Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how on earth an American home – and all of the gadgets and technology within them – came to be. How did people learn to add weather stripping to the bottom of the door frame that would be durable to withstand being walked on, but also flexible enough to seal the door from air flowing in or out? How did we get from straw roof-tops to the asphalt-laden tiles you see on rooftops today? While I don’t have all of the answers, I did come across a few interesting inventions that brought us closer to the home improvements we see today.
For example, did you know humans used to use asbestos in homes, on purpose, for insulation?! It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Asbestos bans started cropping up all over the world, even though it is still used today in some projects in the U.S.: https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma-lawyer/legislation/ban/.
Mud has been used as a natural insulator in buildings for centuries! In fact, mud homes are still popular all over the world today, including in India and other parts of the world where dry heat is common, https://www.downtoearth.org.in/indepth/mud-housing-is-the-key-30237, and in Ghana the industry for mud homes is even being perfected by the work of Joelle Eyeson and the team at Hive Earth, https://www.dw.com/en/in-ghana-new-updated-mud-houses-could-be-the-future/a-47536312 – how beautiful!
One type of mud building you’ve likely seen before is adobe. This ancient technology is used all over the world, and has been for thousands of years – from New Mexico to New Zealand, https://www.solidearth.co.nz/earthbuilding-information/building-with-adobe-brick-technique/, and back again. For all you want to know about the construction of adobe and more, feel free to check out the following article for more information: https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-adobe-sustainable-energy-efficient-177943.
If you’re more familiar with the pinkish foam-like substance between your walls, you can thank Dale Kleist for his invention of Fiberglass Insulation: https://www.pjfitz.com/blog/insulation-installation/home-improvement-history-lessons-insulation/#:~:text=When%20researcher%20Dale%20Kleist%20attempted,became%20popular%20in%20the%201940s. According to this article, in the 1940’s Kleist was attempting “to create a vacuum seal between two glass blocks, an accidental stream of high-pressured air turned some of the glass into thin fibers. These fibers became the base of fiberglass insulation.” This is just one of the few types of insulation we use today when installing Owens Corning products – check out our link with more information, here: https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/insulation/residential.
Insulation is essential in the energy discussion. As we just saw in Texas during the winter storm, proper insulation can trap heat in your home – even when your power is cut off – and can keep your home cool in the summer during those triple-digit days. If you have questions about the insulation quality in your home, call us today!