July 23, 2012

The Big Blow: Part One

Mr. Man and I are using Cel-Pak - cellulose insulation made RIGHT HERE in western Massachusetts by National Fiber. I wouldn't use ANY OTHER cellulose. Wouldn't. And I'm not being compensated in ANY WAY to say that (I'm happy to show doubters the receipt from RK Miles showing what we paid for insulation & delivery.) SPEAKING of delivery. How BAD ASS is this?

Like spaghetti a la carbonara, cellulose insulation is not complicated. But like the famous pasta dish, the quality of your ingredients have a HUGE impact on the final product. Cellulose insulation has two ingredients: paper and fire retardant. That's it. Paper, and a fire retardant. Now. There are all kinds of paper and all kinds of fire retardants, and National Fiber uses ONLY the best of each. Let's talk fire retardant first.
The best fire retardant? Borate. Most expensive? Yes. But best? Yes. Other companies use lesser quality fire retardants like Ammonium Sulfate (hint: the word 'ammonium' is part of the ingredient). If cellulose insulation containing Ammonium sulfate comes in contact with water, it creates an offensive odor and a low-grade corrosive acid (and if it's near a pipe, that's bad). And as every homeowner with a flat roof knows, ALL ROOFS LEAK. So it was really important to me that our cellulose be a Borate only product.
Second, let's talk paper. You can use any kind of paper to make cellulose insulation: newspapers, magazines, cardboard, pizza boxes, etc. National Fiber only uses un-coated PAPER. No cardboard, no glossy magazines, they even pull out (BY HAND) the Sunday magazine from your local paper. Why un-coated paper? It has the longest fibers which trap more air, which means more insulating value. And by using the same kind of paper throughout (as opposed to some magazines and some cardboard), the insulation is nice and uniform. 

ALL forty 25-pound bags. 

That we carried up the stairs. 

All of them. Nice and uniform.


  1. So, you got a work out? :)
    I'm taking notes here, by the way.

  2. Not only will you warm and safe...you'll be in great shape! This is the stuff you never see on HGTV..did you do it in a half an hour? (Just kidding of course!0

  3. AnonymousJuly 24, 2012

    Good choice! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one excited about insulation. ; )

  4. I agree with the others...reading between the lines, it's clear that home renovation is the ultimate workout!

  5. So by using the fire retardant the paper becomes fire proof? Always thought paper was flammable, but I'm guessing in this form it won't be? Genius idea, possibly a good way to recycle paper.


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