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Cellulose

Cellulose Insulation | The Breathable Home | Maine

Cellulose insulation starts its life as newspapers that were printed, but never distributed. The fibers are first compressed, then separated into strands of individual fiber. These strands interlock, trapping air and providing a great R-value. We recommend the cellulose made by National Fiber of Blechertown, Mass.

 

 

Advantages

  • Cellulose has the lowest "embodied energy" of any insulation, which means that fewer resources are used to make it than any other mass-produced insulation.
  • Because cellulose is loose, it can be blown into small nooks and crannies, attics, walls and floors. Its versatility means that one product will work in many parts of your home.
  • Cellulose is not flammable and can be used next to living space without a fire barrief. Spray foam, on the other hand, requires a fire barrier between it and a living space.
  • Fiberglass contains toxins; cellulose does not.
  • When used with an all-Borate formula, cellulose deters mice.

Installation

  • Cellulose applied in atticOur first step is to plan where and in what order we will apply the cellulose. Our challenge is getting it where it's needed.
  • As a homeowner, you prepare as you would for any renovation: protect valuables and move belongings away from areas where the crew needs to work.
  • We use a machine that breaks up the cellulose and then uses powerful blowers to push the cellulose through a long hose. The size of the hose and pressure of the blowers determine the final density of the product.
  • For attics, we "open blow," which means that the cellulose falls onto the attic's flat surface mush like snow would fall onto a field. We install the cellulose at about 2 pounds per cubic foot using a 3-inch diameter hose.
  • For cavities, such as a wall or rafter slope, we "dense pack" the insulation, installing it with a 1- to 2-inch diameter hose at a density of 3 pounds per cubic foot. Packing the insulation ensures that it does not settle later, which creates uninsulated spaces that would allow heat to escape.

Results

Cellulose resultsThis combination of sealing and insulating can produce huge heat savings and efficiency gains, as well as solve problems like ice dams and subsequent water leakage. One of the biggest benefits we've seen is a rreduction in ice damming. First we air seal the attic, then we blow in cellulose to fill gaps, particularly those around the perimeter of the space.

In the challenging situation of a home with poor insulation in the walls, cellulose shines. It can compress the existing insulation and fill the newly created space. This process not only increases R-value significantly, it also decreases air infilatration. Almost no other product can insulate under these conditions.

 

 

Contact us for more information about how cellulose insulation can improve the comfort of your home.