Go back
Spray Foam Insulation

Using Newspaper As Insulation: An Outdated Concept?

Using Newspaper As Insulation

Old newspapers and other forms of discarded paper were often used as a form of insulation in older-19th century homes. It was once common practice for people to stuff old newspapers in the walls to help keep out the whistling wind.

As archaic as this method may seem, many people seem to think that it is a good alternative even today. But is using newspaper as insulation a good idea? It’s time to find out…

Using Newspaper As Insulation: Potential Problems

First, a lot of people happen to be allergic to newspaper, which is already a major downside to using newspaper as insulation.

Old newspaper is certainly not the cleanest insulation material out there, which may cause all sorts of respiratory problems. Another problem is the difficulty in finding qualified installers for this type of insulation, since some won’t even entertain the idea.

Moisture Issues: A Decidedly Damp Squib

Another major issue with using newspaper as insulation is that it retains water. If you have a leak in the wall or the roof, your insulation will absorb it.

This creates a perfect environment for mould and mildew to grow in. And when it has absorbed water, its insulating effect is significantly reduced.

That’s assuming the now wet insulation doesn’t settle into the bottom of the wall. Now that leaking pipe is hosting mould, whilst also letting heat escape from your home. If the insulation is installed wet in order to avoid creating voids, it won’t have the insulating effect you expect until it has dried.

Lots of Yesterday’s News Required!

While newspaper has an insulating effect, it is not as good of an insulator as other materials. This is why you need at least a quarter more newspaper as insulation as fiberglass to get the same insulating effect.

The reason for this is that the paper needs to be densely packed in order to have the maximum R-value and fire resistance seen in other materials.

Using Newspaper As Insulation

One of the biggest benefits of Home Logic Spray Foam is that it doesn’t release VOCs. It is a far better option than anything else for those with respiratory problems

What About Cellulose?

Cellulose is essentially shredded and processed waste paper, intended for use as insulation. This is a more modern variation of using newspaper as insulation. It is true that cellulose is environmentally friendly, since it is made mostly from paper waste.

But since raw cellulose is naturally a fire hazard, various chemicals are added to the paper to make it fire resistant.

What isn’t discussed are the indoor air quality problems it can create. For example, cellulose insulation may leave a lingering ammonia odour around the house, due to the ammonium sulphate cellulose releases; especially when wet.

This not only smells bad; in some instances, it can aggravate existing allergies, such as asthma. In severe cases, it lasts long after the insulation was installed.

Considerably Lower Costs

The cost of adding these chemicals to recycled paper is cheaper than the cost of making new insulation out of fibreglass; the lower cost of cellulose insulation is considered one of its primary benefits.

However, the chemicals aren’t the only thing the newspaper-based insulation may contain. It may contain materials like hemp, straw, corncob, denim and cotton.

This introduces the risk that someone will be allergic to one of the ingredients-even if they aren’t allergic to the chemicals that are usually added to raw cellulose.

The Modern Alternative – Home Logic Spray Foam

When you’re looking for insulation, there is an amazing array of materials available. Traditional options, such as mineral wool and fibreglass, are very popular with home buyers, and have their fair share of advantages as well.

Then you have alternatives like spray foam insulation. One of the biggest benefits of Home Logic Spray Foam is that it doesn’t release VOCs. It is a far better option than anything else for those with respiratory problems.

The tight air seal created by Home Logic Spray Foam prevents gaps that trap allergens and moisture, often nurturing mould and mildew. Nor does its performance change when exposed to the elements, and it won’t degrade over time!

The Easiest and Most Effective Option: Final Verdict

The main ingredient in Home Logic Spray Foam provides excellent fire safety and doesn’t affect electrical wiring. And it provides good sound-dampening.

If you need to access pipes or electrical connections buried in the insulation, you can easily cut away the Home Logic Spray Foam to access the item. Once everything is done and dry, simply refill the area and close up.

The only concern with this type of insulating foam is the number of pretenders out there; their products are not as good. Make sure you’re working with a licensed contractor who is familiar with the material.

Call 0800 1700 636 or send an email to survey@homelogic.co.uk for more information on our free site survey. Alternatively, simply click the button below to get started with your home renovation project today!