Spray Foam Myths 101

Would air-tight spray foam prevent my house from being able to “breathe?
It is a common misconception that houses need to “breathe”. What really matter is that the people living inside the house have efficient, quality air! The best way to do that is to provide an air-tight seal throughout the house and have a proper air management system. Spray foam can accomplish this by preventing outside factors from contaminating your clean air via leaky, drafty, inefficient buildings.

The chemicals in spray foam are harmful to my health.
Spray foam is actually more environmentally friendly than older types of insulation. The newer foam insulation contains less VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can be released into the air. Creative Conservation only uses reputable manufacturers who have products labeled as NO VOC. It also has zero food value, therefore not allowing any bacteria or fungus growth. Spray foam also does not attract pests such as mice to utilize it in any sort of way.

Spray foam is used only for insulation.
Actually, spray foam acts as a sealant which repels moisture as well. Moisture is a real nuisance that can cause mold and mildew, making areas like the basement smell bad and allow drafts. That’s why spray foam is a superior choice for keeping out mold, which is caused by water infiltration.

Open-cell foam is better than closed-cell foam
These two terms are often confused. It is said that one is better than the other, when in reality, they are both used differently for different situations. Closed-cell foam is more versatile than open-cell foam when it comes to insulating buildings or rooms that need serious temperature control. These can include below-grade basements, wine rooms, pool houses, and other applications with significant temperature and humidity differences. On the other hand, open-cell foam is better used in regular spaces that don’t require the additional physical properties of closed-cell foam.

Spray foam is too expensive
While the initial investment of spray foam may seem on the more expensive side, the ROI over time on energy and money savings usually outweigh that cost. The standard payback period, for both open-cell and closed-cell foam, in all climate zones, is less than five years. That’s more than a 20 % ROI! Spray foam is efficient, long-lasting, and it pays for itself.

If any of your concerns were not addressed in the article, contact us today! We can answer any questions that you have about spray foam installation and all of the other services we offer!

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Insulation is the Answer!

With temperatures steadily dropping, it’s important to know how having, or not having, insulation affects the temperature inside your home. Insulation can single-handedly be the most important factor when it comes to keeping your thermal environment under control. While your HVAC system is responsible for pumping warm air into the house, it’s the insulation’s job to retain that air temperature. When prepping your home for winter, it can be beneficial to start mapping the energy loss in your home.

If you don’t already know, it’s important to understand how HVAC systems work and how energy losses occur daily. By walking through your home, you can spot areas that are allowing indoor air to escape and outdoor air to come inside. Conduction, radiation, and convection are the three processes that allow heat transfer from outdoors, to your home, then to your body. It’s commonly known that heat rises. Once the warmth is carried upward by the air absorbing it, cooler air moves in to take its place and, in turn, takes more of your body heat. To stop this process from happening so frequently, we turn to insulation as a solution.

Knowing where you need to insulate is the first step. Parts of your home that clearly allow air to escape, such as the attic, walls, floors, crawl space, and basement, are the best place to install insulation. If you cover your bases there, you should be set to endure the winter in a comfortable living space while saving money and energy!

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Hiring an Insulation Contractor: 5 Things You Should Know

Finding the right contractor to hire to work on your home can be a tough choice. We broke it down into 5 things to look for when looking for a reliable source.

They should fit certain expectations

It’s important to find out the history of the company. How long have they been in business doing insulation? Do they have the proper training and certifications in addition to adequate experience? Customer testimonials and reviews are also a helpful way to determine if the company would be a good fit.

They should have extensive knowledge on a range of insulation types

An expert insulation contractor is someone who is knowledgeable about all the different types of insulation and how they are used. You could do some research and effectively quiz the candidate to see if he or she seems to understand the functionality of different materials.

They should be properly licensed

Any insulation contractor should be properly licensed by the state. If not, this could cause problems down the road, such as legal or financial trouble.

They should be insured

It’s crucial that you make sure the company is insured. Accidents happen; therefore, the company should have general liability insurance. That way, they can cover any damages that may accidentally happen to your home in the process.

Follows industry standards

During the process of uninstalling old insulation and reinstalling new insulation, there are a couple things that your contractor should be prepared to handle. This things include dealing with insulation materials, properly disposing of old insulation materials, and knowing how to handle the risk factors such as asbestos and mold.

Why work with us?

Creative Conservation is an efficient team that provides our customers with an unparalleled arsenal of energy expertise. From products to personnel to performance, Creative Conservation has taken the next step in all-around insulation satisfaction.

Want to know more? Contact us today!

Are you thinking it is time to update your home to spray foam insulation? If so, make sure Creative Conservation is your first choice. Give us a call (804-798-2727), or fill out our online request form.

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Caring for Your Crawl Space

It might be a surprise to you that your home’s crawl space – an area rarely ventured into or checked on – is one of the most important parts of your home. If your crawl space is not properly sealed, you could be dealing with a host of problems, from mold and mildew to costly energy bills.
Redfin recently published a great article with some helpful tips about proper crawl space care. You can read the full article here. An excerpt is below:

“Homes with poor ventilation are more susceptible to crawl space issues than others. Without regular evaluation, you may not know there is a problem until it’s too late. Signs of excessive moisture throughout the home are often readily noticeable, but signs of moisture in your crawl space may be harder to detect. Unfortunately, moisture in a crawl space can be just as problematic, causing complications such as mildew, dust mites, mold, and wood rot. When there is nowhere left for moisture to go within a crawl space, it can then travel into your insulation, flooring, and walls to create even larger problems. Crawl spaces with exposed dirt most commonly have trouble with an excess of moisture.

[The solution?] A vapor barrier is one of the best ways to protect your home against the encroachment of moisture. Essentially a large plastic sheet placed over the base of a crawl space, vapor barriers are intended to fully cover any exposed dirt. While this doesn’t completely eliminate moisture, it does slow the process significantly. At 50 to 70 cents per square foot, sheet plastic is a cost-effective barrier for moisture in your crawl space. A vapor barrier can be a DIY project if you’re willing to get down and dirty, but the labor that goes into covering the entire ground area can be challenging to accomplish on your own. You’ll need a friend to help you pass the rolls of sheet plastic back and forth through the crawl space, or if this sounds too labor-intensive, a professional contractor may be the way to go.”

If you’re looking to update your crawl space, we can provide a free estimate! Give us a call at 804-798-1127.

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The Lifestyle of Sustainable Homes

More and more often, people are choosing to make their homes more sustainable, energy-efficient, and better for the environment. Whether it’s a new build or upgrades to an existing home, this topic is increasingly in the news and on social media feeds everywhere.
We recently came across an interesting article regarding a homeowner that went completely green with a new home build, following LEED standards all the way. The home included interesting features such as a rooftop garden, non-urea formaldehyde cabinetry, and stairs made out of reclaimed wood. You can read the entire article here – here are some of the highlights of what was included in the new home she had built:

  1. Energy-Star Appliances – there’s no incremental cost and they are obviously pre-certified for energy-efficiency.
  2. LED Lighting – more expensive than standard lighting but it creates a great return on investment.
  3. Ground-Source Heat Pump – high cost, but the system is incredibly efficient and pays for itself in about seven years.
  4. Closed-cell spray foam insulation – higher cost than standard pink fiberglass, but worth every penny in reduced energy costs and improved comfort.
  5. Triple-Pane, Low-E Windows – higher cost, but keeps temperature regulated inside home.

These are just a few of the considerations you could think about if you’re looking to upgrade your home’s energy efficiency. When it comes to insulation, give us a call at (800) 798-1127 and we will be happy to talk to you about our options!

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