Why Spray Foam Should be Installed by Professionals

Spray Foam Insulation DIY

It is widely known that there are many benefits to spray foam insulation. That and the ease of being able to purchase the materials at any home improvement store, may leave people wanting to work on their own DIY spray foam projects. While you may be able to save a pretty penny by installing spray foam on your own, there are many things that could go wrong due to the lack of inexperience with the chemicals and their application.

For example, most people are not aware that spray foam is made up of two chemicals that require strict adherence to their ratios. If they are not mixed properly and in the right amounts, the spray foam will be ineffective and potentially harmful.

To avoid instances like the one above, here are some reasons you should hire a professional to install your insulation:

Safety: Professional installers have the proper safety precautions in place when it comes to working with spray foam, as well as the experience of working with it. Also, If your home has insulation that must be removed, asbestos and mold could be present posing a risk to your health. Professional contractors have the right equipment, know how to remove old insulation, and know how to install spray foam insulation safely.

Spray Foam Efficiency: Spray Foam can be a powerful sealant when applied correctly. But if applied wrong it will not make your house more energy efficient. Having an expert perform the job will ensure high efficiency of the material.

Higher Quality Installation: Spray foam contractors have the knowledge to help you make the best decisions about what kind of spray foam insulation to install, as well as where to install it. Not to mention, spray foam is a messy substance and can splatter in places where you don’t want it to. Professional installers will take the measures needed to ensure that the installation process is as clean as possible.

Overall, it is better to be safe than sorry and hire a contractor to ensure that the job is done safely and efficiently. If you have any more questions about spray foam insulation or need to know more about the services our team offers, feel free to contact Comfort 1st!

Why Insulation Helps Reduce Energy Bills

Insulation is a fantastic invention that has kept people warm for many years. You may wonder how insulation works and why insulation helps reduce energy bills. We’re going to answer both these questions, so read on!

What Is Insulation?

All types of insulation aim to accomplish the same goal: reducing heat transfer in or out of your house. You’ll find a few different types of insulation available on the market, along with varying application methods. The correct kind of insulation your home needs depends on your house.

How Does It Work?

Insulation is a straightforward concept. It works by trapping little pockets of air to help prevent heat from escaping your home in the winter and coming into your house in the summer. The R-value is the number rating that lets a customer know how well a particular type of insulation does its job. The higher the number, the better. It also needs proper installation to ensure it works correctly. This explanation is why insulation helps reduce energy bills.

Do You Need New Insulation?

Most homes these days seem to lack adequate insulation. This statement is especially true if builders constructed your home before 1960. The best way to determine if your insulation is in good condition is to evaluate its type and thickness.

Look at unfinished ceilings and walls to see if they have insulation. Alternatively, remove an outlet cover and have a peek around the wall cavity. Make sure you turn off the electricity before you touch the outlet cover.

It’s also a good idea to pay attention to physical signs of improper insulation. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Are utility bills exceptionally high when you’re heating or cooling your home?
  • Does the temperature change from room to room?
  • Are there drafts? These could be a sign of leakage. Pay particular attention to doors, windows, and the dryer vent.
  • Do you have icicles hanging from your room in the winter?

One fantastic solution is to hire a professional home energy auditor to conduct a whole-house energy assessment.

Call Comfort 1st today if you need residential insulation services. We’ll get your home protected and warm for the winter months.

5 Benefits of Insulating Your Home Garage

Typically, the most significant reason that people insulate their home is for comfort. You may want to get more use out of your garage, but varying temperatures prevent you from enjoying it year-round. You can use a space heater during the winter, but the heat will escape without proper insulation. Luckily, we have five benefits of insulating your home garage, which you can explore below.

Useful Year-Round

Your garage typically keeps your vehicles safe from outside elements, but it has more potential than that. Today, you can find home gyms, project workshops, play areas, and more inside this space. Proper insulation and temperature control ensure you’ll enjoy your garage no matter the weather.

Reduced Transmission of Cold and Heat

Most homes have an attached garage equipped with weather-stripping and insulation. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough to prevent the cold and heat from escaping and entering your house every time you open and close the door. This act forces your air conditioning and heat to work harder to maintain the temperature. Insulating your garage will ensure your home won’t have to combat the cold and heat.

Shared Pipes and Ceilings

If you have a shared ceiling, laundry room, or pipes in your garage, heat and insulation are a must. Busted or frozen pipes are irritating, costly, and time-consuming. Not to mention the mess you’ll have to clean up or hire someone to clean.

You may even have a room above the garage that you’ll subject to extreme temperatures and the elements below if it’s not insulated correctly. You may have a challenging time maintaining comfortable temperatures without additional energy costs pilling up.

Reduced Noise Transmission

Do you live close to your neighbors? If you do, your late-night band practice or early morning time spent in the garage workshop could disturb and irritate them. Insulating the space will also prevent the echoes the garage creates from reverberating throughout the house.

Protect Personal Items

Many people use their garages to store items such as decorations, collectibles, and other personal belongings. Extreme temperatures and humidity can cause rust or other damages to these items.

Comfort First Insulation is home to insulation contractors in Rockford, Illinois, who are experts at keeping your home and family protected from the elements. Give them a call today to enjoy the benefits of insulating your home garage.

A Few Common Misconceptions About Air Sealing

Have you been wondering whether air sealing your home is worth adding to your list? Homeowners often overlook air sealing, but it can be one of the best decisions you’ll make regarding the comfort and efficiency of your house. We’re going to debunk some common misconceptions about air sealing to put you at ease.

What Is Air Sealing?

Air sealing is a process in which you hire a professional to discover all the gaps, crannies, nooks, and open seams of your house and seal them off. This process will help regulate the airflow in your home so that it feels less drafty in the winter and less stuffy in the summer. It will help make your house feel more comfortable by reducing the humidity, improving air quality, and cutting back on energy costs.

Air sealing has various benefits when performed by a professional. They will get into your house’s hard-to-reach places and perform highly technical and specialized work.

Common Misconceptions

You must add new insulation when air sealing your home.

False. You don’t have to add new insulation to your home when you have it air sealed. Maybe you recently had new insulation installed, or perhaps you have a new house, so your insulation doesn’t need to be touched.

However, there are many upsides to adding new insulation when having your house air sealed. If you choose not to install new insulation during this process, you potentially leave a job half done.

Air sealing can make your home too stuffy.

Air sealing does the complete opposite. It helps the home’s airflow by preventing heat and humidity from entering during the summer and freezing temperatures from permeating the space in the winter.

You should keep an eye out for a rare issue called over-tightening. This issue is usually only found in homes where the owners attempted to air seal the house themselves. Contractors are trained professionals and know what they’re doing, so you should always leave this task to them.

Air sealing causes moisture issues.

This misconception is not true, and the opposite is correct. Most harmful moisture comes from outside and gets trapped inside your house. The air sealing process will help resolve any moisture issues your home may have.

Improper air sealing can lead to ventilation and moisture issues, which is why it’s so important to work with air sealing contractors like Comfort 1st in Rockford, Illinois.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to work with a contractor you trust to air seal your home correctly. These common misconceptions about air sealing started because a worker didn’t do their job accurately.

Why Cellulose Insulation Is More Sustainable Than Alternatives

Homeowners understand the effects their choices make on the environment, and that’s why they’re turning to green options. Insulation plays a significant role in a home’s environmental impact, and it’s increasingly important to be knowledgeable on the subject because more and more companies are offering environmentally conscious insulation options. Let’s explore why cellulose insulation is more sustainable than the alternatives.

What Is Cellulose Insulation?

You can find cellulose insulation in both new and existing homes. This type of insulation is one of the oldest types. It can be blown or sprayed into open areas, and it conforms to the space in which it’s being installed. This conformity allows it to create a tougher barrier against drafts and heat loss. One great advantage of cellulose insulation is that you can install it over existing insulation.

Why Is It Environmentally Friendly?

You have to contemplate the energy that goes into producing the product because this also affects the environment. Cellulose insulation is made predominantly from recycled newspaper, and it has the most significant level of recycled matter in the building industry. Among leading insulation products, this type of insulation emits the lowest quantity of embodied energy, which measures a product’s negative effects on the environment.

Cellulose insulation is also regionally produced, which means shorter shipping distances and lower fuel emissions than other products on the marketplace.

Does It Reduce a Home’s Carbon Footprint?

More and more homeowners want to know about the different ways they can reduce their homes’ carbon footprints. Cellulose insulation lowers carbon emissions because it recycles paper waste, avoiding greenhouse gases created from the paper decaying in landfills. It also creates a barrier to keep the carbon produced in a home from escaping into the environment. Thus, it can reduce your house’s carbon footprint, making cellulose insulation more sustainable than alternatives.

Is It Efficient?

Insulation is measured by R-value, or resistance to heat. A higher number means more efficient insulation for your home and lower energy bills, and cellulose insulation typically has a higher average R-value than other types.

Give Comfort First Insulation in Rockford, IL, a call for all your residential insulation service needs.

How Covid-19 Impacted the Insulation Industry

The insulation industry—like many industries in this country—took a hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. People had to prioritize their money because they lost their jobs or their businesses shut down. Let’s peek at how Covid-19 impacted the insulation industry.

Supply and Demand

The need for insulation dropped when the world went into lockdown. The pandemic put construction and home projects on hold. Then, as the world started opening up again, the demand went back up—but supplies were scarce. Not only did the supply of materials become disrupted, but so did the labor. People had to choose between work and their safety. The labor for installation, and the labor for making the product, were far from flourishing.

The government decided to boost the market, and their first courses of action involved becoming less dependent on China for its imports. Now, they want the industry and the economy to get back on track. Many companies have decided to switch their supplies from China to Germany and France. They want to de-risk the supply chain in case this ever happens again.

Pricing Impact

As an industry that gets its business according to supply and demand, the prices of insulation installation and the insulation itself rose. Companies struggled to stay afloat as the globe shut down. Consumers had to make financial sacrifices. The money wasn’t coming in, nor was it going back into the economy as it should.

Evolving Business Plan

When the global lockdown began to ease up, companies had to provide safe ways to start opening back up. They had to implement Covid-19 safety plans. How do you safely give a potential client an estimation? Should they be done in person? The insulation industry has had to adapt to the ways Covid-19 has changed the world. Consumer behavior has become unpredictable, and manufacturers have had to adjust accordingly.

Covid-19 has impacted the insulation industry, but also businesses and consumers alike. If you find yourself in the market for insulation contractors in Rockford, Illinois, Comfort 1st Insulation will answer the call! The world is learning how to recover as the pandemic slowly fades.

The Benefits of Air Sealing

Air sealing your home can do you a lot of good, including saving money on heating, cooling, and other utilities, keeping things healthier, and generally making your home feel cozier by extension. But what is air sealing and why does it work? Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of air sealing your home.

What Is Air Sealing?

The air sealing process involves performing an inspection of your home in search of places where air can leak out or in. This can cause your home to lose heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. When conditioned air escapes, your HVAC system needs to work extra hard to replace it. That translates into discomfort, wasted energy, and higher utility bills. Your basement, walls, crawlspace, and attic are all thoroughly inspected in preparation for the actual air sealing work. Once found, air leaks are sealed up with caulk, foam, insulation in its various forms, and weather stripping. In short, the leaks are plugged up, keeping the good air inside and the bad stuff out. But what are the general benefits of air sealing?

Universal Temperature Levels

As already suggested, when you air seal your home you keep the conditioned air, whether hot or cold, inside. Even better, when you seal up the usual suspects—window and door frames, cracks in the walls and foundation, and holes and cracks in the roof—you can maintain a universal temperature throughout the house. No more cold drafts or hot rooms with greater sun exposure. Plus, your system won’t overtax itself by trying to heat or cool rooms that refuse to stay consistent.

Humidity Control

High and low temperatures aren’t your home’s only enemies. Humidity can do damage as well. When you air seal your home and make it easier to control temperatures, you’re preventing the development of humidity in your attic, basement, and elsewhere. Humidity can cause moisture to build up and set up the perfect conditions for mold, mildew, rot, and multiple pests, some of which can infest and destroy your home’s wood. Air sealing, combined with a dehumidifier, can fight a rise in moisture in your home to prevent these and other problems. The air also becomes healthier to breathe.

Save, Save, Save!

When considering the benefits of air sealing, don’t forget that a sealed home can save you money. After air sealing, you’ll notice your electricity or gas bills will go down, and your home will retain hot or cold air and do less work to create either. In some cases, you may even qualify for tax credits when you insulate and air seal your home. Ask your accountant for details. In any event, investigate air sealing contractors and request a quote on air sealing your home today!

Signs That You Need Insulation Removal Services

Even if it seems like it does nothing but hide in the walls, your home’s insulation has a shelf life. Outside forces, pests, wear and tear, and more can interfere with or damage it, preventing it from doing its job. Figuring out that your insulation is on its last leg isn’t all that hard, though. Here are some signs that you need new insulation:

Outright Damage

The easiest way to tell if you need insulation removed is by looking at it, especially after an event such as a fire, burst pipe, or other bad circumstance. Some parts of insulation are combustible—cellulose burns, as does the foil or paper backing on batting—and should be replaced after a fire. Burst pipes, leaky roofs, and mold can likewise wet down insulation, making it ineffective. Remove the insulation, fix the water source, and then replace it. Sometimes insulation batting can eventually lose its grip and fall away from the wall or roof. Just push it back and take care to wear gloves and a dust mask. Most insulation types, such as batting and spray foam, last for many decades—but if you have cellulose insulation that’s 20 years old or older, have it inspected.

Critters

Insulation can become infested by all sorts of creatures that break into your home and take up residence in the attic and walls. Aside from the fact you can hear them skittering overhead, they make their presence known by chewing holes through the cellulose, foam, or batting in your attic and leaving traces of their feces and urine behind. Insulation that’s been eaten through isn’t just gross—it’s incapable of doing its job. Common insulation destroyers include rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, termites, and others. Call a pest removal service, seal off any entry points, then call a residential insulation services provider to replace whatever insulation has been damaged.

Odd Temperatures

Even though your HVAC system is at full blast, does your hose still feel too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer? Are your gas and electric bills soaring? Your insulation may not be doing its job. As mentioned, batting insulation can fall away, but cellulose insulation can degrade because of temperatures, weather conditions, and age. In this case, have an energy audit performed on your house to see what’s going on up there, or call in a provider of residential insulation services.

Feel a Draft?

While looking for signs that you need insulation removal services, pay attention to what you can feel. Namely, notice if you’re feeling drafts anywhere—or everywhere—or if parts of the house feel hotter or colder than they should. Gaps and cracks can form in the walls and around doors and windows, but sometimes insulation drops or shifts inside the walls. Note where the temperatures feel strangest and call in an expert for an inspection.

We know that it can be overwhelming to know what to do about whether you need insulation services or any home improvements. That’s why we offer a Home Energy Audit that will assess the energy efficiency of your home and help determine any necessary work. Contact Comfort 1st today to get started. We’re happy to answer questions and help make your home safer and more efficient!
 

Tips for Choosing an Insulation Contractor

If your house is feeling too cold in winter, too hot in summer, and generally uncomfortable year-round, your insulation, or lack of it, may be to blame. Insulation helps keep heat or cool air locked in. Without insulation, the air would leak through cracks or otherwise radiate out of your home, driving up your utility bills while leaving you miserable.

Fortunately, there are thousands of experts out there who can inspect and insulate your home with spray foam, blown-in insulation, foam board, rigid foam panels, or other types of insulation. But what should you look for in an insulation installer? To help you get started, here are a few tips for choosing an insulation contractor.

Ask Around

The best testimonies come from friends, family members, and coworkers who had similar work done on their homes. They’ll have the best and most trustworthy contractors in mind, and, more importantly, they’ll remember the ones they didn’t trust or did a bad job. Search online, too. Facebook groups for your local community are a good source, though you’ll have to use your best judgment if a contractor sounds too good to be true. When you whittle the list down to a top three, contact each contractor and ask for references from jobs they’ve previously performed. The ones worth their salt will be happy to oblige.

Check Credentials

Ask each potential contractor to provide proof that they’re licensed and certified by the Insulation Contractors Association of American (ICAA) or another professional association. Ensure they’re insured with coverage that will protect their installers and your home against injury or damage. Ask them to describe the process and materials they use, highlighting the R-value of the insulation, which measures how well it resists the conductive flow of heat. Your region will require a specific R-value, which you can easily find online. You might feel uncomfortable asking a contractor to prove themselves, but the best ones will provide the credentials that show they’re up for the job.

Get It in Writing

When you pick a contractor, ask for a quote for residential insulation services. The estimator will stop by and assess the attic and other areas of the house. Never accept a quote by phone. A professional estimator will take the time to measure and assess every part of the attic rather than simply glancing around. They will note special issues that need to be addressed, how much material is required, and how much time it will take. They will then itemize the entire process in their quote to ensure there are no surprises later. After insulation, you will be given a contract or receipt for the entire process, which you should use to ensure the job has been performed as promised.

Advantages of Insulating Your Home Attic

Insulating your attic is likely not your first thought when you think about what home projects you need to finish. However, it should be! Installing insulation in your home’s attic can be very beneficial to your home. Take a look at some of the advantages of insulating your home attic to get an idea of whether this home project is for you!

Reduces Noise

Insulating your attic will dampen any noises that come from inside or outside your home. It will help reduce the sound of thunder when it is storming outside and will keep your home a peaceful sanctuary when your neighbors get a bit too loud. While it won’t keep our home completely quiet, it will be better than if your attic was not insulated.

Increase’s Home Value

There are simple ways you can increase your home’s overall value, and insulating your attic is one of them. Whether you already have insulation and are upgrading it, or you are installing it for the first time, quality insulation truly adds value to your home. Make sure you mention this element when speaking with potential buyers because most people view it as a significant advantage. Additionally, installing quality insulation in your attic will reduce your home’s overall energy costs and will keep your entire house at a more comfortable temperature.

Can Be Used for Storage

If an attic has no insulation, it will most likely be too hot or cold for the space to be usable. Adding insulation to the room will help regulate the temperature, allowing you to use the space in a variety of different ways. This is especially beneficial if you need extra space for a guest bedroom, playroom, or even an extra family room.

These three advantages of insulating your home attic have only scratched the surface. There are so many other benefits that come with this decision, including expanding your roof’s lifespan, preventing frozen pipes, helping the environment, and preventing structural damage. There is no doubt that it is a smart move as a homeowner.

Speaking of being a smart homeowner, take a look at our website today to see all we offer as one of the best insulation contractors in Rockford, Illinois. We share all our services and prices online, but feel free to reach out to us with any questions or to set up an appointment.