Cellulose Insulation

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Cellulose Insulation South Africa


As homeowners become more interested in improving the energy efficiency of their homes, they are increasingly turning to insulation as a solution. While cellulose insulation is an option made from recycled newspapers, there are several potential disadvantages that homeowners should be aware of before choosing the product for installation.


Can Cellulose Insulation Cause a Ceiling to Collapse?


One major issue with cellulose insulation is that it can settle or compress over time, which can add weight to the ceiling and increase the stress on the ceiling joists. This can potentially lead to structural damage or a ceiling collapse, especially if the ceiling was not designed or constructed to support the additional weight.

Another problem with it is that it can absorb moisture, which can lead to the growth of mold or mildew. If the moisture problem is not addressed, it can weaken the ceiling structure and contribute to a ceiling collapse.

Improperly installed cellulose can also create uneven weight distribution on the ceiling joists, which can weaken the structure and potentially lead to a collapse.


What Chemicals is Cellulose Insulation Treated With?


Cellulose insulation is commonly treated with a variety of chemicals to enhance its fire resistance and reduce the risk of pest infestation. The specific chemicals used may vary depending on the manufacturer and the location, but some of the most commonly used chemicals include:


  • Boric acid: Boric acid is a natural compound that is commonly used as an insecticide and fungicide. It is often used to treat cellulose insulation to deter pests such as rodents and insects.
  • Ammonium sulfate: Ammonium sulfate is a nitrogen-based compound that is often used as a fertilizer. When added to cellulose insulation, it can enhance its fire resistance.
  • Ammonium phosphate: Ammonium phosphate is another chemical that is often added to cellulose insulation to enhance its fire resistance. It can also act as a fungicide.
  • Sodium borate: Sodium borate is a compound that is commonly used as a preservative, insecticide, and fire retardant. It is often added to cellulose insulation to deter pests and reduce the risk of fire.
  • Aluminum sulfate: Aluminum sulfate is a compound that is often used as a water treatment agent and in the paper industry. It can be added to cellulose insulation to enhance its fire resistance.


It’s important to note that while these chemicals can help cellulose insulation deter pests and reduce the risk of fire, they can also have potential health risks.


Is Cellulose a Good Insulation?


Cellulose insulation is made from recycled paper products that have been treated with chemicals to make them more fire-resistant and resistant to pests. There are some potential drawbacks to consider when installing this product.


What Are the Disadvantages of Cellulose Insulation?


  • Moisture retention: It has a tendency to absorb and retain moisture, which can lead to problems such as mold growth which can cause health problems for those living in the home. It also causes reduced insulation effectiveness. Additionally, it can get heavier and cause a ceiling collapse.
  • Settling: Over time, it will settle and compress, reducing its effectiveness.
  • Dust and allergens: It can create dust and airborne allergens during installation, which can be a health hazard for some people.
  • Flammability: Can be flammable and may require treatment with chemicals to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Pest attraction: While it can be treated with chemicals to deter pests, it can still be attractive to rodents and insects.
  • Installation challenges: It can be more challenging to install than other types of insulation, requiring specialized equipment and techniques.
  • Inconsistent quality: The quality and effectiveness of the product can vary depending on the manufacturer and installation method.
  • Cost to remove: There is a very high cost to remove it when it needs to be replaced. See our removal price.


Is Cellulose Better Than Fiberglass?


While cellulose insulation has some advantages, it is not better overall. Fiberglass insulation is easier to install, has a longer lifespan, and is less prone to moisture problems. One significant disadvantage of cellulose insulation is that it can be a fire hazard. Cellulose is made from recycled paper, which is chemically treated with fire retardants.

However, these chemicals can break down over time, leaving the insulation more vulnerable to ignition. In addition, it can create a lot of dust during installation, which can be a respiratory irritant. In contrast, fiberglass insulation is much less flammable and produces less dust during installation. It is also less likely to settle over time, helping to maintain its insulating properties.


What Does Cellulose Insulation Do?


Cellulose insulation is designed to reduce the flow of heat from the inside of a building to the outside, which helps to keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient. However, its effectiveness can be reduced over time as it compresses and settles.


How Long Will Cellulose Insulation Last?


Cellulose insulation can last around 5 – 10 years, but its effectiveness will decline over time. Additionally, if it becomes wet or is infested with pests, it will need to be replaced sooner. As as mentioned above, the removal and dumping cost is extremely high.


Does Cellulose Insulation Grow Mold?


Cellulose insulation can be prone to mold growth if it becomes wet or damp. This can lead to health problems for those living in the home, and can also cause damage to the insulation itself.


Is Cellulose Wall Insulation Worth It?


While cellulose wall insulation can reduce energy costs and improve indoor comfort, it is not necessarily worth it if the disadvantages outweigh the benefits. Homeowners should carefully consider the cost and installation process, as well as the potential for settling, moisture problems, and pest infestations.


Does Cellulose Insulation Attract Termites?


Cellulose insulation that has been treated with fire retardants and insecticides should be resistant to termite infestations. However, if the insulation becomes wet, it can become a breeding ground for pests, so it’s important to keep it dry.


Is Cellulose Cheaper Than Fiberglass?


The cost of cellulose insulation can vary depending on the size of the area to be insulated, the R-value required, and other factors. In general, it can be cheaper than fiberglass insulation, but you will need to replace it much sooner.