Insulation made of cellulose and asbestos is two of the most common varieties. When purchasing a property, you will probably examine the insulation to see if any improvements should be made. Insulation in new homes is made of fiberglass, spray foam, or cellulose. However, there is a possibility that your home may include asbestos insulation if it is an older house.
Due to the similarity between asbestos and cellulose insulation, it can be challenging to be certain. This blog compares asbestos and cellulose insulation and explains how to tell them apart. The main distinctions between the two, as well as the pros and disadvantages, are discussed below.
In general, asbestos is malleable and soft, but it also has excellent qualities that make it resistant to heat and corrosion. For over forty years starting in the early 1950s, asbestos was employed in the building industry as an insulator and fire retardant. Asbestos is still present in drywall, tiles, grout, and attics of older homes and structures. Having said that, the property is regarded as safe as long as there are no damage or wall cavities that expose asbestos fibers in the living spaces. When asbestos fibers become airborne and can enter parts of the property you occupy, it turns into a very significant health risk.
A form of insulation known as cellular insulation is composed of tiny, hollow cells. Foam board, also known as rigid foam, is the most popular variety of cellular insulation and is utilized in both residential and commercial settings. The Insulation made from cellulose, an alternative to asbestos, is made from a variety of materials, including hemp, cardboard, newspaper, straw, and other things. Boric acid is used in cellulose and paper mixtures used in building to provide them fire resistant properties. Dry cellulose and cellulose insulation are the two most common varieties. It is also known as loose-fill insulation at times. The cellulose may be blown within the wall using holes and a blower. Old newspapers and denim are the two materials that are most frequently used to manufacture paper-based cellulose insulation. Chemically treating paper makes it more fire-resistant and decreases the likelihood of insect infestation. This insulation may be blown in or used as loose-fill insulation.
The Main Distinctions Between Asbestos and Cellulose Insulation
Asbestos insulation is formed of microscopic, fibrous crystals that were originally employed in building supplies and other industries, whereas cellulose insulation is made from recycled paper.
Compared to asbestos insulation, cellulose insulation provides a lot of benefits. Asbestos is stronger than cellulose insulation, more effective in reducing heat and sound, and may last a lot longer.
Cellulose insulation can be your best choice if you’re seeking an ecologically friendly and more cost-effective insulating material. However, asbestos can be a better option if you want higher heat and sound insulation or durability.
Cellulose Insulation: Advantages and Drawbacks
For many years, people have been drawn to cellulose insulation because of its many advantages. It does, however, have several severe flaws. We will go into great detail about the relative benefits and disadvantages of cellulose insulation in this section.
Insulation made of cellulose contains more than 70% recycled paper. So, when cellulose insulation is produced, enormous volumes of leftover newspaper and cardboard are utilized. More recycled material is also present in it than in any other form of insulation that is currently on the market.
The R-value of cellulose is greater than that of fiberglass and several other popular insulating materials, ranging from 3.2 to 3.5 per inch of thickness. Because it is composed of paper, which contains wood fiber, it has a high rating. Your cellulose-insulated home will be kept warm during the winter and cool during the summer thanks to this resistance to the conduction of heat, which will also help keep your energy costs down all year.
Borate chemicals, including boric acid and borax, which are all non-toxic, are used to cure cellulose insulation. Without this chemical treatment, cellulose, which is created from recycled paper, may be very combustible. However, cellulose insulation has become very fire-resistant thanks to the inclusion of borax and boric acid. Wet cellulose is more fire-resistant than dry cellulose because of its water content.
Mold & Mildew
The growth of mould, mildew, and other fungi cannot flourish on cellulose insulation because of chemicals like ammonium sulphate and boric acid. If placed properly, cellulose will increase comfort, boost indoor air quality, and protect your house from fire threats.
To produce cellulose, relatively inexpensive resources like cardboard, scrap newspaper, etc. are used. Cellulose is one of the least expensive insulation solutions on the market because of its straightforward and inexpensive hammer-milling manufacturing method.