Which Is Better For Me? Cellulose Or Spray Foam Insulation?

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Spray Foam Insulation

Here at Bird Family Insulation, Savannah (my daughter who manages our office) gets these questions from homeowners, all the time.

Which Insulation Is Better?

Our answer to this question is … “It depends. You need to answer a few questions …

  • Are we discussing the attic, basement, crawlspace, floor, bonus room floor, garage ceiling, etc.?
  • What is your overall goal for this project?
  • Where is the house most uncomfortable, and at what season of the year?
  • Where are your HVAC equipment and air duct system(s) located?
  • How long do you intend to stay in the house?

Spray Foam vs. Cellulose Insulation For Floor Insulation

If we are discussing floor insulation, spray foam is absolutely the best option available. It doesn’t matter if it’s an outdoor deck being converted into living space, or basement ceiling, or the subfloor over a damp crawlspace. Use Sprayfoam! Make sure that it is two-pound, (closed cell) spray foam.

Closed-cell spray foam performs as a:

  • Thermal barrier.
  • Air-infiltration barrier.
  • Moisture barrier.
  • Structural Improvement

Spray Foam vs. Cellulose For Existing Wall Insulation

For existing walls, that are sheathed with sheetrock or paneling, etc; you have two choices:

  • Low-expansion foam. This is a different product than spray polyurethane foam. It’s actually a liquid with the properties of shaving cream, that is pumped into the wall cavities, and spreads throughout the cavity, filling the voids.
  • Drill-and-Fill Dense-pack cellulose (or a specific fiberglass product, but because we don’t install fiberglass, I am not familiar with it).
    • Like low-expansion foam, Cellulose is pumped into the walls through a small hole, filling all the voids.
    • Cellulose is also a sound deadening product.
    • And because we use all-borate cellulose, it is excellent as an exterminator’s product!
    • Cellulose is such an excellent drill-and-fill, sound-deadening product, we were hired by the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta to insulate the President’s office walls with our Drill-and-Fill technique.
    • For garage ceilings, that are sheathed with sheetrock, we use the Drill-and-Fill Densepack technique to fill the empty voids found in the floor system between a bonus room and the garage.

Spray Foam vs. Cellulose For Walls Without Sheathing

For walls without sheathing, where the studs are exposed, you also have two choices:

  • Spray Foam Insulation
  • Cellulose Insulation

Spray Foam vs. Cellulose For Attic Insulation

If the HVAC equipment and air ducts are in your attic, it is better to install Spray Foam Insulation, specifically with Open Cell Spray Foam to protect the equipment and ducts. However, if your attic doesn’t have any HVAC equipment or air ducts you should install Cellulose Installation.

Choose Your Contractor Carefully!

Choosing a Home Performance Contractor who is SOLUTION DRIVEN rewards you in so many ways. You benefit by knowing that your home – as a system – is performing at its peak efficiency for your budget. Choosing a contractor with only one product is like hiring a mechanic to repair your complex automobile, who has only ONE TOOL. He may be cheaper, but you may lose in the long term.

Have questions? Call Savannah in our office, (404-538-9168) or email Bob from the contact form on this site. We’re here to help keep you comfortable!

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