Attics Best Used For Insulation Rather Than Storage

Attics Better Stuffed With Insulation Than Stuff

Attic Used as Storage Spage Example from Christmas Vacation MovieMany homeowners make the mistake of adding plywood decking over the joists in home attics to create a convenient storage floor for all the stuff they can’t fit in their garages. This is a bad idea since the most cost effective way to insulate an attic is to cover the floor with insulation. If the floor is covered in plywood at the typical joist tops it’s just not possible, in most cases, to stuff enough insulation underneath to obtain the required depth and R-Value.

Sure, it looks like found space with all that open area above the ceilings just calling out to be used as a storage area for holiday decorations, old photographs and more (think of the Chevy Chase freezing cold in the attic scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Movie.) Homeowners that do use their attic in this way would likely save money by blowing in cellulose insulation to the proper depth over the attic floor and renting a storage unit for their extra stuff in the attic.

One alternative, where attic overhead clearance allows, is to raise the height of the ceiling floor. Extensions can be fashioned on top of the existing ceiling joist where storage is desired to raise the attic decking to a height of 13 inches. Insulation can then be blow in under the decking to achieve the depth required for recommended R-Value. Adding the raised deck can be done as a DIY project (for homeowners with the proper skills) and their are also products available from home improvement stores, Amazon and other retailers. A qualified contractor can be hired as well. This offers the best of both worlds with improved attic insulation and additional storage space to save on both utility bills and long term storage costs.

Even in warmer climates, the savings from a properly insulated attic are substantial enough to override the convenience of having an attic double as a storage area. In fact, there is almost no quicker return on investment for a home energy efficiency improvement than adding or upgrading attic insulation. The savings realized are immediate and continue month in and month out regardless of the seasons.

Learn more about insulating a home attic with cellulose insulation.

Ants Number One Nuisance Pest By Quadrillions

Photo of ant infestation in a homeAnt infestations are one of the most common pest problems in homes and businesses creating an irritating nuisance and a source of disgust, concern and frustration for occupants. Ants are considered one of the most difficult pests to control, along with bed bugs. There are a staggering number of ants on the planet with a recently published study conservatively estimating over 20 quadrillion or 2.5 million ants for every human. So it is no surprise that ants represent one of the biggest potential pest problems.

Ant infestations are especially common in the following structures:

  • Office Buildings (88%)
  • Restaurants (83%)
  • Apartments and condominiums (82%)
  • Single-family homes (80%)
  • Nursing homes (70%)
  • Hospitals (58%)
  • Schools (58%)
  • College dormitories (34%)

Within these structures, the following areas were found to be particularly vulnerable:

  • Kitchens (96%)
  • Bathrooms (89%)
  • Inside walls (73%)
  • Bedrooms (61%)
  • Living rooms (60%)
  • Basements (54%)
  • Air conditioning and heating units (37%)

When ants are found, pest professionals control them with a variety of exterior and interior treatments, as well as sanitation efforts like eliminating the sources of their food and water.

Fiberlite (FTI) cellulose insulation can help resist infestations by ants and other pests when installed in the walls, attics and crawlspaces of buildings. FTI products contain EPA approved insect resistant substances. Insulating your home or office with cellulose adds an extra layer of insect resistance for a highly effective barrier when used in combination with other pest control products and professional pest services.

Learn more about this amazing added value of cellulose insulation.

 

 

 

PEX Pipe Latest Cellulose Insulation Myth

Fiber Lite cellulose insulation spray installed in exterior wallMyths have been perpetuated about cellulose insulation for years. While most of this misinformation has centered around fire, moisture and settling topics, a new category has emerged recently: PEX.

PEX (polyethylene pipe) is commonly used in commercial and residential plumbing projects because it is flexible, durable, and resistant to chemicals. It has become a standard go-to material for water pipe systems and is affordable and relatively easy to install.

Somewhere along the way misinformation emerged siting issues when PEX comes into contact with cellulose insulation in walls and attics. Evidently the concerns raised are linked to the fire retardant included in all cellulose insulation. Nothing could be further from the truth. PEX is in fact resistant to chemicals and the fire retardant chemical used in cellulose insulation also does not cause chemical damage to pipes made from polyethylene, PVC or copper.

Like all water pipes, PEX should to be insulated in colder climates where the water can freeze and cause ruptures and leaks. Cellulose insulation is in fact a perfect match with PEX piping and can be blown over PEX in attics (very common in older homes where original slab pipe fails and must be re-plumbed in the attic) and around pipes in the walls (see photo above of wall and pipes sealed with FTI cellulose insulation) to provide excellent insulation for the plumbing system as well as the overall home.

Want more information about PEX or any other common misconceptions for cellulose insulation, contact FTI for the facts.

Cockroaches are Evolving to Evade Sugar Traps

American CockroachesSurprisingly, cockroaches are steering away from sugary-coated traps designed to kill them. The phenomenon has been subject to much scientific interest with many experts asking why they avoid traps if they are coated in glucose-a tempting treat for cockroaches.

A study published in Science.Time reveals why.

Cockroaches determine whether or not food is safe by using their sensory systems. However, these sensory systems are able to quickly adapt to environmental changes.

How they are able to detect the presence of poison in food that was once considered to be “safe” according to their sensory systems is still a mystery.

Researchers at North Carolina State University looked at a species of cockroaches that have adapted and avoided traps coated in sugar; they were able to determine the mechanism of this change. Cockroaches have tiny little hair-like sensors on their mouths which they use to “taste” food, activating sensor gustatory receptor neurons, or GRNs. Certain GRNs activate in the presence of food that is sugar, which makes them feed as opposed to GRNs that activate in the presence of food that is bitter, making them avoid the food.

The research, which started in the mid-1980’s, found that German cockroaches given baits incorporating a stimulant (glucose) and a deterrent (insecticide) evolved a behavior change called “glucose aversion”. Cockroaches with “glucose aversion” avoided all man-made traps even though they were coated with glucose.

Using electrophysiological tests the scientist was able to analyze the responses of gustatory receptor neurons among normal and glucose averse cockroaches. They were surprised to find that when the German glucose averse cockroaches were exposed to sugar it actually stimulated their bitter GRN’s and suppressed the sugar GRN response, which prevented them from feeding.

This means that among glucose-averse German cockroaches glucose is processed as a deterrent which makes them avoid it completely. It is possible that the environmental adaption could have started millions of years ago, before humans were around, when they avoided some plants that are capable of producing toxic, sweet compounds.

All this means it is especially important to find efficient ways of controlling cockroach infestations in homes. Cockroach allergens can cause allergies and asthma attacks. The saliva and droppings contain allergen proteins known to trigger allergies and increase the severity of asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Find out how cellulose insulation in the attic and walls of homes can help deter insects.

 

Cellulose Insulation Products, Installations, Moisture and More Answered

Shan Maitra Fiberlite President HeadshotBy Shan Maitra, Fiberlite Technologies President

We often receive interesting questions here on the blog and via our website Contact form. A recent inquiry from an architect, who brings up a few interesting topics, is worth sharing for other industry professionals and consumers.

Jack R Asked:
I am an architect in Kansas City. I would like to see a sample specification for the installation of your product. I would also like to know what is the transport gas used for installation. Is compressed air used for the insulation when blown through nozzles transferred or applied by compressed air. If that is the answer it is the right answer, from my point of view. The characteristics that makes your product good in my application are the gap sealing properties. What can you tell me specifically about gap sealing. I am also concerned about the moisture trapping characteristics of the cellulose. Please advise.

ANSWER: The first question is easy: our website has a section exclusively for Industry Professionals where they can register to access a variety of technical data and specifications.Link to register for Building Industry Pro info on FIberlite Tech WebsiteThe gas questions is an interesting one. As far as I am aware, insulation contractors do not use compressed air during installation. I have asked insulators this exact question and if they report differently, I will share more on the subject here on our Blog.

As far as gap sealing, our spray applied insulation fills the entire cavity. It doesn’t leave any room for gaps or cavities for air pockets to exist within the cavity. We recommend that the building is first air sealed with caulk to fill the joints, cracks and corners for maximum effectiveness.The perception about moisture trapping may not be accurate. Cellulose insulation by its very nature does not trap moisture but it allows for moisture to migrate throughout insulation. This is not a plastic or water resistant product, so the moisture is not stuck or trapped in one location. Instead, it will migrate as the cellulose insulation wicks the moisture away from its source. If you have standard OSB on the exterior side and sheetrock on the interior, the moisture will eventually evaporate out of the cavity.

Great questions. Have something on your mind about FTI Products or cellulose insulation, post a comment on any Blog Story or send us a question from the website.

Cellulose Insulation Products For DIY and Professional Markets

Fiber-Lite and Fiber-Lite Plus Perfect Choice for DIY and Pros Respectively

Fiber-Lite Plus Cellulose Insulation Installing Wall CavityHomeowners and Insulation Industry Professionals new to FTI Products may not be aware of the difference between Fiber-Lite and Fiber-Lite Plus. Overall, these two products are very similar. They have comparable R-Values, product densities, and meet similar ASTM* standards. Both products can be used in attics, walls and crawl spaces; they can be installed anywhere in a home or building. But there are a few key differences.

The subtle distinction is that Fiber-Lite Plus includes a dry adhesive that is activated by water. This is important only for wall cavity spray applications. For these projects, a professional insulation contractor is typically required since special equipment and a trained installer use a small amount of water when insulating the walls. After the product is installed, the activated adhesive will create a tighter bond within the insulation product and between the insulation-adjacent surfaces. This tighter bond enables the product to adhere more tightly, particularly in vertical wall applications. The ultimate benefit for the homeowner is that the wall has slightly better thermal performance by preventing air infiltration.

The picture above shows Fiber-Lite Plus being installed. You can see the main insulation hose and a smaller blue hose which represents the water line. It can be installed without the use of netting required with dry-blown cellulose insulation products in walls.

Fiber-Lite is a highly effective dry blown cellulose insulation that is suitable for DIY (do-it-yourself) or professional installations. It is typically used for attics. However, both Fiber-Lite and Fiber-Lite Plus can be used in almost every area of a home or building.

See Product Pages on the FTI website for more details and contact us to speak with a representative for more information.

*American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) – now known as ASTM International, an organization that develops international standards for materials, products, systems, and services used in construction, manufacturing, and transportation. Reportedly the world’s largest developer of technical standards, ASTM International publishes the Annual Book of ASTM Standards.

Cellulose Insulation Industry Best Warranty

Fiberlite WallMat Warranty FIberlite Tech Cellulose InsulationFTI has manufactured cellulose insulation since 1985 and we backup years of experience with an industry-wide best warranty for our flagship products.

We pride ourselves on manufacturing a quality product and are confident that both insulation installers and homeowners will appreciate its benefits. Our products meet a variety of testing criteria including fire resistance, R-Value, fungus resistance and many more. We have surpassed industry standards and demonstrated that our flagship product, FIBER-LITE, was tested and shown to actively kill mold spores in scientific experiments.

We are so confident about our products that we offer product warranty certificate for FIBER-LITE, FIBER-LITE PLUS and WAL-MAT. This certificate states that we will support the product for the lifetime of the building structure. This certificate is transferable to new building owners as well. Very rarely are building products supported by such a guarantee, but FTI strives to provide the best insulation product available.

If you are interested in a product warranty like the one above, ask your contractor if they use FIBER-LITE, FIBER-LITE PLUS and WAL-MAT. They can provide you with a copy of the certificate to added confidence that you have the best insulation product available. Download a copy here.

Contact us to learn more about our products and warranties.

 

How To Select The Best Insulation Product

Matching Insulation Product To Projects Key For Best Results

Attic Installed with Fiberlite Tech Attic PlusCustomers often ask the team here at Fiberlite “which cellulose product is best for my insulation project?” With many brands and types of cellulose insulation on the market, it can be confusing to homeowners and even some builders and other industry professionals when choosing a product.

Of course the short answer is it depends on the application for the insulation project. There are a variety of possible applications from blowing in attics to wall cavity spraying and even specialized projects like insulating commercial buildings and pest control solutions.

Fiberlite Technologies is one of the few cellulose insulation manufacturers that offers a wide range of products to meet virtually all of the possible applications.

The most common and popular application for cellulose insulation is “topping off” attics in existing homes or insulating new home attics. Even in this specific application, Fiberlite offers two product options: ATTIC PLUS and ATTIC PLUS PRO. They are formulated similarly. The only difference is ATTIC PLUS is intended for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) homeowners whereas ATTIC PLUS PRO is intended for insulation contractors.

Both of these products provide excellent insulating properties that will improve the quality of life within the home with better indoor air comfort and improved sound control, while also helping to reduce home energy expenses.

Learn more about Attic Plus and all the products available from Fiberlite. Contact our team anytime to find product retailers or contractor referrals, and for additional assistance with home or building insulation needs.

Fiberlite Salutes U.S. Energy Efficiency Month

October is Energy Efficiency Month

Fiberlite Tech salutes the Energy.gov official U.S. Energy Efficiency Month of October.

Energy.gov Energy Efficiency Month Page Preview from FTIOfficially the first Wednesday in October is ENERGY EFFICIENCY DAY. This year it was October 6, 2021. But the entire month of October is recognized as Energy Efficiency Month.

Energy efficiency can provide many benefits. To the homeowner or tenants, it will lower their utility bills. To the community it will create jobs. To the climate, it will reduce pollution and curb climate change. This is also considered the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy demands as country.

We encourage everyone to promote Energy Efficiency Month by using the hashtag #EEMonth2021. Learn more about Energy Efficiency on the DOE’s Energy.gov website. Fiberlite also has extensive information for homeowners and businesses on its website with a broad menu of cellulose insulation and other related products. Upgrade or add insulation to your home or building and reap the benefits of greater energy efficiency including a Federal Tax Credit and lower utility bills every month for the life of the dwelling or structure.

Cost Vs Value Of Adding More Attic Insulation

Installing & Finished Cellulose Insulation Attic from FIberliteTechHomeowners considering “topping off” attic insulation likely weigh the pros and cons and wonder if it is truly worth it. Other “sexier” energy efficient home improvement might appear to provide greater bang for the buck. Additional insulation lowers your energy bill, but is it worth it for homeowners who may be planning to sell their house in the near future?

Remodeling Magazine has asked the same questions. In fact, they conduct a yearly survey comparing the job cost, resale value and cost recouped (ROI) on many common home improvement projects. They have conducted this survey by region and by city.Consistently through their survey history, the one improvement that provides a higher ROI than any other is insulation upgrades. Below is a list of some standard upgrades as a comparison:

 

Home Insulation Project vs Recoup Cost ROI Table from FiberliteTech

Upgrading insulation in a home is an excellent choice because the cost relative to other projects is nominal. It offers a quick return on the investment and provided savings every month for the life of the home, no matter who owns it. While other energy efficient upgrades are more visible, such as new thermal windows, appliances or roof shingles, none can match the ROI or effectiveness of adding insulation. And there are no esthetics to consider for when selling the home to a future buyer Maybe the buyer who may prefer a different style window or shingle color. Every homeowner wants a lower utility bill and listing updated insulation when putting a home on the market is a great selling point.

Whether planning to live there for years or selling in the near future, adding energy saving cellulose insulation to the attic of a home is a win-win. Fiberlite Tech Attic Pro Plus is perfectly suited for topping off existing attic insulation regardless of whether the current product is cellulose, fiberglass, mineral wool or even sprayed foam.

Contact FTI to learn more about the saving potential of adding cellulose insulation to your attic.