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Spray Foam Insulation vs Cellulose: The Great Debate


Insulation may well be on your mind at this time of year as temperatures plummet, and you have to tell the kids that it was Santa who did the smash and grab job on their Piggy Banks! Insulating your home to the hilt is well-known for being the best way to keep heat in and the bills down.

Whatever your circumstances, it’s highly likely that insulation will not only achieve both but will, over time, pay for itself. Which brings us on to the argument – spray foam insulation vs cellulose insulation.

In this article we’ll look at a couple of types of insulation that are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, and how they compare against each other!

Spray Foam Insulation vs Cellulose

Both types of insulation have been around for a while now, although spray foam is one of the more recent options. Both are fairly simple to understand; cellulose is a loose fill form of insulation, commonly made from recycled newspaper mixed with fire resistant additives.

It can be bought in bags. and poured onto the area to be insulated.

Alternatively, it can be installed by blowing it into the area by a professional. Spray foam, one of life’s ‘what-it-says-on-the-can’ products, is an expanding foam which is sprayed into the area to be insulated. Not much more to say on that one!

Spray Foam Insulation vs Cellulose – Cellulose Advantages

When it comes to the ‘spray foam vs cellulose’ question, the latter is often considered the eco-friendly choice on the insulation front. The material is a total fill solution, as it reaches all areas to be insulated, filling cavities, nooks and crannies.

When properly installed, the final product will offer a tightly packed insulation method that both insulates and reduces air flow.

Cellulose compares very favourably to the most traditional materials used in the insulation industry, the fibreglass rolls that most people will be familiar with. An insulation material’s effectiveness is measured in R-values, the higher the R-value per inch, the more effective the insulation.

In the case of cellulose we’re looking at an R-value of between 3.6 and 3.8 per inch. Most UK homes will benefit most from insulation which achieves an R-value of 29-30, so approximately a depth of 8 inches of cellulose will be required.

With a well-insulated roof you will no longer need to reach for the thermostat with a terrified, shaking hand. Or smash those Piggy Banks to smithereens come bill time!

Spray Foam Insulation vs Cellulose – Super Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation, like cellulose, has some fantastic advantages over more traditional fibre glass.  It also reaches those nooks and crannies and, as it’s sprayed into the area to be insulated, it expands up to 100 times.

This method allows the material to not only create a full cover but also reach into cracks and gaps, filling and sealing as it goes.

This not only provides insulation but much greater protection from drafts, which improves the efficiency of the insulation even further.

Specialist equipment and professional installers are required for the job, whilst cellulose, in its poured-in version, can be a DIY job if you choose.

Both materials, however, are best installed by professionals with experience of using them. There are two types of spray foam, open cell and closed cell foams. The former creates a soft, spongy finish when set, and has an R-value per inch of 3.6 – 4.8.

Closed cell foam forms a hard, rigid finish, which can also help to strengthen the structure of your home, and has an R-value of anything up to 8 per inch.

This gives it one particular advantage over other types of insulation, including cellulose. At the maximum R-value the depth of insulation required could be only 4-5 inches. This is normally below joist height which means the attic can be boarded for use as storage or as an extra room.

Spray foam is also suitable for application on the inner surface of the roof itself, which makes an attic conversion even more feasible.

No More Smash And Grab?

The specialist nature of the materials, in the case of spray foam, means that installation is likely to be more expensive than with other forms of insulation. However, the fact that it is probably the best insulation option means that it can also be the best solution for many home-owners.

With up to 25 per cent of the heat in your home lost through the roof, the more effective your insulation the greater the savings in the long run.

With a well-insulated roof you will no longer need to reach for the thermostat with a terrified, shaking hand. Or smash those Piggy Banks to smithereens come bill time!

Get set for significant savings today, by upgrading your insulation. Simply call 0800 1700 636, or click the button below to get started with your free site survey today!