Valley Insulation: History of Cellulose Insulation

Valley Insulation Explains the history of Cellulose Insulation

In previous blogs, we have spoken a great deal about the benefits of cellulose insulation and why it’s a great choice for your home. Today, the team at Valley Insulation takes a journey back in time to look at the origins of this affordable, highly effective and environmentally friendly type of insulation.

How It All Started

We have discussed the history of insulation in general in a previous blog, but here’s a quick recap. In its simplest form, insulation started when cavemen shielded themselves from the elements using stone, sod, wood and animal skins. Flash forward a few thousand years, to the age of walled houses, and the idea of adding protection between an interior and exterior wall caught on. In fact, the first architect who used insulation was Thomas Jefferson in his design of Monticello. It may come as a surprise, but the insulation he used was cellulose.

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What is Cellulose?

The term cellulose refers to the basic fibers that make up all plant life. Wood, paper and other plant-based products are all cellulose material. Today’s cellulose is made from recycled paper products and treated to make it flame retardant, resistant to mold and discouraging to pests looking for a home inside your walls. Throughout history, choices of materials were driven by which raw materials, and their byproducts, were readily available. In the early 1800s, for example, the most readily available material was primarily wood. Balsa wool or balsa batt — sawdust encapsulated in a paper package — was very popular. To this day, balsa wool insulation can be found in historic homes in the Northeast.

Industrial Revolution

In the 1930s, byproducts from U.S. steel mills, such as rock metal slag, became a popular insulation product. As the U.S. paper industry grew, we began to look at paper byproducts for insulation. Originally manufactured as a sound deadener, paper-based cellulose material soon caught on as an effective form of insulation.

The Energy Crisis

During the energy crisis of the 1970s, demand for insulation hit an all-time high, and interest in cellulose insulation boomed. While some cellulose manufacturing companies faded after the crisis subsided, the ones that remained continued to refine the quality of the materials, the applications, and the manufacturing processes.

Related Post: Valley Insulation Explains How We Install Cellulose Insulation

The 1990s to Today

By the 1990s, interest in building energy efficient and environmentally friendly spaces led to scientific studies reinforcing what the cellulose insulation community already knew — that today’s cellulose insulation has important performance advantages.

Ask Us About Cellulose Insulation

Valley Insulation, LLC is a provider of high-quality home insulation and commercial insulation customized to fit the needs of each and every client. We’ve been insulating homes and businesses since 1977.Contact us today to discuss your insulation needs.

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