Cellulose insulation has the highest amount of recycled content when compared to any other forms of insulation. The material is composed of 75-85% recycled paper fibres that are usually obtained from recycled waste newspaper. The remaining 15% is made up of fire retardant substances, like boric acid and ammonium sulphate. In comparison, fibreglass has around 50% recycled content.
Cellulose insulation is only available as loose-fill and can only be applied using the blown method. It has many advantages over the fibreglass counterpart, including superior soundproofing qualities and a lifetime guarantee. So what exactly are the pros and cons of cellulose insulation? It's time to find out...
The Pros of Cellulose Insulation
When listing the pros and cons of cellulose insulation we thought it is best to start with the positives. Below you’ll find our top four reasons why cellulose insulation is ideal:
Environmentally Friendly – As mentioned above this choice of insulation is made up of recycled paper, helping to put masses upon masses of post-consumer paper to good use. This eradicates one problem whilst solving another – perfect harmony! Turning newspaper into insulation does not require a bleaching process or for the ink to be removed – so very little energy is required to transform paper into insulation.
Exceptional Performance – Cellulose provides a much better performance value that fibreglass insulation, especially when it comes to reducing your energy bills. Air tightness levels can be increased by as much as 30% by choosing cellulose over its counterpart. It does not require density to perform either.
Fire Retardant – Boric acid makes the material fire and mould resistant. This also makes the material unpalatable to insects.
Cellulose insulation may absorb moisture if you have a bad leak through your roof or a burst pipe. Other forms of insulation will simply hold moisture on the surface but cellulose has been known to absorb this wetness
The Cons of Cellulose Insulation
Not all methods are completely satisfactory and for many people, cellulose insulation does have its drawbacks. Below you’ll find some examples of these disadvantages:
Resources are Low – Boric acid is made from the chemical boron, which is currently in short supply. Only 3 known mines across the world contain boron and this is not enough to satisfy the current rate of demand. Mining is also damaging to the earth’s environment.
It’s a Little Bit Messy – Unlike Batt insulation, cellulose is not packed into neat little packages. Loose pieces of fibre are hard to clean up and control during a renovation process. This takes a great amount of skill and competency to install cellulose insulation without causing havoc!
Possible Moisture Issues – Cellulose insulation may absorb moisture if you have a bad leak through your roof or a burst pipe. Other forms of insulation will simply hold moisture on the surface but cellulose has been known to absorb this wetness.