Blown in Cellulose Insulation
With a similar price and few of the problems associated with traditional insulation, cellulose insulation excels in nearly every category.
It provides far superior real world insulation capacity, resists mold and moisture, repels rodents and pests, reduces sound, slows fires, and noticeably improves comfort in the home. See here for a side by side comparison of common insulation types.
A Real World Example
R Value of Cellulose
R3.3 per inch, plus more
R Value only tells a fraction of the story, but Cellulose insulation R Value is between 3 and 3.3. Despite having the same R Value as fiberglass, the real world performance of cellulose insulation far exceeds it. This is because the R Value of cellulose improves as it get colder.
Does Cellulose Insulation Contain Asbestos?
There is no asbestos in cellulose insulation–cellulose comes from natural fibers and asbestos comes from mines. In existing attics, however, it is possible for insulation to be layered and mixed. If you are concerned about asbestos, do not touch the insulation and contact an expert.
Is Batt, Roll, or Blown in Insulation Better?
Are There Cellulose Insulation Moisture Problems?
Not at all–Cellulose has incredible moisture resistant qualities. Some insulation contractors will even install cellulose wet. Once installed, it protects the wood around it by absorbing and safely dissipating moisture.
Benefits of Cellulose Insulation
Improving R Value
R Value Changes With Temperature
While listed at an R Value of between R3 and R3.3 per inch (the same as fiberglass), the value actually increases more the colder it gets (the opposite of fiberglass).
Similarly, as outdoor and attic temperatures increase over 80 degrees, the R Value increases above that listed R3 to R3.3 range.
and Radiant Barrier
Cellulose insulation is heavier than traditional insulation, allowing it to block air movement. This markedly improves its ability to slow heat transfer.
The material also blocks radiant heat transfer, so your home will actually feel the temperature on the thermometer.
A Safer Home
Stop Issues Before They Start
Moisture accumulation can lead to major problems like mold and lumber rot. Cellulose insulation not only prevents moisture accumulation, it doesn’t need to be replaced in the event of a leak.
A natural treatment process also means cellulose resists fire, pests, and rodents.
Where is Cellulose Blown Insulation Used?
Blown in Cellulose Insulation
Most homes must have attic insulation, and blown in cellulose insulation in attic areas is the best approach in the vast majority of situations. If the existing insulation is salvageable, cellulose blown in insulation mixed into fiberglass can improve and extend fiberglass functionality and avoid removal costs.
Mixing blown in insulation into or over existing insulation will fix gaps and prevent convection loops.
Blown in Insulation Walls
Insulation contractors can install cellulose into open walls (no drywall) during renovations and construction. Blown in insulation walls will prevent air from slipping through walls, noticeably dampen sound, block radiant heat, and won’t have seams or gaps.
Techniques to do insulate walls with cellulose include net and dense packing and damp spraying. Both provide excellent consistency and coverage.
Blown in Insulation for Walls with Drywall
Some insulation contractors, including us, can also dense pack cellulose by blowing cellulose insulation into existing walls. By drilling a hole every 1 – 2 feet and blowing insulation into walls, technicians can insulate without removing drywall.
This process can be done from either side of the wall, so insulating exterior walls from inside or outside the building may be possible depending on siding and wall type.
Blown in Insulation Walls
Concrete foundation wall insulation is exposed to far more moisture than in other areas of the home, and fiberglass is irrevocably damaged by excess moisture. Since uninsulated basements get too cold in the winter, finished basements tend to be rarely used and are prone to mold.
Cellulose insulated walls will leave basements comfortable all year round.
Blown Cellulose Insulation in Ceiling Cavities
Like exterior walls, it’s possible to dense pack cellulose into cathedral ceilings and vaulted ceilings. However, building codes typically require more insulation in roofs than walls, so some of these projects may require closed cell spray foam insulation.
Insulating ceilings without an attic over it often is a difficult yet critical process. Be sure to consult an expert.
Mold and Sound Control
Extra Rodent Control
Many homes suffer from seasonal mold that stems from low quality or insufficient insulation. Cellulose insulation eliminates surface condensation. Cutoff from water, existing mold dies. Even the resilient mold spores become trapped in the cellulose and eventually die from lack of water.
If being the best value-per-dollar insulation on the market wasn’t enough, cellulose also noticeably dampens sound. Check out our sound control page for more info.
Cellulose Insulation Methods
Batts or Loose Fill?
Loose fill ("Blown") only
Cellulose does not come in batts or rolled insulation form like fiberglass insulation does. Unlike traditional insulation, however, cellulose still works well when packed into confined spaces and isn’t damaged by moisture. These strengths allow for a wider variety of applications.
Blown in Cellulose
in Attics and Open Floors
Dry insulation blown through specialized industrial equipment. This can be a dusty process but is highly efficient. Typically used for attics and filling voids.
Damp Spray Cellulose
in Open Walls
Cellulose dampened with water becomes slightly sticky, enough to build up against surfaces. Scraped flush with studs. Used in open walls, such as in remodels and new construction. Requires drywall to be removed.
Dense Pack Cellulose
in Existing Walls with Drywall
This process also applies to “no-attic ceilings.” Dry cellulose is packed into enclosed cavities until space is filled. Though fewer insulation contractors offer this service, it allows for insulation of existing walls and sloped ceilings without removal of the drywall.
Net and Dense Pack Cellulose
in Open Walls and Ceilings
Large netting gets affixed across open wall or ceiling cavities, then each cavity dense packed with cellulose. Used in open ceilings, walls, and floors. Requires drywall to be removed.
State Rebates & Incentives
Many (though not all) Wisconsin insulation projects are eligible for hundreds of dollars in rebates through the state’s Department of Energy. We typically are able to help at least one client capture a rebate each week.
We are certified to implement these rebates and complete nearly all the paperwork for you. We even instantly discount the rebate from your invoice, so you’re not left waiting for the rebate check to arrive.
Know YOUR Numbers
Planning with general numbers often leads to inaccurate estimations and budgets. That’s one of the many reasons we offer free estimates. Whether you need a quick fix or are planning for work next year, work with actual numbers specific to you.