Spray foam vs cellulose insulation

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Old 11-03-17, 10:00 AM
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Spray foam vs cellulose insulation

Thanks to everybody who responded to my last post, but as always each answer just leads to more questions.

I've decided to hire somebody to spray insulation in between my studs, but am trying to decide if I want to go with foam or cellulose.

The foam guy says cellulose collapses and breaks down over time and will absorb moisture. Meanwhile, foam fills all air cavities, insulates better, and lasts forever. He says he'd even do fiberglass over cellulose

The cellulose guy says foam is flammable and he doesn't trust the noxious chemicals. He also says the cellulose stays put, doesn't decay, is greener, and fire-retardant. Apparently it also has better sound-dampening qualities.

I'd love some opinions here from people who aren't trying to sell me something. Any thoughts on or experiences with these products? Thanks.
 
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Old 11-03-17, 12:06 PM
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Interesting that each would state the other is not so great, did you expect anything different?

I have had cellulose insulation in the last 2 homes back to 1999.

I believe if they are both installed properly they will provide excellent results.

Have never had an issue, have never regretted installing, believe it was cheaper than foam but that may have changed.

There was a segment recently, believe 60 minutes, where some home owners were having strong odor issues with foam but I don't recall what the conclusion was.

I would never, ever use fiberglass again, it's horrible to work with, and is so dependent on the guy installing to provide good sealing!
 
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Old 11-03-17, 12:16 PM
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Don't worry. If someone tries to sell you something, they won't be here long enough to benefit from it.
 
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Old 11-03-17, 12:49 PM
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I did my first house with cellulose and some ten-twelve years later I opened up some walls. The cellulose was STILL densely packed and right up to the top plate. In other words, it had not settled one iota.

Foam is better at air sealing but it is also several times more expensive than cellulose. Foam is not DIY friendly.

Are you doing open stud walls or retrofitting (blowing) into finished walls? Foam must be installed in existing walls VERY carefully to completely fill the space without overfilling which can blow the wallboard out.

If money were no object AND with new construction I would opt for foam, retrofitting I would go for the cellulose every time.
 
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Old 11-06-17, 08:38 AM
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I was quoted 75 cents a square foot for spray foam and 85 cents/ft for cellulose. The house is wood frame so it would be blown into the stud spaces between the walls. Surprising that foam is coming back cheaper, but it sounds like the better option so far.
 
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Old 11-06-17, 05:56 PM
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I would be extremely wary of anyone quoting prices for adding foam insulation to finished walls at a price lower than for cellulose. I suggest that you get a few more bids for foam AND get some references on the company offering the job at such a low price. Be sure to follow up on those references and ask the customers if they are pleased with the work done.
 
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