Radiant Barrier Problems & Solutions

If you’re searching “radiant barrier problems” you are either considering installing radiant barrier or you have radiant barrier insulation and are having problems with it.  Radiant barrier can be an incredible addition to your home’s insulation strategy when installed correctly.  Read about some of the problems and find out how they can be avoided and repaired by your local radiant barrier contractor.

Radiant Barrier Problems & Solutions

There are 3 main issues to overcome when considering radiant barrier as an option for helping insulate your home and they are condensation, dust, and ventilation. Condensation and ventilation are related in that if there is not proper ventilation it can cause foil radiant barriers to develop condensation. These problems either lead to homes being damaged or radiant barrier not being as effective as it should be.


Condensation is primarily a concern when radiant barrier is installed on the floor of an attic and sits on top of traditional insulation, such as fiberglass or loose fill. Insufficient ventilation is a primary cause of this condensation and is typically only problematic in colder regions of the country.  In areas that stay relatively warm all year long it is less of a concern.  Ensuring that gaps and cracks from the climate controlled living areas of the home are sealed helps cut down on moisture that builds up in the attic.

This condensation needs to be monitored if ceilings are discolored from water.  Excessive water will cause traditional insulation such as loose fill or fiberglass to lose some of its R-value and potentially frame rot if the problem is severe.


If radiant barrier isn’t installed correctly dust that settles on the product will reduce its efficiency.  There are various types of radiant barrier that can overcome this issue.  Primarily among those are spray on radiant barriers that are similar to a paint.  The spray on radiant barrier is applied directly to the underside of the roof decking, making it impossible for dust to settle on the heat reflective surface.

Insufficient Ventilation

Ventilation in the attic is important for the performance of your home’s thermal barrier approach.  Radiant barrier works better in the summer and helps remove excessive water during the winter.  For proper ventilation building codes state that every 150 square feet of attic floor should have 1 square foot of net free ventilation area.  Each different attic size, shape, and volume requires different levels of ventilation and should be calculated by your insulation contractor.

Quality Radiant Barrier Installation

Radiant barrier can add an additional layer of insulation to homes to improve energy efficiency, reduce reliance on air conditioning, and ultimately lower utility bills.  Barrier Insulation of Phoenix understands the problems that can occur when radiant barrier insulation is either not installed correctly or attics are not properly ventilated.  Let us help you if you are experiencing condensation problems or have dust covering your radiant barrier in the Phoenix Valley of Arizona.

12 Ways To Keep My House Cooler Without AC

The financial benefits for summer proofing your home will pay dividends each and every year.  Take a look at some of the options you can get a professional to install, or just good habits to keep you cool and comfortable during these hot summer months.

Best 3 Professional Ways To Keep My House Cooler Without AC

Radiant Barriers – This is a type of insulation that is installed in the attic of a house or attached to the rafters of the roof.  This reduces the air conditioning cost by keeping the attic a cooler space during the summer which means less heat in your house, and less need to keep the AC running all the time.

Foam Insulation – This industry leading insulation type minimizes air leakage to keep your air conditioning in the house instead of leaking out and wasting your money.   And the more of your air that stays in your house, the less that AC unit runs, and the more money that stays in your pocket.

Attic Ventilation – Attic Ventilation comes in two types and Eve Line Venting/Lower Air Intake and Fans.  These technologies help keep the attic itself cooler, which means less heat radiating down from the attic into your living space.

9 Other Ways To Keep My House Cooler Without Air Conditioning

Here are 9 great tips for keeping your home cooler without having to run your AC unit too much.  Using them all gives you the best edge against summer heat!

1. Keep The Blinds Closed

Draw the blinds and shades during the day – As much as we look forward to summer when the light actually starts to stream into our windows, it brings with it lots of heat.  If you’d like to reduce your electricity bill, pull them closed.  This is especially important when there is direct light on those windows.

2. Keep those fans going

They cost a lot less to run but they put the air directly on you in while you watch TV, read or while you are laying in bed getting that much needed rest.

3. Invest In Window Film

Invest a little money in some reflective window film. Much like your vehicle’s tint a reflective film can help guard your home and your pocket book against excessive AC costs.

4. Swap Out Light Bulbs

Switch out your light bulbs to CFL or LED bulbs.  Those old incandescent lights use more energy and actually produce a lot of heat themselves!

5. Keep Yourself Cool

Cool your house, cool yourself.  An important way to help ourselves weather the heat of the summer, especially here in Phoenix is to keep ourselves cool with plenty of water and icy beverages.

6. Dress for the heat

Wearing light colored and loose fitting clothing can go a long way for us to make the most of summer and keep our costs down not running the AC like crazy while we chill out in wool and sweats.

7. Wear A Wet Towel

A great trick for weathering the hot Arizona summers is a wet towel.  You just have to get it wet and then drape it around your neck, and apply it to your wrists and forehead for some welcomed relief from the heat.  This is a great trick for when you’re home, hiking, or just need to cool off.

8. Install Shade Elements

Invest in some natural shade outside; planting some trees that help shade your home from getting sun in the first place goes a long ways to helping keep you cool.  You can also install some shade sails or awnings to provide more shade.

9. Cook Outdoors

Another fun way to help keep the house cool and get some great food is to use that BBQ.  It keeps the heat out of the house and puts some great food on your plate at the same time.

Get Your Home Insulation Upgraded

Give the experts at Barrier Insulation a call to start saving money today or send us a request for information using our contact page.  We can inspect your home’s insulation and let you know the ways that we can improve your home’s thermal performance. Doing so means running your air conditioning less, and saving money on electricity. Give us a call today at 602-499-2922.

Heat Stroke Guide For Phoenix

If you are searching for “heat stroke symptoms” or “how to treat heat stroke” this article is for you.  Barrier Insulation cares about the people of Arizona and want everyone to have a happy, healthy, and safe summer. Summer in the Phoenix metro area is famous for incredible heat and it carries with it a danger for people of any age. Understanding what heat stroke is, how to spot it, and how to avoid it will help you stay safe and help others.

Resources on this page:

What Are The Symptoms Of Heat Stroke?

Knowing the symptoms of this disorder is critical for knowing when you or a loved one should be seen by medical professionals. Monitor the following symptoms if you think someone might be affected by heat stroke.

  • Elevated body temperature – One of the most clear signs that someone has heat stroke is a body temperature of 104°F or higher.
  • Changes in sweating – Heat stroke changes the way you sweat. If your skin feels dry and hot to the touch or if you have been physically exerting yourself in the heat it might feel moist.
  • Changes in behavior or mental state – If an individual exhibits slurred speech, confusion, agitation, delirium, irritability, or seizures they should be checked out. Coma is also a potential result.
  • Nausea or Vomiting – Someone with heat stroke might feel nausea or will vomit.
  • Rapid Breathing – Breathing might become shallow and more rapid.
  • Headache – The head may begin to throb with pain.
  • Racing Pulse – Heartbeats pickup considerably during heat stroke as the body places enormous strain on the heart to help cool the body.

How To Treat Heat Stroke.

When you believe you or someone else has heat stroke you should transport them to a hospital or call 911.  Delaying treatment or medical help can be fatal.  To care for the affected individual before getting to the hospital First Aid should be administered.

First Aid for Heat Stroke

  • Follow these easy steps to minimize the person’s discomfort and safeguard their health.
  • Move them to an air conditioned space or seek as much shade as possible.
  • Remove unnecessary clothing.
  • Monitor the person’s body temperature if possible and seek to reduce fever to 101.
  • Wet skin with hose or sponge and fan with air to cool skin.
  • Use ice packs to cool them by placing them on back, groin, neck and in armpits. These areas are rich with blood vessels and can reduce body temperature.
  • Put the person in a cool bath or shower and stay with them.

Heat Stroke Risk Factors

There are factors that increase a person’s likelihood of getting heat stroke and care should be taken for anyone that fits into these categories.  These are the people that are most at risk.

Urban areas – People living in urban environments which experience the “heat island effect” where the asphalt and stone doesn’t allow cooling during the evening.

Health conditions – People suffering from health conditions are at greater risk.  These conditions include but are not limited to the following conditions: heart, kidney disease, lungs, overweight or under weight, diabetes, high blood pressure, alcoholism, mental illness, sunburn, sickle cell trait, or any other type of condition which causes fever.

Prescription medications – Anyone who uses medications such as antihistamines, diuretics, diet pills, tranquilizers, sedatives, stimulants, blood pressure and heart medications, seizure medications, or medications for mental illnesses such as antipsychotics or antidepressants are at increased risk.

Diabetics are at an increased risk – Arizona residents that suffer from diabetes are at an especially high risk as they underestimate how they will function during heat waves. Diabetics need to be especially careful during these times of year to safeguard themselves.

Age is a factor – Children up to about age 4 and any adult over the age of 65 are at an increased risk of heat stroke as they cannot cool as quickly as others.

How Do You Prevent Heat Stroke?

They say that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, and that is true of heat stroke.  Summer in Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, and everywhere else in southern Arizona is hot and carries with it the possibility for heat stroke. Follow these tips to manage the risk and stay safer.

Drink plenty of fluids – You can’t sweat if you are dehydrated.  Drink plenty of water, but avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine.  Sweat is the body’s way of cooling itself.

Wear lightweight, loosefitting clothing – If your clothing is too tight or too heavy it will not allow your body to cool the way it needs to.

Never leave someone in a parked car – This is an incredibly dangerous situation for any adult but more so children and pets. When parked and the AC is off temperatures can rise 20°F in about 10 minutes.  Cracked windows and shade do not make it safe and no one should be left in the car during warm or hot weather.

Avoid exertion at peak heat – If there are outdoor activities which are strenuous you should schedule them for early morning or after the day has cooled off.  Ensure that frequent breaks are taken in cool spots and enough fluids are being consumed.

Monitor prescriptions – There are certain types of prescriptions which diminish the body’s ability to dissipate heat and stay hydrated.  Compensate by staying cool and drinking more water.

Take caution when you’re at risk – If you know you don’t handle the heat well, take medications that dehydrate, or have a condition that makes you susceptible for heat stroke limit your exposure to it and monitor how you are feeling and act quickly if you are overheating.  For strenuous sports events it is important to have medical services available in case of emergency.

Go somewhere cool – If you do not have adequate home insulation or air conditioning you should go to a public building such as a library, government building, community center, or mall. Staying cool and drinking enough fluids is the key to getting through the summer safe and avoiding heat stroke.

Heat refuge centers – The Maricopa Association of Governments has organized a map of locations for wellness checks, refuge from heat, and offers hydration. These are a great resource for the needy, the elderly, or anyone who needs some help getting through the heat. For more information or locations please visit Phoenix Heat Relief Network.


What Is Board Foot In Spray Foam Insulation?

What Is Board Foot In Spray Foam Insulation

Home owners that are considering spray foam insulation might be asking “What is a Board Foot in Spray Foam Insulation?”.  Today’s post will help consumers understand what a board foot is, how it is used, and what it means for your insulation project.

Spray foam manufacturers and installers use a unit of measure for spray foam insulation called a “Board Foot” or “Board Feet”. It is a measurement of how much coverage or yield a specific manufacturer’s spray foam will offer.

A board foot is a square foot of spray foam insulation at a thickness of one inch.  As the industry standard measurement it includes the square footage of the surface that will be sprayed as well as home many inches thick the foam should be.

How To Calculate Board Feet

It is easy to calculate the board feet needed for a given project. Take the measurements to get the square footage of cavities that should be insulated and multiply that number by the desired thickness of insulation.

How Thick Should Spray Foam Insulation Be?

This measurement varies by which type of spray foam insulation is chosen, open or closed cell. Closed cell offers superior R-Value and will require less thickness to achieve the desired thermal performance. To calculate how thick your spray foam will be you should have a target R-value in mind for your home and choose the option that fits your walls, attic, and needs.

Open-Cell Spray Foam has an R-Value of about 3.6/Inch. The cost per board foot is about $0.44 to $0.65. To achieve the desired R-Value open cell must be applied in thicker coatings.  If the framing is deep enough to allow for thicker application this can be a high performance and more affordable option.

Closed-Cell Spray Foam has a higher R-Value of about 6.5/Inch. This means that it can achieve higher thermal performance with less thickness. The cost per board foot of closed-cell spray foam is about $0.70 to $1 dollar. In addition to being a higher performance thermal insulator it also adds structural strength to roofs, walls, or any area it is sprayed.

How Much Does My Home Need?

Your local spray foam insulation contractor will help you choose the right spray foam insulation for your application.  The type of framing, joists, and rafters will affect the decision based on their depth and the room available to install the insulation.

Choosing Conscientious Spray Foam Installers

Part of every home improvement project is choosing the right products and the right people do install them. While that many times can be the homeowner it isn’t recommended for spray foam insulation.  Attic or whole home spray foam insulation jobs require trailers or trucks which carry the spray equipment and chemicals needed to do the job.

Spray Foam Is A Messy Job

As the spray foam insulation is sprayed there are tiny expanding droplets of foam that are in the air. This highly adhesive foam ends up on whatever you’re wearing, your skin, and in your hair. It also ends up on the floors, tools, and anything else in the house which isn’t covered. Professional spray foam insulation installation includes the proper preparation of the home by getting people out, using drop cloths, tape, and caulk to help minimize the spread of the droplets. Removing any spray foam which has existed and sealed a gap or crack in your home’s building envelope is also a service you should expect as part of professional insulation install.

Experienced Installers Matter

While pulling a trigger and spraying the chemical is simple applying the insulation correctly takes training and knowledge. Spray foam insulation isn’t foolproof or as simple as mashing a trigger.  Problems are created by sloppy or careless spray which needs to be corrected or scraped off. Sloppy spraying can also miss areas that should be insulated, which creates voids. These voids are places might be hidden or hard to reach, but must be sprayed correctly to ensure effective insulation.

The chemicals also need to be at a certain temperature to mix and cure correctly. Inexperienced or impatient spray foam applicators might not wait until the chemicals have reached the right temperature and the foam will not mix correctly. This leads to foam that shrinks away from the cavities it is meant to insulate.

Valleywide Phoenix Insulation Contractors

If you live in the Phoenix valley in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, or Tempe Barrier Insulation, Inc. offers the highest quality spray foam insulation installation available. We will help your remove any old insulation that isn’t working and install the best new insulation available. Improving your home or business’ insulation will help cut down energy bills and save you money!

Call today if you have questions or to schedule.
602-499-2922 or

How Radiant Barriers Save Energy in Phoenix

How Radiant Barriers Save Energy in Phoenix

Are you searching for “Radiant Barrier Phoenix” while considering improving the insulation in your home?  This article is designed to answer the common questions people have and to improve your knowledge so you can make an informed investment in your home’s energy saving insulation.

To reduce summer heat radiant barriers are installed in the attics of many Phoenix homes. Radiant barriers are highly reflective materials that differ from standard insulation materials. This article explains in more detail how radiant barriers save energy in Phoenix homes.

What Do Radiant Barriers Do?

Without Radiant Barrier Insulation Phoenix AZ
With Radiant Barrier Insulation Phoenix AZ
Most of traditional insulation materials tend to absorb and slow the transfer of heat to keep the house cool. In contrast a radiant barrier simply reflects the heat away from the home. While radiant barriers do reflect heat away, they do not prevent conduction like traditional insulation materials.

How Do Radiant Barriers Work?

The natural property of heat is to expand and move to cooler areas. This is done by a combination of heat transfer methods. Convection, conduction, and radiation are the ways that heat travels. Conduction is when the heat travels physically through the material. Think of a pan on a stove, the heat is applied to the bottom of the pan, but many times the heat travels through the metal and up into the handle. Convection differs in the way that heat transfer through gasses or liquids. A hot surface heats the air or liquid around it and the gas or liquid itself transfers the heat. Radiant heat travels in straight lines away from the hot surfaces. It does so until it hits a solid surface that absorbs the energy.

While most traditional insulation systems rely on slowing the transfer of conductive heat, radiant barriers reflect heat. This reduces overall heat gain in the house. The sun’s radiant heat is the primary method of roofs and attics heating up. The sun heats up the roofing materials; they in turn conduct the heat through to the attic. The heat is then radiated from the hot roof into to cooler attic space and heats the floor of the attic.

A radiant barrier simply provides a barrier from the radiant heat transfer from the hot roof to the attic floor and air ducts in your attic. Radiant barriers are especially popular and effective in hotter climates like Phoenix, Arizona. This is because the primary concern for the southern and hotter regions of the country is keeping the heat out of the houses and energy bills lower for cooling our homes. Not containing the heat in our homes during the winter.

What Types Of Radiant Barriers Are There?

There are different makeups and brands of radiant barriers. Most feature a highly reflective aluminum foil material that is backed with different types of substrates. Plastic film, craft paper, oriented strand board, and even cardboard act as backings for radiant barriers. Some radiant barrier materials are even back with fibers to make handling easier and increase durability.

Radiant barriers need not be the only insulation method. They can be used to increase the thermal performance of any home. In some cases the radiant material is actually built into some insulation products to provide a simpler, yet drastically more effective insulating effect.

Effective Radiant Barrier Installation

As with any insulation material the effectiveness of radiant barriers relies on the quality of installation. Certified radiant barrier installers have the experience, and knowledge to make the most of your insulation investment.

With new build insulation it is quite easy for radiant barriers to be installed. Existing homes can have radiant barriers added, but special care and installation methods are used for these applications. Typically in new build applications radiant barriers are put in place between the rafters before the decking goes down. However it is possible to add them afterword from the inside of the attic. The radiant barrier is put between the rafters to control dust accumulation. Excessive dust on a radiant barrier will negatively affect thermal performance.

Experienced Phoenix Radiant Barrier Contractor

If you are building a home, or are just wanting to repair or replace a radiant barrier in your home get in touch with Arizona’s radiant barrier experts. Our goal is always to provide the most cost effective solutions that will save you money in both cold and hot weather for your home or business. Keeping the energy costs down is everyone’s priority and our products are aimed at helping you keep everyone comfortable without having to overspend on your energy bills.

Barrier Insulation602-499-2922 or

Phoenix Spray Foam Insulation Review

Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix

If you are searching for “Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix” you’re probably looking for a great insulation company in the Phoenix valley. After a recent insulation project we had a client leave a very exciting and detailed account of working with Barrier Insulation. Read on to hear more about this customer’s experience with out company.

“Foaming at the mouth; workshop is almost working”

By : James Sanders 

Hi everyone,

We foamed today with insulation, a totally new experience for me, and maybe for some of our readers as well.  So, this posting will have a few more photos than we usually have.  You might find the subject interesting, and if not, that’s OK, too.  You can always delete before you read, and I will never know.  At any rate, Jeff Finley (Phoenix Contracting Services) recommended Rick from Barrier to insulate the structure.

Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix Truck

Jeff could not have recommended a better person.  The crew from Barrier came out, fully prepared.  The truck and trailer were parked at the front of our house and the foam was then pumped through a length flexible hose.  It was raining a little this morning.  Yes, that’s a jacaranda tree in our front yard.  That tree was given to me last year as a birthday present, given to me by my wife and daughter.  The tree survived the heated summer.  In the next photo, you will able to see the flexible hose used to pump the chemicals into the workshop.

Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix Hose

Over the river and through the woods, or so it seemed.  The workshop is in our backyard, and is not easily accessed from the street.  That is really what we wanted for the shop.  We would like to keep the noise level down and remain discreet, if we can.  Rick’s crew went right to work.  There is a lot of prep work that must be done before insulation can be pumped onto the structure.

Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix Site Preparation


In this photo, Miguel is making sure everything is protected that needs to be protected.  I had thought about using fiberglass batts, but Jeff Finley and my friend Mario told me, ‘That is not what you want to do.”  I am glad I listened to their advice.  Besides, Miss Pat wanted me to use foam, and so, that’s what I needed to do.  Happy wife, happy life.  Before you scroll further, take a look at the walls.  This photo will be part of a before and after series.

Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix Equipment & Foam Quality Check


Here Miguel is checking the pressure and texture of the foam before he puts on his protective hood.  What I noticed was Miguel sprayed only a light layer over the surface, and then, the foam grew, filling itself with air.  You do not need to spray much, but you do need to be consistent.  Miguel was.  Here is a shot of Miguel in his protective gear.

Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix Even Application


As you can see, the foam fills the cavity completely.  Later the foam on the walls is cut back to prepare for drywall.  While Miguel sprayed, Mario from Barrier began cutting and shaping the walls.  The job lasted for quite a long time, but when the crew had finished, there was plenty to crow about.

Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix Installed & Trimmed

In this photo, you can make out how the finished product actually looks.  There is a definitive sound quality to the foam, too.  Hopefully, the machinery will not be loud enough to disturb a neighbor as well as keep me cool in the hot days of summer.  In the next photo, you can see how the windows are now surrounded with foam; every cavity.

Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix Fully Cavity Filling

In the next few photos, you can make out the cupola and its structure.  The cupola is very large and should help the cupola provide upward ventilation as well as ample headroom.  At least, such is the theory.

Cupola Spray Foam Insulation Installation


The massive size of the cupola can be seen.  The border of fir on the lower part of the cupola is for rope lights, hopefully providing a dramatic look from the outside, as well as offering good lighting within.  The two circles are for the port lights on the cupola walls, west and east elevation.  The port lights are from an actual boat.  The nautical ambiance is beginning to show.

Port Lights Spray Foam Insulation Installation

Here is the last photo with the port lights easily discernible.  Along the walls, the foam is the thickness of the 2×4 dimensional lumber.  At the underside of the roof, the foam varies from 5 to 7 inches, depending on the scope and pitch of the roof.  Everything looks great, and the sound reduction is amazing.  Our next adventure is drywall, and we may be able to begin with that phase as early as Saturday morning.  Well, such as it is.  Thanks for going on the tour with us.

Phoenix Spray Foam Insulation Contractor

Insulation plays a very important role in keeping Phoenix homes comfortable and saving energy. Getting the job done right the first time is critical for the quality of spray foam insulation. Hiring the right spray foam insulation contractor that has the right training, experience, and skills will ensure that you get the best installation possible.  Whether you are working on a new build project or want to remove old insulation and upgrade, we can help. To get your project started simply give us a call at 602-499-2922 or submit a request with our Contact Form.

Best Type of Home Insulation for Phoenix

Best Type of Home Insulation for Phoenix

Are you searching for the “Best Type Of Home Insulation” for Phoenix? This article covers the different options that work best in the Valley of the Sun. Manufacturers of insulation all have job to do and a product to sell.  This means that you’re going to hear a lot of voices telling you which is the superior insulation type.

It’s an important question to think about when considering the energy efficiency of your home.  Especially with rising energy costs and the intense summers we experience here in Phoenix. What’s needed to cut through all the chatter on the subject is unbiased examination of the different types of insulation.

In This Article:

  1. Home Insulation Research & Development
  2. Spray Foam As The Simple Solution
  3. Closed-Cell Spray Foam Insulation
  4. Open-Cell Spray Foam Insulation
  5. Knowledgeable Home Insulation Consumer
  6. Phoenix Home Insulation Installers

Home Insulation Research & Development

Building scientists have spent over 30 years studying how homes use and lose energy.  They’ve constructed enormous chambers to enclose walls and model homes so they could study the effects of heat, cold and wind.  Their research has delivered results that will save home owners hundreds of dollars on their energy costs year in and year out.

A fact of home ownership and the settling and aging of a home is that inevitably there will be holes, gaps and cracks.  These weak spots mean that our air conditioned and heated air is spilling right out and costing us money.  The US Dept of Energy found that the average home wastes over 30% of its conditioned air through these gaps and cracks.  In fact on a colder wintry day these effects are more apparent with the drafts blowing through our homes.

Clearly it’s more than simply R values that are going to solve the problem of these gaps and cracks wasting our hard earned money.  If air leaking out is the problem it makes sense that the best way to insulate your home is to create an air tight seal.  With strips of fiberglass insulation or panels clearly it’s not going to provide this air tight seal that we are looking for to achieve the best possible performance, and the best possible savings.

Spray Foam as the simple solution to a complex problem

Best Type of Home Insulation for Phoenix AZUsing a hose a machine distributes a combination of chemicals which mix together at the tip of the hose creating a paint like thick goo that sticks to everything it touches.  So those wires, ducts, pipes and uneven surfaces are effectively coated and sealed up air tight.

The foam begins to expand within seconds, trapping billions of tiny bubbles of gas.  It forms a uniformly even layer of insulation as it expands and ensures an air tight seal.  Precisely what insulation is meant to do, wouldn’t you agree?

Spray Foam Insulation Comes in Two Forms, Open and Close cell

Before choosing an option for your spray foam insulation it’s best to evaluate your requirements because the types have different applications and characteristics.

Closed-Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix AZThe characteristic of closed-cell spray foam is that the cells or bubbles are tightly packed together and closed.  This means that closed-cell is stronger an much more dense than open-cell foam.  It will not allow air or water to pass through it.  This is due to the fact that the bubbles are much smaller because they are filled with a gas making them a better insulator as well.  In fact closed-cell insulation tops the charts with an astounding R-7 per inch!  Closed-cell spray foam is the option for the uncompromising home owner that demands the best performance from where they invest their hard earned money.

Open-Cell Spray Foam Insulation

Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation Phoenix AZA more affordable option for home owners is open-cell spray foam insulation.  Its name is derived from the fact that the bubbles or cells never completely close.  During expansion air gets trapped between the broken bubbles.  This characteristic of open-cell spray foam means that as heat tries to pass through the foam its slowed down by billions of tiny air pockets.  Because of this difference is structure it’s much softer than closed-cell spray foam.  The difference in the formation of the open-cell foam means that water can pass through them, which can be a bad or good thing depending on the application.  Open-cell foam rates at half the R value efficiency as its close foam competitor.

Knowledgeable Home Insulation Consumers

It’s critical to understand the differences between the spray foam variants. If you’re having a new home built or an existing structure improved you should be aware of the type of spray foam your contractor is recommending, or bidding for you.  The reason being is that open-cell foam is much less expensive, but as we have discussed it’s also less effective as an insulator.  Just be aware of this difference when taking in bids and make sure that you’re getting competitive bids for the same type of service.

One solution to get the benefits of both worlds is to combined both types of foam in your home.  A thinner than normal coating of closed-cell to start, which seals the gaps, holes and cracks and then a second coat with the open-cell to get your that excellent performance of the spray foam insulation.  This means that clients with a limited budget can still get the benefits of both without the cost of going with a full closed-cell cost.

Phoenix Home Insulation Installers

The experts at Barrier Insulation can help you make the best decision for your home and your budget. No matter your budget we can help you find an affordable solution that will make your home more comfortable and more energy efficient.

If you’ve got a few questions or would like to get started on saving money on your energy costs give a call at 602-499-2922 or submit a request with our Contact Form.

Phoenix Home Insulation Types

Insight Into Old Home Insulation

Insight Into Old Home Insulation Phoenix AZ

Old homes have old home insulation, and some types are dangerous to handle. Home owners in Phoenix want to know what wall & attic insulation they have when they buy new homes or plan on renovating spaces. In the past couple of decades insulation has taken giant leaps. Leaps in performance, durability, and safety has meant improved efficiency and health for occupants. Now days to insulate your walls and attic you can use soy based or even recycled blue jeans to keep you comfortable all year long.

Older homes probably have the original insulation that was installed when the house was built. Knowing what is behind the walls is a big deal when you are dedicated to keeping your family safe, sound, and healthy. This is only more true if the yearly cleaning routine includes climbing up into the attic, or there are plans to renovate and use the space. This is what you need to understand about the three main types of insulation that is common in older homes.

Fiberglass Insulation

Old Fiberglass Home Insulation Phoenix AZWhat Is It? Fiberglass insulation is finely spun glass fibers that are tightly packed to create a lofted material. It is then made into sheets, cut into rolls, and usually backed with paper. It is also possible to spray fiberglass as loose fill into walls. It has been, and continues to be one of the most popular insulation types there is.

How Does It Work? The tiny air pockets inside of fiberglass insulation create a barrier against thermal transfer. This means both the heat and the cold outside of our homes meets that barrier when trying to come inside. The loft and compression of the material has a big effect on its performance. This is why its effect is diminished when heavy items or boxes are stored on top of it.

Potential Fiberglass Hazards

There was a time where people believed that there was a risk of carcinogen with fiberglass insulation. The world health organization has since removed this insulation material from their possible carcinogen list in 2001. While it isn’t proven to be a risk for cancer you still should use proper protection if you are working near it, or working with it. Microscopic slivers of glass can become airborne and irritate your throat, lungs, and skin.

What to do if you have it – If you need to work directly with the material make sure you wear goggles, gloves, a dust mask, a long sleeve loose fitting shirt and long pants. Otherwise it is best to just simply avoid disturbing the insulation. If you do work with your insulation make sure any dust is cleaned up and disposed of properly.

Vermiculite Insulation

Old Vermiculite Home Insulation Phoenix AZWhat Is It? Vermiculite is a light weight material used in insulation in years past. Its appearance is shiny and looks like mineral. It is a absorbent and fire retardant material that has been used in soundproofing and even to fluff up gardening soil.

How Does It Work?  It was installed by simply pouring bags of it in between ceiling joists. Its light weight and porous material acts much like the gaps between fiberglass fibers. The air pockets act as a barrier to the thermal transfer from the hot and cold weather outside. It was a very popular option during a lot of the 20th century.

Possible Vermiculite Hazards

Vermiculite as a product isn’t harmful. In fact you can still buy vermiculite at gardening stores to help fluff up your gardening soil. However one of the sources that was widely used in the United States has asbestos content in the material. This material was used until about 1990. For homeowners that have homes built before 1990 and have vermiculite insulation, you must assume that it contains asbestos. The EPA states that asbestos exposure leads to lung cancer, asbestosis, and even mesothelioma.

What to do if you have it – Don’t touch it, don’t move it, and don’t disturb it in your attic. Trying to remove the insulation yourself poses serious risks to your health. Also storage around the material is a bad idea, any boxes or items you usually store in your attic should be moved carefully. If the home needs renovations that require holes being cut into the ceiling they should only be carried out by contractors that are trained and certified to work with asbestos.

Mineral Wool Insulation

old-mineral-wool-home-insulation-phoenix-azWhat Is It? Mineral wool is an insulation material that was popular before World War II. There are two main forms of mineral wool, slag wool and rock wool. Slag wool is a byproduct that forms on the top of molten metal. Rock wool is a bit like making cotton candy from molten rock. The strands are similar to fiberglass and are tiny intertwined fibers.

How does it work? The materials are formed into batts, blankets, fiber blocks, or boards. They can be found being installed for the purpose of thermal insulation, or even soundproofing. Mineral wool can also be found in walls and attics as loose fill.

Possible Mineral Wool Hazards

Much like fiberglass insulation mineral wool particles can become airborne and pose an inhalation hazard. Care should be taken by wearing the same dust mask, goggles, and other protective clothing to prevent exposure to mineral wool. It shouldn’t be disturbed or worked with without your protective gear.

Updating Your Home’s Insulation

Some types of old home insulation lose their effectiveness, and others are down right dangerous to have in the home. Modern insulation options are better equipped to insulate, save money, and are healthier insulating materials. If you have a home that is older and contains some of these older insulation types we offer insulation removal in the Phoenix area, and we can install new modern insulation alternatives like spray foam insulation. Call  602-499-2922 or  today to get the process started.

Window Insulation For Winter

Window Insulation For Winter Phoenix AZ

It has cooled off significantly here in the Phoenix valley for the year. We have a couple of months before we can expect warm summer nights. That leaves a portion of us with single pane windows, or even simply drafty windows. This lets out the warm air from out heater and old man winter can creep in and raise our energy bills. Window insulation for winter helps keep you comfortable, and keeps the bills down.

Window Insulation Options

There are 4 great ways you can stop your windows from being the weak link in your home’s winter warming program.

Window Film

Hardware stores and online retailers sell film that can be installed to the indoor window frame. A gap of air is the insulator in this case as it takes time for thermal variances to occur. The film is typically attached with double sided tape and goes up with a bit of a wrinkle to it. The wrinkles are “ironed out” using a hair dryer. This process of applying some heat causes the film to shrink and removes the wrinkles.

Pros – Inexpensive and effective.

Cons – Window can look cloudy and shrink wrapped.

Rubber Seals

Older windows are typically made with metal frames. These frames to slide without strenuous effort were made with some gaps. Over time the metal can become bent and the window is loose in the frame. This means there are larger gaps letting in a draft that should be shored up. Rubber seals are made to stop these drafts. Homeowners can buy these rubber seals, cut them to length, and apply them around the frame and anywhere they feel a draft coming in.

Pros – Inexpensive, effective, no cloudy looking windows.

Cons – Can damage paint when removed, may leave a sticky residue.

Shades, Drapes & Curtains

Well fitted shades, drapes or curtains can also help insulate your windows. Simply having a material that is pulled across the window opening during the night can help retain heat inside your home and keep you more comfortable. Curtains are made specifically for insulating purposes. Layering standard drapes and curtains can also add some insulating properties and help keep the cold out.

Pros – They can be opened whenever you want natural light and be matched your interior design

Cons – They are a larger investment compared to seals and film.

Draft Snakes

Window sills are common areas for homes and apartments to have drafts. They tend to direct the cold air right down next to windows. These are common areas for sofas, loveseats, and beds. Draft snakes are simply large fabric tubes that are filled with dried rice or other filling and laid on the window seals, or sometimes under doors. Having these tubes by windows helps slow the transfer of drafty cold air into the living spaces.

Pros – Inexpensive and you can even make them yourself.

Cons – Does nothing to stop drafts in the frame or thermal transfer through the glass itself.

Phoenix Insulation Contractors

If you have a home in the Phoenix area there is a good chance that it was designed to have intentional drafts that were used for evaporative cooling during the summers. If insulating your windows doesn’t seem to stop your winter time drafts you need to have these gaps shored up. Our insulation inspectors and professional insulation contractors can come and find the source of your drafts and help you come up with a plan to make your home more comfortable, and use less energy. Give us a call today at either 602-499-2922 or .

What Role Does Insulation Play?

What Role Does Insulation Play? Phoenix AZ
Photo by – JillK61

The point of home insulation is to prevent sound or heat from moving from one space to another. Typically it is used in walls, attics, and floors to prevent heat or cold from moving into your living space. It can also be used to keep sound out of, or in your home. There are different types of raw materials that make up insulation, but the approach is usually the same. Materials are fabricated to create millions of tiny air pockets. The material along with the air pockets resists thermal transmission.

Insulation To Control Thermal Transfer

When the majority of people think of insulation it is heat control insulation they are thinking about. Thermal insulation is found in commercial and residential buildings in the attic, walls, ceilings, and even some floors. The outside walls and attic are the two areas that are usually most critical in keeping our homes comfortable.

The goal of thermal insulation is a very simple one, to keep either the heat or cold out of our homes. Depending on the region of the world you live in your insulation will be designed with a passive element to help accommodate the temperature swing from winter to summer. If it is always cold or hot where you live the insulation approach will be dedicated to prevent heat from entering or escaping.

R value is the term used to describe how much heat is controlled by any given insulation. The higher the number, the more effective the insulation is in preventing heat transfer. There are two ways R value is expressed in modern construction. The first is the overall R value of a structure including all building materials and the insulation, also known as RT. The second is the R value of each insulation type, also known as Rm. R values help make apple to apple decisions between various types of insulation.

Insulation To Control Sound Transfer

The word insulation also applies to the prevention of sound transfer. This can mean the sounds coming from outside your home which can disturb sleep, or it can mean sounds from your home. While all insulation also helps with refusing sounds there are dedicated acoustic insulation types. Acoustic insulation is typically only found in specialized rooms, like theater rooms in homes. It is installed in the floor, walls, and ceiling to keep the sound from disturbing others in the home, or neighbors.

If you live near a hospital, airport, or busy road you will also enjoy better sleep with insulation keeping the sound outside. There are specifically engineered products that will help keep those sounds out of your home and help you get more restful sleep.

Can’t Insulation Do Both Jobs?

Thermal insulation does reduce noise from outside and acoustic insulation does help with some heat transfer. However both are specialized for their specific purpose and lean towards their goals. For most quiet neighborhoods having thermal insulation is enough to keep the home quiet enough. However acoustic insulation can still be a good idea if there are bedrooms near other living spaces. It keeps the house sectioned off and helps people enjoy both spaces more.

What Types Of Insulation Are Available?

There are a few different types of insulation, all with their own particular benefits. Some are less expensive, and others have unmatched R values. Speak with your insulation professional about which will work best with your home.

Batt Insulation

Batt insulation is probably the most common type people think of when asked about insulation. Batts are generally made from rockwool or fiberglass. They are light panels with paper backing that are installed in between the studs in the walls and the rafters in attic spaces. Batts trap millions of tiny pockets of air between their fibrous materials.

Blown In Insulation

Another very common type of insulation is blown in insulation. Generally speaking the material is made up of cellulose or even recycled newspaper or denim.  The material is blown by a machine into the attic and lays on the floor. Insulation techs make a nice even layer of the insulation that lays on the floor of the attic.

Spray In Insulation

One of the newer and best insulation types available is spray in insulation. It comes in two variants, closed and open cell insulation. Open cell spray foam is water permeable and creates millions of tiny open pockets of air. Closed cell has one of the best  R values available because it also creates millions of tiny air pockets. However it is more effective because the pockets are closed and trap pockets of specialized gas. Each type helps to seal up gaps in the attic and the walls it is installed in.

Acoustic Insulation

Insulation that is designed to give the maximum sound resistance generally consists of much higher density material. It is often made with polymer based materials like glue or rubber. While it will help with some heat transfer the tight nature of the material is not as good as thermal insulation. It is a good product to use in conjunction with thermal insulation to get the perfect combination of comfortable temperatures in the home, and the quiet sanctuary all of us desire.

Phoenix Valley Insulation Installation

If you have a drafty home that isn’t staying warm in winter or cool in summer you probably either don’t have insulation, or have worn out insulation. The experts at Barrier Insulation will happily do an insulation inspection and help you find the weak points in your home’s thermal barrier. This will do more than keep you comfortable, but help dramatically reduce your energy bills. To get started today call 602-499-2922 or .