It probably never occurred to you that you can make your own cellulose insulation. The process is fast, safe and relatively easy. The insulation is just as good as or better than insulation you buy on the market. It is fire retardant and resists insects and rodents. You will follow the same basic procedures for installing this type of insulation. Like you would with other insulation products, make sure that the application area is air- and watertight. Use spray foam and sealant as necessary to seal any openings or cracks
Cellulose insulation is made out of newspapers, cardboard containers and other paper waste products ground up into fine slivers of paper fibers. The fibers are treated with some safe chemicals, which make it fire-resistant and resistant to vermin.
The R-value, which is the measurement of an insulation resistance to heat loss, is favorable to fiberglass batt insulation. Cellulose has an R-value of 3.1 compared to an R-value at 3.2 for fiberglass batt. Cost-wise, cellulose insulation has always been very reasonable. If you decide to manufacture the insulation yourself, you will spend 20 percent or less what you would pay to have cellulose insulation installed by a contractor.
Wear a respirator as you work. There are fine paper particles and other dust particles, which may be airborne during the manufacturing process. To grind the paper into a fine fibrous product, you will need a hammermill. A hammermill is a machine that consists of a rotating steel drum with hammers secure to the mechanism. The drum rotates at a very high speed; as paper is feed into the hopper, the hammers strike down on the product simultaneously shredding the paper and forcing it through specially sized screens.
Some people try using garden variety mulching machines, but the machine is not capable of chomping and crushing the cardboard and paper scraps into the shriveled mass of paper fibers, which are the hallmark of the insulation. As a general rule, the print on the shredded materials should not be readable.
It is essential that the paper products and cardboard scraps that you feed into the machine be totally dry. Take care to keep the material dry from the manufacturing process to the actual installation. If the material gets wet, your homemade insulation project will transform into a homemade “compost endeavor.”
The most common product mixed with cellulose to make it fire retardant is boric acid. As you know, boric acid is often prescribed for use as an eye wash. It may be difficult to find enough for you homemade cellulose insulation project. An alternative to boric acid is borax. Borax is a key ingredient in many of the mass-market laundry soaps.
Use aluminum sulfate to make the homemade cellulose insect and rodent resistant. If you are installing the insulation in recreational vehicles or metal buildings, use a 50/50 mixture of aluminum sulfate and lime. The lime will nullify the corrosive affect of aluminum sulfate to the metal. Feed the chemicals into the hammermill so that the ingredient mixes with the paper and cardboard scraps as it is going through the shredding process. This completes the homemade cellulose insulation process. The insulation is ready for installation into the designated wall or floor cavities.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
How to Make Cellulose Sponges
Cellulose sponges are a type of artificial sponge created as a cheaper alternative to expensive natural sponges. The manufacture of cellulose sponges...
How to Make Homemade Insulation for Your Home Walls
Homemade insulation is a green alternative to purchasing chemical insulation spray or fiberglass pads. In fact, a myriad of items can be...
How to Make Homemade Coolers
Sometimes it seems like you never have enough coolers when you need them. If you find yourself needing an extra cooler in...
Homemade Insulation for Dog Houses
A dog house can be seen as a simple shelter, protecting a pet from the elements, including sun, heat, rain, snow and...
DIY Cardboard Boxes for Insulation
You can save money by adding insulation to the attic and walls of your house. You can save even more money by...
How to Make Shredded Paper Cellulose
Recycling paper is a fun and easy project for those who want to go green. Paper can be shredded and used to...
Homemade Foam Insulation
Three feet of insulation can cost about $12 at the hardware store, but several pounds of homemade insulation can be made using...
How to Make Cellulose Insulation From Newspaper
Cellulose insulation, an eco-friendly alternative to conventional insulation, primarily comprises newspaper shreds. you can install it in your home -- usually in...
Homemade Insulation Blowers
One way to save money on your energy bills is to add blown-in insulation to your attic or walls. If you don't...
Homemade Insulating Concrete
Each building material comes with advantages and drawbacks. Concrete, for instance, possess extreme strength and fire-resistant qualities, but lacks insulating value. However,...
Which Materials Make Good Insulators for a Science Project?
Heat naturally flows from a hot area to a cold one. This means that if you pour a hot drink into a...
Homemade Newspaper as Window Insulation
Using newspapers to insulate your windows in cold weather is a very inexpensive way of keeping cold air out while helping the...
DIY Roof Rafter Vent Chutes
Creating proper attic ventilation can help with heating and cooling and prolong the life of your roof. Maintaining a proper flow from...