cellulose vs. foam


Old 01-23-01, 01:53 PM
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I have a late 40's house that has no wall insulation. I am taking bids to have insulation blown into the walls, and am having trouble finding accurate information on cellulose vs foam. Cellulose is much more affordable, but the foam people tell me that it settles and collects mildew. The cellulose people tell me foam is a needless expense, and if it isn't intalled correctly can blow your walls out. Does anyone have any recommendations as to what is the best insulator? The house is in Seattle, so it doesn't get really cold, and frankly - it's not that nice of a house that I need to go top of the line. I just want it to be warmer
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Old 01-23-01, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
A good cellulose is treated with aluminum chlorhydrate. This is one of the main ingredients in underarm anti-perspirant. This will evaporate any moisture it may draw before it can form mildew. It's also treated with boric acid. This would kill any mildew that tried to form. If the installing contractor does the job properly, and has the right equipment for blowing walls, settling is not a problem.
Old 01-29-01, 08:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 173
I blew insulation into a house I moved into ~15 years ago.
My wife decided after ~5 years of living there that it was time to gut some rooms and replace old cracked plaster with drywall. Upon removing the plaster, I saw the insulation that I blew in had settled 2 to 3 feet in a 8 foot wall.

I'd be the first to admit that I'm not an insulation pro, but I followed the instructions supplied by the insulation contractor that I rented the blower from. I would expect that his crew would have ended up with the sam result.
Old 01-30-01, 12:31 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Blowing a wall requires very specific equipment and more than a little experience running that equipment to get the job done properly. If the insulation you blew in settled 2 to 3 feet in an 8' wall, the contractor you rented the blower from was erring on the side of safety. He was having you shut off the blower in each cavity before it was full. What he didn't want you doing was overfilling a cavity -- that would have cracked the lathe and plaster, or blown the siding off of the house.

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