What Is Cellulose?
Cellulose is a form of insulation that is made almost completely out of recycled paper materials, such as newspapers. It only comes in loose fill, so it must be blown in to the area with a machine to fill up the space. So, what are the positives and negatives of using it?
Pro: It's Fire And Bug Resistant!
The paper material has chemicals applied to it that not only make it resistant to fire, which would otherwise be a concern with what it's made of, but it also makes it unappetizing to bugs who may otherwise try to eat through it and enter your home.
Pro: It's Green Friendly And Effective!
While fiberglass tends to be made out of recycled glass materials to make it more environmentally conscious, that only consists of about half of its overall components. In contrast, cellulose is made up nearly entirely of recycled paper, making it a far greener option overall. The final 30-40% of it consists of those aforementioned chemicals. Its composition makes it easier to pack into tight spaces and fill them thoroughly, creating an effective barrier against losing air. It tends to be far better at this than fiberglass, as it comes together more securely. The material itself is also less dangerous to the lungs in comparison.
Con: Absorbs Moisture And May Shift!
Unfortunately, due to being made of paper, if water leaks into your attic this type of insulation will suck it up and retain it, making a breeding ground for mold and mildew to grow and spread. Not only will the insulation itself be rendered ineffective, but the mold will eat away at the wood of your attic and can even reach belongings stored up there. It can also shift and settle eventually, which will leave cold spots for air to escape and render it less effective than it started out. To fix this, more will have to be installed.
Con: Installation Can Cost More!
Due to needing to be blown in, installing cellulose can be expensive even if the material itself is usually cheaper than fiberglass. This is because machinery must be used to blow it in, and carefully so there isn't a huge mess and waste of the insulation on top that can cost you.