Blow In Blanket System (BIBS)
The Blow In Blanket System is fiberglass insulation done right. Fiberglass has been around since the 1930’s, made from sand, usually in a batt configuration. The fiberglass fibers were glued together so they could be formed into a batt and sometimes glued onto paper or other materials. These were made into standard sizes and in the last 20 years, into different densities. Higher densities go with higher R-values. The glue used had, up until the last few years, some chemicals like formaldehyde in it. The claim was, anyone could put in fiberglass batts. Now with home testing, it shows there are very few batt jobs that are good. There are many insulation cavities in a home that are not standard sized, so fitting is required. Few people bother with cutting batts accurately so the installation suffers. Fitting around pipes, wires, and other penetrations in a cavity is seldom done correctly and this can have a large impact on the performance of the insulation.
The Blow In Blanket System, BIBS, was patented in 1983 although it has been done since the late ‘50s. The fiberglass is blown into the cavities behind a fabric that holds in the fibers during installation while letting out the air. By blowing in the fiberglass, it fills the cavity completely in a way you can’t get with batts. The fibers fill odd shaped spaces and small spaces behind switches and outlets, and around pipes and wires. It is the only insulation system that is tested on every job periodically to insure the right weight, which insures the right density. The density also insures that the insulation can not settle. Many modular home builders are using BIBS for this reason. The standard fiberglass batt has half the density of a BIBS job. R-value of BIBS is 4.23/ inch. BIBS R-value in a 2×6 cavity is R-23, while a standard batt is R-19. The BIBS fibers have gone through rigorous testing and are different than other fiberglass fibers. There is no glue involved with BIBS, just pure fiberglass. There is no off-gassing from chemicals or fire retardents. Fiberglass doesn’t burn. Fiberglass these days is also made using a lot of recycled glass. Knauff insulation is 60% recycled glass and other companies are at 30% or greater. Bugs can’t affect BIBS. The fibers don’t absorb water. There is no food to grow mold. BIBS is also great for sound control. We have done sound walls around music rooms and walls between apartments and the noise level drops greatly. We have blown in BIBS in cavities up to 17” deep for an R-value up to 72.
BIBS is about as permanent an insulation system as you can get. Fiberglass is made out of glass, made out of sand. How long does sand last? You could take the fiberglass out of one building and install it in another if desired. The same cannot be said of some other insulation types. It is economical for the R-value you get, and the R-value will not degrade. BIBS is also installed by only trained, certified, installers. The installation is also the only certified blow in blanket system on the market. BIBS was designed to get the most R-value for the least weight. This means less cost to ship and less packaging involved. There is no waste, the fiberglass is all used. When looking at all of the environmental, health, safety and performance aspects of insulation, BIBS is the best.