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(508) 989-9421
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(508) 989-9421

Cellulose Insulation

McLaughlin Weatherization
12 Twin Oaks Rd
Reading, MA 01867
Phone: (508) 989-9421

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  • Energy reduction advantages:
    Since the Energy Crisis of the mid-1970s, skyrocketing heating and cooling bills have underscored the importance of energy-efficient homes and conservation's role in holding down energy prices. Today, as in the 70s, adequately-insulated homes save homeowners money, conserve the country's vital energy resources, and inhibit demand-pull and rising energy costs. In addition to its energy saving capabilities, cellulose insulation is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, and requires no special health warning labels.

    High-density cellulose insulation carries a higher than average R-value that provides superb energy savings, reduced air infiltration, and long-term value and return on investment. As an added bonus, Cellulose Insulation is one of the greenest insulations with up to 85% American recycled materials

    Cellulose insulation meets and often exceeds tough fire standards, providing increased safety and peace of mind. Cellulose insulation couples superior fire-resistance and air reduction with preeminent airborne sound abatement.

    Safety Improvements
    Cellulose insulation is the only wood-based building material that is treated with Boric Acid for fire retardancy, making it one of the safest materials used in home construction.

    In the event of a fire, cellulose's dense structure and fire retardancy slow its spread through the building by blocking flames and hot gases while restricting the availability of oxygen in insulated walls and ceilings. Whereas the National Research Council Canada stated cellulose in the wall cavity provided an increase in the fire resistance performance of 22% to 55%, their findings on fiberglass showed the fire resistance of an assembly with glass fiber insulation was slightly lower than that of a non-insulated assembly. Tests at Omega Point Laboratories indicated that cellulose in a wall increased fire resistance from un-insulated walls from 26% to 77%. Several fire demonstrations show cellulose-insulated structures have remained virtually intact while un-insulated and fiber glass insulated structures burned to the ground.

    Although numerous products tout confusing and misleading claims, cellulose remains superior in safely conserving energy in real world situations.

    1. Dry cellulose (loose fill)
    Dry cellulose is used in retrofitting old homes by blowing the cellulose into holes drilled into the tops of the walls. It can also be blown into a new wall construction by using temporary retainers or netting that is clamped in place then removed once the cellulose has reached the appropriate density. This form of application does settle as much as 20% but the stated R-value of the cellulose is accurate after settling occurs. In addition, a dense-pack option can be used to reduce settling and further minimize air gaps. Dense-pack places pressure on the cavity, and should be done by an experienced installer.
    Loose fill in walls is an antiquated technique of using cellulose in wall cavities. The home performance industry and its accrediting bodies support the dense-pack standard of insulating wall cavities, which does not settle. This method stops the stack effect and convective loops in wall cavities.
    2. Spray-applied cellulose (wet-spray cellulose)

    Spray-applied cellulose is used for applying cellulose to new wall construction. The differences are the addition of water to the cellulose while spraying as well as adding some kind of moisture retardant such as chlorine to prevent mold cultures. In some cases the insulation might also mix in a very small percentage of adhesive or activate a dry adhesive present in the cellulose. Wet-spray allows application without the need for a temporary retainer. In addition, wet-spray allows for an even better seal of the insulated cavity against air infiltration and eliminates settling problems. Wet-spray installation requires that the wall be allowed to dry for a minimum of 24 hours (or until maximum of 25% moisture is reached) before being covered.

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