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What is Cellulose?
From the French word “cellule”, cellulose is one of the first types of insulation materials discovered. Cellulose materials include paper, cartons, cotton, straw, corn cobs, hemp, and even sawdust treated with 20% non-toxic borate compounds such as boric acid, borax or ammonium sulfate that makes it resistant to heat, fire, insects, mold, and mildew. Every component of the cellulose is not hazardous which is why it is approved by most accrediting agencies.
Insulation is very important in buildings. There are many types of material you can use for insulation and cellulose remains to be the most environmental-friendly and non-toxic and also very affordable. It can insulate heat and reduce noise just like other materials, only that it’s not considered harmful to the environment.
R-value is the standard by which the level or heat conduction and resistance is measured. Cellulose has a 3.5 per inch R-value which means that it can serve as a good air blocker against air leakages. Tightly packed cellulose is very efficient in thermal resistance. Because of it’s all-natural, post-consumer composition, it’s a very comfortable option when looking for insulating solutions for your home or office.
It is obviously not as effective as spray foams in terms of performance but if you don’t need that much insulation and prefer low-cost and environment-friendly material, cellulose is your best option. It has lower R-value per inch but it is cheaper compared to other alternatives.
Cellulose can fit well in pipes and wirings to seal air pockets that reduce the efficiency of the wall to block air. It also happens to be non-toxic and an efficient alternative to fiberglass, so rest assured it is safe for your home. Installing it on your pipers and fixtures mean cutting the cost of your bills.
It can reduce the lateral movement of sheetrock the passage of sound through the walls. It’s dense than the fiberglass so it can do a better job in sound reduction.
Chlorine and borate compounds are added to prevent the growth of molds in wall cavities. There must be an appropriate amount of concentration for it to control pests. Many cellulose companies blend ammonia and borate to achieve the right mixture.
Cellulose insulation can prevent moisture problems but it’s also breathable. It is vapor permeable but it prevents excessive accumulation of moisture by evenly distributing the moisture throughout the cavities and spaces so that it does not build up. It is then easier for moisture to dry up, thus creating a wall of vapor and preventing an excessive moisture in the surfaces of your home.
Dry loose-fill cellulose insulation makes use of dry cellulose that is retrofitted in homes by blowing the cellulose material into holes drilled on top of the walls. It can also be blown through retainers and nettings clamped on to these walls. It then fills the holes until it reaches the necessary density, and it is then removed. The cellulose will usually initially settle at 20%. After some time, it’s accurate R-value settles.
This method is pretty obsolete but it is still applicable. Some fill the loose walls and stops the stash effect and convective loops in the cavities of the walls.
Dry loose-fill cellulose insulation is safe for walls and attics. It does the same functions as other insulators and can also soundproof a room.
You can choose to have it densely packed right away to reduce the settling process to minimize the air gaps. This is not as easy as it may seem. Only experienced technicians should handle this process so you can achieve desired results. It is pretty much like the dry loose-fill method.
When a wall is newly constructed, a professional can spray cellulose, water, and a retardant mixture to the wall. Chlorine is a commonly used retardant. This is to prevent the growth of mold, bacteria, and fungi. Sometimes, a small percentage of adhesive is added to the cellulose mix. There is no need for a temporary retainer. It could work just as fine.
Wet spray of cellulose mixture better seals the wall cavities for a better air block and this also eliminates the settling problems of dry-loose fill cellulose insulation. You will have to wait at least a day or until 25% of the maximum moisture is attained before you can cover it.
Call Star Spray Foam now to discuss the best insulation system for you. Cellulose is a great option especially if you want an environment-friendly option that can still cater to your home or office insulating needs. We can come over and assess your space and recommend you the most suitable insulating material for your place.
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