Spring is Around the Corner! Time to Check Your Crawl Space

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

Crawl Space Problems During Spring

Spring is coming! That means more sunny days and warmer temperatures. It also means winter melting and spring showers. Ensuring your crawl space is in proper condition is important to help keep water out and maintain your home’s structural integrity.

When getting your home ready for spring, be sure to keep these things in mind when checking your crawl space:

INSULATION

Properly insulating and conditioning your crawl space can help the floors in your home maintain a consistent temperature. If you choose to insulate your crawl space, consider spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation insulates and seals cracks and other penetration points in one application. If you choose to completely seal your crawl space (also known as a conditioned crawl space) you could even add storage space to your home’s square footage.

CRACKS

Cracks can commonly form on the walls of a crawl space. You can help keep water and pests out of your crawl space by sealing these points. Installing spray foam can help by insulating and air sealing with one step.

DRAINAGE

Moving water away from your foundation will help keep it out of your crawl space. By ensuring water properly drains away from your home, it will find its own path away from your crawl space. If water pools around your home consider contacting a landscape architect or other professional to address issues with grading around your home.

Spring showers and winter melting will come soon! 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!

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!

 

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, 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 increases 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 improves 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!

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!

What You Don’t Know About Your Home’s Air Quality

paint brush, plant and cleaning supplies

Did you know the majority of our exposure to air pollutants is from indoor air we breathe?

You may be surprised to learn that indoor air (in your home, office, etc.) can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) estimates that the average person receives 72 percent of their chemical exposure at home. When considering the significant amount of time we spend indoors – in our homes, offices, and more – indoor air quality becomes even more important.

Indoor air pollutants come from different sources. Some indoor air pollutants are a byproduct of construction materials, home furnishings, products used to clean the home, and more. Other indoor air pollutants come from air infiltration that isn’t properly managed or controlled.

There are many ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality. Here are some tips:

Seal Air Leaks – Sealing air leaks helps create a controlled indoor environment. A qualified auditor or contractor can recommend a plan to air seal your home. Spray foam insulation can add r-value to your home and seal air leaks in one step.

Properly Ventilate – Once air leaks are sealed and there is a controlled indoor environment, the home can be properly ventilated. A mechanical ventilation system with good filtration can help remove polluted indoor air from the house.

Reduce Indoor Chemicals – Choose products that have low chemical emissions. This can include cleaning products, home furnishings that are added to the home, and more. This will help your home ventilation system work most effectively.

Have questions about your home’s indoor air quality? Contact our office, our team is happy to help.