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The World's Best Insulation

Cellulose Insulation Lakeland Florida

Cellulose insulation is made primarily from recycled paper. About 75 percent of the material used to make cellulose insulation is post-consumer waste paper, giving it the highest average recycled content of all insulation types. The manufacture of cellulose insulation involves a fraction of the energy use and pollution required to make mineral wool and fiberglass insulation. Additionally, scrap cellulose generated during installation can be reused, cutting down on waste.

Cellulose insulation has no significant effect on indoor air quality. Offgassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contained in ink on newspaper waste in cellulose insulation is not a health concern, since some ink is removed while recycling paper into pulp and much of the ink used is vegetable based. The amount of boron used as a flame retardant in cellulose is harmful only if ingested.

Cellulose insulation is blown into wall and ceiling cavities as well as onto attic surfaces, though to stick to attic ceilings it must be held in by netting or sprayed on wet with an acrylic binder to prevent settling. Like all sprayed or blown insulations, it can be installed into wall cavities through a series of small holes drilled in the wall, causing minimal disturbance during remodeling. It is not suitable for application below grade (below or at the perimeter of the foundation) or in other locations where it would be exposed to moisture.

Cellulose can absorb moisture, decreasing its R-value over time, and if it is exposed to moisture for long periods it will rot and grow mold. In some instances a vapor barrier should be installed once the insulation has fully dried (typically in two weeks) to prevent moisture from reaching the insulation. Good sources of information on construction practices that minimize moisture problems are the climate-specific Builder’s Guides available from the Energy and Environmental Building Association.

Loose-fill cellulose typically costs 25 percent less than fiberglass, though installation may be more expensive. Proper installation is important to prevent undue settling. Wet-spray or dense-pack installations are typically more expensive than fiberglass installation. However, installing cellulose installation with these methods is extremely airtight, so the nominal (rated) R-values are more commonly achieved than with fiberglass batts.