food and drink during installation. If you smoke, refrain from this while at work. There’s always a chance that the food and drink or cigarettes could channel fiberglass materials into your body. It is best to take adequate food and drink or other refreshments before you embark on insulation.