Cellulose Insulation FAQs
Q: Is cellulose insulation a new product?
A: Cellulose insulation has been around for more than 70 years but has been used for over 40 years and over 450,000 tons of cellulose is installed in Canada and the United States each year.
Q: How does its R-value compare to other insulation?
A: The R-value of cellulose fibre is higher than that of mineral fibres, vermiculite, etc. The product’s higher density also improves its R-value by reducing air infiltration and convection. Additionally air infiltration is further reduced by the product’s ability to fill irregular spaces and wrap around piping and electrical wiring.
Q: What are the health hazards?
A: Cellulose is a natural wood fibre that has been treated with inorganic salts. If accidentally ingested or inhalation it will safely break down or pass through the body.
This product is stable over time and will not release harmful emissions.
Q: Is it fire resistant?
A: Cellulose insulation has shown better fire-resistant characteristics than most other commonly-used insulation. This product has undergone stringent slow combustion and flame-spread rating tests.
Q: What about corrosion?
A: The standard for cellulose insulation requires that the product pass an accelerated 28 day corrosion test on copper, steel, aluminum and galvanized truss plate. It is so stringent that many other types of insulation are unable to pass this test.
Q: Does humidity affect its chemically-produced characteristics?
A: Tests have shown that small amounts of water, from roof or pipe leaks for instance, have no adverse effects on the product. However, all types of fibrous insulating material lose their thermal insulating value when wet and thus should be replaced.
Q: Can the installation of cellulose fibre cause skin irritation?
A: Cellulose fibre’s texture is similar to cotton and doesn’t irritate the skin when handled.
Q: Is it protected against insects and other pests?
A: The boric acid employed in the product is not only an effective fire retardant but is also considered one of the few environmentally safe pesticides.
Q: Are there any restrictions in the use of this product?
A: Cellulose fibre, like all other type of insulation must not be placed within 75mm of heat emitting devices and must be kept at least 50mm away from the side walls of a chimney. If allowed, any insulation will retain and accumulate heat to the point where adjacent structural materials could ignite. Please consult your local fire codes.
Q: How is cellulose fibre installed?
A: The most common and efficient method is to blow material into the space with a small machine equipped with fan or blower and a long hose. With this method all spaces are evenly filled and the physical effort of handling bags within the house or attic is minimized. For small jobs the product can also be poured from the bag. When poured it is recommended that the product be fluffed with a rake to break-up any lumps.