ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What to Wear to Install Insulation

Updated on December 9, 2012
Man in a protective suit
Man in a protective suit | Source

Every type of construction project requires proper work wear in order to stay safe and prevent injury. While insulation work is typically not thought to be dangerous, there are certainly some health risks associated with the installation of many different types of insulation. Breaking the types of insulation being installed into categories will show what type of clothing to wear while installing the insulation products.

Fiberglass Insulation

Installing fiberglass insulation requires you to cover as much of your body as possible to avoid getting the small glass fibers embedded in your skin. Wearing disposable coveralls that come with a hood works very well for covering your body completely and is simply thrown away at the end of the job. They can be purchased at almost any hardware store and are typically found in the paint department.

Eye protection prevents glass fibers from causing irritation or possibly even infections in the eye. Safety glasses work well for this application.

Latex or rubber gloves work well on the hands to prevent the hands from getting glass fibers on them and spreading the fibers onto other parts of the body.

In order to prevent inhalation of glass fibers, a dust mask is the minimum recommended covering for the mouth and nose. Inhalation of glass fibers can cause a lot of pain and can have adverse lung health effects. This is why it is recommended to wear a respirator instead of a dust mask to fully prevent fiberglass fiber inhalation.

Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose poses no health risks or irritation to skin, so it can be installed in just about any type of clothing option.

Cellulose is very dusty when installed so it is recommended to wear a dust mask to prevent inhalation and safety glasses to prevent the dust from accumulating in the corners of the eyes.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation requires disposable coveralls as the spray foam adheres to almost any surface including skin. This also means that covering the face becomes an important element to installing spray foam.

A respirator must be worn when installing spray foam as the off gassing during install can be deadly if inhaled for prolonged periods of time. This covers the lower part of the face. Lab goggles have to be worn to prevent the over spray from getting into the eyes. The rest of the face should be coated with Vaseline. This will prevent the spray foam from sticking to the skin.

Latex or rubber gloves should be worn to protect the hands.

Hazardous Materials

There are a few types of insulation that exist in homes prior to 1970 that you should not expose yourself to. These insulation typically contain asbestos and /or formaldehyde. Here is a list of these insulation materials:

Spray foam insulation 1965-1975 – Formaldehyde – Dark yellow, considerable shrinkage around framing

Fiberglass insulation 1935-1970 – Formaldehyde – Orange color, sparkles in the light

Vermiculite – 1900-1970 – Asbestos – Looks like small shiny rocks, typically in attics and sidewalls, loose fill

White duct wrap or plumbing pip wrap – 1850-1960 – Asbestos –White cloth wrap used for insulating hot water pipes and duct work in older homes

If you encounter any of these types of insulation, you should leave it alone. The only ways these insulation materials will harm you are your family is if it is disturbed. Removal of these insulation types should be performed by a licensed contractor specializing in hazardous material removal and remediation.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Bob Daley profile image

      Bob Daley 

      5 years ago from La Grange, Illinois

      Excellent article! There are some manufacturers who will provide a suit, gloves, and mask for you, like Spray Foam Direct, but it's always good to make sure you know what you're getting when you order insulation kits. You may need to buy the suit extra, and it's ALWAYS worth it. Safety first!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)