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Old 12-18-2012, 07:31 AM   #1
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


I am looking to insulate my walls on my 1973 built home using ether Foam or Cellulose Insulation blown into the walls.

My question is which is a better finished product?

I do know when my Brother-In Law and his wife lived up in Wisconsin they had a apartment that had foam blown into the walls and it was always cold in there home in the Winter.

So I have questions on foam being billowed into the walls.
But that was back in the 70's and it could have improved since than.

I would like to PRO and CON'S on both?
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


Confused about the third paragraph. Are you stating that it was always cold after the insulation was blown in, or before? I have no insulation in my walls, but have made sure everything like windows, doors, outlet cutouts are sealed to keep air from coming through. It is how warm you keep the place, for how it feels, along with the above statement, not whether it is insulated or not.

As for your original question, depends on what your pocket book can afford. Dense packed Cellulose would stop more sound, than foam, but foam creates a vapor barrier and air seals, so you have to bring more fresh air into the home some other way.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Confused about the third paragraph. Are you stating that it was always cold after the insulation was blown in, or before? I have no insulation in my walls, but have made sure everything like windows, doors, outlet cutouts are sealed to keep air from coming through. It is how warm you keep the place, for how it feels, along with the above statement, not whether it is insulated or not.

As for your original question, depends on what your pocket book can afford. Dense packed Cellulose would stop more sound, than foam, but foam creates a vapor barrier and air seals, so you have to bring more fresh air into the home some other way.
After it was blown in. And you very will could be right on how warm they keep it.

So what you are telling me is if I went with foam I would completely seal my whole house up and NO air could get in. The only way you could get fairish air is to create a way to let air come in.

With that said wouldn't it be better to have cellulose?

What would be the R factor of both in a 2"X4" wall?

How much heat or Air do you lose through the walls?

I do know in the kitchen and bathroom on the outside walls you feel a drift.

Yes I have put all new windows in my home 4 years ago. New doors also.

And yesterday I put cellulose insulation in the attic R 60.

I truly believe that a house needs to breath.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #4
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


If you are feeling srafts in the kitchen and bath areas, could be that there are no dampers on those exhaust lines, to keep outside air from being pulled in.

As for the R factor on 2x4 construction, nominally r-15, but depends on the material used to insulate, and if the outside is wrapped and/or has xps on it under the siding.

As for your windows, if you foam sealed around them, that will stop a lot of drafts there.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


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Originally Posted by nhoj View Post
After it was blown in. And you very will could be right on how warm they keep it.

So what you are telling me is if I went with foam I would completely seal my whole house up and NO air could get in. The only way you could get fairish air is to create a way to let air come in.

Only if you plan on taking down all the walls or spending a bunch of money on injection foam. This would be a poor investment unless the rest of the attic, windows, etc are all up to date and tight.

With that said wouldn't it be better to have cellulose?

Cellulose is cheaper and is the more commonly recommended retrofit application. Injection foam into walls is a newer and not as proven option. It is also going to be appreciably more expensive.

What would be the R factor of both in a 2"X4" wall?

About the same as Greg mentioned. That being said, it is much less by the time you figure in all the thermal bridging of the studs. This is why rigid foam to the exterior is such a good idea.

How much heat or Air do you lose through the walls?

A bunch if they are not tight or uninsulated. The attic is the first and easiest place to start though.

I do know in the kitchen and bathroom on the outside walls you feel a drift.

Put dampers on them like Greg said.

Yes I have put all new windows in my home 4 years ago. New doors also.

So you are good there.


And yesterday I put cellulose insulation in the attic R 60.

That is great but did you air seal? Air sealing is just as important as R-Value.

I truly believe that a house needs to breath.

Houses don't need to breathe but people do. Only way to really check what your ventilation requirements and levels are is to do a blower door test. Any deficiencies can be remedied with a bath fan or ERV/HRV.

The idea of air quality via dilution is outdated.
See above...
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:16 PM   #6
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


And yesterday I put cellulose insulation in the attic R 60.

That is great but did you air seal? Air sealing is just as important as R-Value.


Can you explain how you would Air Seal?

The people who did the job have been doing this for over 50 years. They are Applegate.

I am sure that they did but not sure. They did put sofit vents in that I do know.

Has anyone had Applegate do their home?
Was you happy with their work?
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


There are a million threads on air sealing on this board.

A quick search of this section will get you a bunch of information and direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n3QC...eature=related
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


Window Wash What would be the best insulation to use in my home after reading my question FOAM or CELLULOSE Insulation?

It sounds as if you are up on this stiff.

Any one else is welcome to add your opinions also.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:48 PM   #9
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


I like borate only cellulose.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:05 AM   #10
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


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I like borate only cellulose.

Yes that is what they use treated cellulose.

What I should of ask is what I mean objective is to have a warm home in the Winter and a Cool home in the Summer and to cut my Heat Bills and my Electric Bills.

The only why to do this is to put the right insulation in the walls and attic. Since I have the attic and windows and doors done the only place is the walls to do.

I agree with air sealing every place where air can come.

So do you still say Cellulose is the best insulation for the walls?

I have questions about Foam and am not sure which one is warmer. Foam seals yes but Cellulose insulates and deaden the sound outside.

With this said do you feel that Cellulose is my best chose for what I want to do?
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:56 AM   #11
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Foam vs. Cellulose insulation in walls


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Yes that is what they use treated cellulose.

There are different types. Make sure it is borate only and not ammonium sulfate.

What I should of ask is what I mean objective is to have a warm home in the Winter and a Cool home in the Summer and to cut my Heat Bills and my Electric Bills.

Insulating the walls, if you have none, would be next after air sealing the attic.

The only why to do this is to put the right insulation in the walls and attic. Since I have the attic and windows and doors done the only place is the walls to do.

I agree with air sealing every place where air can come.

So do you still say Cellulose is the best insulation for the walls?

Yes

I have questions about Foam and am not sure which one is warmer. Foam seals yes but Cellulose insulates and deaden the sound outside.

The R-values are about the same.

With this said do you feel that Cellulose is my best chose for what I want to do?

Yes
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