Monthly Archives: January 2019

New Use Rule on Asbestos: Is it Going to Be Used Again?

Asbestos is making headlines once again, after a long break from the spotlight. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR). It’s the agency’s effort to control specific uses of asbestos, including products that contain it. The proposal is an expansion of a 1989 EPA restriction.

Is America Allowing Asbestos Back Into Buildings?

What would the SNUR entail? And could this proposal mean widespread use of a known carcinogen?

The Proposal and the Reaction

asbestos

The EPA’s proposal seeks to let businesses make, process, and import over a dozen asbestos-containing products that are no longer in use. But this would only be with the agency’s approval. Clearly, the SNUR would not allow, for example, insulation companies in Kansas City to simply use it in any service because the material is still banned in spray-on insulation.

The US may allow its use in comparison with other countries (e.g., UK, Australia, and other EU countries) that have completely banned the material. But it is largely regulated. The recent SNUR is an additional protective barrier for future restrictions for manufacturing companies that work with the product. The EPA further explains that the rule doesn’t intend to increase imports or encourage the use of asbestos. It simply allows them to implement a strict review process.

The SNUR covers the following products, among others:

  • Adhesives
  • Millboard
  • Filler for acetylene cylinders
  • Extruded sealant tape and other tapes
  • Reinforced plastics

Since it is still a proposal, the EPA opened the SNUR to public comments. Most were against the move because it may open the door to more companies using it.

Why Asbestos was Banned

Most products today no longer contain asbestos. The ones made with the mineral have labels stating that consumers could inhale asbestos from it. There are still restrictions in using asbestos because of its health risks to individuals and its impact on the environment.
It was in the late 1800s when companies mined and commercially used asbestos in North America. Many industries, such as the building and construction industry, the shipbuilding industry, and the automotive industry, used it.

The material was helpful in strengthening cement and plastics. The industry also found that asbestos was particularly useful in insulation, fireproofing, and sound absorption. The mineral also helped in insulating hot water pipes, boilers, and steam pipes.

But the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned any company from using asbestos in gas fireplaces, wallboard patching compounds, and electric hair dryers to avoid its release into the environment.

The EPA issued its final rule in 1989, banning most products with asbestos. But the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals later overturned the ruling while maintaining a heavy regulation on products containing asbestos.

Today, the EPA requires insulation products to have no more than one percent of asbestos.

At A+ Insulation, we abide by the EPA standards to ensure your safety and comfort. Our team of qualified and certified insulation technicians will add the right insulation in the right places for your superior protection.

Our experienced insulation professionals do diligent and efficient work, ensuring we meet state and local building mandates. From your attic to the walls, let us handle all of your insulation needs. Contact us today for more information.

Why Blow-in-Blanket is an Efficient Insulation Alternative?

Batts and blankets are the most popular types of insulation. They are ideal for do-it-yourself projects because they are easy to transport and carry. But this insulation has limitations, like losing effectiveness as it compresses easily. That’s why using blow-in-blanket system (BIBS) for your Kansas City home can be an ideal option.

Blow-in-Blanket Insulation: An Efficient Alternative for Your Home

Switching to BIBS can boost your home’s R-value. R-value refers to how well the material resists the flow of heat, measuring thermal resistance by unit; the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulating material.

Outstanding Thermal Performanceblow-in-blanket-insulation

When it comes to insulating your home, BIBS provides several benefits. You can use this type of insulation to different parts of your home, including walls and attic. This system is also easy to apply and fills the spaces completely to give your home superior thermal performance. You don’t need to worry about the heat escaping your home because blow-in insulation can fit in small gaps, too.

Unlike foam spray, installing BIBS is less messy. The installation can take up an hour or two. It’s also fire resistant to keep your home safe. Additionally, this system won’t encourage mold and mildew buildup. It also doesn’t attract insects and rodents.

Using blow-in insulation in your home is a rewarding investment because it can last throughout the lifespan of your home. You don’t need to spend more cash on repairs and higher energy bill caused by the heat that escapes your home.

How Much Does an Average Blow-in-Blanket Insulation Cost?

The insulation cost varies depending on the size of the area you’re insulating and the material you’re using. If you’re insulating the attic of a 1,200 square foot home, the average price for a blow-in insulation job is $1,850, excluding the cost of removing any old insulation.

Adequate insulation can help you save money. You can save an average of 10 to 50 percent on utility bills based on the efficiency of your insulation and the R-value of your insulation.
You should determine the right R-value for your home to help you find the right insulation. The recommended R-value rating can differ based on your climate, the part of the house you’re planning to insulate, and the type of heating system you use.

Determining if It Fits Your Home

Knowing the recommended R-value rating for your home can help you determine if BIBS the right choice. Blow-in insulation usually has R-values of R-2.2 to R-3.8, depending on the type loose fit insulation you’re planning to use.

You may also do an energy audit to identify the areas you need to prioritize in improving efficiency. Hire a professional for an accurate assessment and installation of blow-in insulation.

At A+ insulation, we can help insulate your home using BIBS. Our team of Blow-In-Blanket Contractors Association (BIBCA) certified professionals can install environmentally friendly, custom fit blow-in-blanket insulation to your home using specially manufactured fiberglass. This material has no chemical smell and never corrodes pipes and never settles.
Insulation is effective only when installed properly. At A+ Insulation, we have the training and experience to install any type of insulation correctly.

Contact us today for a free no-obligation energy inspection.

How R-Value Affects Your Insulation Choice

Your money can “escape” through the holes in your attic. These holes could be the culprit behind your energy bill increases, especially during winter. A certain amount of heat leaves your home through these holes, which forces your heating system to work harder to sufficiently warm up your home.

Finding the Right Attic Insulation Based on R-Value

Consider conducting an energy audit to determine whether you need to fill in some gaps or if it’s time to replace your existing insulation. There are different ways to insulate your home in Kansas City, from spray foam insulation to blow-in-blanket.

But before you change your attic insulation, you need to understand the right R-value that will suit your home.

R-Value Determines Insulation Effectiveness

Generally, R-value refers to an insulating material’s resistance to heat flow. The Department of Energy (DE) explains that insulation with a higher R-value can be more effective. It adds that the effectiveness of some insulations may depend on aging, temperature, and moisture accumulation.

You can adjust the R-value of your insulation by adding more layers of the insulating material. The results may vary, however. For example, the R-value of loose-fill insulation may not increase even if the installed thickness increases. Unlike other insulations, loose-fill ones undergo compression under its own weight.

The recommended rating depends on your climate and type of heating and cooling system. Your attic insulation should have an R-value of R-30 to R-49. If your area has a colder climate, it may go up to R-60.

Attic Insulations Have Different R-Valuesr-value-attic-insulation

Insulations come in different forms and each of them provides different R-value ratings. This can help you find the right insulation for your attic to keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer. The types of insulations include the following:

Spray foam

  • Open-Cell polyurethane (R-value: 3.5 to 3.6 per inch)
  • Closed-cell polyurethane (R-value: 6.0 to 6.5 per inch)

Batts and Blankets

  • Fiberglass (R-value: 3.0 to 4.0 per inch)
  • Rockwool (R-value: 4 to 5 per inch)
  • Cotton (R-value: 3.5 to 4 per inch)

Loose-fill Insulation

  • Fiberglass (R-value: 2.2 to 2.7 per inch)
  • Cellulose (R-value 3.2 to 3.8 per inch)

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

  • Polystyrene (R-value: 3.8 expanded (EPS) to 5 extruded (XPS))
  • Polyisocyanurate (R-value 5.6 to 7.7 per inch)

Spray foam and SIPs offer higher R-values compared with other insulations. The former, however, can fill spaces completely. It expands to fill the whole cavity because it’s made of foam. It also stays in place for a long time.

Keeping Your Insulation Effective

There are insulations that you can install on your own, but in some cases, you will need a professional’s help. For instance, insulation professionals should install spray foam because they have the right equipment and expertise to do the job correctly. Properly installed insulation can be more effective, so you’ll get your money’s worth.

Here at A+ Insulation, our team can help you minimize your energy bill by providing your home with quality insulation solutions.

We provide two types of spray foam. First is the closed-cell foam, which decreases humidity and has better resistance to water. The other one is the open-cell foam, which can cover hard to reach areas the closed-cell foam can’t.

If you have more insulation-related questions, contact us today. We also offer free, no-obligation inspection of your home to identify the right insulation for your attic.