Tom Kraeutler: This is The Money Pits Top Products Podcast. I’m Tom Kraeutler on the floor of the 2018 International Builders’ Show, a place we get to come to check out products both new and old that can help you improve your home, make it more energy efficient.
Now, one product that’s been doing that for many, many years now, in fact nearly 80 years, is ROCKWOOL. Now you may not be familiar with that term because ROCKWOOL is the new name for Roxul insulation. ROCKWOOL is the global name for the company. They’ve adopted it for their brand name in North America. With me to talk about that and the benefits of ROCKWOOL insulation is Dave Smith. Dave is the marketing manager for ROCKWOOL. Welcome, Dave.
Dave Smith: Thanks for having me, Tom.
Tom Kraeutler: Now we’re standing here on a noisy trade show floor. You guys have set up a corridor of walls that are lined on both sides, as well as the ceiling, with ROCKWOOL. I’d like to walk into that space now so that we can notice immediately the difference in the sound quality. We’re outside and now we’re walking into the ROCKWOOL demo. Immediately we lose all the ambient noise from the outside and this is just one of the benefits of ROCKWOOL insulation is its ability to mute and conceal sound. Is this why most people turn to this product?
Dave Smith: For sure. It’s one of our best known attributes. We have a product called Safe ‘n’ Sound that you can see at your home centers, lumber yards. People have been using it for years for insulating interior walls, basements, bathrooms, et cetera, because it’s a very dense material that adds to the sound absorption that you can get out of it. Yes, sound is one of our main differentiators in the marketplace and what we’ve been known for and we’ll continue to be under the new name of ROCKWOOL.
Tom Kraeutler: Now, the other amazing quality of this particular product is that it is completely fireproof. You’ve got a demonstration here. We’ll share some photos online. ROCKWOOL insulation being exposed to a pretty substantial torch with no effect whatsoever. What’s the benefit in that attribute to consumers?
Dave Smith: Fire-resistance, another one of our main benefits. Really what that is is that’s giving you time. In the event of a fire, it gives you those precious minutes, seconds to escape to get the firefighters in. It’s got such a high melting point at around 2150 degrees Fahrenheit, which is far superior to other insulation brands. It’s really that added benefit would be important in the event of a fire.
Tom Kraeutler: This product also seems to be extremely water-resistant, maybe I could go so far as to say waterproof. You got a sink tap here running water over it 24/7, seems to have no effect. The water beads up on the surface.
Dave Smith: Yes, it’s water-repellent, won’t absorb the water. It won’t contribute to mold, or mildew, or rot. Basically the water, as you said, it just beads up on it. That’s a huge benefit in terms for attics if there’s a vapor or condensation and great benefit in areas like attics, basements, any exterior wall surface.
Tom Kraeutler: Let’s talk about what’s most important to consumers when they buy insulation. That’s how well does it insulate?
Dave Smith: Yeah, exactly. We have a range of R values, which is the thermal properties of the product, is roughly an R-4 per inch R value. For a two by four wall, you’re getting an R-15 which a lot of traditional materials that are around are 13.
Tom Kraeutler: It insulates actually better than traditional fiberglass?
Dave Smith: Correct.
Tom Kraeutler: When we install insulation in the attic, we always have to be very careful to manage the ventilation so we’re flushing that insulation with plenty of dry air so that it’s more effective. How well does this product dry when it gets damp, say, in summer humidity?
Dave Smith: Because of the water-repellence of it, a much better drying potential than other materials. It is vapor permeable and then that combined with the water-repellent, if there is condensation in it, it just beads up on the surface of the product. Huge benefit in terms of attic condensation and basements as well.
Tom Kraeutler: This product has been on the market for 25 years and known as Roxul insulation. Now, you’ve changed the name to ROCKWOOL. What’s the reason for the name change?
Dave Smith: The reason being we’ve always been a part of the ROCKWOOL Group globally, and we had launched the name Roxul in the North American market to try to be different. But the world is more global than it ever was before. There are much more synergy to be closer to our parent company in terms of website technology, adapting technologies from a product development perspective. It just made sense now to adopt the global name and really present ourselves as one company.
Tom Kraeutler: Elevator speech. You have a trade man standing in the aisle of the home center trying to decide which insulation to buy, why should he buy ROCKWOOL insulation?
Dave Smith: Fire-resistance, water-repellence, sound absorbent, very dense material. Easy to cut and install is another one, especially for contractors and carpenters. Because it is so dense, friction fits in the wall cavities and it won’t slump or sag over time. It makes it actually easier for the trades person to install.
Tom Kraeutler: I’m sold. Dave Smith from ROCKWOOL insulation. Thank you so much for being a part of The Money Pit’s Top Products Podcast.
Dave Smith: Thank you.