Home Environment Solutions Q&A

Which insulation is best for attic?

There are many different insulation types that are used in an attic.  Some insulation types are better suited for specific areas of an attic than others.  Home Environment Solutions has been trained in the countries largest home performance training center.  Our trained insulation professionals can evaluate the building structure of the attic to determine which product would produce the best results. 

Who does mold testing in Wheeling West Virginia?

Home Environment Solutions is a nationally certified mold testing and remediation company with a service area that includes Wheeling West Virginia.

How long does insulation last?

All insulation types have different life expectancies that can be shortened by factors in the environment.  Many insulation types are degraded by moisture, wind, animal infestations, dirt and improper intallation.  A professional trained to evaluate insulation should inspect the areas to determine the effectiveness of any insulation in question.

What's the best way to kill mold?

Its a common misconseption that mold should be killed.   In some cases dead mold is just as allergenic or toxic as live mold.  To make an area safe mold must be removed.  Removal is the only way to insure an area is safe.

How high should vapor barriers be over a dirt crawl space?

Each crawl space is different and has several factors to determine the proper placement of insulation and vapor barriers.  In some instances the area behind the vapor barrier should be insulated first to prevent condensation on the vapor barrier.   A professional trained in building science should design a proper crawl space encapsulation to prevent any future problems. 

How long does it take to get rid of mold in a house?

Every mold removal project is different. First a thorough inspection of the affected area should be conducted by a trained professional.  Next the underlying cause of the mold must be determined and corrected.  Next Small areas of mold can be cleaned up by the home owner.  Depending on how extensive the mold is in some cases a certifed trained professional with proper equipment may be needed to clean up the area.  In conclusion some mold cleanup projects can be completed very quickly and others can take days or weeks to propery clean up. 

Can you get mold out of clothes?

Mold can ususally be washed out of clothing using Borax soap and laundry detergent and the warmest water the fabric will allow.  Some clothing must be dry cleaned as per the tag.  Mold can leave stains on clothing even after washing.  Clothing that has heavy mold contamination should be discarded.

Can you clean mold off of hard surfaces?

Mold growth on hard surfaces like steel, glass, concrete, etc can almost always be cleaned. Items such as wood and other semi pourous materials can usually be cleaned if they are not degraded.  

Mold can be removed by cleaning with a soapy solution while being careful not to cause the mold to become airborn and spread to other areas.  Cleaning should be repeated until the area is free from mold and dust. The areas around the affected area should be cleaned as well to remove any residual spores and dust. 

Areas with heavy mold or areas larger that ten square feet should be addressed by a professional with training in mold remediation. 

How do you do a basement existing wall?

Basement walls can be insulated in a variety of ways.  We consider many factors to detemine which process and product will give the best end result for the application.

Given the problems with fiberglass insulation in the basement, Dr. Energy Saver developed an alternative solution using rigid foam insulation. Unlike fiberglass batts, rigid foam insulation won't absorb moisture, compress, lose R-value or fall out of place. It has ideal characteristics for use in the basement, which is why we recommend three innovative basement insulation products.

  • SilverGlo™ Insulation Panels: SilverGlo™ panels are made with tiny graphite particles that reflect heat and provide superior R-value. The rigid foam panels also boast a radiant barrier, which reflects heat back into your basement. Putting rigid foam insulation on basement walls will make your basement and your entire house more comfortable and more energy efficient.
  • Foamax® Insulation: Foamax® is a highly effective insulation panel that also serves to improve the appearance of your basement. Finished with a white foil on the front, Foamax® provides the wall insulation you need to improve your home comfort and energy efficiency. Even better, Foamax® is fully compatible with your basement waterproofing system and can easily be covered with a fully finished wall.
  • ThermalDry® Insulated Floor Decking: For maximum energy savings and comfort, it's best to insulate both the walls and floors of your basement. ThermalDry® Insulated Floor Decking™ is interlocking 2-ft. X 2-ft. squares that combine rigid foam insulation and special moisture-proof underlayment. You install basement floor insulation and subflooring in one step.

When your foundation walls are insulated with rigid foam, your Dr. Energy Saver contractor can also seal and insulate the rim joist in your basement or crawl space to eliminate this major source of air infiltration.

Can mold cause health problems for babies?

Infants are particularly sensitive to all kinds of mold, and in some cases, infants exposed to mold suffer serious and long-term illnesses. In most cases, healthy people recover, but in some instances, individuals can suffer long-term effects from mold exposure, especially when toxigenic mold is the cause of illness.  Those with weaker immune systems, the elderly, children and infants are more susceptible to mold-related illnesses. 

Does blown in cellulose insulation settle in walls?

It is possible that blown in insulation will settle in walls, but only when not properly installed to the specified densities by a competent insulation professional. We dense pack are TrueSoft Cellulose insulation to the desired pounds per square inch to prevent settling from happening.  This can only be achieved with the proper type of professional insulation equipment 

Does fiberglass batt insulation degrade over time?

Yes, over time fiberglass batt insulation breaks down and become less effective.  Weather, critters, dust, compaction, moisture, mold and general age are culprits for breaking down your fiberglass batt insulation over time.  

Does vinegar kill mold?

Yes & No Vinegar is a mild acid which can kill around 80% of mold species. However vinegar will not penetrate the surface. If mold is growing on something porous like wood or drywall your going to want something that can penetrate and remove the mold for good. Otherwise its going to grow back. We offer more permanent solutions. Call us today to get your mold removed!

How does cellulose insulation prevent pest infestation?

Many homeowners who have fiberglass insulation can tell you how the skin-irritating material can make an excellent nest for various types of pests. The warmth and shelter are ideal for rats and mice to settle down and nest inside your attic and walls, and certain insects prefer the safety and solitude away from potential predators. Because pests find so many advantages to nesting in insulation, it can make pest management that much harder in your home. Many people are not aware there are alternatives to fiberglass insulation for your home's attic. 

Certain types of household pests can be eliminated through the installation of cellulose insulation. Not only is the insulating material environmentally friendly (it’s made of recycled newspaper), the insulation is treated with boric acid, which serves as a flame retardant and a deterrent to fungus. The boric acid can also act as a pesticide, discouraging pests from entering and nesting inside your walls and ceilings.

How does insulation work?

To understand how insulation works it helps to understand heat flow, which involves three basic mechanisms -- conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is the way heat moves through materials, such as when a spoon placed in a hot cup of coffee conducts heat through its handle to your hand. Convection is the way heat circulates through liquids and gases, and is why lighter, warmer air rises, and cooler, denser air sinks in your home. Radiant heat travels in a straight line and heats anything solid in its path that absorbs its energy.

Most common insulation materials work by slowing conductive heat flow and -- to a lesser extent -- convective heat flow. Radiant barriers (which are not insulation products) and reflective insulation systems work by reducing radiant heat gain. To be effective, the reflective surface must face an air space.

Regardless of the mechanism, heat flows from warmer to cooler until there is no longer a temperature difference. In your home, this means that in winter, heat flows directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated attics, garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior ceilings, walls, and floors -- wherever there is a difference in temperature. During the cooling season, heat flows from the outdoors to the interior of a house.

To maintain comfort, the heat lost in the winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in the summer must be removed by your cooling system. Properly insulating your home will decrease this heat flow by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.

How many inches of blown insulation in attic?

In our climate region the US Department of Energy recommends R-38 to R-60 for attic insulation. We get the best results installing 17" of TrueSoft Cellulose Insulation which gives the home owner an R-60 value.

Is cellulose insulation fire retardant?


Cellulose insulation has the highest fire safety rating (Class I). It is treated with borate that meet all federal, state, and local fire safety requirements. It actually helps make your home safer by providing up to 50% better fire resistance than fiberglass.  

What does R-value mean?

R-value is a measure of resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of material. The higher the R-value the greater the resistance. 

Different types of insulation are rated by their R-value or ability to slow heat transfer.  Desired R-value depends on climate type and geographic location.  You can find the recommended R-value for your location at the U.S. Department of Energy's website. 



What is cellulose insulation made from?

Cellulose insulation essentially is paper.  Strictly speaking, cellulose insulation can come from any cellular plant source. But generally it is made from recycled newspaper and cardboard.  

What is the stack effect?

The stack effect is the movement of air into and out of your home, resulting from air buoyancy. Buoyancy occurs due to a difference in indoor-to-outdoor air density resulting from temperature and moisture differences. 

Since homes are not totally sealed, the stack effect will cause air infiltration.  During the heating season, the warmer indoor air rises up through your home and escapes out through the attic.  The rising warm air reduces the pressure in the base of your home, which then draws cold air in from the outside to replace the warm air that left through your attic.  The cold air typically penetrates around your rim joist in the basement. 

our service area

We serve the following areas

  • Acme
  • Adah
  • Adamsburg
  • Allison
  • Alverton
  • Armbrust
  • Arona
  • Connellsville
  • Dawson
  • Dunbar
  • Everson
  • Fairchance
  • Farmington
  • Gibbon Glade
  • Grapeville
  • Greensboro
  • Greensburg
  • Grindstone
  • Hopwood
  • Hunker
  • Lake Lynn
  • Latrobe
  • Lemont Furnace
  • Madison
  • Masontown
  • Mc Clellandtown
  • Merrittstown
  • Mill Run
  • Mount Pleasant
  • New Alexandria
  • New Salem
  • New Stanton
  • Normalville
  • Ohiopyle
  • Perryopolis
  • Point Marion
  • Republic
  • Ruffs Dale
  • Scottdale
  • Smithfield
  • Smithton
  • Smock
  • Star Junction
  • Tarrs
  • Uniontown
  • Vanderbilt
  • Waltersburg
  • White
  • Youngwood
  • Yukon
Our Locations:

Home Environment Solutions
3200 Pennsylvania Avenue
Suite 4
Weirton, WV 26062

Home Environment Solutions
598 East Maiden St Suite 3
Washington, PA 15301