Category Archives: General News

First Time Homeowners? Here’s What You Need to Know About Insulation

Man laying insulation material in atticFor first time homeowners, there’s a steep learning curve about the what goes into purchasing and making a great house a home. Insulating your home is not something that immediately springs to mind but the benefits it provides should put it high up on your priority list.

Insulating will help control and maintain the temperature of your home, making the living environment more comfortable, especially during weather conditions which are too hot or cold. Insulating materials can also act as sound and moisture barriers, keeping unwanted sounds out and preventing the development of moisture.

Insulation helps save up to 15% on heating and cooling costs. That’s an average of 11% on total energy costs. According to the US Energy Information Administration, more than half of the energy used in the average American home comes from heating and cooling activities.

How much insulation should I have installed for my home?

The amount of insulation your home needs is dependent on several factors. One is the location of your home. Obviously, you will probably need more insulation if you are from the Northeast than if you are living in Southern California.

The International Energy Conservation Code requires minimum R-value of insulation in different states. R-value is the measurement of the insulating material’s heat resistance. The higher the R-value, the greater the heat resistance of the material.

For example, the R-value recommended for ceilings and attics in Missouri is R-49, which is the minimum requirement for homes located in the colder regions. Homes located in warmer climates require an R-38 or higher.

If your house is newly built, it may have optimal levels of insulation already, depending if energy conservation was taken into account during its construction. If the house you bought is older, you would probably need more insulation.

To know if your home has enough insulation, it is best to call an insulation company and request an energy audit.

What parts of the house should I insulate?

To ensure that your home is fully insulated, you need to install insulators in parts known as thermal envelopes, or places in your home where heat escapes. These places are the attic, walls, ceiling, exterior doors and windows, floors, ducts, crawlspaces and the basement.

Depending on what part of your house is being insulated, there are different types of insulation materials that you can use.

Types of Insulation

Applying spray foam insulation

Batted insulation are perfect for walls, floors and ceilings because it is made from fiberglass and has a broad range of R-values.

For unfinished attic floors, sprayed foam and blown-in blanket system, or bibs insulators, are ideal because they can seal even small, uneven areas that would otherwise cause heat loss.

Achieve efficient insulation with A+ Insulation

A+ Insulation is your go-to insulating company in Kansas City, where we’ve been insulating homes in since 2004. Our team of experts will help pick the right materials and ensure that your house is properly insulated and compliant with state and local building policies.

We provide services like attic insulation, wall insulation, spray foam insulation and bibs insulation in the Kansas City area.

Schedule an appointment today and let us help you achieve that optimal level of insulation for your home. Contact us here.

Insulating a Workshop Shed: Why It Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

interior-wall-insulation
There are a lot of possible reasons why people decide to build their own workshop shed. It may be for extra storage, a place for your own time and for quiet, or a place where you can work on your own personal projects. No matter what is the reason behind building it, it is likely that your outdoor shed has become one of your favorite places at home and where you spend many hours.

However, an ideal workshop needs to be practical and functional in any kind of weather and season. Your workshop shed may become uncomfortable during the winter and summer, halting your productivity and delaying your projects.

If you have a hard time using your shed when it’s too hot or too cold, insulating your workshop shed may be the addition you need in order to be able to use your workshop shed all year round.

What are the benefits of insulation?

Effective insulation can significantly lessen your energy bills. Your workshop shed may not be the first part of your home you will think of insulating, but your workshop shed is somewhere a lot of your time is spent and most of your goals and projects are achieved.

Adding an insulation system for your workshop shed makes for better storage space. Insulating your workshop shed will protect your valuables from the damaging effects of excessive heat. It improves the comfort of your shed making it perfect for various activities. Once it’s insulated it can double as a hobby room, games room, and personal gym.

What type of insulation is perfect for my shed?

For a workshop shed that is relatively tiny and is only mostly used by one person, an insulation system that is economical but also for the long-term is what you’re looking for. Aside from preventing additional energy bills, blown insulation helps you save money by not having additional expenses in repairs. It also takes less time as it is less messy and is easy to apply.

Who should do the insulation?

A lot of articles on the internet may suggest and may make you believe that you can do the insulation by yourself but hiring a professional is always the ideal way to insulate a part of your home. Insulating your workshop shed may sound like a fun do-it-yourself project but a home necessity such as this should not be taken lightly.

There are also health hazards involved in installing insulation. If you don’t have the proper safety equipment, you should not even be considering doing it on your own as it can pose threats to your health. Inhaling fiberglass can cause lung damage and other respiratory diseases.

Although it can look relatively easy, there’s a lot of time and work that goes into installing insulation. Insulation professionals have the correct tools and years of experience and it’s better to trust them to do the job than waste more money and more time due to your mistakes.

Ready for your workshop shed to reach its maximum potential?  A+ Insulation will provide proper insulation and A+ service for your shed so you can comfortably use it all year round. Contact us today to get a quote.

Safety and Insulation: A Complete Guide

Contractor installing the proper insulationInsulation is the wonder material that keeps you comfortable in your home. It keeps the interiors warm in winter and cool in summer. For all the good it does, however, insulation can pose a threat to your home’s safety and to your health when not installed properly.

Safety Hazards of Insulation

Improper insulation can cause costly damage to your property, depending on what type you have. That’s why it’s essential to have a professional evaluate your current insulation for safety and health implications. They consider the following during an evaluation:

Fire safety – insulation materials can be susceptible to fire, so it’s important to determine the fire resistance of the material before using it. Insulation materials have different levels of fire resistance, for example:

  • Fiberglass and mineral wool insulation – these materials are noncombustible and don’t require extra fire-retardant chemical treatments. Specific fiberglass and mineral wool facings like kraft paper and foil, however, are flammable. A code-approved barrier, together with proper installation, won’t make these facings a fire hazard.
  • Cellulose insulation – the materials used in this insulation consist of newspaper, a highly combustible material. It has to be treated with fire-retardant chemicals before being installed; otherwise, it can cause a fire in your property.
  • Spray Foam insulation – this type of insulation is likely to ignite at 700°F.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) – clean IAQ is vital for a safe, healthy, and comfortable living environment; keeping your home’s IAQ in optimum condition reduces allergy and asthma triggers. Your insulation also contributes to the level of indoor pollutants like asbestos, a toxic mineral substance present in building materials that’s dangerous when inhaled.

If your safety from asbestos has been compromised, it increases your risk of contracting various diseases, such as:

  • Pleural plaques
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer

Improving the IAQ of your home should also involve controlling both indoor and outdoor pollutants, as well. Other indoor pollutants include pesticides, tobacco smoke, and stoves. Outdoor pollutants, meanwhile, include automobile exhaust and industrial emissions.

Choosing the Right Insulation for Your Home

If you’re planning to replace or install a new insulation, you have to choose from different types according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which include:

  • Blanket: batts and rolls
  • Concrete block insulation
  • Insulating concrete forms
  • Foam board or rigid foam
  • Loose-fill and blown-in
  • Reflective system
  • Rigid fibrous or fiber insulation
  • Sprayed foam and foamed-in-place
  • Structural insulated panels

Each type uses different materials, from fiberglass to spray foam. Their performance varies, too, depending on what part of your home you want to insulate and the material’s R-value (its resistance to conductive heat flow.) Working with an insulation professional helps you identify the right material to use in your home.

Professional Installation of Home Insulation

Although you can do some basic installation work with some insulation materials on your own, hiring professionals is still the best option. They have the expertise, tools, and knowledge needed to install insulation correctly to minimize safety problems. DIY installation could also affect the efficiency of the insulation, which can cause higher electricity bills in the long run.

A+ Insulation provides insulation services to homes in the Kansas City area. Our High-Performance Insulation Professionals (HPIP) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certified insulation technicians install safe and efficient insulation in any area of a home to keep your indoor living area comfortable all year. We will assist you in finding the insulation that suits your home and your budget.

Schedule an appointment with us today.

Spray Foam Insulation: More Expensive but More Effective

Proper insulation is essential in keeping your house toasty on cold winter nights and cool on warm summer days. Because of its versatility in providing comfort within the home, the average American can save around 20% in heating and cooling costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) guide to home insulation. The DOE also noted that good quality insulation could save you up to 10% of your home’s total energy costs.

The Federal Trade Commission suggests that one way you may determine which material is best for your home – whether you live in a warm area like Kansas or a cold one like Minnesota – is by looking for a high R-value. The R-value is a material’s ability to resist heat flow.

One of the insulation materials known for its high R-value is spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation. SPF, when used correctly, resists heat better than standard batt insulation. Here’s what you need to know about SPF insulation and its benefits to your home.

Open and Close

The American Chemistry Council describes SPF as a cellular plastic mixed with chemicals to create a foam. It insulates indoor air and protects against moisture. There are two types of spray polyurethane foam: closed-cell and open-cell. Closed-cell SPF is compact, while the open-cell SPF has cells that are not fully closed, making it less dense. In effect, closed-cell SPF insulation is more superior because it has better heat, air, and moisture resistance. It’s also better at sealing leaks than the open-cell counterpart. The only advantage of open-cell SPF insulation is sealing the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, according to Family Handyman.

A Thermal Advantage

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When it comes to thermal performance, the American Chemistry Council says SPF can offer up to 7.0 R-value per inch of thickness. As such, it provides energy savings for half the amount of space that traditional insulation offers. In its article, “The Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Advantage: Understand Why SPF is an Excellent Insulation Choice for Your Home or Building,” the 113 million single-family homes in the United States could save around $33 billion annually if they all use SPF to insulate their homes. Apart from thermal performance advantages, the material can provide other benefits to your house as well.

Braving the Elements

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) classifies SPF as one of the flood damage-resistant materials you can use for your home. The agency, in their technical bulletin about flood damage-resistant material requirements, said that SPF could withstand repeated wetting and drying and it can be cleaned up easily.

An article about spray foam wall construction by the Building Science Corporation (BSC) also showed the material’s durability in extreme conditions. The authors said that SPF significantly minimizes air leakage, making it an effective air barrier that makes a standard wall system stronger. They also stated that the material is excellent at reducing wintertime and summertime vapor. The piece also gave SPF credit for its ease of use, making the construction of weather-resistant walls more straightforward.

The Cost of Good Insulation

Spray Polyurethane Foam insulation’s benefits, however, come at a higher price than other materials. At its lowest R-value of 22.4, cost guide portal Fixr says a person could pay up to $0.65 (3-inch thick) per square feet. Its highest heat rating of 76.8 (12-inch thick) can set you back about $1.20 per square feet. This is $0.6 more than 12-inch thick batts or rolls that have an R-value of 38. SPF, however, is cheaper than loose fill (R-42 12 inches, $1.45 per square feet) and structural insulated panels (R-48 12 inches, $6.87 per square feet).

Despite SPF’s higher cost per square feet, the material’s thermal resistance, durability, and versatility make the higher upfront costs worth it in the long run. With spray polyurethane foam insulating your home, you’ll save up on energy, heating and cooling, and repair costs because you don’t have to crank your HVAC system up to feel comfortable.

Get A+ Standard Insulation For Your Home

Now that you know that the benefits of SPF far outweigh its costs, it’s time to hire a trusted contractor to apply it to your home. Here at A+ Insulation, we put our customers’ needs first when it comes to installing insulation. We make sure that our customers are in the loop about every part of the process, from assessment to the final product. Our goal is to provide customer service as warm as the insulation we install.

Contact us at 913-281-2250 now to give your home A+ standard insulation.

Find the Right Contractor by Asking These Questions

Proper insulation is vital to keeping your home comfortable all year. It also makes your heating and cooling system efficient, leading to lower energy bills. All in all, it’s a smart investment. You can install some minor insulation materials on your own, but calling in the professionals for the bigger projects is always smarter. Their skill and experience reduce costly mistakes and ensure that you get quality output.

5 Questions to Ask Your Insulation Contractor

Not all insulation contractors, however, specialize in installing insulation. That’s why it’s crucial to screen them carefully. While eliminating inexperienced and unreliable companies can be tough, asking the right questions will reveal weak points you can use to cut your list down. Soon enough, you’ll find the contractor that provides the best value out of your project.

Questions you may ask when interviewing potential contractors include:

Do You Have a License?

Hiring a licensed contractor not only protects your interests for quality service but also ensures that you’re on the right side of the law. Checking the license of a potential contractor confirms that it’s in the home insulation industry legally. The permit also indicates that the contractor has the expertise and skills to perform the job you’re hiring them for. Only qualified companies receive a business license from the government.

What Personal Protective Equipment Does Your Team Wear?

As a client, you have to make sure that the contractor has safety measures in place while the installation is on-going. Installers should wear appropriate gear, use the right equipment, and follow safety procedures. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains that people working with insulation materials, particularly spray foam, should be trained to handle chemicals properly. Proper training is essential for each installer to avoid exposure to chemicals and work-related injuries. Make sure to discuss this with your prospects before deciding who to hire.

How Many Years Have You Been Operating?

The number of years an insulation contractor has been in the business gives you an idea about its experience and ability to handle a project like yours. Seasoned contractors naturally have an edge over the greener companies.

On the other hand, newer contractors may also deliver excellent services. They might have access to more modern equipment and know the latest techniques for a better installation process. So, you’ll have to dig a little deeper with this question to determine what kind of candidates you’re working with.

What Insulation Products Do You Offer?

When searching for the right contractor, you might encounter a company that only offers one product. Treat it as a red flag. You’re looking for a company that can assess your home and recommend different insulation products that suit your home’s needs and your budget.

Can I See Your References?

Look for a contractor that willingly shows reviews and feedback from previous clients. Praise from satisfied clients can help you decide whether or not to trust the contractor. Conducting further research can help you scrutinize a contractor better. You may also ask your prospect if it has negative reviews.

The answers from your potential contractors can help you come up with the right decision and hire the right insulation contractor. If you need further assistance with your insulation installation project, contact our team today.

Insulate Your Basement and Decrease Your Energy Bill

Effective insulation can significantly drive down your energy bills. This is especially true during the winter, when heating systems have to work overtime to increase a room or a home’s temperature.

Basement Insulation: How It Drives Down Your Energy Expenditures

You may overlook your basement as a place to add insulation. This is normally not an area you’ll focus on when investing in home improvement projects. But the basement shouldn’t just be an afterthought. It can help you achieve large amounts of energy savings, perhaps even more than other spaces in your home can.

What are the Benefits of Insulation?

Ideally, an insulation system provides both immediate and long-term benefits. General benefits include reducing energy costs, preventing moisture condensation, and providing fire protection.

A house without proper insulation is prone to the leakage of air. Gaps surrounding windows and doors result in high amounts of energy expenditure as air leaks out of a room or a house. Heating systems end up working much harder to maintain a consistent level of temperature. More energy is used the more these systems have to run.

What Part Should You Insulate?

Before you decide on the area of your basement you want to insulate, consider your intentions for the space. If you’re using it as a living space, it may be best to insulate the walls. On the other hand, if insulation is only meant is to reduce heat loss and energy costs, insulate the basement ceilings instead.

Also, keep in mind that insulation reduces the amount of usable interior space. Depending on the type of insulation you choose, insulation placement can take up a few inches of space.

Basement Walls

Providing insulation to the walls of your basement is often more effective at keeping warmth in. You can save hundreds of dollars in energy use this way. In addition, you can turn the space into a more comfortable and habitable living area you can use on a daily basis.

Basement Ceilings

Is it a good idea to insulate your basement ceiling? There are some concerns about insulating this area because it opens the possibility of lowering temperature even more and causing problems like frozen pipes. However, they are cheaper than wall insulation and can eliminate air leak issues.

What are Some Types of Insulation?

Blanket (Batt and Roll) – Blanket insulation is an inexpensive method of insulation. It involves inserting materials like fiberglass, mineral, and fibers into studs and beams in walls and ceilings.

Sprayed Foam Insulation – This type of insulation carries a high R-value. This refers to the ability of material to resist the flow of heat. Sprayed foam insulation has a liquid application. It eventually expands and fills empty gaps throughout the walls or ceilings.

Don’t leave insulation to the last minute. Temperatures will drop as winter approaches and your energy expenditure may skyrocket as a result. The earlier you insulate your basement or other rooms in your house, the fewer problems you will have later on.

Insulate Kansas City provides solutions if you decide to insulate your basement for the winter. Insulation services can go a long way in reducing your energy expenditures and ensuring you stay warm and comfortable in your home no matter the time of year.

Contact us at 913-281-2250 or 816-265-1947 for a free inspection and estimate.

 Insulating Your New Home: The Key to Energy Efficiency

Today, both businesses and consumers are realigning to become more sustainable and energy-efficient. Energy efficiency focuses on minimizing the power required to use certain products and services. Not only does energy efficiency reduce heating and cooling costs, but it also helps the environment by reducing emissions released by power plants.

The average household in the Midwest spends $3,000-3,500 per capita on heating. This translates to fossil fuels burnt and more emissions. If you want to save on energy bills and be environmentally conscious, the first step is to make your home energy efficient by installing insulation. The best time to do this? Right when you’re building your home.

Want to Build an Energy-Efficient Home? Start with Insulation

Insulation for Newly-Constructed Homes

While you’re planning and building your new home, you should follow the required R-value of insulation in Missouri as stated in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). These are just the minimum requirements, though, and you should aim to exceed them if you’ve set out to make your build more energy efficient. Insulating your home adds to your home’s market value.

A properly insulated home is protected from the elements from top to bottom. It’s easier to ensure this right at the beginning of construction because your insulation options are much more varied compared to retrofitting your walls and attic after you finish building.

With that said, these are the key areas that need insulation installed in your new home for optimal energy efficiency, according to the U.S. Department of Energy:

  • Attic
  • Walls
  • Ceiling
  • Exterior doors and windows
  • The floors (especially above unheated spaces like the garage)
  • Ducts/crawlspace
  • Basement

In structures such as residential homes, there are areas called thermal envelopes. These are the areas listed above, where heat tends to escape. Typically, 15 percent of heat escapes through uninsulated basements and floors. Uninsulated attics, windows, and doors each let out 25 percent of heat, while uninsulated walls let out 35 percent.

With this much heat loss, you’re likely to spend more heating up your home, driving your energy use. By installing installation in these areas, you’re making sure that you optimize your energy efficiency.

Types of Insulation for New Homes

Once you’ve pinpointed the areas that need insulation, it’s time to decide what type of insulation material to install. You have a variety of options, but it’s best to consult your insulation experts to know which type fits specific parts of your home.

Batted Insulation

Batted insulation made from fiberglass materials is perfect for unfinished walls, floors, and ceilings. Batted fiberglass insulation has a broad range of R-values and has excellent acoustical performance.

Sprayed Foam Insulation

Ideal for unfinished attic floors or as an addition to existing finished or irregularly-shaped areas, closed cell spray foam insulation answers your extreme insulation requirements. Spray foam tightly seals all nooks and crannies that would otherwise cause heat loss.

Wet Spray Insulation

A popular and cost-effective alternative to spray foam, wet spray fiber insulation resists mold and has great air-sealing benefits, making it a great insulator for your walls and ceiling.

Blown-in Blanket Insulation

Like spray foam, this type of insulation can fill small, hard-to-reach areas, so it’s perfect for unfinished attic floors.

Insulate Your New Home Properly

Before finishing the construction of your Kansas City home, contact a reputable insulation company. Our team here at A+ Insulation uses the best and latest insulation techniques to give you a power-saving, energy-efficient home.

Contact us today for your insulation needs.

Should You Insulate Your Interior Walls?

Kansas City regularly updates building codes to protect the safety, health, and welfare of local residents. Updates to the code minimize safety hazards at home, especially electricity-related ones. These updates almost always include insulation industry codes. Code updates push homeowners to address insulation issues and replace them when necessary.

Household Possibilities: Is It Time to Insulate Your Interior Walls?

wall-insulation

Admittedly, insulation code updates are not enough to help homeowners decide whether to insulate their interior walls. While this is not exactly common practice, you may have heard of its energy-saving and sound-dampening benefits. So, if you are wondering if insulating your interior walls is a good idea, there are valid reasons for you to consider:

Insulation Makes Your Home More Energy Efficient

Warm during winter, cool during summer — home insulation contributes to your household’s comfort because it helps regulate both hot and cold airflow. Your living space should remain comfortable despite extreme weather and temperature fluctuations. When you opt for interior wall insulation, you use less electricity to regulate room temperatures and might notice lower energy bills in the long run.

nterior wall insulation reduces heat transfer for your storage rooms and unoccupied guest rooms. As a result, the temperature control prevents the framing from expanding and the drywall from cracking. You can save yourself the cost and hassle of fixing this issue, too.

Insulation Reduces Room-to-Room Sound Transfer

Imagine this: you come home after a long day at work and just want to relax in bed — but, you can’t because the rest of the family is watching an extremely loud action film in the movie room next to your bedroom.
Interior wall insulation reduces room-to-room sound transfer, creating a sound barrier that contains inside sounds and mutes unwanted outside noise. Keep in mind, however that sound travels through your interior wall’s wood framing, which means the insulation does not make the place entirely soundproof. But it remains an ideal choice for better sound control.

Insulation Prevents Fire from Spreading Quickly

When you live in a duplex or a townhouse, interior walls called party walls separate your living space from the people next door. In addition to reducing the sound infiltrating into your home, interior wall insulation prevents fire from spreading from the other side of the party wall to yours. Of course, there are fire codes in place that, when observed, help to safeguard your property, but extra measures also matter.  

Maybe it’s Time for Interior Wall Insulation

The best time to add interior wall insulation is during new construction. But who says you cannot add insulation to existing walls even after you’ve been living in your current home for some time? It is better to be safe than sorry and late than never, as they say. Besides, insulation codes are updated regularly.

At A+ Insulation, our certified insulation technicians meet local building mandates and abide by the EPA standards for your safety and peace of mind. We minimize your energy bills, dampen heavy sounds from different rooms, and help protect your family from fire through quality interior wall insulation solutions.

Get in touch with us today for more information. You can also schedule a free, no-obligation home inspection so that we can determine the best type of insulation for your home.

How Does Insulation Affect Your Home’s Comfort and Safety?

Heat can escape from your home through the attic, especially if it doesn’t have enough insulation. Excessive heat loss can result in higher energy bills because your heating system has to work harder to provide enough warmth in your home. Insufficient insulation can also compromise the comfort of your home, during winter or summer.

Does Your Attic Have Enough Insulation and is it Safe?

How to Get Efficient Insulation?

Installing adequate attic insulation can help you enhance the comfort of your home, ensuring you don’t pay too much on your energy bills. Where do you start? With an audit.

Getting an energy audit in your home can determine how much energy you consume. Auditors can also identify the areas of your home where you lose energy the most. 

Why is R-Value Crucial?

R-value is a vital factor that contributes to the effectiveness of your attic insulation. This refers to the resistant ability of an insulation material against heat flow. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) explains insulation with a higher R-value provides better insulation.

Each home may have a different required amount of R-value, depending on the climate in your region, your heating and cooling system, and where you will install the insulation. The age of your home is also a key consideration. 

The DOE categorizes all American regions into different zones to identify how much R-value will suit their climate. Based on its graph, R-values of R38 to R60 can be ideal for attic insulation in Kansas City homes. Knowing the right R-value for your home can guide you in choosing the type of insulation for your attic. 

What is the Risk for Asbestos Exposure?

Asbestos was once an insulation material due to its ability to resist heat and corrosion. Breathing asbestos fibers, however, can lead to the development of asbestos, a chronic lung disease that causes shortness of breath. Other symptoms include:

  • A persistent dry cough
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Loss of appetite with weight loss

If your home has loose-fill attic insulation, you’re likely to be at risk for asbestos exposure. This type of insulation is loosely poured into joist or wall stud cavities, resulting in a great number of loose particles in your home. 

Some vermiculite attic insulation can be a major source of asbestos danger. Vermiculite contaminated with tremolite, an asbestos-like mineral, can pose a danger to health. Houses built before 1990 are more likely to have asbestos-containing attic insulation. It’s because the company that provides the majority of this type of insulation closed in that year. 

Choosing the Right Attic Insulation

Not all loose-fill insulation contains asbestos and can cause health problems. Materials, such as fiberglass, cellulose, and rock wool are safe for insulation with proper application. You may also choose from other types of insulation that fit your attic.

Although there are materials ideal for do-it-yourself projects, working with professionals minimizes the risk of costly mistakes.

Our team at A+ Insulation can provide safe solutions for your insulation needs to enhance the comfort of your home. We can inspect your attic to identify certain issues that need professional help, such as a leaky roof, insufficient attic ventilation, and old wiring that create a fire hazard. Our team knows how to handle insulation problems well to finish the work on time and on budget. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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.