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Cellulose insulation is made from plant fibers or recycled newspapers, making it an environmentally friendly insulation option. Cellulose-based insulation comes in three varieties: loose-fill, BIBS, and wet spray. All three types of cellulose insulation offer effective thermal protection and versatile usage as well as sound blocking and air insulation properties. In fact, many contractors prefer cellulose over fiberglass because cellulose is denser and more resistant to degradation over time.
Cellulose installers use different types of insulation depending on your needs and the particular insulation challenge at hand. Loose fill and BIBS cellulose insulation are well suited for use in larger spaces, while wet spray cellulose seals hard-to-reach elements and smaller gaps.
Loose fill or “blown-in” cellulose insulation provides a dense, effective barrier against heat loss. It offers a low impact on the environment while providing immediate energy savings when installed in attics, walls, and hard-to-reach spaces.
Blown-in cellulose can be applied to exterior walls, fully filling the cavity and held in place by netting. This application may, in some applications, be better than batt insulation at filling gaps around outlets, plumbing, and other obstacles. Blown-in cellulose insulation is the most economical and widely used insulation in attics (along the floor) and accessible non-sloped areas.
Wet spray cellulose insulation provides a very slight step down in performance from BIBS cellulose, though its versatility and reach as a spray application cannot be overlooked. Wet spray cellulose has an R-value of approximately R-3.8 per inch and protects against conduction. Wet spray cellulose is applied at exterior walls to fully fill smaller cavities and is held in place by an adhesive. This application fills gaps around outlets, plumbing, and other penetrations. Like BIBS cellulose, it has a sound transmission class STC Rating 49.
Cellulose insulation offers thermal efficiency in an eco-friendly way. It also boasts a higher density and greater airflow resistance than comparable fiberglass alternatives.
Approximately 80% of the material used for cellulose insulation is consumer-recycled newspaper or other plant-based fibers. Not only is cellulose insulation better for the occupants of a home or business, but it also keeps a significant amount of paper out of landfills, resulting in a positive impact on the environment.
The R-value of cellulose insulation varies depending on the thickness of the wallspace being filled. These R-values can range from R-8 (for 2″ thickness) to R-60 (18-3/4″ thickness). Cellulose offers a slightly higher R-value than blown-in fiberglass insulation, which requires a slightly higher thickness to achieve an R-8 rating.
In addition to being a mostly recycled product, cellulose insulation often includes fire retardant properties. It also resists insects, rodents, and mold, which means installing cellulose insulation provides protection for your home against common forms of structural damage. Thick, dense cellulose fill forms an effective noise and airflow barrier, adding sound insulation to your space.
Insulation, particularly for soundproofing purposes, is usually crafted from mineral wool, fiberglass, or cotton and cellulose materials. Of these options, cellulose is the most eco-friendly.
Cellulose also offers greater density and durability than fiberglass, which can be susceptible to “wind washing.” This refers to the degradation of fiberglass over time because it is much more permeable to air flow. As air carries dust through fiberglass insulation, the fiberglass loses its R-value, and therefore becomes less effective as a thermal barrier. Cellulose, on the other hand, blocks air more effectively, and therefore resists the damaging effects of wind washing. Cellulose has greater longevity and sustainability than fiberglass alternatives.
When you want an environmentally-friendly insulation product for your home, choose cellulose insulation installation completed by TruTeam. Our professional installers will use cellulose insulation to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
TruTeam is the leading installer of insulation in the United States. Contact TruTeam today to find out if cellulose insulation is the right choice for your home. Our professional, local contractors are available to provide a free estimate.