Monday, March 10, 2014

Cellulose Vs Icynene

Hello everyone. I have researched this all that I am going to. What I want now are words from someone that has first hand knowledge. Can anyone tell me why I shouldn't use Icynene insulation in my new home? It is less harmful than fiberglass (which is out of the question). Icynene comes out on top -vs- cellulose too, however cellulose does have its strengths. Icynene will not settle or give off any dust, which cellulose has admitted to, no matter how insignificant. It is more stable, healthier, quieter, more airtight, faster to install, and doesn' t need a vapor barrier. Can anyone change my mind on this? I realize it is more expensive, but my goodness, what is a few dollars a month in exchange for a healthy place to live. Oh yeah, heating and cooling bills will be dramatically lower. Why shouldn't I use this?
Does anyone have any first hand experience with either, but preferably both, Icynene or Cellulose, that can point out things I don't see? My mind is still open to suggestions, but it is time for me to make my decision and I can't justify going any other way.
Any comment is respected and appreciated.........
Thank you,

As far as one type of insulation providing lower utility bills over another is in my opinion a sales gimmick. Bottom line if your home is properly insulated with any of the products out there, Foam-cellulose-fiberglass I would venture to say that you would find no noticable difference.
Cellulose companys who install the wet spray method say there isnt any need for a vapor barrier with their product. Time will be the true test of that statement.
In this area the professional cellulose installers caulk all doublers and the bottom and top plate along with installing their cellulose.
Usually they foam seal all window and door jams.
They claim that due to the method of application that it wont settle or shrink from the sides of the stud spaces.
Cant say much about foam applications, It is not installed by many contractors in this area 3 or 4 at best I would guess.
So the question I think that applys here is, what is the cost difference and how fast if ever will I get my return on my extra investment. (Of course this leaves out the comfort factor, which I believe would be the same with any product if you have quality workmanship) If one is substantially higher in cost over the other, and you feel comfortable with both contractors go for the less expensive method.
I would bet the difference is pennies per month!!!!
Good Luck

I agree with Insulman, it really comes down to quality of workmanship. What moves me towards favoring cellulose over foam is experience. It goes without saying the more jobs one does with a product, the more apt they are in applying it. In new construction, with both products, a vapor barrier can be applied if you wish, even if both say you don't need one.
Cellulose has chemicals added to it to make it flame retardent, such as sodium borate, boric acid and amonium sulfate, which also addresses moisture, fungi, insects and odor. Those are environmentally friendly chemicals, if there's such a thing. On the other hand, back in the day, whenever I used foul language the nuns put a bar of soap in my mouth and I didn't die.
There are a lot of independant organizations like the Oakridge National Research Laboratory that does reasearch on things like insulation. Most of their studies along with other reputable organizations are published with the U.S. Dept. of Energy(DOE). The DOE has Fact Sheets on different types of insulation, which you might find useful.

I am a consultant in Construction and have responded and prepared numerous claims. The use of Icynene has proven its value in my experience. I have seen mold caused by a cellulose insulation that had to high of a water content. I have seen slopy caulking that has allowed moisture to penetrate the assembly. If a vapor trail is concentrated in any area then again wood rot and mold will result.
In every instance that I have inspected the Icynene I have been astounded by the quality of the sealing and insulating value. I have been in a home with two stories of east facing glass in Florida on a day where it registered 102 degrees and even though the AC had still not been installed in the house the Icynene was keeping the house in the mid 70s.
In one house of 650o square feet the energy bills where around 200 dollars a month less than half of my bills with only 3500 square feet.
I personally would recommend Icynene even at half the cost more. I will be having it installed in my house shortly.

reread the last posts from Insulman and resercon
its all in the quality of the workmanship
and dont be blamin the insulation installer for your wood rot till you start at the beginning
what type of wood was used
how it was installed
what type of sheathing
what type of vapor barriors ........
the list goes on and on
what I am trying to say here is this
dont start with the CHEAPEST thing you can do with a structure
start with the most expensive and the most it aint my fault part of the construction processs
your architect

Jeff. I've been insulating houses since 1987. I've used fiberglass batts, cellulose, and foam.
By far sprayed foam insulation is a far superior product. However, there are differences in the foam.
Icenyne is a good product, however it is not the best on the market. I currently spray a rigid foam, which has an R-factor of 7 to 7.5 per inch. Icenyne is at 3.2 to 3.5 per inch. This product not only gives you the best insulating factor, it also adds stability to your home.
There are some good websites on these products. and are a few good ones.
By the way. I've seen homes insulated with foam and fiberglass. There is a substantial cost savings. I don't care how well you instal batts, (because I do both) you will only be about 75% efficent. The foam can get you to 92 to 95%. It's all about air infiltration!

One thing to mention is accessibility.
Spray foam encapsulates everything (waterpipes, ducts, etc.)
In some cases this is good (sealing ducts for instance).
However, in certain cases it may be nessecary to access plumbing, wiring, etc. In which case cellulose would be the welcome alternative.
Just a thought.

Tags: cellulose, icynene, quality workmanship, vapor barrier, what type, along with, dollars month, first hand, have been, have seen, installed house, insulated with, need vapor