Insulation for homes has been around for decades. Thanks to technology, we now have modern insulation materials that are safer and more efficient. However, your contractor should explain the risks of using a particular insulation material beforehand for your safety. One of those materials that you need to know about is cellulose.
Cellulose is highly popular because of its eco-friendliness and high energy conservation features. However, with the increasing popularity, concerns about health risks involved with the insulation material have increased. So, is cellulose insulation safe to touch? That’s a question we hope to answer in a moment.
Is it safe to touch cellulose insulation?
Cellulose insulation doesn’t have any effect on your skin. It contains about 85% of recyclable material. It’s environmentally friendly and wouldn’t cause any reaction after touching it. We cannot say the same about fiberglass insulation!
Although cellulose insulation is not itchy, people with pre-existing skin conditions or allergies to cellulose should avoid it. Also, the material should not come in contact with an open wound.
Benefits of cellulose insulation
While cellulose may have some downsides, it’s better than most insulation materials. Besides, you’ll be doing mother nature a big favor by installing cellulose insulation. Here are the benefits of using the material.
Every single day, tons of paper is disposed of. What do you do with a newspaper after reading the last page? Well, you’d get rid of it. That’s a tiny percentage of the paper that will be thrown away in the U.S. alone.
Most companies have gone digital and embraced a paperless way of doing business, saving trees in the process. However, paper is still in use, and we must eliminate that waste. Using shredded paper for insulation is technically hitting two birds with one stone – saving the environment and lowering your energy costs.
Great pest control
Apart from recycled paper, cellulose also contains boric acid. Boric acid is used in the pest control industry to kill and exterminate stubborn insects from your home. The insulation is toxic to insects. The nature of this insulation discourages insects from living in your house.
Resists fire and discourages mold growth
Another benefit of boric acid is fire resistance. It has a high safety rating. Boric acid also makes the insulation mold-resistant. It increases the safety of your home and also protects your family from health effects that can be caused by mold.
One of the best for sound dampening
Cellulose insulation significantly reduces the level of noise outside the walls of your home. There are two reasons why cellulose is suitable for sound dampening. The first reason is its loose-fill structure, which can penetrate the tightest corners to provide a seamless barrier against noise.
The second one is that it lacks air pockets and prevents the movement of sound waves. It’s generally denser than fiberglass insulation which helps dampen the sound even more.
High thermal performance
The main reason people install cellulose insulation is to impede heat transfer. Cellulose insulation is highly effective in keeping your home cool all through summer and warmer in cold weather. It keeps heat energy on the right side of the walls of your home, just like you want it – to keep your family comfortable.
Is cellulose insulation toxic?
You must be wondering, with all that content in cellulose, is it toxic? The main chemicals in a cellulose concentration, apart from shredded paper, are ammonium sulfate, sodium borate, and boric acid. These chemicals are added to give the insulation anti-mold growth properties.
Some people consider the insulation toxic because boric acid is dangerous, especially when ingested. While some manufacturers claim that cellulose insulation is 100 percent free of toxic chemicals, that’s not entirely true.
Sometimes, a strong smell is released after installing cellulose insulation, and as the insulation ages, the smell becomes more unbearable. Though it’s rare, homeowners should test the material before having it blown inside their homes.
Spray foam: More expensive but a safer alternative
If you decide cellulose insulation is not the right option, you might want to consider spray foam. Spray foam is the best insulation product in the market. It comes with all benefits of cellulose insulation, including penetrating every tiny hole and crack on your wall, but it does not present the health issues and smell that cellulose does.
Spray foam is made of 100% safe and secure materials. Spray foam has the highest R-value of any insulation on the market. The only shortcoming about spray foam is that it’s a bit more expensive to install than other insulation options. However, the long-term savings are worth it.
Cellulose insulation is safe to touch, but as you already know by now, it can be dangerous to people with underlying skin conditions and allergies. Aside from that, it’s a great insulation option.
However, spray foam is the right choice if you want a lasting solution and better insulation. Ideal Insulation, the leading insulation company in Georgia, has experienced professionals that can install cellulose or spray foam insulation for your home at pocket-friendly rates. Contact us for an insulation quote today!