Misinformation On Moisture And Cellulose Insulation
A quick scan online of recent articles listing the pros and cons of cellulose insulation show how pervasive inaccurate myths persist about one of the most popular types of building insulation.
Cellulose insulation is actually the oldest form of insulation dating back to at least when Thomas Jefferson used newspapers to insulate the walls of his famed Monticello. The irony is how many “experts” on the topic of building insulation still get the facts wrong seemingly stuck in the past on issues like fire ratings, settling, moisture and more. CIMA continues to provide accurate facts about cellulose and offers comparison data on all insulation products to assist homeowners and building industry professionals.
Here are a few of the more common recurrent inaccuracies found in pros and cons listed in many articles relating to moisture and cellulose insulation.
CON Myth: Cellulose Insulation absorbs moisture easily.
FACT: Cellulose Insulation actually wicks moisture. Cellulose insulation passes ASTM C739 Moisture Vapor Absorption test confirming the product, when properly installed, does not absorb or hold moisture.
CON Myth: All types of cellulose insulation require a vapor barrier.
FACT: A common misconception is that all insulations require vapor barriers in all situations. Research has shown that this is incorrect. CIMA does not recommend the use of vapor barriers with cellulose insulation, except in circumstances of exceptionally high moisture levels, such as an indoor pool facility, or very cold climates. That’s because cellulose is the only insulation that actually manages moisture.
CON Myth: Cellulose insulation is prone to sagging and settling.
FACT: All loose-fill insulation products can settle over time. By federal law and industry standards compensation for settlement is built into cellulose insulation coverage charts (printed on packaging by all CIMA Producer Member Companies.) When installed properly in accordance with the coverage chart, cellulose insulation will not settle below the intended R-Value.
CON Myth: Cellulose Insulation generates a lot of dust during installation.
FACT: All loose-fill blown-in insulation products generate dust during insulation. Unlike blown-in fiberglass, cellulose dust does not cause the extreme irritation to skin, eyes and lungs. Further, with it’s moisture wicking properties, a small amount of water can be mixed with the product during installation to help manage dust. Most excess dust occurs when cellulose insulation is installed by untrained insulation contractors or during DIY projects.
When considering an insulation project for home, office or other building check the facts on the CIMA website to make an informed decision about which insulation product is the best overall option.