Serving Greater Pittsburgh & Northern Panhandle, Washington, Weirton, Pittsburgh, and surrounding cities
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.
Home Environment Solutions is a nationally certified mold testing and remediation company with a service area that includes Wheeling West Virginia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.