Monthly Archives: December 2016

Unseen Water Damage: Top 3 Areas to Check in Your Home

unseen water damage insulation kansas cityExcess moisture in your home becomes a dangerous and expensive problem if left unchecked. Controlling moisture will make heating and cooling your home easier, increasing energy-efficiency and saving you money. You will also prevent unsightly mold growth, leaving your home cleaner and more comfortable. But with these simple and effective strategies from the team at A+ Insulation, you can keep your home safe, sound, and free of unchecked moisture.

Excess Moisture: What’s the Big Deal?

Many homeowners don’t realize how devastating the effects of excess water vapor can be on their homes. As warm, moist air encounters a colder surface (walls in your home), the vapor reaches its “dew point” and condenses. This condensed water continually soaks into the walls, causing water damage to the surface. Your entire home can be affected by this process, but there are three key areas that are prone to expensive water damage from moisture:

These surfaces, when wet, allow the passage of more moisture, creating a problem that grows exponentially larger and more expensive to fix. If left unprotected, these areas can weaken from regular dampening, which is why it’s important to take early preventative measures to minimize the risk of water damage in your home.

3 Key Methods to Prevent Moisture Damage

Make sure that your home is protected before exposing it to excess moisture. This will save you from the extra cost of outfitting protection in an already damaged home. There are many ways to control excess moisture in your home, but these three key methods prove most effective in preventing damage from water vapor.

  • Air Sealing
  • Proper Ventilation
  • Insulation

Air Sealing and Ventilation

Air leaks are one of the most common ways water vapor enters a building cavity. It is imperative that proper ventilation is installed and unwanted airways are sealed to ensure moisture doesn’t get trapped inside of your home. Air leaks in your home’s ventilation system should be properly filled with caulk. Components that can move should be sealed with weatherstripping to stop air leaks while not in use.

Insulation

Diffusion through materials plays a huge role in excess moisture reaching areas of your home. Improper, poor, or no insulation in an area of your home is sure to show the long-term effects of excess moisture. Effects range from material water damage to structural damage to mold growth to a drop in energy-efficiency through heat transfer. Here at A+ Insulation, we specialize in finding the perfect insulation for any area of your home. Here are some of the many insulation options available for your unique situation.

Foundation Insulation

  • Blanket: Batts and rolls of fiberglass, mineral wool, or other fibers offer an inexpensive and quick installation for unfinished foundation walls, ceilings, floors, and attics.
  • Rigid Foam/Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs): Foam boards or blocks are installed for the same purpose as Blanket style insulation, typically during construction of the home. These methods offer a high insulation value for their thickness.

Existing Wall Insulation

  • Loose-fill/Blow-in: Typically consisting of fiberglass or cellulose, this insulation is blown into place using special equipment. These options are great for insulating finished and irregularly shaped areas, like attic rafters.
  • Reflective System: Foil-faced paper, plastic film, or polyethylene bubbles are  typically installed in unfinished walls. This type of insulation is most effective against downward heat flow.
  • Sprayed Foam: Cementitious or phenolic foams are applied using small spray containers. They are used for the same purposes as loose-fill insulation.

As the seasons change, be aware of the moisture levels within your home. If you believe you may already have moisture damage, it may be worth scheduling a Kansas City home inspection to access the damage. A+ Insulation can help prevent trapped moisture and keep your home energy-efficient, mold-free, and structurally sound – saving you money and peace of mind.

If you’re experiencing moisture problems, or just want to prevent them, contact us or call us at (913) 281-2250 or (816) 268-7511. We’ll be glad to help!

Five Reasons to Call A+ For Insulation Installation This Winter

Five Reasons to Call A+ For Insulation Installation This WinterGood home insulation will keep you comfortable year round, but many older homes have too little insulation, making it impossible to keep the weather outside where it belongs. A+ can help. Our dedicated crew will improve the insulation in just about any structure, but why should you trust us?

    1. We’re licensed, insured, and professional.

      Our crew knows how to improve the insulation in your home, and we have years of experience doing just that. Whether you need added insulation in your attic or want the best blown in blanket insulation for your new home addition, A+ can handle the job. Each project is overseen by an on-site manager, so you’ll always know your home is in good hands.

    2. We’ll treat your home as if it was our own.

      Installing insulation is an inherently messy process, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with the mess. Our crew will keep the debris contained while we’re working and clean up once we’re done. We promise your space will be as clean as it was before you called us — and maybe even a little cleaner.

    3. We’ll help you understand your options.

      When you trust A+, you’ll get the best advice possible from our experienced technicians. We’ll discuss the options with you and make recommendations based on what your home needs most. If you have questions, we want you to ask them! You should always know what’s going on, every step of the way. We’ll even provide you with photos of the work area before we start, while we’re working, and after we’re finished, so you can track the progress.

    4. We’ll be there on time.

      We know how frustrating it is to wait for a crew to arrive, only to have them reach your house four hours after your appointment. When we schedule an appointment, we stick to that time. Before we start work, we’ll walk you through the area to explain what we’ll do, where we’ll add insulation, and the savings you’ll see.

    5. We offer a comprehensive estimate.

      Our experts will tell you what type of insulation you need, where you need it, and how much it will cost for free. You decide if you like the price, or if you’d rather look elsewhere with no obligation and no up-front costs. We’ll even give you a free home energy evaluation so you can better understand where your home will benefit most from added insulation.

Don’t Take Our Word for It! See what our customers are saying.

Trust the experts at A+ for all your insulation needs in Kansas City. We promise to give you the best service possible. Contact us today at (913) 648-9290 or (816) 944-317 for more information or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

Retrofitting Insulation Isn’t as Messy as You’d Think

retrofitting not as messy as youd think a+ insulation kcHeat rises. It’s a simple fact of nature that makes it essential to have quality attic insulation in your home. The Kansas City area standard is to insulate your attic to R-49, or about 18.5 inches deep. Take a look at yours. Do you have any at all? If so, does it completely cover the floor joists and reach all the way to the eaves on all sides? If not, you know you need more, but you’re terrified at the thought of such a mess. Here at A+ Insulation, we want to set your mind at ease! With decades of industry experience, our team of expert technicians will treat your home like our own homes and create very little mess.

Types of Attic Insulation

  • Batt or Roll – Also known as blanket insulation, batt is spun fiberglass attached to a facing, usually made of kraft paper, aluminum foil or vinyl sheeting. These facing materials both act as a vapor barrier and facilitate in the ease of installation as they generally come in easy-to-handle rolls that fasten to joists by this facing material.
  • Loose-fill – Made from fiberglass as well, loose-fill is also known as blown-in insulation. We offer both Insulsafe SP and Cellulose for attics. Insulsafe has great thermal efficiency, coverage and sound absorption. It is also non-combustible. Cellulose acts similarly to a liquid when applied, wrapping itself around obstructions and filling gaps more easily than batt insulation. Acting as a blanket around the inside of your home, cellulose has excellent thermal efficiency as well.

These All Sound Messy!

… And they are in the hands of the careless and inexperienced! Our technicians have been at this so long that they truly have it down to a science. Adding insulation to your attic, being an enclosed and isolated space, actually makes it easier for our technicians to keep your home neat and tidy. No insulation is ever unpacked outside the confines of the attic. Dusty and dirty tools and equipment can stay up there as well.

Itchy Business

Trust us when we say we know all about the itch associated with fiberglass dust. The last thing we want to do is leave any trace of it in your home. We begin our precautions with a runner carpet made of plastic, leading from outside to the most direct way to your attic. We will never set foot on anything but this plastic. Upon quick and efficient completion of your job, we remove our personal protection equipment outdoors where it cannot spread any dust throughout your home. We then carefully remove the plastic runner and vacuum ourselves out the door. Our goal is to leave your home even neater than we found it, as your complete satisfaction is paramount. We want you to be thrilled with your new investment and will always go above and beyond to make it so.

For the best insulation installation and customer service, call the insulation experts at A+ Insulation at (913) 281-2250 or (816) 268-7511.

Simple Winter Energy Saving Tips You Can Start Using Today

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As winter quickly approaches and settles in, we familiarize ourselves once again with the routine of heating our homes and paying that dreaded energy bill. We all are extremely eager to reduce that monthly expense and A+ Insulation is here to help!

Efficient energy use is important year-round, but even more so in the winter months. In addition to insulation installation, there are numerous simple energy-saving actions that one can take to reduce energy bills this winter. Outlined below are various inexpensive tips and investment-based steps that can help save you money:

11+ Inexpensive Ways to Lower Your Heating Bills

Turn Down Your Thermostat

While 72 degrees may feel best, you can turn your thermostat down to 68 degrees and wear a sweater to feel warmer. For every degree you lower it, you’ll save up to 5% on heating costs. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, it’s a worthwhile investment that allows you to automatically control your home’s temperature at different times of the day.

Seal Leaks to Stop Heat from Escaping

Windows and doors are the most obvious places that need caulking and weather stripping. But don’t forget to check for pipes that travel through a wall like under sinks, near appliances, and in closets. Caulk works best for small openings while expanding foam may be better for large gaps.

Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater

Heating your water costs energy and money too. Lower your water heater to 120 degrees and you could save 7-11% on your water heating costs.

Insulate Your Water Heater
Save up to 10% on water heating costs by wrapping your water heater’s tank with insulation, especially if it’s an older model, which will have minimal internal insulation. If it’s a gas water heater, be sure to leave the air intake vent uncovered.

Replace Your Furnace Filter
Making sure your furnace filter is clean will help your furnace run more efficiently. A tune-up is also a good idea as a clean, lubricated, and properly adjusted furnace will save up to 5% of heating costs.

Open Drapes and Blinds on Sunny Days
Take advantage of the sun’s natural power to heat your home. Let it shine in your windows during the day and close the blinds or curtains once the sun goes down to keep heat from escaping.

Check Your Fireplace Damper
An unlit fireplace is basically an escape route for heat. Make sure your damper is tightly closed when not in use. Keeping your damper closed can prevent as much as 8% of your heated air from going up the chimney.

Don’t Leave Exhaust Fans On
It may seem like a small thing, but when left running, kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans can blow out a house full of heated air in a short time.

Shorten Showers
Did you know that showers account for about 2/3 of your water heating costs? Cutting your showers in half will reduce your water heating costs by about a third.

Install Low-Flow Showerheads
Low-flow showerheads and faucets can reduce your hot water expenses. You’ll save 10-16% on water heating costs.

Replace Light Bulbs
Replace your old incandescent bulbs with Energy Star compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights use 75% less energy than incandescent lights.

Small Things That Pay Off Over Time
While these things won’t make a huge impact on their own, done consistently over time, they will help you reduce your energy use:

  • Turn off lights
  • Use the cold water setting on your washer when possible and reduce its energy use by 75%
  • Clean the lint trap regularly on your dryer
  • Use the energy saver mode on your computer(s)
  • Eliminate “vampire” energy or standby loss by unplugging electronics and chargers when not in use and switching off energy strips
  • Unplug the extra fridge if you don’t need it as it can add 10-25% to your electric bill

 

5 Investments That Will Lower Your Heating Bills

Replace Appliances with Energy Star Models
If you need new appliances, be sure to purchase Energy Star certified products like furnaces, air conditioners, refrigerators, water heaters, etc. Energy Star rated appliances and also electronic products use significantly less energy to do the job. For example, a new Energy Star washing machine uses half the energy of a standard washing machine.

Install a Programmable Thermostat
Besides making sure your home is comfortable, a programmable thermostat can save up to 15% on energy costs.

Increase Ceiling Insulation
If your ceiling is uninsulated or scantily insulated, consider increasing your insulation to up to R-38 to reduce heating costs by 5-25%.

Seal Your Ducts
Leaking ductwork accounts for more than 25% of heat loss. Consider hiring a contractor like A+ Insulation for duct sealing. We can test your ducts and repair leaks and restrictions in your ductwork.

Install Energy Efficient Windows
Choosing Energy Star windows can reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15%.

As temperatures begin to drop we are reminded how important it is to keep the heat in and the cold air out. The tips and ideas listed above are all simple, easy hints that anyone can implement. Whether it’s a small change that pays off overtime or an immediate investment that can drastically decrease your monthly energy bill instantly, putting these tips into action can truly help to reduce costs and save you money. A+ Insulation is here to help with any questions you may have. Our trusted staff has the necessary skills and valuable experience to assist you with your insulation and energy-saving needs.

If you think your home needs insulation, please call us for a free home energy evaluation to pinpoint where your home is losing the most energy. Call us at (816) 268-7511 or (913) 281-2250.

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