Best Insulation Contractors Saint Stephen MN
With over 140 years of experience between our spray foam insulation contractors, our team dedicates our time in expertly providing energy and healthy indoor air quality solutions to preexisting residential and commercial clients in the Saint Stephen, MN area by using the “Whole House as a System” approach to evaluate your home insulation needs and help save you money on your Saint Stephen home energy bills with quality spray foam insulation.
Local Saint Stephen Area Insulation Contractors
Saint Stephen spray foam is available in two forms:
Open-cell spray foam insulation has tiny cells that are not completely closed and are less dense and filled with air. This gives the insulation a spongy texture and a lower R-value (although it can achieve a greater R-value if not restricted by space). Low-density, open-cell polyurethane foams are similar to conventional polyurethane foams but more flexible.
Closed-cell spray foam is much denser. It has a smaller, more compact cell structure and has a higher R-value per inch. It’s also ideal for achieving a high R-value in narrower spaces.
Best Insulation for Your Home: Spray Foam?
Insulation R value guide ratings are used to measure the insulation's ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R value, the better it is expected to perform. Home insulation should be purchased based on the insulation R value guide, and not thickness or weight.
One type of insulation maybe thicker or thinner, but if the R value is the same they should insulate the same. Insulation R value performance testing is done in a 70 degrees Fahrenheit environment with no air movement. However, when you need insulation the most you're generally not in these ideal temperatures or conditions. This can result in the rated house insulation R value being greater than the actual R value. The average recommended R value of insulating material for basement insulation is R-12. The Insulation R value guide in house insulation is a lot lowered when there's any air or water or moisture leakage. The standard R value for house hold insulation varies based on climate and temperature. There are different types of house insulation materials and each one has a different R value.
Protecting your house insulation and keeping your R value high is extremely important for lower utility bills. Water is one of the more important concerns in regards to R value and house insulation. If moisture of any type gets into your house insulation, it lowers the R value. The moisture weighs the insulation down, and as a result it leaves gaps or bare spots. Superseal Dimpled Membrane provides a permanent barrier against water/moisture from entering your home. It protects the home's insulation and its R value by keeping your home dry. Superseal helps protect and increase the life expectancy of your house insulation and its R value.
Approximately 11% of your home is not insulated properly due to wood framing however, wall studs are a fact in home construction. Before you cover up the wall studs, making house insulation diagrams for any future reference is a good idea and saves a lot of headaches. The R values of wood studs act as a type of thermal bridge. The R values of wood can create a what amounts to a cold area in the insulation where the wood stud meets the sheetrock.
The cold spots can lower the effectiveness of the insulation and lower the effective average R values of the whole wall. In addition to the poor R values of wood lowering the R-values of the wall, a cold spot may lead to moisture and condensation problems. Moisture can and will condense through wall studs, which generally have the lowest insulation R values, and other framing materials of the home. If moisture does get into the wall cavity, condensation can occur where the cold R values of wood studs meet the sheetrock.
The R values of wood wall studs are measured in terms of linear inches. However, wooden wall studs generally lower the R values of your insulation. The R values of wood are specified as 1.25 per inch. To help protect against moisture entering your home and further lowering your homes r values, protect your home with Superseal Dimpled Membrane. Superseal provides a permanent barrier around your home and helps protect your homes R values. Just 4% moisture in your insulation could lower its thermal efficiency, in that area, by up to 70%.
It's important to remember when buying home insulation, that the home insulation materials with the highest R value may not be the most cost-effective. When insulating your basement wall to an R value of R-12, it might not cost as much to use 2 layers of home insulation materials with an R-6 R value rating instead of 3 R-4 R value rated home insulation materials. Just because the home insulation is the most expensive, doesn't mean it's the best.
Another home insulation tip is to make sure to buy your home insulation based on its R value not its weight or thickness. Also, if you are installing fiberglass insulation yourself, remember that the fiberglass is made of glass strands. Touching fiberglass insulation material makes you very itchy. This is because the glass breaks into tiny pieces, and gets into your hands or skin. The last and most important tip for home insulation is to make sure to protect your insulation from water and moisture. Just 4% moisture in your insulation can reduce the thermal efficiency, by up to 70%.
Home insulation is important for houses in this age of high energy cost. Home insulation helps to reduce the cost of utility bill in terms of low energy usage. Moreover, it also boosts the values and livability of houses. Therefore, home insulation is especially a must for houses that are more than 10 to 15 years old which tend to be not insulated when they were built 10 to 20 years ago. Even if they were insulated at that time of construction, the insulation technology or the material might not be as good as today's technology. Therefore, it's better for you to replace or remodel the insulation if they were installed a decade ago.
The first step to installing home insulation is to identify areas of the house that need to be insulated. The general guideline here is to look at places where there is contact or leak between the interior of your house and the outside world. A good example of this scenario will be the window. During the winter, when you open the window, you can feel the cold air from outside tends to rush into the house. It's the same in the summer where the heat will enter the house once the window is open. When this situation happens, heat loss or heat gain is occurring.
One thing to remember is that heat exchange is not restricted to just the window and the door. It also happens at places that are intact such as the wall, ceiling and the roof. Even though the wall, ceiling and the roof is a poor conductor, heat loss and heat gain will still occur. If there is a crack in the wall or a hole in the ceiling, heat loss or gain will be accelerated at a faster rate. Therefore, we need insulation to reduce or better eliminate completely the rate of heat loss and gain. With that being said, areas such as the walls, ceiling, basement, attic and the roofs are the critical areas that require to be insulated.
Once you have determined the insulation areas, next step is to choose the insulation material and types of insulation. Some common insulation materials that are affordable to most households are fiberglass, wool, paper, wood and cotton. The more expensive material is the popular polyurethane that is used in spray foam insulation. The polyurethane can cost up to several times more than the conventional materials such as fiberglass, wool and cotton. New and non-conventional insulation materials are being developed constantly in the market.
The good things about these newly developed insulation materials are most of them are made from recycle materials and are absolutely environmental friendly. With the advance of technology, scientists are constantly developing materials that are non toxic, water resistance and fire proof. One good example of a sophisticated insulation material is the one developed by Warmcel which is made of 100% recycled newspaper. Another one is the glass wool developed by Earthwool which is made of recycled glass and sand. One good example of non-conventional and environment friendly spray foam which is made from recycled plastic materials and renewable soy oils is developed by Heatlok Soy.
To recap on the importance of home insulation, houses that were not constructed with insulation installed are encouraged to be reviewed by contractors or better yet perform a home energy audit to check on the amount of energy that can be saved with insulation installed. Insulation not only preserves the limited non-renewable resource with the use of more environment friendly and recycled materials, it also boosts the sale value of the houses and makes the occupants comfortable.Thinking about taking on a green building project? If you want to build an eco-friendly building or home, take advantage of the new technology and product advancements available, that can help you conserve energy while helping the planet. Spray foam insulation is one important innovation that has numerous practical and environmental benefits.The initial price of applying spray foam will be more expensive when compared to the traditional fiberglass alternative. Due to the nature of the product, it can only be applied by professionals, driving up the costs; however, eventually a foam insulation system will not only pay for itself, but you can even profit from it.Spray foam insulation is liquid polyurethane that forms into a solid, foam-like substance once it hits a solid surface. The liquid state allows it to penetrate fine cracks and holes in the surface that products like fiberglass can't protect. Since the entire surface area is sealed, it is much more energy efficient than any other material available.It keeps more warm air in during cold months, and keeps it out when it becomes hot. Your electric bill will reduce, saving you money and helping the environment. Buildings with spray foam insulation also sell at higher prices, adding value to your property.The thick barrier that polyurethane foam creates also helps prevent sound from travelling. You won't have to worry about noisy neighbors, or disrupting anyone if you have guests over. Since it's versatile and can be sprayed on nearly any surface, you can even use it to insulate floors and ceilings. You won't have to worry about your guitar practice in the basement upsetting anyone nearby.Spray foam insulation also discourages pests from burrowing into your home. The insulation is difficult to tear through, and it can be sprayed along cracks and openings to ensure that no uninvited guests attempt to slip inside of your home. You'll no longer have to fumigate with dangerous pesticides. It can also help keep moisture out, and is excellent for preventing mold and water damage.In comparison to fiberglass, polyurethane is a far safer and more eco-friendly building product. Fiberglass is less energy efficient, often comes loose, needs to be replaced much sooner, and can be physically harmful. Fiberglass can cause redness and itchiness if touches bare skin.The small fibers can also break off (which is common). As these wiry, sharp wires float in the air, they can be accidentally and unknowingly inhaled. Their sharp ends can cut the inside of the esophagus, creating scars that are thought to be a potential cause of cancer. It is often colored bright pink and, because of its unusual texture can entice children play with it, or even put it in their mouths.On the other hand, spray foam insulation stays put. It won't fall off or disintegrate, and it's made of safe materials. You won't have to worry about dangerous particles floating through the air. It is also made from renewable and recyclable resources. Spray foam insulation not only saves energy, is more hygienic, and health friendly, but purchasing it contributes back to the economy.
The History of Home InsulationThinking about taking on a green building project? If you want to build an eco-friendly building or home, take advantage of the new technology and product advancements available, that can help you conserve energy while helping the planet. Spray foam insulation is one important innovation that has numerous practical and environmental benefits.The initial price of applying spray foam will be more expensive when compared to the traditional fiberglass alternative. Due to the nature of the product, it can only be applied by professionals, driving up the costs; however, eventually a foam insulation system will not only pay for itself, but you can even profit from it.Spray foam insulation is liquid polyurethane that forms into a solid, foam-like substance once it hits a solid surface. The liquid state allows it to penetrate fine cracks and holes in the surface that products like fiberglass can't protect. Since the entire surface area is sealed, it is much more energy efficient than any other material available.It keeps more warm air in during cold months, and keeps it out when it becomes hot. Your electric bill will reduce, saving you money and helping the environment. Buildings with spray foam insulation also sell at higher prices, adding value to your property.The thick barrier that polyurethane foam creates also helps prevent sound from travelling. You won't have to worry about noisy neighbors, or disrupting anyone if you have guests over. Since it's versatile and can be sprayed on nearly any surface, you can even use it to insulate floors and ceilings. You won't have to worry about your guitar practice in the basement upsetting anyone nearby.Spray foam insulation also discourages pests from burrowing into your home. The insulation is difficult to tear through, and it can be sprayed along cracks and openings to ensure that no uninvited guests attempt to slip inside of your home. You'll no longer have to fumigate with dangerous pesticides. It can also help keep moisture out, and is excellent for preventing mold and water damage.In comparison to fiberglass, polyurethane is a far safer and more eco-friendly building product. Fiberglass is less energy efficient, often comes loose, needs to be replaced much sooner, and can be physically harmful. Fiberglass can cause redness and itchiness if touches bare skin.The small fibers can also break off (which is common). As these wiry, sharp wires float in the air, they can be accidentally and unknowingly inhaled. Their sharp ends can cut the inside of the esophagus, creating scars that are thought to be a potential cause of cancer. It is often colored bright pink and, because of its unusual texture can entice children play with it, or even put it in their mouths.On the other hand, spray foam insulation stays put. It won't fall off or disintegrate, and it's made of safe materials. You won't have to worry about dangerous particles floating through the air. It is also made from renewable and recyclable resources. Spray foam insulation not only saves energy, is more hygienic, and health friendly, but purchasing it contributes back to the economy.
Insulation at home helps in saving energy and reducing utility bills. It makes the house more comfortable. Insulation at home not only helps in keeping the house cool in summer and warm in winter but it also prevents damage from leaking water and provides a good thermal resistance. Insulation is very useful to keep the temperature of the house as outdoor temperature.
By using insulation, the cost spent in cooling and heating the home can be reduced to a great extent. There should always be sufficient insulation at home to protect the house from air leakage, water leakage etc. R value, also known as thermal resistance is used to compute the insulation resistance. It shall be installed between the heated and unheated space.
There are many types of home insulation available. All insulation has pros and cons. They are mainly differentiated based on the material used for the insulation. They can be distinguished into Plastic foam, rigid board, reflective, loose fill, batts and blankets and blown in insulation etc. Batts and blankets insulation can be performed by the homeowner himself. No professional is required for this type of insulation. They are easily affordable and the material like blankets and batt strips are easily available in the market. Batts and Blankets insulation can be performed with the help of materials like Fiberglass, Mineral wool, plastic, concrete block, polystyrene fiber etc.
Fiberglass insulation may cause allergies to the skin if not used properly. Therefore, proper care must be taken while installing this type of insulation. Mineral wool insulation uses natural minerals for insulation. It helps in fire protection and sound reduction but it may result in respiratory problems. Plastic fiber glass insulation is performed with recycled plastic bottles. Loose fill insulations are blown in types of insulation that are mainly made with glass, fibers, vermiculite or perlite. They are mainly used in attics and walls. Cellulosic insulation is made with wood fibers and recycled newspapers. It is insect repellent and provides great resistance to fire due to the chemicals added into it. It does not provide good resistance to moisture.
Reflective insulations are made from aluminium foil and plastic films, cardboard etc. It is very useful in filtering the heat out from the home in summer. But they are a good conductor of electricity so no electric equipment or fixture should be installed near to the insulation. Foam Board insulations use polystyrene material and reduce air, heat and water leaks. They provide good resistance to moisture and can be used on ceilings, floors and walls. They provide strength to the home and provide thermal resistance.
Insulation can be performed at home in attics, on ceilings, exterior walls and garages and storage areas for proper ventilation and thermal resistance. Insulation must be performed either by professionals or proper care must be taken while installing them. Air and water leaks must be thoroughly checked before installing the insulation as moisture can dampen the efficiency of insulation or insulation may mask them. It must be checked that electrical equipment and fixtures are not getting touched by the insulation. Also some insulation can cause allergies to the skin and may cause respiratory problems so proper care must be taken while installing them.One of the most important keys to reducing your heating and cooling costs is having your home well-insulated. So what is the best insulation for your home?Spray FoamFoam insulation has two forms: Open and closed cell. Both are made from a polyurethane material and have different propellant agents added. Some are made from biodegradable materials, such as soybeans, to make the off-gases friendlier to the environment. Foam is probably the best insulation for blocking air infiltration combined with high R-value. Installed by a professional, the price of spray foam varies depending on the thickness of the walls and type of foam. Spray foam insulation is probably the best overall insulation on the market if you can afford the cost. Foam insulation lowers your heating and your cooling loads when installed correctly. Additional benefits are elimination of air infiltration, keeps out dust, mold and allergens, and does not sag or deteriorate.Open cell foam is used more in residential applications. It is less expensive to install and is easier to work with after it's in place. Open cell allows water to penetrate, so it makes an excellent roof deck insulator. If water is allowed to penetrate, you can locate roof leaks before the decking deteriorates. Biggest benefit of open cell is heat transfer in sunny locations. It takes approximately 36 hours of sun to penetrate through 8 inches of foam. This is also true for walls. So when the home is cooled, it will stay cool. The warranty of the roof material is not voided with the installation of spray foam insulation.Closed cell foam has a much more structural component to it and can support some weight without compression. Closed cell does not allow water to penetrate and is an excellent insulator for basement and crawl walls where water could be a problem. Closed cell foam has a higher R-value per inch but is very ridged and tough to work with after installation. It is most often used in commercial applications. However, it has its useful applications in homes.Foam insulation keeps mold out of walls. Mold occurs in walls with batt insulation because of "thermal loop effect". This is where the heat penetrates the exterior wall, coming in contact with the cooler interior surface of the drywall, causing moisture to form. Moisture above 25% can provide an environment for mold to grow. Spray foam blocks this heat transfer and has no air gaps in which moisture can form.One way to combat the higher cost of spray foam is to combine a couple of inches of closed cell foam with fiberglass batt insulation installed over the foam, getting the exceptional air-blocking value of foam, with the high R-value and lower cost of fiberglass insulation. Spray foam insulation costs more than fiberglass batts, but it also has approximately twice the R-value of typical fiberglass batts insulation. By combining the two you will get the best of both. Foam insulation is also particularly good for remodeling projects when there is only easy access to the basement or crawl space and the attic. By blocking the air flow from the top (attic) and bottom (crawl or basement) you stop the draftiness that some older homes have, thus making the home more comfortable.A more comfortable home is what we all are looking to achieve. Spray foam can give you warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer when combined with the appropriate HVAC system. These systems can be smaller in size when your home is better insulated with less air infiltration.
Insulation R Value GuideThe energy conservation industry has experienced explosive growth while continuing to develop new technologies. For the consumer, deciding which materials and devices offer the greatest return on investment can often be confusing.Over the last five decades, thorough research reveals that the greatest energy savings per dollar invested comes from maximizing the insulation value of a home or business. Among the different insulation materials, spray foam insulation offers substantial advantages over competing systems.Heat Transfer: Conduction, Convection, and RadiantThe purpose of any insulating material is to slow the transfer of heat. To compare the relative effectiveness of the different insulation alternatives, it is important to understand how heat moves through materials and space.Conduction:Conductive heat transfer is the process where thermal energy travels through the mass of a material on a molecular level. Conduction occurs when heat passes through a single material or multiple materials that are in direct contact with one another.Conduction is a primary method that heat uses to migrate through the ceiling, floors and walls of a structure. Placing spray foam insulation directly between two highly conductive materials will substantially slow the process, especially when compared to other insulation types such as fiberglass or cellulose.Convection:Heat that moves through the air is called convective transfer. Differing pressures between warm and cold air provide the mechanism for this kind of movement as warm air seeks out colder air. Since warm air escapes through breaches in a building's envelope, additional fuel must be used to heat the colder air that replaced it.In the cooling season, the convection transfer reverses as warmer air from the outside infiltrates into the home. Spray in foam insulation systems that seal the perimeter of the building are most effective in eliminating convention currents.Radiant Heat:Heat that is transferred through the electromagnetic spectrum is known as radiant heat. This form of heat transfer is best addressed through installing materials with surfaces that have exceptional reflectivity properties.R-Values and Spray Foam InsulationMost insulation systems are designed to address conduction fairly well, while doing a poor job of addressing convection and radiant heat transfer. The insulation industry has adopted a standard called "R-value" which is a measurement of conductive heat transfer through an insulating material over a given period of time. The problem with this standard is where its focus is, conductive heat transfer which is only small part of the pie when it comes to whole issue of heat transfer. Spray foam insulation is the only type of major insulation that performs at a high level across all three fronts of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiant heat transfer which makes it the best choice for keeping your home comfortable and your energy costs low.
Home insulation is among the essential elements that keeps indoor living as comfortable as possible. Its resistance to heat that prevents heat loss and gain is what makes everyone inside the house warm and cozy in winter and cool and relaxed in the summer. A properly insulated home also makes use of energy in the most efficient and cost effective way. Thus, whether you are in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, or Queens; insulating your New York home definitely pays and affords you the comfortably luxurious living you and your family deserves.
Other than attics and exterior walls, there are also other areas in your homes that could use some insulation for maximal comfort and functionality. This includes:
o Ceilings- with unheated areas above, cathedral ceilings;
o Interior walls- basement walls, walls that separate one room from another especially in bathrooms, knee walls;
o Floors- that cover vented crawlspaces, and those overhead porches and garages especially unheated ones.
Other than resisting heat flow, insulation also serves as a sound proofing measure that reduces the amount of noise transmitted from one room to another and from outside the house.
To ensure that your house is insulated sufficiently, consult with a professional insulation contractor. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the International Energy Conservation Code have established standard range of R-values, where R stands for the resistance to heat flow, which affords each home the highest levels of indoor comfort and optimal energy savings. There are certain areas and factors that your hired contractor will look into to ensure that the house is well-insulated like the climate, heating system and R-values of the attic, cathedral ceiling, wall cavity, sheathing, and floor.
When thinking of insulating your new home or adding insulation to your home, the options are many. Each type is made from different materials, requires specific methods of installation, ideally applicable to certain areas, and has its own set of pros and cons. To determine which type is best for your home, do some research. Some of the most commonly used types of insulation include:
o Fiberglass batts,
o Fiberglass loose-fill,
o Rigid Board extruded polystyrene,
o Rigid Board expanded polystyrene,
o Rigid Board polyurethane or isocyanurate,
o Rockwool or mineral wool,
o Reflective system,
o Concrete block insulation,
o Insulating concrete forms (ICFs),
o Vermiculite, and
o Wood shavings.
When exploring your options, there are things to consider before deciding which type of insulation to use. The higher the R-value is the better. You should also make sure the thermal performance offered by the product is long lasting. For larger energy savings throughout time, pick one that warranties a long working life. Choose one that is resistant to fire and moisture, and avoids air infiltration. And with the growing trend of going green in home remodeling, you may also consider environmental benefits.
But regardless of which insulation type you opt to use for your home, the essential key to achieving the full R-value is proper installation. Other than looking into the basic qualifications when looking for a New York contractor, it would also be advantageous to hire a contractor trained by the NAIMA - North American Insulation Manufacturers Association.