Inexpensive Insulation = Expensive Problems
Inexpensive Insulation costs you more in the end. Here's Why
Some contractors may unintentionally cut corners and expenses. They use a low-performance material and skip important steps (think winter jackets with poor performing materials.) Occasionally they miss key areas of ventilation such as bathroom vents.
You get what you pay for, right? Are all contractors out to rip you off? No, but some contractors are not experienced enough to look for, detect, and solve the variable list of problems that come from blowing in insulation and expecting results like improved energy efficiency, lower gas and electric bills, elimination of mold, pests, insects, and moisture from attics.
After they complete the project, both homeowners and handymen can be unaware of the poor ventilation or the effects of fiberglass.
Now a problem is discovered due to health issues from poor air quality, mold, asbestos, pests, water leakage, rodents, or moisture and a second round of contractors are called out to treat and fix the problems they discovered.
Mold Returns. If mold cause is not treated along with mold disinfection and protective coating solutions, it will return. Just like your shower every six months after mold treatment, bleach, scrubbing, etc. When you blow in insulation you lock vents that stops airflow and proper ventilation.
Sometimes we can treat the insulation for the mold. After that is done we make sure your attic receives proper ventilation, cut off warm air leaks from the living space, and install a combination of active and passive roof vents both on the roof and soffits.
However, sometimes we have to go as far as taking out all the insulation you just paid for and re-do the whole job.
We recommend to check and make sure the soffits are plugged or not, we can’t always see them if the insulation has been laid before we got there, especially if the soffits are lower than the ceiling.
We also make sure the bathroom fan is extended up through the roof.
The proper way to install a bathroom vent is on a 35-60 degree incline, and the longer the pipe the less the insulation. We insulate the pipe itself as well because if it is not, that could be another cause for moisture problems.
If your pipe is laying on the ground, moisture could be pooling up and can cause more unseen water damage.
Green Attic puts a baffle in every single rafter, that way if one is blocked or improperly installed the next one over allows airflow.
Another thing we always check is the bathroom fans. The bath fans must be extended through the roof not just near the soffits or vented out through the soffits. The ejected moisture goes down and right back in the perforated soffit at another location then the steam rises up back into the attic.
Here is a real example from a client of ours. We see this problem all too often:
Mold in the attic, how?
A customer called us to the house due to a large mold colony of growth on both sides of the interior attic sheathing.
After examination, we can detect and formulate a treatment plan to eliminate the cause. The dryer was exhausting right under a soffit leading to the attic. This meant all the heat and moisture expelled from the dryer was coming out but then went right into the soffit and up into the attic.
This was not realized until we came in and used our thermal imaging cameras to track the movement of heat.
Why Green attic is better
We are priced competitively in the field of BPI certified companies, meaning a proper price for the proper amount of work done for your home.
We are BPI certified building performance institute.
As an added bonus we are part of the rebate program which runs through Nicor, and Peoples Gas, and Northshore Peoples Gas. This means when we insulate your Attic, you and your home are awarded a silver star certificate from Energy Star. If we insulate both your attic and walls Energy Star gives you and your home a gold star certificate.
After all of that your home property value also automatically increases by 2%
A common problem we have is that a lot of our customers have insulation and still get mold. The problem is when the lower costing contractors insulate, they don’t care to make sure the vents don’t get blocked by the insulation.
Other houses don’t have insulation for 20 years but the structure of the house changes. Shifts in movements cause bigger cracks and gaps. Or families that turn on the humidifier create all this moisture that will migrate to the wall and up into the attic, and when this attic is no not properly ventilated the moisture will produce mold.
We concentrate on eliminating any factors that participate in the creation of mold.
Since our warranty is for 5 years it’s in both ours and the customer’s interest that we take our time and do the long process right the first time.
- Cracks in your basements foundation walls allow moisture in and increases humidity
- Leaking pipes in crawl space
- Cooking a lot? kitchen exhaust vent not properly installed of powerful enough will build up moisture in the attic
One square foot of mold? You still have to treat the entire attic, mold spores have already spread and as soon as moisture touches the spores boom, they grow.
We had to stop working on an attic in the winter because of a mold issue. When the inspection was first taken place when the homeowner purchases the house, there was no mold in the attic. The mold spores lying dormant in the attic were introduced to moisture as summer changed to winter and by the time our crew had shown up, mold was abundant.
Mold survives in climates we as humans can’t. The only thing we can control is humidity. When we control the humidity, we keep the home healthy. Green Attic Healthy Home Happy Family.
We have written a great article on how to set your thermostat for proper moisture control, which you can read here.
We prefer dense pack cellulose. its a natural moister barrier, it stops air moment which stop moisture.
It is treated with borate minerals, which don’t allow mold to grow from their and keeps insets from nesting in there. Cellulose is an organic material with a slow burn rate, posing no threat to the living conditions of the people living in the home.
Spray foam is plastic and glue, mixed with harmful gasoline. When the foam falls apart it gets into the air of the home and into the lungs of people living there.
When you spray foam and its not properly done it can create a chemical reaction and make the home smell. its a chemical reaction creating an unsafe living environment in the home.
Spray foam will also fill up your home with smoke in seconds in the event of a fire.
Here is a video showcasing the fire proof of different types of insulation.
Cellulose burns the slowest and for obvious reasons is the safest, allowing more time for your family to get out of the house and less structural damage to the home.
Fiber glass is not that efficient as it expands 19% from the bag. This means you can compress it 19 times and it will become flatter and flatter. A raccoon gets loose in your attic for a day or so? All that insulation get smashed and your R value drops significantly.
Air passes through fiber glass like an open window. This brings pieces of fiber glass all throughout the house. There are multiple lawsuit against fiber glass companies, due to glass being inside peoples lungs. Cellulose is an organic, natural material.
If the house has had mold, we highly recommend installing a solar fan. We used to power power fans how ever the problem with those is that after a couple years they break down, and they don’t run during the spring time. This can lead to birds making nests in the fan and when summer time comes, it will be jammed.
These fans need to be greased and maintained every year, when as the last time you we into the attic to grease your fan? That’s why these warranty only last 2-3 years.
Solar fans only cost $100 more and they last way longer with lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
Have you heard they aren’t as powerful? That’s true, so they run all day. So solar fan acts like passive ventilation.