Is cellulose insulation fire resistant?

This blog post will answer the question, “Is cellulose insulation fire resistant” and cover topics like fire-resistant properties of cellulose insulation and frequently asked questions related to the topic.

Is cellulose insulation fire resistant?

Yes, cellulose insulation fire resistant.

Why Cellulose Insulation Doesn’t Cause Fires?

One of the most common questions we get about our cellulose insulation is how a product composed of a recycled newspaper can’t possibly be a fire threat. It’s a reasonable question: if the newspaper is flammable, why isn’t cellulose insulation?

The reason is that federal rules require insulation to satisfy specific safety requirements, and insulation producers have a vested interest in ensuring that their product does not endanger the lives of their consumers. As a result, cellulose insulation makers and producers have devised methods to make their products exceedingly fire-resistant. The cellulose insulation from Nu-Wool has a Class I fire rating.

What kind of fire retardant is used in cellulose insulation? 

Cellulose insulation is made out of 85 percent recycled materials, including newspaper, and is fire retarded using ammonium sulfate and borate. The cellulose insulation has a very good fire safety rating in terms of flammability thanks to the borate treatment.

What additives are used to make cellulose insulation fire resistant?

For fire protection, cellulose insulation materials are treated with non-toxic, trace levels of boric acid. Homeowners may rest easy knowing that treating the insulation fibers with this natural ingredient is harmless; it’s less hazardous than salt and is used in eyewash solutions.

The Facts of Insulation made of cellulose

Myth:

The R-Value of cellulose insulation degrades with time, resulting in a loss of the initial R-Value.

Fact:

Over time, all loose-fill insulating materials might settle. Compensation for settlement is integrated into cellulose insulation coverage charts by federal law and industry standards. Cellulose insulation will not settle below the required R-Value if correctly installed according to the coverage table.

Myth:

Because cellulose insulation is comprised of paper, it is more combustible than other types of insulation.

Fact:

The fire rating of cellulose insulation is Class 1.

It has been treated with fire retardants to fulfill all federal, state, and municipal fire safety criteria. Cellulose Insulation has even been used to qualify two-and three-hour firewall designs.

Myth:

A wet mist The use of damp cellulose insulation in walls increases the risk of mold and mildew.

Fact:

A small quantity of water is added to the sheathing in this sort of application, which is frequent in new construction. When properly placed, moisture content drains fast, resulting in moisture content at or below wood frame members. Similar to moisture in wood wall studs, any trace of water in the insulation will travel through the drywall when it is put in. Find out more.

Myth:

The cost of cellulose insulation is higher.

Fact:

Due to increased installation expenses, cellulose insulation in walls will normally be more costly than fiberglass batts. Using cellulose insulation saves you money on energy bills, so the difference is readily recouped. The cost of blown-in cellulose and blown-in fiberglass insulation is comparable. Foam is more costly than cellulose insulation.

Myth:

Because cellulose is comprised of paper, it is more vulnerable to moisture and mold.

Fact:

This just isn’t the case. Mold contamination does not affect cellulose insulation anymore than it does any other construction material. According to published research, cellulose insulation’s hygroscopic nature results in improved moisture-managing properties.

Myth:

It makes no difference what kind of insulation is utilized since R-Value is R-Value.

Fact:

When selecting insulation, the R-Value is simply one element to consider. Reduced heat loss by air infiltration, convection, and radiation is also important for an insulation material’s effectiveness. Cellulose insulation outperforms other fiber insulation materials with the same R-Value in terms of air penetration and convection.

Myth:

Because it requires wood from trees, cellulose insulation causes deforestation.

Fact:

Cellulose Insulation is created from recycled paper rather than wood from recently felled trees. Cellulose Insulation, which is over 85 percent recycled paper, helps to remove nearly a million tons of waste paper from landfills each year.

Why do people choose cellulose attic insulation?

Cellulose insulation is made up of fire-resistant materials and recycled paper from places like newspapers. When installed appropriately, cellulose provides a strong bond that protects against heat and cold. This is because the specialists dampen it before blowing it into the attic to guarantee it is sticky. Homeowners in Ontario favor cellulose insulation for a variety of reasons, including energy efficiency, durability, and lifespan. Continue reading to discover more about the benefits of cellulose insulation and why it is a better option than fiberglass insulation.

Cellulose Attic Insulation’s Advantages

Advantages of cellulose insulation are listed below:

  • Durability
  • Safety and health
  • Efficiency in Energy

I will now elaborate on the guidance given above.

Durability

If you’re shopping for insulation for your attic, think about how it will hold up over time. This is because most insulating materials are highly efficient when they are first placed, which is why it is beneficial to look at their long-term performance. It’s useful to be aware that certain insulating materials, such as fiberglass, may deteriorate and lose their effectiveness with time. Cellulose insulation, on the other hand, does not promote mold or fungal development and does not degrade fast. Furthermore, cellulose is non-corrosive to metals such as aluminum, copper, and steel.

Safety and health

Skin irritation, rashes, pain in the nose and throat, redness in the eyes, stomach irritation, and nausea are all possible side effects of certain insulating materials. Furthermore, some of them are a public safety risk since they might create health problems during building demolitions. However, cellulose insulation has no negative effects on one’s health or safety. It is a more secure insulating option for houses and other structures.

Efficiency in Energy

Because cellulose insulation is made mostly of recycled paper, it is ecologically beneficial. When compared to other insulating materials like fiberglass, it utilizes almost twice as much recycled material. It uses less energy in the manufacturing process, does not pollute the environment, and is an energy-efficient attic insulation material.

Attic Insulation: Blown Fiberglass vs. Cellulose

In residential homes, cellulose and blown fiberglass are two commonly utilized and less costly insulation materials. Although they are similar in some aspects, cellulose insulation is a superior solution in many ways to fiberglass insulation.

The Advantages of Cellulose Insulation Over Blown Fiberglass Insulation

  • By employing paper waste and recycled paper for insulation, cellulose helps to minimize the use of paper.
  • It becomes more fire-resistant, insect-resistant, and mold-resistant after being treated with boric acid.
  • Treating it with an acrylic binder is a great technique to keep the R-value from deteriorating over time.
  • Compared to fiberglass, it has a lower health risk.
  • When compared to fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation offers a greater R-value of R-3.2 to R-2.2 per inch.

Cellulose’s drawbacks vs. Fiberglass’s

There are a few small drawbacks to using cellulose insulation, which include:

  • Installation Costs

When compared to installing fiberglass insulation, the cost of installing cellulose insulation is greater. However, owing to its many benefits, it becomes cost-effective in the long term.

  • When it comes to installation, there is a lot of dust.

During the installation of cellulose, a cloud of dust is typically created, necessitating the use of breathing equipment. However, if the staff is trained and experienced, this may be handled well.

Cellulose Insulation Facts

Insulation comes in a variety of forms, but not all of them are made equal. While fiberglass insulation is popular, it is a bad choice for homes looking for environmentally friendly insulation that does not compromise safety or efficiency. Insulation made of cellulose is a terrific option that helps both humans and the environment. If you’re not sure how cellulose insulation stacks up against other forms of insulation, consider the following:

What Is Cellulose Insulation and How Does It Work?

Cellulose insulation is a recycled paper-based fiber insulation material. Cellulose has a far greater percentage of recycled materials than conventional insulation and may include up to 85 percent recycled newspaper. Fiberized little bits of paper may be firmly packed to impede airflow. Following collection, the material is treated with non-hazardous substances such as the mineral borate, which acts as a flame retardant and repels bugs and mildew.

Is Cellulose Insulation Available in Different Types?

Loose-fill and dense-pack cellulose insulation are the two most common types. Attics commonly employ loose-fill cellulose insulation, whereas walls and ceilings use dense-pack cellulose insulation. Blown-in cellulose is loose-fill and dense-pack cellulose that is fitted using a blowing machine. Cellulose insulation is now available as a batt or rolled-out product.

Is Cellulose Insulation Environmentally Friendly?

Cellulose insulation provides extra environmental advantages in addition to being manufactured from a high percentage of recycled materials. By repurposing materials like newspaper, cellulose insulation keeps them out of landfills, where they would otherwise decay and emit damaging greenhouse gases. Cellulose production uses less energy than the production of other materials. Because our cellulose insulation is made locally in Michigan, it needs less shipping and transportation than alternative materials.

Is it safe to use cellulose insulation in your home?

Even though it is composed of paper, cellulose insulation does not render your house flammable. To fulfill all federal safety criteria, cellulose insulation is treated with fire retardants such as ammonium sulfate, borax, and boric acid. Because cellulose insulation has a Class 1 fire rating, it may help restrict the spread of fire. Paper, which burns readily, is often used to cover fiberglass insulation. As a result, cellulose insulation has a greater fire rating than faced fiberglass insulation.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs), “Is cellulose insulation fire resistant?”

Is cellulose flammable?

When cellulose insulation burns in an attic or a wall, it usually burns from the bottom up and at such low temperatures that even the greatest thermal imaging camera (TIC) may miss the heat traces.

Is cellulose fiber resistant to fire?

When exposed to flame or high temperatures, cellulose fiber is inherently resistant to heat and will not melt or decay like most other insulation. Structures with cellulose insulation have kept structural integrity substantially longer than buildings with other insulation technologies in various demonstration fires.

What is the maximum temperature at which cellulose insulation will burn?

Because cellulose is mostly formed of paper, which is derived from plants, it is combustible. Loose-fill cellulose is another name for it. When the temperature rises over 350°F, cellulose insulation undergoes thermolysis, also known as pyrolysis.

What occurs when cellulose is burned?

cellulose begins to pyrolyze as the temperature rises.

Decomposition products are either retained inside the substance or expelled as gases. When gaseous compounds mix and oxygen, a lot of heat is released, which causes pyrolysis and combustion processes.

Is it possible for blown-in insulation to catch fire?

Fiberglass insulation will not catch fire, but it will melt at high temperatures. Brown paper, which is often used as a vapor barrier on batts, may, however, catch fire. Blown-in fiberglass is likewise non-flammable, but it needs specialist equipment to install.

Is there any insulation that isn’t flammable?

Mineral Wool 

It’s non-combustible and acts as a good insulator. Mineral wool is also known as slag wool since it is often manufactured from furnace slag. Most mineral wool can survive temperatures of up to 2000°F, depending on the kind of mineral it is constructed of, making it fireproof when exposed to home fires.

References:

https://www.cellulose.org/HomeOwners/DispellingMyths.php
https://www.greenfiber.com/blog/2017/breaking-the-myth-why-cellulose-has-unmatched-fire-protection
https://www.houleinsulation.com/fire.html
https://www.certainteed.com/resources/3024313.pdf

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