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"It was fantastic! I have used in the past, and have been very pleased. This time I needed insulation work done in an older home. The crew" reported for work in a timely manner, were friendly, and finished the job in one day. The most fantastic aspect of my experience was the 400.00 rebate they gave me. They had bid a 2100.00 dollar job and finished a few hours early. They actually gave me credit for work hours not used. I never would have known the difference, and would have happily paid the entire estimate. I give them so many kudos for honesty. I don't think very companies would have done this. Thanks, !

-Jacki H.

"The employee, arrived on time. He was knowledgeable, answered all my questions and pointed out potential issues. He did a great job of" giving me enough foundational information so that I could understand when he identified issues. Because I had read in other's reviews that they do not write a follow-up report with their findings, I took notes. I liked the whole assessment process and , that we decided to get an estimate for all the work. We ended up hiring them to do the work. They are currently working on the house.

-Elena G.

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Local Articles in Madison

Icicles hanging from roof

How to Prevent Ice Dams From Forming on Your Roof

Do you have icicles on your eaves and gutters, or ice collecting on your roof? Proper attic insulation can help keep frozen precipitation from building up.

spray foam insulation

High heating and cooling bills could mean your home lacks adequate insulation. Be sure to check the amount in your attic and crawlspace.

Attic inspection

Roofing experts say many attics are insufficiently ventilated which can damage your roof and require expensive repairs.

foundation installation

Insulating the outside of your foundation can help lower energy bills and keep your house warmer in winter.

Radiant barrier in attic

HVAC systems work more efficiently with the addition of a reflective barrier as part of your attic insulation.

Angie's Answers


Google and read about it. Some people swear by it, though their comments sound suspiciously like they were all written by the same person. Some call it a rip off - expecially people paying $6000-8000 for what would normally be a $1,000 range job.

I would not call it an outright fraud as they are providing a product that has some potential merit in the right application, but from a technical standpoint it sounds suspicious. They claim a 1/4 mat with doiuble sided foil facing is R-16 insulation. This at least is deceptive - they appear to be saying its radiant heat reflective properties give the equivalent of R-16 insulation, because there is NO WAY 1/4" foam is going to yield R-16 in an ASTM test for insulation, which is a thermal conductivity test. Would be lucky to get R-2 or so as an insulator, so this is basically a radiant barrier. Competing products from national brandname manufacturers list R value of 3.8-4.2 for one inch mats, so the equivalent for this 1/4" mat would be expected to be in the R1 range.

Properly installed, with ventilation on BOTH sides, it can be slightly effective in reducing radiant heat loss from the house, and more effective in reflecting heat in the attic from coming down into the house. However, from a thermodynamic and vapor control standpoint, they are trouble unless their integration into the house envelope is designed VERY carefully. Short explanation:

1) for keeping heat in the house, if they are installed above the attic floor insulation they can slightly limit air loss through the ceiling, and reflect radiant heat back down, resulting in warmer insulation, hence a warmer ceiling - but not as marked an improvement as added insulation would give.

2) for keeping attic heat from getting into the ceiling, they do reflect back a good portion of the radiant heat coming from the roof sheathing. This reduces the attic floor insulation surface temperature, so can reduce air conditioning cost. it does increase teh temperature in the attic, which can be very bad for support timbers and the roof sheathing.

3) the worst thing about how this type of foil radiant barrier is used is that, unless it has free air space on both sides, it acts as a vapor barrier. In the typicall application as a blanket over attic floor insulation, it traps any moisture coming up from the house, and can cause mildew and rot, especially in climates where the outdoor temperature gets quite cold.

4) the attic fans are generally a last resort measure - the normal house does much better, at no energy cost, using ridge vents with adequate eave openings to provide ventilation and cooling in the attic.

5) their effectiveness in winter heat diminshes rapidly with time - tests of attic radiant barriers show they lose about half their effectvieness within 5 years, because even a light dust coating greatly reduces their ability to reflect radiant heat, and greatly increases the absorption of heat from the hot air above them.

6) pay attention to cost - from what I see, their installed cost is many times the cost of normal insualtion or radiant barrier placement.

I would say, in summary, buyer beware, and I would be inherently leery of a product being sold the same way timeshares and "secret" moneymaking schemes are.


A couple of comments about what Jim said:

1) Regarding type of insulation, in cold winter environments: Cellulose and fiberglass are actually about comparable in R value when installed - blown in cellulose runs from 3.2-3.8 R value, fiberglass batt 2.9-4.3 R value depending on manufacturer and whether hig-density or low density, high-efficiency or standard, according to official Department of Energy publications. Measured values in attic test cases, in areas with a true winter, after 10 years showed a decrease from 3.4 (in the test case) down to 2.1 for cellulose, and 3.5 to 3.3 for fiberglass batt, due to packing or matting. In an attic environment, there WILL be condensation or frost on the insulation at some point during the year (assuming an area with true winters) and in highly insulated houses commonly for a substantial time period each winter. Fiberglass packs down slightly from that weight but mostly rebounds, cellulose packs down and mats and does not substantially recover, so over the years cellulose loses 1/3 to close to 1/2 its insulation value, fiberglass about 10%.

2) a note on radiation barriers attached to the bottom of the rafters - there are a lot of installers and homeowners making two major mistakes with this product that can cause major trouble: First, be sure to terminate it short of the eave openings. I have seen cases where it was carried all the way out to the fascia board, thereby blocking all airflow on the underside of the roof. Even carrying it all the way to the eaves along the bottom of the rafters will block off ventilation to the main attic area. You have to leave the air space between the rafters open to full airflow from the soffit/eave area ot the ridge vent. Second, do NOT run it continuous from eave to eave across the full width of the attic - leave a gap about a foot wide under the ridge vents so warm and moist air in the attic can vent through the ridge vent. Closing the ridge vent area off with the radiant barrier effectively puts a vapor barrier around the main attic area, causing retention of the moisture which WILL accumulate there, promoting mold.


Obviously this is not a timely response to the initial question. However, for those who may be reading these answers at a later time, a couple of added thoughts:

1) the radiant barrier being discussed is basically heavy-duty metal foil or metallized surface on a plastic sheet, intended to reflect RADIATED heat (infrared radiation - think heat light, or heat you can feel at a distance radiated from a fireplace), the same way a mirror reflects light. Radiated heat is how a standard oven broils and how steam and hot water baseboard heat predominately work.

2) you generally should do NOT place a radiant barrier over the insulation that lies between and over the joists in a normal attic, especially in a region where the attic temperature can frequently reach condensation temperature (below about 45-50 degrees) - it may reflect back some of the house heat that is coming up from the house, but by destroying most of the temperature gradient from the house to the attic air destroys much of the driving force that moves moisture to the attic air and subsequent venting. Between that greater heat and the fact the barrier is also a moisture barrier, that makes a perfect condition for mold and rot in your insulation and attic wood, and has become quite an issue in energy upgraded homes because of retrofits that cut off airflow outside the insulation, but do not cut off the moisture source leaking thorough from the house. The proper and ONLY place for a vapor barrier in a normal attic insulation system is on the pressurized and normal warm, humid side of the insulation zone - directly above the ceiling drywall in the top floor, fastened to the UNDERSIDE of the ceiling joists or trusses, NOT anywhere above that. Perforated barriers are supposed to reduce this tendency, but the perforation area percentage is so small that typically they still act as a vapor varrier, just not a totally effective one.

3) radiant barriers reflect radiated heat ewith up to 99% efficiency but have basically zero resistance to CONDUCTION (body to body heat transfer at points of contact - think heat transfer from your warm hand to a frozen cold drink can, or hot pavement heat transfer to the bottom of your feet) - so there needs to be an air gap between the radiant barrier and the hot item passing the heat to it, otherwise the heat will just pass through it by conduction. Therefore, applying it directly to the sheathing (above or below) or manufacturing it directly on the surface of the sheathing defeats its purpose, even though this is commonly done.

4) there is a lot of discussion, particularly in the professional design community, about attic radiant heat barrier effectiveness and problems. Because they are being installed on the bottom of the sheathing or underside of roof joists, they act as a heat trap for the energy being conducted through the roof which would normally radiate into the attic air or be transferred by CONVECTION (fluid flow heat transfer) to the attic air, and be vented through roof vents, ridge vents, gable vents, etc. By trapping that heat, they are causing the underside of the shingles and particularly the felt and sheathing to get a lot hotter than they otherside would, essentially changing it from a system where the shingle top surface might reach 120-180 F and the inside surface of the sheathing about 80-140F in the summer, to making the entire roof system equal to the outside surface temperature. This causes more rapid shingle deterioration and cracking, and makes the felt or plastic moisture barrier under the shingles brittle and subject to failure.

Also, any moisture above the radiant barrier (from roof leaks or humid air coming into the area) is prevented from evaporating by the attic airflow which would normally remove it, so it starts acting like a steamer. I have seen both wood and metal lofts and attics become a major mold farm in months because of this effect, and a couple of roofs which started sagging due to rotted sheathing within 2 years of reroofing with tightly adhered radiant barrier. Some radiant barriers are vapor-permeable to reduce the moisture issue, many are not, but few actually are effective in letting moisture freely escape.

Having seen these products in use, and having analyzed and specified building products for use from the Middle East to the Arctic for decades, and having a Masters in Arctic Engineering (a degree predominately in energy conservation and heat flow), my personal opinion is that these radiant barriers will be banned by code within 10-15 years for unheated (so-called "cold" roofs) roofs, because they just do not use the principles of thermodynamics correctly. For more info on this issue Google the following search phrase  - moisture trapping by radiant attic barriers       and read the government (not the manufacturer) literature on the issue.

5) Unfortunately, the right way to handle this issue is to put the radiant surface on the OUTSIDE of the house - by using reflective materials on the roofing material. This is already done with flat roofs, house trailers, and industrial structures by spraying with alumiunum paint, and a few brands offer reflective aggregate shingles that are slightly more reflective and radiant than normal shingles. People obviously do not like this reflective surface from an aesthetic standpoint, though with solar cells coming into more general use this may soon be more widely adopted. The idea should be to keep the solar energy from penetrating into the building envelope at all, not try to re-reflect it away after it has penetrated throguh the roof system.

The sprayed-in foam has a couple of issues you need to be aware of:

6) it needs to be the low-pressure expanding type mixed for use around window frames, as fully expanding foam can bow joists or trusses and pop drywall ceilings free as it expands, and non-expanding foam actually shrinks as it cures, leaving gaps for air and heat flow alongside the ceiling joists.

7) being closed-cell it is essentially impervious to moisture, so the vapor barrier on the house side has to be EXCELLENT (incuding sealingof all penetrations), or it will trap household moisture escaping into the attic and promote mold and rot in the ceiling drywall and joists.

8) it tends to bleed chemical fumes into the house for a long period of time (can be noticeable for years), which may be objectionable to some people from an odor or environmental standpoint, and especially should be considered if any residents have severe allergy issues or respiratory problems.

9) I emphatically recommend AGAINST use of sprayed-in foam between ceiling joists or truss members in any area that can have cold attic air that could cause moisture condensation in the insulation, though this is probably not a significant problem where you live, assuming your Dallas is the city in Texas. For essentially year-around air-conditioned homes in hot climates, the problem can actually be condensation of attic air moisture on and in the colder ceiling surface insulation and on cold attic runs of air conditioned air, so attic ventilation becomes a critical issue to remove the moisture before it condenses.

In summary, having seen an awful lot of attic moisture and thermal problems, my personal recommendation would be to ensure excellent sealing of the house from the attic, use normal UNFACED fiberglass insulation, and instead of a radiant barrier ensure adequate full-attic ventilation. If you decide to got with a radiant barrier, then I would recommend a perforated one, sloping up towards the sides a foot or two and stopping a foot or so clear at the sides so moist air under it can escape to the roof joist spaces and be vented from the attic. I have seen this done several times with a fine nylon net strung above the insulation in the attic, supporting the barrier, resulting in something very similar to the double-roof system used in bedouin tents, where airflow between the two layers keep the hot air away from the living space.

Steve made a good point.  Also, while it isn't required to remove the old insulation you can check the ductwork, wiring, etc. with the old stuff removed,  You can also spray foam around all openings and holes in wall top plates to better seal your home as Steve was pointing out.  My concern is the potential for mold spores you mentioned in your question.  If you suspect there are any get a good company in to remove the old and clean the attic.  Another concern is asbestos.  Your home is old enough you could have it in there and that's worse than mold if released into the air.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

A moisture barrier has to be on the warm side ie towards the heated side.  Most people would not install a moisture barrier in your situation.  (They also sell a paint that you can use on your interior ceiling? as a moisture barrier).  Rather most homeowners would hire an insulation contractor to blow a cap over the existing insulation bringing it up to your areas reccomended levels,,Your power company can tell you the level, I would guess R 40.  What you use is up to your wallet, the best is a spray foam that can be applied to the ceiling or over the whole shebang.  Being a bit of a miser I would trot on down to my local big box store and buy a truckload of cellulose and get a free blower for I and a friend to self insulte.  Big box= Menards, Lowes etc.  Cellulose= ground up paper treated with boron for insect control and fireproofing.  It has a high R value and will stop moving air loss from the home. Before you cap current mostly emply attic is ideal time to take sealant to any openings in the attic floor,  like pocket doors, canister lights electircal wires and close off the air leaks from inside.  If foaming skip this.  Hot air rises so you save yourself a ton air sealing the home.

An attic radiant barrier is also a possiblity see my blog for nifty results on it.

Jim Casper Old Energy Conservation Guru

ps moving existing insulation use a plastic rake


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Insulation reviews in Madison


was very professional and responsive. They arrived when they said they would ( a rare occurrence, we have discovered, when dealing with several other providers). We got three bids and they were right in the middle. The staff was professional and courteous and the quality of the work was very good. Wish everyone we worked with ...More on our basement remodel were as good as these folks.
- PAT B.

Everything was so easy from having out to access our insulation needs, to the guys who installed the insulation, and finally with and his crew from the Energy Efficiency Division of who came out to do our post-insulation efficiency testing. We also needed a ventilation fan installed ...More in our second floor bathroom and they recommended someone ( from G & L Home Improvements) who could cut a hole in our attic and install the fan, as well as coordinate with the insulation guys to be here to cut a hole in the roof for attic access (needed to install insulation). I didn't really want to spend money on insulation but I wanted our home to be as comfortable and energy efficient as a 100-year-old house can possibly be, and I am so glad I hired to help us achieve our goals. After came back to complete the final air sealing test (to see how drafty our house was compared to where we started initially i.e. before the insulation) I believe we improved by 2 percent better then the Focus on Energy required percentage for the rebate. We also had from Quality Control at Focus on Energy (separate from , employed through the State of Wisconsin) come by to do a final assessment on the work did and he had nothing but complimentary things to say about the work did on our home. I'd highly recommend them to anyone looking to insulate their home!

The insulation work was done very well. Our house is now much cooler. Our bedroom in the attic is now much cooler and we do not need to run the a/c at all so far. The crew used plenty of insulation and cleaned up after themselves. Cliff was a great resource through out the entire process and even after the insulation was done, he was still available ...More for follow-up questions and always responded swiftly. Their estimate was also under all other companies we got bids from. We highly recommend .
- John W.

I scheduled this far ahead, and when I called to confirm the day before, they didn't have a record of the appointment, but they were able to make one for the previously scheduled time anyway. came out, inspected the attic, and let me climb up on the roof with him (my request) to look into the attic. He made some recommendations ...More about flashing of skylights and replacement of our bathroom fan. Also recommended having an energy audit done in the fall (when outdoor and indoor temps have higher contrast) and more insulation added to the attic after that. (Currently there's not much insulation in there.) He didn't put any pressure to buy anything else from him, although he did offer to send an estimate for the bathroom fan work (which I haven't received yet). He was friendly and answered all of my questions. It took about an hour, so I think the price was fair, and I feel good knowing that we don't have any major problems up there.
- Sara H.

. They were very expert. Their bid was actually the lowest but they did quality work. They also cleaned up well when they were done. They were professional but friendly.
- Gloria M.

Service rep was very helpful in determining a good plan of action to solve my problems related to moisture in my attic. Team that did the work was thorough and professional. The company also provided the best price by far out of the 3 contractors that I had bid the work.
- Matthew F.

I initially purchased the home energy audit from in November. There was a bit of time that lapsed after the initial contact and then a crazy game of phone tag for a matter of weeks. As it turned out, was dealing with some health issues at the time that have not been resolved with surgery. When he came ...More to our home to conduct the energy audit, he was definitely still on the mend. With that being said, he was professional, helpful and thorough. We definitely have a better idea of what needs to be completed to improve the energy performance of our home.
- Jodie T.

did a great job. The technicians that installed the insulation were very careful to clean up after their work. They arrived on time and were courteous and professional.
- Frederick S.

Insulation Contractors in Madison

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

A H Remodeling LLC

306 Eugenia Ave

A-A Exteriors

N2575 Orchard Way

A-Team Construction Unlimited Inc

1930 S Stoughton Rd


2935 S. Fish Hatchery Rd #283

Ace Roofing LLC

2084 Erb Rd

Advanced Custom Exteriors LLC

405 Tvedt Dr
Mount Horeb

All Comfort Services Inc

5245 Voges Rd

All Seasons Weatherization

5617 Irongate Dr

Althafer Construction LLC

203 Lathrop St

American Home Consultants LLC

1001 Arboretum Dr

American Home Shield

889 Ridge Lake Blvd


Beaver Dam

Badger Tech Insulation

10 Magnolia Cir

Badgerland Exteriors

231 Water St
Sauk City

Bat Pros of Wisconsin

27427 Denoon Rd


PO Box 566

Bison Insulation, Inc.

124 N Columbus St

Borg Custom Renovations

901 Frederick street

Breunig Restoration, LLC

E10699 Keitel Rd
Prairie Du Sac

Brown Roofing & Siding

2241 S Beltline Ct



Carpenters Unlimited LLC

839 Columbia Dr

Central State Service Group

2310 Daniels Street

Chads Design Build

5000 Wallace Ave

Champion Window of Madison

5321 Voges Rd


1117 Jonathon Dr



Clear Choice USA Windows

W8194 Thompson Rd



Craig Korb Construction

PO Box 259003



Degnan Design Builders Inc

134 Ethun Pl
De Forest

Detail Contracting, LLC

N550 7th Ct

Diaz Roofing Co LLC

12 Garfield St

Donald Kuptz Remodeling

870 Blaser Ct
Sun Prairie

Duerst Insulation Technicians




E & W Home Improvement

W3837 Hwy 60

Energy House LLC

N52W27222 Elizabeth Dr

Exterior Pros

N50W13926 Overview Dr
Menomonee Falls

Exterior Renovations LLC

2405 Parview Rd

Fix'm Home Repairs LLC

PO Box 620795

Flynn's Home Performance Plus

5821 Femrite Dr K



Ganser Co Inc

1906 W Beltline Hwy

Genesis Exteriors

4401 Femrite Dr

GF Company

130 S State St

GottaPro Carpentry

3918 Sycamore Ave

Hammer Builders LLC

9830 Dunlap Hollow Rd

Happy To Help Home Improvement

5725 Elder Pl


7208 Elmwood Ave.

J & M Home Repair and Maintenance

513 W. Harrison St.

Jack of All Trades Handyman

406 N Walbridge

Jameson Contractors

584 US Hwy 51

Johnson-Phoenix Group L.L.C.

PO Box 14600

Jordan Exteriors

102 Kensington Ln

Let Mikey Do It

5114 Butterfield Dr



Lunar Homes & Development

412 Coyle Parkway
Cottage Grove

Mad City Roofing

5020 Voges Road

Madison Insulation and Mold Remediation

776 US Highway 51

Mr. Handyman of Western Dane County

3240 University Ave.

Over the Top Roofing & Construction

N59 W14464 Bobolink Ave
Menomonee Falls

Project Home

1966 S Stoughton Rd

Property Image LLC

967 Jonathon Dr

R.G. Environmental inc

P.O. box 86

Rainbow Insulators Inc

6223 Middleton Spgs Dr

Renovate This Place, LLC

17 Arial Cir



Rockweiler Insulation Inc

211 Legion St

Royal Exteriors

3599 Heatherstone Ridge
Sun Prairie

Sand County Contracting LLC

512 Oak St

Saunders Insulation

201 E. Winslow Rd



Schwoegler Remodeling LLC

4210 East Washington Ave

Seagull Enterprises

700 w south st

Smart Energy Solutions

302 Court of Elm

Solar Pro WI LLC

1213 Melby Drive

Soundrite-Acoustics, Inc.

209 S. Stephanie Street



Strander Roofing & Seamless Gutters

101 Industrial Park Rd


PO BOX 3091

The Builders Group

122 south orem drive

The Gardner Co

2691 Hwy V
Sun Prairie


1128 Morraine View Dr Unit 202

Thompson Custom Builders

5830 Lexington St

Tony Trapp Remodeling & Repairs LLC

222 N Midvale Blvd Ste 29



US Home Center

4001 Felland Rd

Voyager Builders

1500 W. Main St.


12637 S 265 W Suite 100

Waunakee Remodeling Inc

1001 Frank H St

Westring Construction LLC

4509 American Ash Dr

Whitty and Sons Construction, LLC.

1340 O'Keeffe Ave
Sun Prairie


PO Box 405

Zeier's Siding & Insulation

315 Raemisch Rd

Zip Coat

PO Box 5551

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