Safety is one of the essential considerations when choosing insulation, aside from the high R-values. After all, no one wants to use insulation material with high flammability that can easily catch fire. As fiberglass is amongst the most popular insulation material out there, a lot of customers may wonder: will fiberglass insulation burn? The answer is provided in the following along with some safety tips to decrease the chance of fires from happening in your attic.
Is Fiberglass Insulation Material Has Flammable Quality?
Fiberglass is one type of insulation material made primarily of silica sand to create the glass, combined with soda ash and limestone that act to lower its melting temperature required to produce it. It also involves other substances such as borax, kaolin clay, magnesite, and feldspar that help to improve its performance.
Once these substances are mixed, it needs to be heated. Compared to most glass, fiberglass needs to be heated at a higher temperature at 2500º F. It can be made into fibers, glass wool, or filaments after the glass is molted.
Other coatings are required for fiberglass products, such as lubricant that acts as an anti-static property and decreases its abrasive nature. Afterwards, the fiberglass products are shaped, before being packaged and shipped to the customers.
So, is fiberglass insulation flammable? It remains as an important question for interested homeowners. Essentially, as the material is made of glass, it is not considered as flammable, thus won’t catch fire. Fiberglass insulation is also designed to have good resistance to the fire.
That being said, it has to be noted that fiberglass can melt. This insulation material can resist extreme temperatures up to 1000º F or equivalent to 540º C. Any higher and it will melt, causing the foil backings and paper to be exposed and create a chance of catching fire. This is where flame retardant component comes into play. Manufacturers usually employ kraft paper backings, foils, or adhesives.
Understanding further safety measures needed to prevent further damage is important, considering attic fires are actually very common. Most of the times, the culprit is electrical fires. Here are some tips that can help to reduce the likelihood of such a scenario to happen:
- Minimize the number of plugged cords into a single power strip or outlet to prevent tripped breaker.
- Clean excess debris or lint in the attic.
- Remove as many items with flammable qualities from the attic.
- Do a regular check-up of leaky roof because malfunctioning electrical components can be caused by water. Reach to a professional soon if you notice a roof leak to have it sealed.
Note that fiberglass melting is something that you should stay away from as it possesses a number of possible risks. Fiberglass emits toxic fumes when melted which is harmful to be inhaled as it contains formaldehyde and other health-damaging gases. Direct contact between molten fiberglass and skin is also extremely dangerous. These are why it is crucial to do at least a little bit of research such as finding out will fiberglass insulation burn, before employing the material.