Since insulation’s beginning, it was installed with the purpose of creating a thermal barrier around a building — and keeping those inside safe, comfortable, and protected from the elements. Little did we know building science would come on the scene and change our industry in a big way. And it’s here to stay.

There is a lot to know about building science — we’ve taken the time to break it down for you.

Much of building science focuses on air flow. Improper air flow can have severe effects on the health and safety of the people in the building. It can also cause mold growth, spread pollutants  and more. Controlling air flow increases the efficiency of a building, reduces stress on mechanicals and controls indoor air quality.

There are a few key conditions that affect air flow (courtesy ENERGYSTAR.gov):
  • Controlled versus uncontrolled airflow
    • Controlled air flow is generated by a mechanical device and is designed to help ventilate a building and/or distribute conditioned air throughout a building. Ventilation systems, fans and heating and cooling systems are typical sources of controlled air flow.
    • Uncontrolled air flow is unintended air flow into, out of, or within a building. This can be caused either by wind, warm air rising in the building, uncontrolled fans and leaks in an air handling system.
  • Air pressure from wind, heat, fans and duct systems
    • Pressure differences across holes, boundaries, and barriers within a building are caused by one of four forces:
      • Wind blowing against a building can cause large pressure differences between one side of the building and the other.
      • Heat and the buoyancy of hot air affects air pressure. Heat naturally attempts to rise to the top of a building (called stack pressure or stack effect. The amount of pressure depends on the temperature difference between the inside and outside of the building, as well as the height of the building.
      • Fans (particularly exhaust fans and HVAC air handlers) can contribute to pressures changes in several different ways. Leakage in the building envelope or the ducting, or an imbalance in the supply and return ducts can cause these fans to have a drastic effect.
      • Duct systems that leak to the outside of the building on both the supply and return sides of the system can cause infiltration rates to increase by as much as 300%.
  • Holes and pathways
    • Uncontrolled air flow (infiltration) into a building is a result of holes in the building’s shell. By reducing the number of holes in the building, and you reduce the amount of uncontrolled air flow. Buildings have two kinds of holes: designed holes and undesigned holes.
      • Undesigned holes in the home are found in the attic, walls, and floors. Any of these holes that connect to the outdoors should be adequately blocked, caulked, gasketed, or otherwise adequately sealed
      • Designed holes include any hole or system that is designed to have air passing through it in a specific direction. Examples of such holes include flues and combustion vents, chimneys, make-up fans, exhaust fans, dryer vents, cooktop fans, ventilation systems, central vacuums, windows and doors, and fresh air inlets/outlets.
All of these things are incredibly important conditions to consider when improving the energy efficiency of a home or business. The way air moves through a building matters — and it ultimately determines how comfortable (and healthy) you are where you live as well as how much it will cost you for that comfort over the lifetime of your home.

Have questions on the air flow in your home or building? Give us a call today!
We recently completed a project for the Indian River School District for their expansion to the Georgetown Elementary School/Georgetown Middle school complex. They are in the process of completing an eight classroom expansion. We applied over 6,000 square feet of Agribalance Open Cell spray foam from Demilec which also included a thermal barrier.

Applying spray foam insulation reduces air leakage which will improve energy efficiency, and reduce moisture intrusion, and reduce outside contaminants such as dust, dirt, and allergens.

The entire addition is scheduled to be completed in July of this year.
Conditioned Crawl Space with added storage - view 1
Conditioned Crawl Space with added storage - view 2Conditioned crawl spaces are designed to increase the building envelope, which essentially makes the crawl space part of the house. For this recent Camden, DE project (and most crawl space conditioning projects we do), foam board was installed around the walls of the crawl space and then covered with poly liners. After that was complete we air sealed between the floor of the house and the top of the crawl space.

And by running a duct from the house into the crawl space to heat or cool it, the temperature of the floor on the main level of the home is regulated from below, making the home more comfortable.

Let’s not forget one more benefit - the additional storage space in a conditioned crawl space! Want to see the valuable real estate could be hiding under your home? Give us a call!

Conditioned Crawl Space with added storage - view 3

April Showers mean May crawl space problemsSpring rain and thaw can reveal problems in your crawl space  that may have gone unnoticed over the winter. Here are some common problems found in crawl spaces this time of year, and how insulation can help!

Drainage problems can wreak havoc in your crawl space. This contributes to a host of other problems and can lead to more significant problems including structural damage. Your home may need exterior grading to divert water away from the foundation, and sealing with spray foam can help as well.

Critters & Bugs
You might unknowingly be providing free room and board to some pesky tenants and not even know it! Crawl spaces are ideal for pests for a variety of reasons, including:
  • Damp environments are the perfect habitat for insects to flourish
  • Leaky heating ducts provide warmth to critters in the winter
  • Wet/damp wood framing provides an excellent food source for termites, and other destructive insects.
Air sealing and insulating your crawl space will prevent access points to your crawl space, as well as eliminate moisture and warmth factors that attracted the pests in the first place.

Mold
Mold allergens in the crawlspace can move into the living spaces of the home and cause respiratory difficulties in individuals with allergies and asthma. If mold is found in your crawl space it must be removed by a properly certified company. You can help by having your crawl space sealed before this problem starts.

Poor Air Quality
Although not included in your home's square footage, the crawl space is still part of the building envelope. It has a direct impact on the air quality in the living area of your home. The natural airflow of a home is from bottom to top (ground to sky). As your home naturally breathes, the moist air (and everything in it) flows up and into the living areas of the home through your home's floor and unsealed air penetrations (like ducts and flooring gaps from wiring, conduit, and plumbing). If there are indoor air quality issues in the crawl space, they are guaranteed to impact the living areas in the floor above.

Air sealing and insulating your crawl space will improve the air quality in your home by eliminating the causes of the problems as well as sealing your home preventing air infiltration.

Contact or call us today for a free estimate to air seal and insulate your crawl space. Or call us with questions about your crawl space issues.
Our team believes in working hard, and enjoying some fun times together, too! Our sales team recently spent a fun evening at Escape Rehoboth in Rehoboth Beach DE. The event is set up like a live version of the board game Clue. Guests are in a room that is theme-decorated and they search the room for clues.

Each team has up to 60 minutes to find all the clues. Our team found all the clues in 43 minutes – the fastest time out of our room was 41 minutes!

After this fun event, the team headed to Big Fish Grill for dinner. A big thank you to our team members who made this a great event!
In case you haven't heard, the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit has been renewed! This is great news if you plan to make any energy efficiency updates to your home this year. It is also a great reminder to apply any updates you made last year to your taxes this year. You could be eligible for a tax credit up to $500!

Here is a list of product eligible for tax credits.
(To be eligible these projects must be complete by December 31, 2016.)

Building envelope improvements
  • Insulation materials and systems
  • Exterior doors and windows, including skylights
  • Roofs—pigmented roofs designed to reduce heat gain, and asphalt roofs with cooling granules

Heating, cooling, and water heating equipment
  • Advanced main air circulating fan
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler
  • Electric heat pump water heater
  • Electric heat pump
  • Central air conditioner
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil water heater
  • Biomass stoves

These products have specific requirements to qualify for the tax credit so make sure you review the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit requirements before making a claim on your taxes or planning a project for 2016.

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
If you have set your sights on a larger renewable home energy project for this year like a solar energy system or even a geothermal heat pump, you're in luck too! Those tax credits have been renewed as well. Be sure to read the details on the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit requirements before planning your project.

Have questions on how upgrading your insulation would apply to these tax credits? Give us a call!
It doesn't take bitter cold to freeze a water pipe. Temperatures only have to dip to about 20°F for a few hours for an exposed water pipe to be at risk of freezing.

The solution is to keep these pipes from being exposed to cold temperatures. Here's how:
  • Insulate the walls to protect pipes.
  • Cover exposed pipes in crawl spaces or attics with insulation sleeves.
  • Re-route pipes to an inside wall.
  • Seal any cracks in the foundation or walls that allow pipes to be exposed to cold air.
  • If pipes are in an outside wall to reach a bathroom or kitchen, keep cabinet doors open below the sink to allow warm air to reach pipes and keep them from freezing.

Call us! We can help make sure your home is properly air sealed and insulated.

Contact Us

Delmarva Insulation
22976 Sussex Avenue
Georgetown, DE 19947

(302) 854-0344
copyright 2016 Delmarva Insulation