The use of cellulose insulation dates back to 1772 when US President Thomas Jefferson installed it in his Monticello plantation house. The origin of the word cellulose is French. Cellule, for living cell, and glucose, for sugar. It is made out of recycled newspaper and fire retardant.
It is gray in color because cellulose is manufactured by shredding discarded newspapers. The paper is then treated with boric acid as a fire retardant. Boric acid can be found in it’s natural state around volcanos in Italy and Nevada. It is common ingredient in natural skin ointments and insect repellent.
Cellulose popularity today over fiberglass is because studies suggest that because of its density, cellulose is better at protecting a building from fire damage than is fiberglass.
Cellulose insulation has the highest recycled content of any popular blown-in insulation type installed today.
Blown: cellulose is installed into new and existing buildings.
1. Loose fill is most used for adding insulation to an older building’s attic.
2. Blown cellulose can be retrofitted into existing walls by drilling 2-inch holes between wall studs and filling the wall cavity with the material.
3. Another common use is in new homes where a netting is stapled to the studs and cellulose blown to fill the cavity.
The challenge with loose fill cellulose is it can settle by 20%, leaving air flow gap and under-insulated pockets. The solution is to have the properly wall dense packed by a pro installer so it does not settle.
Wall Spray: or “moist sprayed” cellulose is used in new building construction on the walls. The material is has water added to it when passing through the blower gun so that it sticks to the wall without a temporary retainer. It packs much denser and becomes rigid enough that excess is sawed off and reused. The advantage to moist spray is that is a much better seal against air infiltration and prevents settling issues. With wall spray cellulose, the walls must remain open (before being covered or sheet rocked) for at least 24 hours until the materials have reached a maximum of 25% moisture.
Take the next step:
Call 512-520-0044 to schedule your Energy Performance Diagnostic Audit. OR Download the Ultimate Insulation Buyer’s Guide and 6-Bonus Reports.