Attic Insulation Services
What are the energy & money saving benefits?
T·A·P saves energy. T·A·P saves money by decreasing energy bills. It keeps homes cool in summer and warm in winter for less money: Comfortable year-round. Because T·A·P is denser than fiberglass insulation, air does not move through it well, so it resists heat transfer by convection, as well as conduction and radiation. And since there aren’t the leaks and drafts associated with ordinary insulation, mechanical systems don’t work as hard and can be down-sized, further saving money. Areas in the home maintain more uniform temperatures between floors and ceilings, upstairs and downstairs, even next to exterior walls. Comfort. Conservation. Money saving benefits
What is the sound absorbing benefits?
T·A·P reduces unwelcome noise from outside and helps create a peaceful haven inside the home. Insulated interior walls reduce annoying noises (such as toilets flushing and appliances running) inside a house. Acoustical properties
What is the pest controlling benefits?
T·A·P helps control pests in your home. Annoying pests can breed and form colonies in the attic and behind walls, coming out at night, seeking food and water. More than just annoying, they can severely damage a house. T·A·P is an EPA-labeled pest control insulation, treated with pure boric acid. Although deadly to many insects, T·A·P is acceptable for use around humans and pets. T·A·P eliminates self-grooming insects, where it is installed, upon contact. Insects cannot build up a tolerance to T·A·P, and it never needs re-treating. T·A·P controls ants, cockroaches, silverfish, termites, and other insects listed on the EPA label.
What is the insulation made of?
All-Natural, Permanent, and Environmentally Friendly, too. T·A·P is Green! Well, not in color, but T·A·P is permanent, made from all-natural boric acid and recycled newsprint; thus while you’re saving energy, you’re also conserving landfill space. Environmental properties
Is cellulose a fire hazard?
Most houses are cellulose (made from wood and forest products). T·A·P contains a fire-retardant chemical that actually makes homes safer in case of fire. Ordinary fiberglass insulation can melt, creating a chimney-like effect in a wall. T·A·P, with its fire-retardant characteristics, forms a charred surface barrier which limits the spread of fire. Fire-retardant properties.
How is T·A·P installed?
Blown-in T·A·P forms a perfect fit in your wall or attic when applied, seeking nooks and crannies, filling the entire cavity. As every homebuilder knows, stud cavities are not uniform in size; thus, gaps and voids form when uniformly sized batts are used. Unlike fiberglass batts, T·A·P is never cut on the jobsite, or stuffed into the cavity to fit behind pipes and conduits, reducing the R-Value. With T·A·P, the R-Value stays in the insulation! And that means the added value stays in the home and becomes a permanent benefit you can sell to the next owners.
Cost benefits of insulating your Danville or Champaign home
Click here to see a handy tool that will help you calculate the savings of properly insulating your home.
There are 3 types of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation.
Conduction is heat transfer through a material as thermal energy moves from molecule to molecule through a substance, or from one object to an adjoining object. If you pick up the handle of a cast iron frying pan on a hot stove you’ll experience conduction! The heat reaches your hand via conduction from the burner to the bottom of the pan through the metal handle to your hand.
Heat is conducted through the ceilings, walls, and floors of homes. Effective insulation slows conduction by keeping heat out during summer and in during winter.
Convection is the transfer of heat by a liquid or gas (such as air). Circulatory air motion due to warmer air rising and cooler air falling is a common mechanism by which thermal energy is transferred. An open chimney flue provides a good example of convective heat loss during the winter. Warm air will rise up the chimney and cold air will fall down into the home. The energy used to warm the air that escapes is lost. The cold air must now be heated. The greater the temperature difference between the inside and outside of the home, and the larger the openings in the home, the easier it is for air to move and the greater losses you will have due to convection. Convective heat loss occurs through cracks and holes in the home and gaps and voids in ceilings, walls, and floors—and in the insulation. Convection also occurs if air can circulate through the insulation — if insulation is to be effective, it must prevent air from flowing easily through it. Properly applied insulation reduces convective heat loss by resisting and minimizing air movement.
Radiant heat transfer occurs between objects that are not touching. The sun heating the earth is an example of radiant heat transfer. The sun warms the earth without warming the space between the sun and the earth. An example of radiant heat transfer is found in a typical attic during the summer. The sun radiates heat to the roof, which in turn radiates heat down toward the ceiling. If the insulation covering the ceiling does not effectively resist radiant heat transfer, then the ceiling will become increasingly warm – radiate heat down into the home – and the home will be uncomfortable. Properly applied insulation arrests radiant heat transfer.
Insulation is rated by R-value. The higher the R-value the less heat is transferred through a material in a given period of time. (The R-value is the reciprocal of the U-value.) Attic insulation rated at R-40 will have a greater resistance to conductive heat transfer than attic insulation rated at R-19.
R-values are determined in laboratory conditions by placing carefully prepared test specimens between two plates and measuring heat flow by conduction through the insulation. It is widely believed that the higher the R-value, the better the insulation. This is not necessarily true unless all other factors (such as density or gaps and voids) are identical. Laboratory R-values do not take into consideration many factors (for instance, wind-wash on the outside walls, and less-than-perfect installation) that exist in real homes.
R-value is a good measure of insulating quality—as far as it goes. But remember that R-value is a laboratory measurement of a material’s resistance to conductive heat transfer only. And we don’t live in carefully controlled laboratories—and there are other methods of heat transfer than just conduction.
In other words, R-value can be a good measure for comparing different brands of the same type of insulation; but it can be a poor predictor of ability between different types of insulation. To get the insulating benefit you’ve paid for, know your choices!
Effectiveness in sound control is an important quality in insulation, and T·A·P performs well acoustically. We naturally think of insulation affecting noise outside the envelope of the building, such as traffic, lawnmowers, and barking dogs. But more and more, consumers wish to insulate interior walls to reduce unwanted noises such as appliances, entertainment systems, and bathroom sounds.
A laboratory rating dubbed Sound Transmission Class (STC) is used to measure sound-deadening ability, The higher the STC number, the more sound is diminished.
Both Owens-Corning and the Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association have tested their products for STC ratings. The insulations were installed in walls and tested with an empty wall as a reference. An empty wall does impede some sound travel and achieves a rating of 35. Owens-Corning reports that their fiberglass insulation achieves an STC rating of 39. Cellulose is commonly listed with an STC 44.
The major reasons for the difference in STC rating are the physical attributes of the two products: density and texture. Denser cellulose, a wood-based product, disrupts and scatters sound waves so that less noise can pass through it.
But it should be noted that STC ratings are tested in a laboratory setting that does not always mimic the conditions of real houses. STC ratings are also listed with perfectly-installed insulation. But gaps and voids associated with installing fiberglass create a conduit for sound waves to skirt the insulated portions of the wall and transmit sound into the room. Since blown-in T·A·P, with its dense, form-fit, allows no such gaps or voids, acoustical performance improves, and rooms are quieter. T·A·P’s excellent acoustical performance may be an unexpected bonus for the consumer.
i “T·A·P Pest Control Insulation: Specifications.” Charlotte: T·A·P Insulation, 2001. “Noise Control Design Guide.” Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation. Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association.
Environmental Building News believes that cellulose insulation should be a preferred insulation material for environmentally concerned builders and designers. After intense study and thorough investigation, the Journal reported that cellulose is clearly the environmentally-friendly insulation. Cellulose is more often than not, the best choice for architects, builders, contractors, and homeowners concerned about responsible environmental stewardship.
Embodied energy is the amount of energy used to manufacture a product. Fiberglass is manufactured using enormous blast furnaces that consume a great amount of energy. Cellulose is manufactured using electrically-driven mills. Data reported to the Canadian Standards Association* suggest that fiberglass actually requires at least 25 to 30 times more energy to make than cellulose of equivalent R-value (adjustments for weight differences are included in the calculation).iv
Fiberglass manufacturers typically use only 20% to 30%, if any, recycled glass cullet (broken, waste glass).
Cellulose on average contains at least 75% recycled, post-consumer newsprint. (T·A·P contains 85%.) This saves millions of cubic yards of landfill space, provides a valuable product from what otherwise must be buried or burned, and helps reduce the rate of depletion of our nation’s limited resources. Thanks in part to the efforts of cellulose manufacturers like T·A·P, the newspaper is the most commonly recycled household material.
Cellulose insulation manufactured from recycled paper is the least polluting and most energy efficient insulation.
* Letters to Canadian Standards Association from G. van der Zanden, Roxul; and B. Wiley, Therm-O-Comfort, Ltd.
Fire Retardant Properties
All approved building insulations must satisfy federal standards. Cellulose insulation must meet the fire and smoldering combustion requirements of the US Consumer Safety Protection Commission, as well as other standards set by the FTC, DOE, HUD, and the building codes.
All residential structures contain large amounts of wood and wood-based components. Wood, of course, is classified as a combustible material. However, a “non-combustible” building component does not necessarily out-perform a “combustible” in the event of a fire.
For example, fiberglass batts often come with a paper/asphalt backing (now outlawed in Canada). But while the fiberglass must satisfy flammability standards — the paper backing is not required to meet the same flammability standard. The backing is highly flammable, with a flame-spread rating of over 1000.
Cellulose insulation is the only wood-based building material that is always treated for fire retardancy. This makes cellulose insulation one of the safest materials used in home construction.
If a fire occurs, the dense structure of cellulose and its fire retardants slow its spread through the building by blocking flames and hot gases and restricting the availability of oxygen in insulated walls and ceilings. Scientists at the National Research Council Canada report that “cellulose in the wall cavity provided an increase in the fire resistance performance of 22% to 55%.” Fire roars right through fiberglass. The NRCC study showed that “the fire resistance of an assembly with glass fiber insulation was slightly lower than that of a non-insulated assembly.”
Tests at Omega Point Laboratories indicated that cellulose in a wall increased fire resistance 26% to 77%, as compared with an uninsulated wall.
Several fire demonstrations have been conducted in which cellulose-insulated structures have remained virtually intact while uninsulated and fiberglass insulated structures burned to the ground.
The fire-retardant treatment in T·A·P fights fire 3 ways:
- 1. It gives off water vapor to cool the temperature below ignition level.
- 2. It depletes the oxygen needed to maintain combustion.
- 3. It promotes char to block the flame from spreading.