Green organizations have been popular for quite a few years. The movement has not lost momentum. Community programs promoting green building and green practices are springing up in every city across America. Businesses that join these organizations to support the community and the future of the community learn new ways to contribute to green initiatives.
It is common to include trash recycling, energy use management, and paper waste reduction in an environmentally-friendly plan. Businesses are encouraged to look for innovative, significant ways to reduce their carbon footprint while saving energy. One way for companies to reach a higher level of achievement in green programs is to make substantial improvements to their building structures. Improvements to lighting, office equipment, HVAC, and upgrades are a great start. However, a building will still lose measurable amounts of energy and associated cost savings without an upgrade to the building insulation.
The quick solution to improving insulation in a building is Icynene insulation, the premier spray foam insulation. It outperforms traditional cellulose and fiberglass insulation which loses insulation effectiveness when exposed to moisture and it expands to fill gaps eliminating air transfer that traditional insulation cannot. Unlike conventional polyurethane spray foams which are made from petroleum and produce off-gases, Icynene has turned to a different source to make their sustainable open-cell polyurethane: the castor bean. Castor-oil plants are friendly to the environment: they require no irrigation, pesticides, or fungicides, and produce no off-gases. Icynene has received the ‘Green Stamp of Approval’ by The National Green Building Standard. ICYNENE LD-R-50® spray foam insulation is a revolutionary, renewable-based formula made using castor oil which has many environmental and health-related advantages. Icynene is HFC and PBDE-free.
Open-cell polyurethane foam and cellulose insulation both can be applied without the use of chemical blowing agents. The chemical toxins left after using chemical blowing agents can adversely impact the environment around your home or building, possibly affecting the health of the occupants of a building.
Spray foam insulation, applied professionally, is one of the most efficient types of insulation products. Estimates from the U.S. Dept. of Energy and other trade associations calculate that this form of product saves between 20 and 35% in energy costs. Reduced power consumption is perhaps one of the biggest reasons to insulate.
Superior Insulation can help you choose the insulation that is perfect for your building and your budget while still keeping environmental safety in the forefront of your green projects. You can trust our skilled, professionally trained crew to deliver fast, efficient service to fulfill your project objectives. Contact us today to learn more about spray foam and other “green” insulation options.
We talk a lot about the benefits of various types of insulation. However, it’s equally important to make sure you’re covering the spots to insulate – the areas that are most vulnerable to gaps and cracks, as well as moisture. Here are the four most critical spots to install insulation. This is only a sampling, and you’ll want to check with a professional contractor who will discuss other areas that may need insulation as well.
This literally is a “hot spot” in your house because attics are notorious for being very hot in the summer. A good contractor will inspect this area, among others, in your home and check for cracks and condensation. In addition to removing anything that may cause mold, be sure you don’t vent dryers or bathroom fans up in your attic—vent them outside. When insulating the attic, keep these things in mind: For an unfinished attic, you’ll want to insulate between and over the floor joists to keep it sealed off from the living areas below. For a finished attic, whether or not there are dormers, you’ll want to insulate between the studs and rafters of the exterior walls and roof. Again, professional contractors will walk you through the process of where the insulation should go to be most effective.
This is typically a “cold spot” in your home—cold and damp and musty. If this sounds like your basement, you’ll want to install or replace your wall insulation. If cost is an issue, it’s less expensive to insulate the interior walls of your basement, rather than the exterior. Whichever way you decide to go, the goal should be to reduce heat loss and prevent moisture. If you’re using traditional fiberglass insulation, it should never be placed directly against a concrete wall, as this invites mold and mildew. Spray foam is a better choice for moisture resistance here and in other areas of your home. If a constant musty odor or flooding are issues, get back to basics and take a look at your house’s foundation. To divert water away from your home, make sure the land around your house is graded, so water won’t run down into the basement. The installation of gutters is another helpful preventative measure to reduce the chances of flooding.
Warm air often escapes around your windows. If your house is older and still has its original windows, you’ll want to replace them with more energy efficient ones. If there are cracks and gaps around them, you can sometimes seal these up yourself. Some people will make this a DIY project, sealing any cracks or gaps around the window frames with caulking or putty.
One of your home’s biggest enemies is the gap under the door, which lets air in, not to mention pests. Cracks on the sides of the door should also be checked.
Other Places to Insulate
Of course, these are the most common areas. But a good contractor will help show you the places where air can easily escape. Some of these places include crawl spaces, duct work, rooms above an unheated garage, and any place that may be vulnerable to leaks or moisture infiltration.
At Superior Insulation Company, we will consult, advise and install the most efficient insulation for your home’s needs. Call on us today.
Superior Insulation Company is an ABAA (Air Barrier Association of America) Certified Insulation Contractor.
Know the Warning Signs!
Do you need more insulation? Or better insulation? Odds are, if your home was built prior to 1970, it’s a good rule of thumb to re-insulate. However, there are other signs to check for that will let you know if new or more insulation is needed.
1. Trouble in the Attic
If you detect moisture in your attic, or there’s water coming through your ceiling, you’re likely to have insulation problems. Or when you feel colder inside your home during winter months, this also points to inadequate insulation in your attic. The recommended amount of insulation in your attic is usually about six inches. You should consider also adding insulation to the access door to your attic to keep out drafts. While attic issues are very common in older homes, they can be present in newer homes as well. So it’s always a good idea to check the attic!
2. Out of Control Energy Bills
You think you’ve done everything you can to keep your house running efficiently. But your bills continue to rise, which can signal that your insulation is failing you. This, combined with something else you may notice—your air-conditioner and furnace run more often. This summer, is your AC going constantly? If you turn it off, does it suddenly feel like the desert in your house? Cooling and heating systems are necessary to maintain a consistent level of comfort in your home, but they shouldn’t be working overtime. So, if these two indicators—high energy bills and nonstop AC and furnaces—are present, usually your insulation is to blame.
3. Not Such a Winter Wonderland
Remember last winter? Did you have giant icicles hanging from the roof of your house? Contrary to popular belief, these are not pretty. They are signals of something more sinister that can threaten to ruin your roof and gutters. Here’s what happens: Heat rises, so when your attic and roof aren’t insulated well, the attic gets very warm in the winter. If your attic is insulated sufficiently, the heat will escape out through vents, but if your insulation is inadequate, the heat will go to the top of the roof and melt the snow up there. Because the roof edges are cold, the melted snow (water) will drip down toward the edge of the roof and freeze. This is called an ice dam. If you have ice dams, you’ll want to contact insulation professionals to replace your insulation immediately.
4. Hot and Cold Rooms
If your living room is a sauna, and your bedroom feels like the Arctic, this is a major red flag. It happens because not all of your insulation will necessarily fail you at the same time. Some rooms may be perfectly comfortable, while others suddenly are not. Remember, it’s not okay to feel drafts in certain rooms, especially if you believe your house is well insulated. If you feel one drafty room, it’s a good idea to check and see if there are others. Check the walls of interior closets to see if they are cold. You may never have noticed it before. If you’re lucky, only certain rooms will need new or additional insulation, and the rest of your house may be fine. If any of the walls are cold, be sure to let your contractors know. Good contractors will know to use as much insulation as they can fit between outer walls and the drywall.
5. The Condition of Your Current Insulation
This one may be obvious, but if your insulation is crumbly, outdated and wouldn’t meet today’s building codes, you’ll need to replace it. If you know that the insulation is old, don’t take matters into your own hands. Consult with professionals. The reason is simple—sometimes it’s best not to disturb older insulation, as it may contain toxic chemicals like asbestos. In these cases, professionals will apply new insulation over the existing insulation. If it’s safe to remove, let the experts remove it properly to eliminate any danger.
6. Cracks in the Wrong Places
If you spot cracks around your doors and windows, this could be an easy, do-it-yourself fix. If they’re small cracks, apply some caulk to seal them. There’s no complex test for figuring out if you’ve solved the problem. Simply place your hand on the area to see if you feel any drafts. Whatever you do, don’t let these go unchecked. Sometimes a few cracks are all it takes to let enough cool air or heat escape that results in super high energy bills.
7. A Place for Pests and Moisture
Last but not least, if you spot any mice droppings or other indicators that pests have infiltrated your home, this could seriously compromise the integrity of your building structure. Insects and other pests can eat away at what is called “the building envelope.” Another danger is moisture, which can cause some kinds of insulation to collapse when they become damp. This will create gaps that invite air through the building as well.
Superior Insulation Company is an ABAA (Air Barrier Association of America) Certified Insulation Contractor. We’re available for consultation to discuss your insulation options. Talk with us today!