Archives for December 2012

The Barriers that Protect Your Home: Water, Vapor and Air

In home construction there are three barriers that can be critical to preserving the integrity of your property over its lifespan: water, vapor and air. Knowing the difference between the three will help you choose the best products and applications to ensure that your home is energy efficient, comfortable and structurally sound for years to come.

According to the Air Barrier Association of America, air barriers, vapor barriers and water barriers each have a different function to perform in a building assembly. Air Barriers “stop movement of air into or out of a conditioned space”. Materials that prevent such movement are measured in factors “air permeance”, with a lower number indicating that a material is a better barrier than a higher number.

Vapor Barriers “slow or reduce the movement of water vapor through a material.” Vapor barrier materials are installed on the warm side of a wall assembly, most often determined by your climate. In warm climates, for example, the barrier is installed on the outside of a building and in cold climates it is installed on the inside.

Water Resistive Barriers are installed on the outside of a building and are intended to prevent bulk water leakage through and into a building’s sheathing or concrete walls and into their wall assembly. The most effective water resistive barriers are usually installed in the form of a membrane or covering fastened to the outside of the home (before finishing siding or exterior covering is installed).

Spray Foam Insulation is recommended to prevent the leakage of both air and vapor into and out of your conditioned home. By stopping this exchange, you protect your property from the damaging effects of moisture that can seep into your building materials, and you can also increase the efficiency of your HVAC system creating a more comfortable, energy efficient environment and lower utility bills. Paired with a good water resistive barrier, air and vapor barriers can substantially extend the lifespan of your building materials and the overall quality and value of your home over time.

When planning your new build or remodel, don’t forget to address your particular air, vapor and water barrier needs. If you want to learn more about the types of barriers that can help keep your home safe and comfortable, contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today and we’ll be happy to review your options with you!

Air Barrier Association of America

In our recent Colonial Courthouse article we mentioned the Air Barrier Association of America and wanted to share a little more about this organization, its goals and benefits.

The mission of the Air Barrier Association of America is to be the recognized voice of the air barrier industry. The members consist of manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, architects, engineers, contractors, researchers, testing and audit agencies, consultants and building owners. The ABAA evaluates the latest research on energy efficiency and air barrier technologies and follows the creation and progression of energy and building legislation. The organization creates industry standards and provides education to ensure that customers are able to easily locate top quality providers of air barrier-related services.

We at Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. believe that following new research, keeping track of related legislation, and pursuing continuing education are all essential components of being the best local choice for your air barrier installation. Our membership in the Air Barrier Association of America is just one of the ways that we pursue excellence on behalf of the clients who trust us with their insulation needs.

If you have questions about your home or commercial property’s energy efficiency and possible improvements to your own air barrier, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc.

Spray Foam Insulation and Energy Rebates

The end of the year prompts most homeowners to prepare for the onset of the coldest weather, and the resulting increase in heating bills. Energy companies also anticipate this trend and begin offering incentives for their customers to have their home’s energy efficiency evaluated and to make energy-saving improvements as well.

Now is the time to check your power bill or call your energy representative and ask if rebates are available on home energy audits and the installation of weatherization products that can prevent air transfer, increasing the efficiency of your HVAC system. The home improvements themselves will reduce your monthly energy bills, but power companies often offer rebates to customers who can demonstrate that they have taken measure to reduce their energy consumption.

You might also check with your tax professional as the new tax season approaches to find out if there are any incentives you qualify for if you have improvements made to your insulation. Some years are more lucrative than others, but it is always worth looking into when you are considering contracting for weatherization and home improvement services.

Don’t wait and miss an opportunity to save! Call your power company today, then call Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. for a free quote and an evaluation of your weatherization and energy-saving options!

Atlantic Spray Commercial Projects: Colonial Heights Courthouse

We recently worked on an Air Barrier Association of America project at the Colonial Heights Courthouse. As you can see in the photos, a new layer of insulation will now create greater energy efficiency in the building, decreasing the cost of managing the building’s power and preventing common issues associated with air and moisture infiltration in commercial properties.

A layer of spray foam insulation can be applied to the outside of commercial buildings to create an air barrier that prevents air from leaking into our out from the building. Not only does insulation moderate temperature, lessening the strain on an HVAC system, but it can also prevent moisture-related damage that can accumulate over time and be expensive to repair. Spray foam insulation is cost-effective and environmentally conscious. The popular product offers solutions to many of the most common problems faced by commercial property owners and managers.

Many commercial buildings can benefit from an application of spray foam insulation. If you are considering updating or upgrading your property, or want to reduce your energy bills, contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today for more information.

Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc.

Study Touts the Environmental Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation

Responsible homeowners concerned with the energy efficiency of their homes often ask if spray foam insulation, especially closed cell foam, has a negative impact on the environment. It’s a good question, and we have answered, in the past with some of the following facts:

  • Closed-Cell Foam (especially the products that we offer) is often made with renewable resources. Some products are even made from soy!
  • Spray Foam Insulation is designed to last for the life of your home, whereas fiberglass insulation has a shelf life of, maybe, 10 years before it needs to be replaced (i.e. disposed).

A new report released by the Spray Foam Alliance makes a “life cycle assessment” (LCA) of spray foam insulation. The study looked at spray foam insulation from a “cradle-to-end of life” timeframe in three different US climate zones. The study looked at “primary energy from non-renewable resources” and five different “critical” environmental impacts on things like air and water.

The study, which was vetted by independent groups concerned with the insulation, concluded that the benefit of the energy saved in both home and commercial applications of spray foam insulation far, far outweighs the impact of spray foam from the time it is applied to the time of its disposal. As we have said time and time again, spray foam insulation is a responsible choice for earth-conscious homeowners and commercial building managers.

Do you want to know more about insulating your home and decreasing your impact on the environment? Call Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today!

Stop! Don’t Replace Your Siding without Reading This First!

Siding is one of those products you know you will probably have to replace at some point during your home’s lifespan. If you are planning to commit to this kind of renovation right now, it is the perfect opportunity to consult with your insulation professional about improving the energy efficiency of your house.

Generally, in order to apply spray foam insulation, the gold-standard in home insulation products, we have to take sections of your siding off. This is labor intensive and increases the cost of your services. By coordinating the timing of your siding replacement with the installation of new insulation, you can save yourself real dollars as well as potentially expand the options you have to use different kinds of foam products, or even accomplish practical tasks like running helpful wires exactly where you want them.

Invest a little bit of time and logistical coordination when planning to replace your siding and your project will yield even better results than you hoped! Simply call us before your siding company starts installation and we will help you determine your options and make a great plan. Contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today.

Applying Spray Foam to Turn Your Quonset Hut into Useable Space

Do you use a Quonset hut for extra storage or workspace? Many people have these prefabricated units on their properties, but find them frustrating in less-than-ideal weather, or unreliable for sensitive storage away from elements like moisture, excessive heat and even pests.

Applying spray foam insulation to the walls and ceiling of your Quonset hut, however, can turn it into a completely functional space with increased building integrity and comfort. Properly finished, a Quonset hut is usable to store valuable items away from weather elements and can even be used as living space. The foam layer keeps condensation out in the hot months when the metal is so radiant that it has a huge effect on the internal temperature. The layer doesn’t even have to be super thick, just a few inches turns the building into an insulated space.

No other insulation material can convert a Quonset hut the way spray foam can. The roofs are general corrugated making it almost impossible to adhere traditional solid insulation sufficiently. If you could install it, the likelihood that it would fall off within a year is high. A few inches of closed cell foam can make a permanent and dramatic difference.

Make sure you check with a couple of insulation specialists before determining who to use to insulate your Quonset hut. Call us at Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. and we’ll be happy to evaluate your building and offer you a quote.