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What are the advantages of spray foam insulation?

When you hear “insulation”, what comes to mind? A solid pink or white material in rectangular shapes? A product made of recycled newspaper? Traditional insulation has its advantages. But another type of insulation has also gained attention: spray foam insulation. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider spray foam insulation for your home.

Four advantages to know

  • Spray foam insulation is great at filling in gaps and reducing air leaks.
  • When spray foam insulation fills in gaps, this can also help lessen moisture (and therefore help curtail mold).
  • Cutting down on air leaks can also help cut down energy costs.
  • Such efficient insulation can also help reduce noise – especially if you choose open-cell spray foam insulation.

Two main kinds of spray foam insulation

Spray foam insulation can either be closed-cell or open-cell. With the closed-cell variety, cells are very close together. The closed-cell type also contains a gas to help it get bigger and insulate. Closed-cell spray foam insulation is stronger than open-cell. It can also help make walls or ceilings stronger. However, closed-cell generally costs more.

Open-cell spray foam insulation, on the other hand, has air and broken cells. It’s less dense. As we mentioned above, open-cell is a good choice if you would like to reduce noise. If you use open-cell spray foam insulation, you may need a deeper layer than if you use closed-cell.

Efficient insulation is so important for your home. It can help reduce heating bills in winter and air conditioning costs in the summer. It can even have further benefits, such as helping lessen noise. If you have any questions about what kind of insulation would be best for your unique situation, contact our team at Minnesota Exteriors. We’ll take the time to learn about your needs. We’ll help you evaluate the options, and we’ll guide you through the next steps. We’re a family-owned company that’s been serving Minnesota families for 70 years. Let us know how we can help.


What’s the best insulation for your walls?

It’s no secret that Minnesota has some pretty extreme weather at times. Effective insulation can keep your home more comfortable – and help keep your energy bills down, too. But what type of insulation should you get? Here is some information to help you choose the best insulation for your walls.

  • Cellulose: Cellulose insulation used to be made from other materials, but now it contains recycled newspapers. It is chemically treated to help make it less flammable. The chemicals that are used for the treatment can also help discourage mice. People who work with cellulose insulation should take safety precautions such as wearing goggles and a mask.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass insulation often comes in rectangular shapes called “batts”. You can also get fiberglass insulation in loose form. Fiberglass insulation creates little fire hazard. However, people who install, move or come into contact with fiberglass insulation need to take safety precautions. They should dress appropriately and wear goggles and a certain kind of respirator.
  • Spray foam: Spray foam insulation can help lessen noise. It is a very strong insulator and can also help reduce moisture. To apply spray foam insulation, an installer sprays a gun that releases two materials at once. When the materials meet, the foam is formed. Spray foam is great at getting into small areas. People who apply spray foam insulation should wear the right protective clothing, eye covering and respirator.

At Minnesota Exteriors, we want to help you keep your family comfortable. We’ll work with you to make your home more energy efficient. When you choose us, you know you’re working with a well-established, trusted company. We’ve helped families and builders put in installation for decades.

Wondering how much new installation would cost? Give us a call; we’ll provide a free estimate at your home. As a family-owned company, we want to help keep your family warm in the winter and cool in the summer.


Cost Calculator – Insulation Costs

Calculating the cost of installing insulation is important for you to stay within your budget and to make the best possible decision. The type and amount of insulation you require depends upon your budget, the climate of the region where you reside, the area you need to insulate and your house insulation’s present R-Value.

Calculation of Your Board Feet

The board feet is the total area that you want to insulate. But before insulating, it is important to measure your required area in order to understand the amount of insulation product you will require and how much it will cost you.

The Method

Total square feet x depth in inches = Board feet.

This is the total area which needs an insulation coating.

What Type of Insulation should I Opt for?

Blown-in or cellulose insulation?

Blown-in insulation is an environmental-friendly insulation product created from recycled material and by-products, such as processed and refined glass and paper.

This product is blown into the gaps and holes whether they are in the dry wall or in the form of crevices. With an R-Value of R-36, this keeps the insulated area warm and prevents exposure to moisture. Being tight and compact in nature, blown-in insulation makes for an efficient insulator.

The total cost, if you plan to do it yourself, should cost you around $500 at least.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam is a thick polyurethane mixture which is lathered onto the wall in order to seal any prominent gaps, holes or cracks. Spray foam insulation is a comparatively cheaper option to deal with large problems and is an efficient boost the present R-Value of your house.

Open Cell Insulation

This type of foam insulation has a weaker R-Value. The estimated cost of open cell insulation ranges from 35-55 cents per board feet depending on the R-Value required.

Closed Cell Insulation

This type of insulation is dense and has a stronger R-Value. The estimated cost of closed cell insulation ranges from $1-2 per board feet.

Reflective Insulation

Best for insulating your roofs and ceilings, reflective insulation increases your house’s R- Value, prevents the absorption of heat during summers and insulates your roof/ceiling against the winter winds. Installing this type of insulation saves you about 150 bucks a month, which would otherwise have been spent on air conditioning and heating.

The average cost of radiant and/or reflective barriers is estimated to range from $1.5-3. Your attic or roof is typically 500 square feet in space and the total amount you will be spending on your insulation product, assuming you are buying insulation at $3 per board feet, will be about $150.

Fiberglass Batts

A cheap method of insulation, fiberglass requires one to pay close attention to its handling when being installed in open areas. Even the slightest chipping of the fiberglass corners can cause the R-Value of your house to decrease.

The cost of this insulation product ranges from $0.64-1.19 per board feet. So, in total, if you have a 500 sq. ft. area, the cost will range from $145-200.


Getting Foam Insulation Right

Whether it is a commercial or residential property you own, it needs to be properly insulated as the benefits of doing so outweigh the drawbacks. Insulation basically prevents the winter winds from penetrating inside as well as making sure the warm inside air does not escape outside. Installing foam insulation also results in reduced monthly utility expenses as it is cost and energy effective.

An average person, specifically one living in an area suffering from longer periods of colder climate, annually spends about $8,000 on electricity bills, a heavy financial burden which may be difficult to bear. Installing foam allows one to prevent and control such unnecessary costs and expenditures.

Absence of foam insulation

Air leakage: Absence of foam insulation results in air and gas leakages. This is because a  lack of foam insulation results in an inadequate prevention of diffusion of air from the inside to the outside and vice-versa. Consequently, the electricity consumed by the heater to maintain a uniform internal environment causes a significant rise in the monthly utility bills.

Unhealthy environment: Lack of foam insulation also results in poor health conditions of a house’s occupants. This is because the stale air that leaks into your house will not have a route to flow out. Thus, inhaling such air may lead to the development of Sick Building Syndrome, a disorder that leads to fatal diseases, including cancer.

Mold growth: Foam insulation also acts as a barrier to water vapor and absorbs moisture. In cases where foam insulation is absent in houses, wall cavities may absorb the moisture during rainfall. Such a condition is perfect to aid the growth of mold and mildew. This environmental condition causes:

  • Asthma
  • Memory loss
  • Lung tissue damage
  • Wheezing
  • Skin irritation

Pollution: Noise and air pollution are common, everyday problems, especially when one is living in an urban area. In such cases, it is essential to have foam insulation in order to limit the effect of such instances.

Getting it right

A compact insulation:

It is important your insulation consists of elements that are compact and tight. This is because the foam later solidifies to seal the cracks and crevices. If the particles in it are loosely packed, it will not perform according to the expectations.

Fiberglass insulation is a type of foam insulation that is cheap and energy efficient. It is best for insulating internal areas such as your attics.

Spray foams:

Open-celled spray foam is cheaper and extremely energy efficient. It can also be easily sprayed on inaccessible crannies to seal them up.

Closed-cell insulation is denser and more compact in nature. This makes such insulation a perfect barrier to prevent air leakages and is extremely water resilient as well.

Your measures

You need to ensure that the materials you have chosen are the best fit for your house’s insulation. This means that you need to consider your:

  • Regional climate
  • The area of your house
  • The R-Value of your insulation.

You need to ensure that the foam has environment-friendly chemicals and is produced by a reputable and authentic company with years of experience in their industry. This will make it safe to use and breathe around, preventing your family from being exposed to health issues.

Look into a hybrid solution for your housing insulation. This way, you will be able to save on costs big time.


Best Insulation for Your House

Insulation is best described as any product that prevents the transmission of energy from the inside to the outside and vice versa.  Home insulation is filled in wall cavities or any other cracks in walls that allow air leakages. This way, in winters, loss of heat is prevented and in the summers, heat penetration is restricted.

The best insulation for your house is determined by your budget, the location of your house and the area in your house where you require insulation. The R-value is also an important factor to consider before insulating your house.

Types of home insulation

Fiberglass insulation

Fiberglass insulation is widely accessible. It is usually available in batts or rolls produced from recycled glass. Foil-Kraft is often attached to these batts in order to make them more water vapor resistant. Flame-resistant rolls are available in different sizes to fit the basements as well.

A standard R-value of fiberglass batts or rolls usually ranges from R-2.9 to R-3.8 per inch depending upon the thickness of the roll.

Fiberglass insulation works best when it is installed in wall cavities, floor cracks and on rooftops/ceilings.

Reflective insulation

Reflective insulation is usually installed in attics, preferably the roofs and ceilings, in order to decrease the effect of the excruciating summer heat and absorbing any air leakages during winters. As a result, the R-value of your house increases and the utility bills decrease.

The basic function of reflective insulation is to decrease the heat absorption by reflecting it. This type of insulation works best in warmer climates, especially in the attics. A person can save about 10% on utility bills by installing reflective insulation as it helps maintain a cooler environment in-house, avoiding overuse of air-conditioners.

Spray foam insulation

This is the most expensive method of insulation but also lasts the longest and works the best. This is because the combination of elements in this insulation a more complex and compact.

Open-cell insulation: This is the first type of spray foam insulation and has an R-value of 3.6 per inch. This type of spray foam insulation is cheaper and effectively traps air bubbles, making it an extremely effective barrier against air leakages.

This type of spray foam insulation works best for internal insulation when covering gaps and holes that may lead to air leakages through walls, floors and ceilings.

Closed-cell insulation: A denser version of spray foam insulation, this type of insulation features an R-value of 6.5 per inch which makes it the most expensive insulation there is. However, due to its density, this type of a spray foam insulator works best when it comes to noise absorption, moisture resistance and air resilience.

Closed-cell insulation works best when filled inside wall cavities, floorboard gaps and ceiling cracks. Due to its water resistant nature, it also works efficiently to provide external insulation.

Consider all such factors before insulating your house to save money in the future!


Cost Calculator – Liquid Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is the most commonly used forms insulation installed in houses. It is a liquid solution, unlike the traditional fiberglass insulation, which is sprayed onto the crevices in the wall. This effective lather fills the wall cavities and makes sure that the outflow of air is kept to a minimum.

However, it should be noted that this improved form of insulation is more costly than other forms of insulation. Calculating the cost of liquid foam insulation is determined by factors such as the type of insulation, amount of liquid foam needed to be applied in the region/area where it is needed and the type of property it is being used in.

The Type

There are 2 types of liquid foam insulations;

1) Open-cell Insulation:

Open-cell insulation costs the least amongst all liquid foam insulators. This is because the formula does not require combinations of complex chemicals in massive amounts. This type of insulator has an R-Value of about 4.5, making it an effective barrier to prevent penetration of external energies into a space. A significant reduction in sound and cold can be achieved through its use, but as far as water vapor is concerned, this type of insulation must be avoided.

2) Closed-cell Insulation:

Thicker in consistency, a larger amount of immensely complex chemical elements is used in this liquid foam mixture. This makes the insulator more compact and highly water, noise and cold/heat-resistant. The R-Value of such insulation is approximately 6.5. This makes it even more costly.

Amount You Need

The amount you need is determined by the area of coverage. The larger your wall cavities are, the more liquid insulation you will need. If you choose insulation with a lower R-Value, such as open cell insulation in a colder region, you will again need a greater amount as such insulation would not be effective unless 2 coats are applied.

A simple mathematical formula allows you to calculate your board length:

The Total Square Footage x Depth in Inches

This formula calculates the total board length, or the total area, that needs spray foam insulation. This method allows you to determine the amount of insulation required.

Type of Property

A pre-built property is more costly to insulate, with the wall cavities requiring a thorough inspection before insulation is applied. At times, cavities are located in inaccessible areas of a house, making the process all the more difficult. Labor charges higher rates for such insulations due to the risks and hazards.

A property under construction is less costly to insulate. This is because the insulator contractor can easily pre-insulate the walls. This way, wall cavities are treated beforehand.

If you DIY insulate your house, you will obviously only have to pay for the insulation kit you purchase and the material you need to spray the liquid foam. There will be no labor cost involved.

Rates

An easy way to calculate the overall cost is by multiplying the board foot length with the price of liquid foam per square foot.

Open-cell Insulation: This liquid foam spray costs about $0.54 per board foot.

Closed-cell Insulation: This liquid foam spray costs about $1.5 per board foot.


Cost Calculator – Insulation Costs in the Twin Cities

Who doesn’t want to save their hard-earned dollar bills?

Who doesn’t try to avoid mass expenses?

Who doesn’t want to not have to compromise for one?

Twin cities, like Minneapolis-Saint Paul, endure extended and severe weather conditions in summers and winters. The lowest temperature recorded in the winter was -30°F, while the highest temperature recorded in the summers was 108°F.

Regions that suffer from harsh and extreme climates require the residents to show unearthly levels of tolerance and have overloaded pockets, such as that of a regal. However, we aren’t royals and definitely do not have overloaded pockets. Therefore, we need insulation.

Insulation protects your property from the external thermal or non-thermal energy penetration and sustains the inner temperature by blocking passages that may allow air leakage.

What is Board Feet?

The total area requiring insulation is known as board feet. It is important to measure your board feet before installing insulation to understand the cost that will fall on you.

The Method

Total square feet x depth in inches = Board feet.

Let’s take a look at the types of insulation and their costs to help you decide on installing insulation in your property located in the twin cities.

Blown-in or Cellulose Insulation?

Created from recycled material and byproducts such as refined glass and paper, blown-in insulation is an environmentally-friendly type of insulation.

Like the name suggests, blown-in insulation, with the help of a spraying nozzle, is blown into the cavities of a dry wall, filling in any nooks and crannies present. Blown-in insulation has an R-value of 3.6 per inch which works just fine to prevent air leakages. This type of insulation is best for walls and ceilings which have already been constructed.

The total cost of this DIY task should fall around at least $500.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam is a thick polyurethane mixture which is lathered onto the wall in order to seal any prominent openings. The R-Value differs based on the type of spray foam insulation you choose. This insulation is budget-friendly when insulating large areas.

Open Cell Insulation

The prevailing cost of open cell insulation ranges from 35-55 cents per board feet depending on the R-Value required. Usually, the resistance to air is strong, but it lacks moisture-resistant capabilities.

Closed Cell Insulation

The prevailing cost of closed cell insulation ranges from $1-2 per board feet. The air, noise and moisture resistance is strong as the R-Value is about 6.5 per inch.

Reflective Insulation

The average cost of radiant and/or reflective barriers is estimated to range from $1.5-3. Your attic or roof is typically 500 square feet in area and the total amount you will be spending on your insulation product, assuming you are buying insulation at $3 per board feet, will be about $150.

Fiberglass Batts

Fiberglass is a conventional and the cheapest method of insulation. With an R-Value of 3 per inch, this is best to use when your property is still under-construction.

The cost of this insulation product ranges from $0.64-1.19 per board feet. So, in total, if you have a 500 sq. ft. area, the cost will range from $145-200.

Make sure you look up the local costs of insulations prevailing in the Twin Cities and choose your insulation according to your property type, climate and the most important factor, your budget!


Things You Must Consider Before You Insulate You Garage

Garage insulation and all you need to know

If you have a natural flare for cars and fixing them, your garage is your escape zone. But your garage consists of stale air, an overheated environment and perhaps, the deadliest germs in the dirt and grease. So, if you’re spending hours on end breaking your back in your garage, you definitely need insulation to maintain a healthy environment.

Sealing sources of air leakage and insulating your garage will ensure an eco-friendly environment for you and your family. This is because you will be able to prevent loud noises as well as harmful gases from penetrating inside your house.

A summary of what your garage contains

  • Paint
  • Gas
  • Petroleum
  • Cleaners
  • Chemicals
  • Batteries
  • Chargers
  • Tools (that make loud noises)

Steps to follow before insulating your garage

Remember that your garage is a private place and does not necessarily have to look as fancy as your drawing room. Most of the times, even our family members will avoid coming to this part of the house – unless they are as car-crazy as you are.

In a nutshell, it doesn’t matter how pretty your insulation looks, as long as it works!

Let’s take a look at the insulation guide book.

Deciding the type of insulation

You must make up your mind on what type of insulation your garage needs. If your garage is still under construction and you have access to the pole barn, you are advised to buy fiberglass batts as they are cheap and efficient. If your garage has existing walls, it is suggested you go for blow-in insulation which works just fine for the low amount of money you pay for it.

Preparing a to-do list will help you keep track of all your necessary products and save you from making a double trip to your store.

R-Value of your materials

Where do you live?

What is the climate of your region?

What is your budget?

The R-Value of your materials will be determined by the answers to each question. The R-Value is basically a measure of the strength of your insulation. The higher the R-Value, the better your garage insulation is.

Cleansing the area

Garages are usually littered and cluttered with tools, cans of products, and by-products of your laborious work. Get rid of everything to prevent a harmful reaction. Also, clean the walls, vacuum dust particles and wipe the walls to allow easy adherence of insulation where required.

Supplies

You will receive supplies, or you should buy them, with your DIY kits.

  • If you are buying a fiberglass batt, you must purchase a stapler.
  • If you are buying a spray foam blown-in insulation, you must buy a spray hose.

Follow the directions

Carefully read the instructions and directions behind the DIY insulation kit and follow them step by step.

Final touch

Once the insulation has been firmly put in place, inspect the area for any crevices that you may have missed. If you find any, cover them up with the leftover insulation material.

Follow the proper guide in order to successfully excel at installing insulation in your garage all by yourself!


Determining the Type of Insulation | Shakopee

Your guide to determining the type of insulation you need in Shakopee

Located in Scott County, Shakopee is a quiet city which experiences a severe cold climate. In cities like Shakopee where the climate is generally cold, insulation becomes an important consideration.

Choosing and installing insulation is determined by factors such as:

Climate

The climate is a major factor which should be taken into consideration regarding the decision of which type, how much and what sort of insulation is needed in houses. Likewise, a house located in Shakopee will undoubtedly need blown-in insulation to protect inhabitants from the harsh winter winds.

What is Blown-in Insulation?

This type of insulation is linked with spraying or blowing the insulating product into the gaps, holes and cavities found in floors, attics or ceilings. For example, loose-fiberglass will be installed inside a blowing/spray machine and the broken down, refined glass particles will be sprayed in the crevices and crannies and all over the dry walls.

Such an insulation product is tight and compact due to the compounds present in it. This makes it an excellent insulator due to its airtight features, improving resilience against air and preventing it from escaping outside and entering in.

Duration

It is important to know the duration of seasons in your region before actually installing the insulation. If you live in a region such as Shakopee, you will need an annual heating facility. Had it been just a seasonal need, you could have opted for an electric heating option. In such regions where you need annual heating services, you must install insulations having a high R-Value.

R-Value

The R-Value is the measurement of insulation thickness. Because you can’t have too much or too less of insulation, you need to measure the R-Value of your insulation product and thereby, determine how much of an insulating product you actually need to do the job perfectly.

In colder climates such as that of Shakopee, you generally need to have insulation with a higher R-Value installed. The R-Value in this region usually varies from R-36 to R-60.

If you opt for insulation with a greater R-Value than that which was originally suggested by your installer, you will be saving some money. Your installer will always underestimate the R- Value of the insulation so as to consider the effects of electricity usage, such as heating and lighting. With a greater R-Value, your heating expenses will drastically reduce. This way, you will be able to prevent unnecessary wastage of energy and save big bucks!

Consider all cited factors before selecting the type of insulation you want for your house! Happy hunting!


Foam Insulation | What To Know?

Your home is your paradise, your safe haven. It is your job to maintain it in a way that it is safe and can provide you and your family with warmth in the cold days and protect them from the harshness of the summer season.

Foam insulation is one of the major ways in which you can protect your home. Through foam insulation, you:

  • Protect your house from heat and cold.
  • Block any tiny holes for pests and insects to crawl their way in.
  • Fireproof your house to an extent.
  • Prevent the growth of mold.
  • Sound-proof your house.
  • Save up money that would’ve been spent on other, more expensive energy saving improvements.

The R-value of insulation scales the inflow and outflow of heat and cold from the house. However, it is often forgotten that every foam’s insulation has a different R-value which depends on what type of foam you use. The type of foam you use depends on:

  • The climate of the area where you live in
  • Total budget of the project and your affordability
  • The design and structure of your home

Climate

The r-value is basically the resistance to external and internal sources of energy transfers. This is why climate is the biggest factor of R-value determination.

Warmer Climates: Warmer climates mean the insulation is installed in order to protect your house from the heat outside. Because of this, the R-Value, or the thickness of your foam installed, should have a R-value of about R-30 to R-49.

Moderate climate: A moderate climate means the area is affected by both heat and cold. The foam needs to be such that the house doesn’t get to warm in the summers and doesn’t free you and your family in the winters. Therefore, the R-Value needs to range from R-38 to R-60.

Cold Climates: Colder climates suffer from long lasting winters and mild summers. The battle of residents in such climates is against winter chills and potential frost bites. Foam insulations in such environments need to represent an R-value of R-49 to R-60.

When referring to foam insulation, spray foam or SPF is the most widely-used insulation method, especially across North America. Spray polyurethane foam is a heat-activated polymer created by mixing two ingredients. The liquid is sprayed on the walls and in no time, it hardens due to the chemical reaction between the two ingredients.

Open cell insulation

Open cell SPF is a thinner layer of foam insulation and has a weaker insulating power due to a lesser R-Value (about 2-3.5 per inch). This type of foam insulation is best to using in location having a warmer climate.

Closed cell insulation

This is a denser and thicker form of insulation foam. Being harder, stronger and more rigid in structure, this insulation prevents air and water vapors from escaping.

The determination of your foam’s R-Value depends on all such factors. It is necessary you keep these in mind as you can’t have too much or too less of an insulation.