Do You Have Moisture Problems in Your Crawl Space?

Spring rain and winter thaw in the Delmarva Peninsula can uncover previously unnoticed problems in your crawl space. Improper drainage can lead to more significant problems including structural damage, infiltration of pests and mold.

Controlling the moisture in your crawl space is a priority in keeping it dry.

Moisture control begins around the exterior of your home and many problems can be avoided here early on. Installing gutters is fairly inexpensive compared to the benefits. Gutters direct the rain water away from the foundation and away from your crawl space. If you are unable to install gutters, hire a professional to grade the ground around your home so water flows away from the structure.

After external issues have been handled, closely inspect the inside of your crawl space. Dirt floors should usually be sealed with a material such as polyethylene because, even if they look dry, they can discharge moisture into your crawl space.

Take care of your crawl space issues now before they create a larger problem with your foundation or your health.

SPRING IS HERE! CHECK YOUR CRAWL SPACE

Spring is coming! That means more sunny days and warmer temperatures. It also means winter melting and spring showers.

Spring is here! That means more sun and warmer days. It also means melting snow and spring showers. Make sure your crawl space is in proper condition to help keep water out and maintain the structural integrity of your home.

When preparing your home for spring, keep these things in mind when checking your crawl space:

INSULATION
By properly insulating and conditioning your crawl space, you can help the floors in your home maintain a constant temperature. If you decide to insulate your crawl space, consider spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulates and seals cracks and any other penetration points in one application. If you decide to completely seal your crawl space (also known as a conditioned crawl space) you could add storage space to the square footage of your home.

CRACKS
It is common for cracks to form in the walls of a crawl space. You can assist in keeping water and pests out of your crawl space by sealing these points. Spray foam can help by insulating and air sealing in one step.

DRAINAGE
Keep water out of your crawl space by moving it away from your foundation. By ensuring that water can drain away from your home, it will not enter your crawl space. If water pools around your home, consider contacting a professional to address issues with grading around your home.

Spring showers and winter melting are here! Now is the time to examine your crawl space. Contact our office to schedule a free estimate. Have other crawl space or insulation questions? Give us a call!

 

Attic Insulation Options: Good, Better and Best

When it comes to home insulation, the first area that comes to mind is the attic. Airflow in buildings moves from ground to sky,…

When it comes to home insulation, the first area that comes to mind is the attic. Airflow in buildings moves from ground to sky, naturally pulling conditioned indoor air up and out of a structure. Proper attic insulation helps keep conditioned air inside your home and helps keep your home comfortable. To help you choose the best attic insulation option for your new home, we’ve rated three popular methods:

Good: Blown-in Fiberglass
Adding blown-in fiberglass insulation to a new attic is a quick and easy way to increase R-value. This basic method of attic insulation is a cost effective option.

Better: Blown-in Fiberglass with Air Sealing
Insulating and sealing air leaks dramatically improve the energy efficiency of a new home. The first step is to seal penetration points around the attic floor. After air sealing is complete, a blanket of blown-in fiberglass insulation is installed. This method helps keep conditioned air inside the home and adds R-value.

Best: Spray Foam Insulation
Installing spray foam insulation in the attic of a new home provides optimal energy protection. Spray foam is installed along the roofline to create a thermal barrier along the attic ceiling and seal any air leaks. This application provides the best energy benefits available in one easy step.

Adding insulation to your attic is one of the most cost effective ways to save money on your energy bills each month. Wondering which insulation method is right for your new home project? Have questions on one of the methods or other insulation options for a new home? Contact our office today!

Tips to Prevent Freezing Pipes

It is well known that our area of the country has been facing cold temperatures! We have been inundated with phone calls…

It is well known that our area of the country has been facing cold temperatures! We have been inundated with phone calls from builders and homeowners who are dealing with frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are an inconvenience and can cause serious damage. When the temperature of a water pipe drops below freezing, water volume in the pipe can expand up to 10%. This causes increased pressure on water pipes and valves, and can cause pipes to burst.

It is important to protect pipes from exposure to cold temperatures. Here are three ways to protect pipes from freezing:

  1. Add insulation to walls that are affected by water pipes. This can include the addition of dense packed fiberglass, spray foam or injection foam insulation to external walls.
  2. Cover exposed pipes in attics or crawl spaces. Foam insulation can protect water pipes from cold temperatures, and it is water resistant which makes it ideal for use on water pipes.
  3. Seal gaps around basement rim joists or seal your crawl space. This will assist in keeping cold air away from pipes. It will also help the main floor of your home retain an ambient temperature.

If your home has frozen water pipes or you want to prevent future damage, contact our office to schedule your free estimate. Our team will review your home and make recommendations for ways you can help reduce the risk of your pipes freezing.

Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey was the strongest storm to make landfall in the Texas Coastal Bend area since Hurricane Carla in September 1961. The flooding resulting from Harvey’s flooding is one of the worst weather disasters in U.S. history. It’s estimated the storm damage will amount to billions of dollars.

Even though Hurricane Harvey is off the front page of daily news, there’s no doubt the impact of this storm is far from over. The real heavy lifting of recovery and reconstruction is underway, and will continue for quite some time.

With many connections to the Houston area, the founders of Delmarva Insulation and its affiliated companies have been moved to assist. To this end, Delmarva Insulation along with Delmarva Spray Foam, DeVere Insulation, DeVere Insulation Home Performance, Foam InSEALators, Liberty Insulation, Southland Insulators and The Fifth Fuel have donated $28,000 to help with recovery efforts.

Bob and Carolyn DeVere along with Jerry and Nancy Palmer have selected two Texas charities to receive these funds – Samaritan’s Purse and Tomball Emergency Assistance Ministries. Each organization received $14,000 to aid in their mission of helping local families recover from this tragedy.

We are proud to support our local communities and support others during times of tragedy. If you are moved, we encourage you to donate to one of these Houston-based organizations to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

 

Three Things Missing in Your New Home

When building a new home there are many decisions to make! It’s easy to overlook preparing your home for extreme temperatures in exchange for things like choosing countertops, flooring and more.

Failure to give your new home’s energy efficiency the proper attention can cause problems like higher energy bills, equipment malfunctions, pest issues and more. If you’re building a new home, here are three critical steps to help make your home energy efficient and comfortable:

  1. Sealing Air Leaks
    Air sealing is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to help reduce energy loss and keep energy bills low. A leaky home can waste approximately 10 to 15 percent of a home’s heating dollars. Air leaks are found around doors, windows, wires, electrical outlets, ducts and more. Sealing these penetration points will dramatically increase the comfort of your home.
  2. Installing Upgraded Attic Insulation
    Fiberglass insulation is a great way to add R-value to an attic. Upgrading the attic of a new home with spray foam insulation will seal air leaks and add R-value with one step. Spray foam insulation can also minimize external sound bleed and add strength to your home.
  3. Sealing and Insulating Your Crawl Space or Basement
    An uninsulated crawl space or basement can have a huge impact on the comfort of your home. Both areas are in direct contact with the ground and any moisture. When your basement or crawl space is cold and damp, this can cause the floors of your home’s main level to be cold and dramatically affect your comfort. Properly sealing and insulating your crawl space or basement can pay off.

Don’t overlook these key steps of home construction. Your wallet and your family will thank you! If you are ready to insulate a new home, contact us for a free estimate!

 

Flash and Batt: High Performance at a Lower Price

Fiberglass insulation and spray foam insulation are two of today’s most popular building insulation products. Fiberglass insulation has a competitive price point and spray foam insulation has air sealing benefits. Flash and batt installation brings together these two products in one application for use as new home insulation, commercial insulation and industrial insulation.

Flash and batt is also known as a hybrid insulation system. Flash and batt provides the benefit of air sealing with spray foam insulation at a lower price point than full foam. This is a great option for a contractor looking for air sealing and is mindful of a tight construction budget.

In a flash and batt system, one inch of closed cell spray foam insulation is applied. Once this is dry, a fiberglass batt is placed over the top of the foam.

Flash and batt insulation is a good insulator to consider if you are looking for the air sealing benefits of spray foam insulation at a lower price point than full spray foam. To learn more about flash and batt, click here. Ready for an estimate for your next project? Contact our office for a free estimate.

 

What is Mineral Wool?

Different types of insulation can be helpful depending on the project. Mineral wool is a great option to insulate commercial and industrial projects. What is mineral wool? Mineral wool insulation is also known as rock wool insulation or slag wool insulation. It is manufactured in batt and loose-fill forms, and can be used to insulate any area of a building. In addition to insulating commercial and industrial projects, mineral wool can be used to insulate residential homes.

Here’s a bit about what makes mineral wool insulation unique:

  • Mineral wool is manufactured from basalt, a volcanic rock, and is naturally fire retardant. This can be of particular interest in commercial and industrial construction projects.
  • Mineral wool has high thermal performance. It can withstand temperatures of over 700 degrees, making it ideal for commercial or industrial insulation applications that are exposed to extreme heat.
  • Mineral wool is naturally very moisture resistant. It retains its insulating qualities even when wet, making it a great option to insulate a space that faces moisture issues.

To learn more about mineral wool insulation, click here. If you think mineral wool insulation is right for your next project, contact our office for your free insulation estimate.

Three Ways to Minimize Mold

Mold in a home can cause a variety of problems for homeowners and builders. Mold can affect indoor air quality, create health issues for occupants, and be a complicated problem to fix.

In order for mold to grow it needs mold spores to be present (which are all around), moisture, and warm temperatures. While all three elements are necessary for mold to grow, moisture regulation is a significant contributor that can be managed.

While moisture in a home is impossible to avoid, there are a few simple ways to decrease the likelihood of developing mold:

  1. Seal the Building Envelope.
    Properly air sealing wall cavities helps keep moist outside air out of the home. If needed, allow drying time for the materials before closing up the wall. This should include carefully monitoring humidity levels on the job site.
  2. Add Proper Ventilation.
    When a building is air sealed, it’s important to have a proper ventilation system. This helps move out any damp air that could contribute to mold issues in the home.
  3. Seal Basement Box Sills.
    One of the most common areas where mold growth is found is on basement rim joists and box sills. When basement box sills are insulated with fiberglass batts and not air sealed, moist outside air can infiltrate the home and mold can build up behind these batts. Insulating and sealing box sills with spray foam insulation can prevent infiltration of moist outside air.

Taking the necessary steps to prevent mold from the beginning will save headaches and money for homeowners. Concerned about mold in your home? We can help. Contact us for a free estimate.

 

Delmarva Insulation Supports Milford High School

In the fall of 2016, Delmarva Insulation was contacted by Milford High School’s Odyssey of the Mind team.  Odyssey of the Mind is a year-long academic competition where students compete to solve difficult long-term problems in unique ways.  At the time we were contacted, the team was looking to create a backdrop to resemble a stone wall. The team was in need of foam board insulation that would be gently heated and painted to look like rock.

Delmarva Insulation donated foam board to the team. After many hours of work, the student team transformed the foam board into a simulated rock wall. To make the foam look like stonework, the kids used a soldering iron to carve lines and then a heat gun to contour the foam, giving it a rock like appearance.  A few coats of black latex paint then gave the desired effect.

Their efforts paid off! In early 2017 the team participated in the World Finals. They placed 15th in the world!

Congratulations to these students and their advisors!