Cellulose and Spray Foam Insulation

The Difference Between Foam and Cellulose Insulation

When it comes to home insulation, there are two main types that are used – spray foam and cellulose. And like most competing technologies or products, there are pros and cons associated with both. This post is designed to further examine some of the big differences between cellulose and spray foam insulation so that you can make the best decision for yourself. Here’s a closer look:

Spray Foam vs. Cellulose: The Basics

First, let’s start with the basics of each. Spray foam is basically the pumping of polyurethane into the walls of the home, as well as the ceilings and elsewhere. Cellulose, on the other hand, is insulation that’s primarily made from the remains of newsprint fibers. These fibers have been treated so that they’re non-toxic to make them safe for use in homes.

Pros and Cons of Spray Foam Insulation

Above all, the more superior type of insulation is spray foam. Being that it is pumped in, it better settles in the walls and ceilings to seal air leaks and help keep the home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Noting this, you can typically experience the most energy savings with spray foam insulation, which is a win both when it comes to your energy bills and minimizing the wear and tear that’s put on your home heating and cooling appliances. Another big benefit is that spray foam can’t be penetrated by water, which is huge when it comes to preventing mold and mildew growth. Aside from mold, spray foam also makes it hard for bugs and rodents to nest in. Finally, spray foam is easily installed by trained technicians (and rather non-invasive when it comes to exterior walls).

While spray foam has many advantages, it does have some downsides too – however, most of these downsides only come to fruition if it is installed by untrained or inexperienced technicians. On that note, one of the big downsides is improper settling of the material, which can possibly cause bulges or ruptures in walls. The other notable downside is the cost of the material, however keep in mind that being that it is superior insulation, the ROI is much greater over time.

Pros and Cons of Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose installation’s benefits include its safety features (the material isn’t harmful), its cheaper price point compared to spray foam and its noise-canceling ability. However, there are a few significant disadvantages with going the cellulose route – notably the fact that it’s not as good as an insulating material as spray foam is. So while you’ll still experience energy savings, they won’t be as significant as they would with the other type of insulation. Another disadvantage of cellulose insulation is that it has the ability to absorb moisture, so it’s certainly not as mold- and mildew-proof as spray foam is.
For more information on the difference between spray foam and cellulose insulation, contact us today.