This is the busiest season for our roof coatings Kansas City business. Take a few minutes to watch the video above to see some of the practical benefits of a spray foam coated roof. While the Honeywell job featured was performed by another contractor in California, it does a good job demonstrating the benefits these systems provide.
When you think about home insulation, your first thoughts are probably the insulation between your walls, ceiling and attic space. However, if you live in a home with a crawl space, this should be at the top of your list for insulation consideration! When crawl space insulation is properly applied, it will improve the comfort of your home and save you money on energy costs.
Improvements to Indoor Air Quality
You’re building a new home, you say? So of course you have a check list: a general contractor, a sub-contractor, an architect, a banker, a lot picked out… but wait! You are overlooking something very crucial. Has your soon-to-be home passed the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code? I am sure some people would automatically assume a new home would pass but it is not guaranteed.
Passing the 2012 IECC Code
Most new homes have some kind of duct work or HVAC unit in the attic. What they are likely missing is proper insulation to maximize energy efficiency. If you have an unfinished attic, having it properly insulated could save you 10 to 50 percent on your heating bill. Efficiency is also improved in warmer months; a well-insulated attic will keep your home’s temperature stable, making it easier and less expensive to cool.
Why does spray foam insulation cost so much?
It’s a valid question when you’re the consumer making an insulation decision and other products like fiberglass and cellulose insulation appear to be priced considerably lower. The higher cost is a result of the materials and equipment needed to install foam insulation properly and safely. But like most products you purchase, what you invest is a direct correlation to what you get. So while insulating foam may be two to three times more expensive in terms of initial costs, you are also making an investment toward energy efficiency that will help your home or building function better for years to come.
If you look at the life of a home, the investment in spray foam insulation will typically be paid in five years or less. More immediately, you will see savings in your utilities in the range of 30% to 50% that begin day one. Want to have a better idea of what your savings might look like? Check out our cost estimator to get a rough idea of savings you can expect based on your specifics.
HVAC Sizing: What is This All About?
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition (HVAC) is an extremely complicated process. It is not sexy, but it is a very important part of building a new home. So let’s start with what it is and how it is done: HVAC sizing, or load calculations, determines the size or amount of BTU’s that a furnace needs to produce to work properly. It works the same way as air conditioning with tonnage.
We often get the question, “Won’t spray foam make my house too tight?” Our answer for this is to remember the saying, “Build them tight, ventilate them right.” In fact, most houses are not too tight – windows and doors leak plenty of air. Yes, urethane spray foam insulation will make your house tight, but that’s a good thing. We do recommend installing air-to-air exchangers (ERV or HRV) to allow stale air to be exchanged efficiently.
Even if you are using standard fiberglass insulation, it may be a good idea to add mechanical ventilation to your home for mold prevention. Controlled mechanical ventilation can improve indoor air quality.
If you follow our blog, you have read our thoughts on the many benefits associated with urethane spray foam insulation – ranging from improving your home’s comfort to the added efficiency it can provide. It’s also worth noting you can expect to experience improved sound control when you insulate your home with KC Spray Foam!
We use Demilec’s SEALECTION 500 spray foam insulation to insulate, air seal and control sound in a single application. This is an effective way to reduce noise as you seal in comfort! In fact, one of the most overlooked features of open cell urethane foam is how quiet a home is after installation. Customers tell us on a regular basis they are surprised at how quiet the home is after we foam, and that it is one of the most impressive features!
The Best Bang for Your Buck: Value and Insulation
As the Polar Vortex blasted in this week, many of you may be thinking about adding or replacing insulation in your homes. This will benefit you by keeping your homes warmer and lowering utility costs. Don’t let this be you:
Choosing a Professional Spray Foam Contractor
As with any building product, improper application can result in a host of problems. If you have done research on spray foam insulation, you might have come across issues related to odor – a potential side effect of contractor error.
That’s why our spray foam contractors are all put through rigorous training. Installers must be properly trained on all aspects of spray in foam insulation, and it’s important you hire qualified contractors to ensure your spray insulation is installed right. Remember, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet – Elvis is not alive, and properly installed spray foam insulation will not have odor issues!
Spray Foam Myths
I have been a spray foam contractor since 2006 – almost 9 years now! I have had an exhibit at close to 100 home shows over the years. After spending time at my third home show in the past two weeks and preparing for the fourth coming this weekend, I thought I would share some of the most common myths about spray foam we often get asked.
Home Show Season: How to Find a Spray Foam Contractor
Like every year, mid-winter brings a flurry of Home Shows across the Mid-West. Prospective buyers and people looking to beat cabin fever walk the isles restlessly. We here at KC Spray Foam are seasoned Home Show Exhibitors – in fact there have been times where we have participated in 8-10 home shows a year!
During the building process, there are many ways to try to cut costs. And while some of these make good sense, one that generally does not is using a flash and batt wall system for your insulation. Flash and batt uses closed cell spray foam insulation as an air barrier, and then a fiberglass batt or blown in fiberglass or cellulose insulation is installed over the top of the spray foam insulation. If you’re making insulation decisions, particularly related to insulation foam spray Kansas City, read on to learn more about this option as it very well may come up during your build.
While we have seen this wall system used many times, it is not one we recommend. In fact, a quick Google search will turn up horror stories of this system failing. Here’s just one example where a hybrid system was initially installed and then ultimately corrected after the immediate appearance of moisture issues. In cold climates, flash and batt is particularly problematic. In cold climates, vapor drive comes from the interior of the home, driving outward through the fiberglass insulation, creating condensation on the cold surface of the spray in foam insulation. The key for this to work is that the spray foam insulation has to be applied at a sufficient thickness so the surface of the spray foam will not be cold, depending on your climate.
Radiant Barriers: Don’t Become a Baked Potato!
Radiant barriers are everywhere now. You can’t walk through a home and garden show without witnessing multiple companies selling different kinds of barriers. You can even find them in your local big box lumberyard. If you do a quick search on YouTube you can find a plethora of marketing videos. But do these barriers actually work, or are they “snake oil” marketing?
Insulating Your Kansas City Home
Insulation in your home is meant to stop the movement of heat. The more effective your insulation is at reducing heat flow, the lower you can expect your heating and cooling costs to be. You will often hear insulation efficacy discussed in terms of R-value, which is a measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry. R-value is the reciprocal of U-factor. According to this concept, the higher the R-value is, the better the building insulation’s effectiveness.
This gets confusing because the concept might lead you to believe that more insulation is the best solution, when in fact there is a diminishing return on investment for increasing R-values. Remember, R-value only measures one of the factors that dictates how home insulation will perform. Heat moves in and out of buildings in four ways: by conduction, convection, radiation and air infiltration. R-value is only related to conduction and does not address these other forms of movement.
Protect your Home with Attic Insulation in Kansas City.
It has been a bitter winter in Kansas City. Over the past few months we have experienced some significant storms that brought snow, ice and record-low temperatures to the metro. Aside from this weather being unpleasant, it can also cause serious damage to your home. And poor attic insulation can be a leading cause. Consider attic insulation in Kansas City.
During recent storms it’s likely you or someone you know experienced problems as a result of ice dams – a common roof performance problem with heavy snowfall. Ice dams are the result of meltwater from further up a roof that re-freezes lower on the roof. As noted by Building Science Corporation, “the ‘dam’ created by the ridge of ice along the eaves can trap further meltwater and result in significant leakage under and through the roofing, especially shingles and metal roofing.” This can damage your home’s sheathing, roof structure, ceiling and walls below.
If you’re looking at insulation for your home or building, you have likely heard product comparisons in terms of R-value – the conductive heat flow resistance of the material. This measurement is made using the guarded hotbox apparatus (see photos), a test procedure that measures the thermal conductivity of insulation material. One side of the material is heated to a specific temperature and after steady state heat flow has been reached, the temperature on the other side is measured. This measurement solely defines the conductive heat flow resistance of the material.
Once the R-value is determined, the heat flow through it can be calculated using Fourier’s Law, an equation that calculates the benefit of increasing the thickness of any type of insulation as long as there is no air movement through it.
The Basics of Energy Audits
Energy Audits can consist of many things -- and at many levels -- depending on the depth of the audit. A basic audit can consist of an auditor simply walking through the home and inspecting for some basic areas that could potentially be robbing you of energy.
Insulating Tanks with Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is a great way to insulate tanks of all types. This includes petroleum and oil field tanks, Frac tanks, water tanks, chemical tanks, agricultural and ethanol tanks, propane tanks, anhydrous tanks, and wine tanks just to name a few. There are even more industrial applications that are not listed here.