History of Insulation

dfw home insulation history of insulation

History of Insulation

Most of us know that insulation is something in our homes that helps to keep us warm when the wind blows fierce here in North Texas and the deep winter chill sets in. Beyond that, unless you’re a home builder, you probably don’t have much of a clue about insulation.

DFW Home Insulation operates the best insulation company here in North Texas. We’re here to tell you it’s okay if you don’t know much but a cursory knowledge of insulation because that’s where we come in. We offer both commercial and residential attic insulation and removal services, attic ventilation, garage door ventilation, and much more. We strive to ensure you are well taken care of throughout the entire process. If you’ve ever wondered where insulation comes from, below, we’ll go over a history of insulation. Contact us today for an estimate!


Staying warm is a fundamental human necessity. After all, you can die from exposure to the extreme cold without adequate protection. Thus, since the dawn of humans, staying warm has been a constant need with fires used primarily as the heat source for thousands of years. As humans began to settle down and build permanent dwellings, ideas were thought of in order to keep their dwelling warm. DFW Home Insulation in McKinney notes that this was indeed the first spark of insulation.

Insulation is something that slows the transfer of heat and sound. With regards to homes, we are usually talking about keeping in heat during the winter and cool air in the summer. The first historical record of insulation dates back to the ancient Egyptians who used mud to seal the cracks in their clay/brick homes. This blocked out the desert heat and kept their homes cool during the day but warm at night.

The next innovation shows up in the Romans, who used cork wood to insulate their water pipes so the water would be warm for their hot baths. The Greeks actually discovered and named asbestos, which means “inextinguishable” since it was inherently resistant to heat and fire. DFW Home Insulation in McKinney notes that they also knew that asbestos was not good for you. In addition, the Greeks figured out that if you kept an air pocket in-between layers, you’d conserve heat and make your house warner. Thus, they engineered a double-wall system to do just that.


In addition to the Middle Ages being a time of darkness, it was also a time of cold. Castles of the noblemen were extremely cold places, being made of solid stone, and the peasants homes were not much warmer. The clothing of the era, with men wearing stockings and heavy doublets and women wearing long-sleeved, long, thick dresses was mainly to keep warm over style. Tapestries were hung on the walls of castles in order to conserve heat, and animal hides were laid on the floors for carpeting and warmth.

The Vikings, too, used mud and straw to shove in the cracks in their walls in order to keep their home warmer.

Moving to the Industrial Revolution, asbestos made a resurgence as the invention of steam power required insulated piping. Not only did asbestos as insulation for piping keep the heat in, but it also protected the workers from the hot pipes. From this time on, asbestos was used primarily as the most popular insulation material until its health risks (namely, cancer) were revealed in the 1970s.


DFW Home Insulation in McKinney notes that fiberglass insulation was an accidental invention of the 1930s when a researcher, attempting to create a vacuum seal, ended up turning some glass into thin glass fibers. This was made into blankets (called batts), which soon began to take over as a dominating insulation material.

Cellulose insulation was invented in the 1950s. This insulation is made from newspaper, cardboard, straw, sawdust, or cotton and is flame retardant. In the 1980s, spray foam was brought to the mainstream, having been invented by the military 40 years prior. This polyurethane spray foam could fill in the nooks and crannies that other types of foam (fiberglass) couldn’t, creating a tighter seal and thereby saving money on utility costs.

Spray foam insulation now comes in two varieties: low density and medium density (open cell and closed cell, respectively). Both are sprayed on walls and expand. The open-cell spray foam is not as water-resistant as the closed-cell. Both, however, do require a professional to install them. They are the superior types of insulation, but the more costly types as well.

The three most popular types of insulation are fiberglass, cellulose, and foam, all of which help homes and businesses stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Now, all new buildings must be insulated.


Whether you are building a commercial building or your next home, DFW Home Insulation can help. We offer all different types of insulation to suit your needs, and we can install insulation all throughout your home or business. We offer an amazing array of insulation services, including blown-in insulation, rolled batts, garage door insulation, insulation removal and haul off services, attic prep work, attic ladder replacements, and so much more. Odds are, if you need it insulated, we can help.

Our expert insulation company is ready to help with the best insulation services. Give us a call today to get started!

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