A popular choice among homeowners for home insulation is cellulose insulation, a type of loose fill cellulose insulation. This insulation material is made from recycled paper products like old newspapers and cardboard, available in both wet and dry forms.
Wet cellulose insulation is blown in when the cellulose is slightly damp, whereas dry cellulose insulation is blown in while the material is dry. Despite the many benefits it provides, there are also disadvantages of cellulose insulation.
Cellulose Insulation Problems
- It Will Settle Up Eventually
Cellulose insulation’s pros and cons include the issue of settling. Modern cellulose insulation can settle up to 20%, a process known as bridging, where the cellulose in walls separates over time, creating gaps.
When this occurs, the holes enable air to flow in and out of the house, resulting in high monthly energy bills as your mechanicals work overtime to maintain a consistent temperature. If your home has loose-fill cellulose, pests will shift it about to make a nest, resulting in a rodent mess and significant gaps in insulation coverage.
- It Spreads Dust
Another disadvantage of cellulose insulation is insulation made of densely packed cellulose may be found almost anywhere at your house. Any gaps in the wall cavities, such as electrical outlets, might allow dense-packed cellulose insulation to leak into the house.
Some cellulose dust will be recirculated throughout the house over time in homes with furnace duct systems. It’s the same with loose-fill insulation. The dust in the material kicks up and makes its way into the ducts in the home as it is blown or shifted about.
- Lack of Experts and Unpopular Building Codes
It can be difficult to find installers who are familiar with cellulose in some places. An expert installer knows how to dense-pack loose-fill dry cellulose appropriately, how to apply stabilized (partially wet) cellulose on sloped surfaces, and how long wet-spray cellulose takes to dry.
Building codes in the United States may not be updated for cellulose insulation, as they are for other non-batt insulation. Homeowners should contact the city to confirm that the insulation will be approved, and the city may require product specifications.
This is not a difficult task, and both the installer and the manufacturer should be willing to take care of it, saving the homeowner time and effort.
- It is Heavier than Other Insulation
Loose cellulose weighs nearly three times as much per square foot as loose fiberglass for the same R-value. Before choosing a material to insulate the ceilings of existing structures, they should be evaluated for indicators of fragility.
Does Cellulose Insulation Cause Any Dangers?
Cellulose insulation is likely to generate excessive dust, which is blown into the house by insufficient sealing around fixtures or small holes. This is particularly common in regularly used areas and can be a serious health hazard, especially if you live in a carpet-free house where dust can stay airborne for longer.
Despite the fact that it has generated a dust problem, there are no risks of very fine fibers entering your breathing system or creating long-term damage if inhaled. This is true of alternate goods like fiberglass insulation, but not cellulose.
Overall Pros And Cons Of Cellulose Insulation
Some of the advantages of using cellulose insulation are, first, a paper-hungry civilization generates mountains of discarded paper and cardboard, which cellulose insulation helps to minimize.
Secondly, the R-value of cellulose is higher than that of ordinary fiberglass (approximately R-3.2 per inch) (R-2.2 per inch).
Also, the health concerns associated with cellulose are significantly lower than those associated with fiberglass. Lastly, the most favorite advantage is that cellulose insulation is often less expensive than fiberglass insulation (up to 25 percent cheaper, in some cases).
While the disadvantages of cellulose insulation experienced by some housebuilders are :
First, when cellulose insulation is put, it generates a tremendous amount of dust, hence an approved breathing mask is required.
Secondly, cellulose insulation readily absorbs moisture, reducing its long-term efficiency and perhaps causing mold and decay.
These effects can even be seen in wet-blown cellulose. Also, a vapor barrier is required for both dry and wet-blown cellulose, and the cost of installing cellulose can be higher than installing fiberglass.
Installing cellulose insulation requires expertise, as improper installation can lead to issues like moisture absorption, reducing its efficiency over a long time. Despite these drawbacks, cellulose insulation remains a popular insulation product due to its environmental benefits and cost-effectiveness compared to other types of insulation like fiberglass.