Benefits of Upgrading Your Insulation During Roof Replacement

Are you planning to replace your roof or have you just had it replaced? Now is the best time to consult with a spray foam insulation expert and consider conditioning your attic for a more comfortable and more energy efficient home.

During the re-roofing process you will have contractors in the attic space. It is best to check for energy loss right after the roof is complete. An inspection of the space will reveal whether roofing contractors left messy asphalt that needs to be evacuated from the area. It is also the prime opportunity to do mechanical repairs and replacements, a first step in fixing potential leaks.

If you have fiberglass insulation in place, know that it has a shelf life of maybe 10 years, if installed properly. Have it checked once your new roof is complete and consider spray foam as a longer-lasting, more effective alternative.

Is your house 10 years or even 20 years old? So much has changed with the energy code that what was installed even 5 years ago isn’t up to current standards. If you are undertaking a major renovation like re-roofing, it will benefit you in terms of comfort, efficiency, and energy expenses to contact an insulation expert and make sure that you understand how a properly conditioned attic could improve your quality of life.

Contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. and we’ll schedule a consultation to review your options with you soon!

Congress Extends Tax Credit for Eligible Contractors who Build New Energy Efficient Homes

Great news for contractors who built new energy efficient homes in 2012 – as part of the recent fiscal cliff negotiations, Congress extended the 25L tax credit. The legislation provides a tax incentive for builders who can provide proof that their new home provides a level of heating and cooling energy consumption that is at least 50 percent below that of a comparable dwelling unit constructed in accordance with the 2006 IECC. The tax credit is retroactive to homes sold from January 1, 2012.

 

Builders who want to claim the $2000 tax credit should refer to IRS form 8908. For more specific information, you may refer to the 2011 documents that explain who can claim the credit and how here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8908.pdf. Contact your tax professional to confirm eligibility and to find out if you have any other opportunities to claim credits for energy efficient modifications to your new or existing home.

 

Who is an eligible contractor? The IRS form states: “An eligible contractor is the person that

constructed a qualified energy efficient home (or produced a qualified energy efficient home that is a manufactured home). A person must own and have a basis in the qualified energy efficient home during its construction to qualify as an eligible contractor with respect to the home. For example, if the person that hires a third party contractor to construct the home  owns and has the basis in the home during construction, the person that hires the third party contractor is the eligible contractor and the third party contractor is not an eligible contractor.” If you are unsure whether or not you qualify, contact your tax professional to confirm.

 

As national concern over energy independence and conservation heightens, and the economy continues to pressure homeowners to save money wherever possible, tax incentives and utility rebates are likely to become more common. Be sure to follow proposed legislation, and occasionally check with your power and water providers to ensure you are taking full advantage of the savings available to you. And contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today to find out how an energy audit may help you establish a baseline and identify points of possible improvement so you can ensure your home is operating at maximum efficiency. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Is Your New Home Truly Energy Efficient?

Homeowners are increasingly aware of the latest terminology in home efficiency: energy audits, carbon footprints, air barriers, and more. If your home was built in the last decade, you might assume that the builders integrated the most current technology and met the latest standards.

However, unless you custom built your home with a highly responsible contractor and unless you purchased a premium insulation package, you may be wrong. Not only have standards and available solutions evolved enormously in the past few years, but there are, unfortunately, many builders who are more concerned with the bottom line than responsible practices. Your insulation, as well as your devices, may not be the highest grade. Your home may be less efficient and your energy bills higher than you suspect.

If you truly want to know how efficient your home is, and how much energy and money you might save in the future if you make modifications today, you need to schedule an energy audit now. Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. is certified to provide this critical service that reveals everything from minor modifications that you can make yourself to larger scale improvements that will not only improve your comfort and quality of life, but will also improve your home’s integrity.

Our technicians will begin with a consultation to determine your concerns. A blower door test and inspection will allow us to produce a report of areas that could be improved along with recommendations for how to proceed if you decide to pursue any changes. A test after you are done with all of the recommended tasks you choose to undertake reveals how much energy you will save due to your actions. In some cases, utility companies, local and federal government agencies may even offer you rebates or tax incentives for making such modifications.

Owners of newer homes understandably believe that their properties meet the highest possible standards. You’ve already made an investment in your future by purchasing new – protect your investment and give yourself peace of mind by taking simple steps to confirm that your home is truly the responsible, comfortable and cost-efficient space you expect it to be. Contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today!

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!

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!

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.

Are You Losing Money Through the Roof?

Welcome winter weather! All over Virginia, homeowners are starting to turn on heater systems and preparing for cold days ahead. No matter how old or new your home is, if your attic is not properly insulated, you are quite literally losing money through your roof!

Fiberglass insulation provides a minimum standard of protection from heat loss and air transfer. It has a limited lifespan and should be replaced approximately every ten years. It does not conform to the spaces where it is installed, leaving gaps and spaces where air can creep in (and out).

Electricity prices are at a premium these days and most homeowners would prefer to avoid sending their precious heat out into the world. An expert application of spray foam insulation seals attic spaces and carries a lifetime warranty. The result is lower heating bills and more comfortable living spaces.

If the idea of spending less for better results is appealing to you, contact Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today to schedule a visual check of your attic and crawl spaces. We’ll be happy to give you a general estimate and address all of your insulation and weatherization concerns. Call us today!

FEMA and Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation Applications

You are familiar now with the use of Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation to reduce energy consumption, save money on utilities and improve the comfort of your home. Did you know, though, that FEMA condones the use of Sprayed Closed-Cell Foam Insulation to help resist the damaging effects of flooding?

According to FEMA, the foam which is used in wall cavities where it expands and hardens creating an air barrier, “offers acceptable flood resistance” to homes in flood-prone areas. The organization further sites that “Tests have shown that sprayed foam insulation can improve the strength of structural framing systems and connections.” The foam is not only highly water-resistant and effective, but it is quicker to apply than traditional “batting-style” insulation, which is critical in areas where large recovery or prevention efforts are ongoing.

FEMA does point out that to create a flood-resistant structure, there are other construction considerations that must be taken into account, including the use of approved materials and framing patterns.

Additional testing has also concluded that closed-cell foam is not only an effective product for damage mitigation during floods, but also helps homes withstand high wind, useful in regions prone to hurricanes. It has even been shown to prevent the uplift effect that results in massive roof damage and separation.

Closed Cell Spray Foam has many different applications that improve your quality of living and the safety and stability of your home. If you are interested in learning about attic encapsulation, basement barriers or any of the other available uses for closed cell spray foam insulation, contact our team of experts at Atlantic Spray Systems, Inc. today.

Resource: FEMA Technical Fact Sheet No. 1.8 (accessible at www.fema.gov)