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A
"Very knowledgeable. Very easy to work with and contact. Shared substantial information with us that allowed us to save considerable effort and focus our improvement" where it would make the most difference. This avoided causing additional downstream headaches and improved our house immediately. They did less work than we expected to need because it wouldn't have helped us. I love honest people. The best. Saved us money two times over. The proof is in the heating and cooling bills, which plummeted after addition of blown cellulose to the attic. Such a
change. Such a huge difference. We now _always_ rank among the "most efficient homes" comparisons. This improvement has paid for itself many times over.

-Brian D.

A
"really happy with their service, professionalism and communication. They even found a wet spot inside my wall and kept it open to show me so I could repair it. They" even worked with me on payments which was a huge relief! I have since referred their services to friends.

-Marlene S.

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Local Articles in Sterling

Avoid Ice Dams With Proper Attic Insulation

An ice dam can cause serious problems to your roof without proper insulation.

By properly insulating your attic you can keep warm air from escaping and save money on your energy bills. (Photo courtesy of Vinay S. of North Brunswick, New Jersey)
Insulation

Hot air rises … but good insulation can keep your energy costs from doing the same thing.

Better air quality, quieter living spaces, comfort and better health are all reasons to reconsider your insulation choices. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Roseanne J. of Seattle)
Insulation

Not just for new construction, learn how foam insulation can be placed inside existing walls to make your home more comfortable.

While traditional fiberglass insulation is affordable and efficient, injection foam insulation can offer even more benefits. (Photo by Summer Galyan)
Insulation

Insulation isn't sexy, but it can keep you cool at night.

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Contractors say homeowners with this trait are the most satisfied with home improvement projects.

Angie's Answers

?

If you go the Better Business Bureau website you can see that the company has only had two complaints in the last 18 months and that they have both been resolved.  The company has an A+ rating.  This is not something you can buy.

 

There are genuine reviews on many 3rd party online review sites including AngiesList and the Better Business Bureau.  Simply do a Google search for "Smart Energy Today Reviews".

 

Sol Blanket Insulation acts as a radiant barrier, insulation and a vapor barrier.  It is not intended to replace traditional insulation but in fact compliments it and adds to it's ability to keep cool/hot air (depending on the season) in the home when the envelope of the home is properly sealed.  

 

Every attic is different and there are many other components that must be considered.  You mentioned an attic fan as well.  The heat that is radiated away from the ceiling by the Sol-Blanket Insulation is pushed out of the attic with an attic fan.  The US Department of Energy states that radiant barriers do work and suggest they be installed by professionals.

 

As with any product by any company if the product is not installed properly and other factors (attic fan, caulking and sealing, etc...) are not addressed then it will not be as effective.

?

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 Sterling

A

Rating
Work started at 7:30 am and was completed the same day. Services included radiant
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
, replacement of all under-eves attic vents, additional insulation in attic, thermostat-driven exhausted fan, and air conditioning checkup and cleaning. All work was done quickly, efficiently, and with minimal fuss and bother. These folks are pros!
Highly recommend their services!!!!!!!!!

- James W.
A

Rating
They were very professional and installed the closed cell foam in one day. They managed to heat up the surface so it adhered, even though it was cold outside. The room is now the best insulated and most comfortable home in the house.
- Karen B.
A

Rating
Basically, I got three bids and
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
was the cheapest. On
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
20,
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
came out to look at the job to provide an estimate. I received the estimate via email from
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
who works in the office. I selected
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
based on cost and scheduled the installation for August 14 but had to move it. They were flexible and moved it to the 19th. I was give a 4-hour start window from 10am to 2pm, and the two-man crew showed up around 1pm and worked all day installing the insulation and did a good job.
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
was pleasant and easy to work with.
- Jerry K.
F

Rating
We set up an appointment for 8:30 this morning, and my husband talked to them at 9 and they said the guy was about 20 minutes away. It has now been almost 4 hours since they were supposed to be here, no one has called or shown up, and they are not returning phone calls or messages. We have had our fascia boards off of the house the whole time and we now have to put them back on and not do the insulation. She has my cell phone number and I have been sitting here all morning waiting on her to call back because the roofers have been waiting on them to get here and do the work, and they now have to leave.
- Janet C.
A

Rating
Very professional in scheduling inspection, provided pics as proof of problem and took care of repair in a timely manner.
- Jill C.
A

Rating
Went wonderfully. They came earlier due to a cancellation whe I asked if they could. Showed up on time and did a great job. Cleaned up and raked the lawn afterwards. Very professional and courteous.
- Becky M.
A

Rating
We are in the process of building a 35 x 36 addition on a home that we renovated over the winter. We were at the point where we needed to have the insulation completed. We did the main house in spray foam insulation last fall and were now at the point that we needed to have this addition insulated. Due to the extremely harsh winter we had, all of the nsulation contractors I called were extremely booked out for weeks just to come out and give an estimate. I got 4 estimates. Price was not my only deciding factor, however March &
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
price was the most reasonable of all 4 and the gentleman they sent out to do the estimate was very professional and courteuos. After reviewing the estimates I decided to use March &
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
. I was told that they could not do the job until October 7th when I called to schedule. I explained my dilemna to
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
in their office and told her our entire project would be held up until this could be done. We were already months past our estimated date of completion on this project..
Sterling Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
went out of her way and managed to get us scheduled for August 26th. They went the extra mile to help us out. the job was completed in three days and I could not be happier with the quality of the work, the professionalism of the crew and overall performance of the entire company. My husband is a buildign inspector and has been recommending them for years. Now I see why. We are very satisfied customers, and my husband the inspector is not an easy guy to please. He expects quality work from any contrsctors that we hire, and that is exactly what we got.
- Sandra C.
D

Rating
I have a very small 300sf attic - I purchased $500 worth of blown in insulation for my attic for $99. Provider called to make sure I knew it was towards the total cost of attic insulation. I told him I have a very small attic and thought that may be all I need. His reaction to the size of by attic was disbelief. Although a date was set for someone to assess the work needed at my home no one came. I called back and was told the problem was with the small print in the Angie's list description. With all the criteria he described I stated I met each requirement. He finally said my attic was so small he could not possible make any money and told me to get a refund from Angie's List or he would give me one. I suggested he send the refund to me.




- Susan H.

Insulation Contractors in Sterling, IL

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

A FISCHER BUILDERS INC

814 OHIO ST
Quincy

All-Pro Home Improvement

97 Marion Street
Walnut Hill

American Home Shield

889 Ridge Lake Blvd

Anything Exterior, Inc

17919 Grandview Dr
Sterling

Billy the kid & Son

401 E 1st. St.
Pana

blast master

14727 n 200th street

Carter Quality Home Improvements

2009 EASTGATE ST
Olney

CJ Insulation

305 Boombah Blvd
Yorkville

Custom Construction & Remodeling

475 E Court Street - Suite 83
Kankakee

Cyber Bridge Marine, Inc.

209 S. Stephanie St

Dave's Contracting & Cleaning Inc

All over Illinios
Plainfield

E and J Services

21828 Dove Lane
Carlyle

ENERGY SEAL FOAM INSULATION

29755 1250 East St
Walnut

Exterior Touch Inc.

12610 Waverly RD.

Fivestone Foundations

915 Benton Street
Belleville

Green Earth Enterprises Inc

Po Box- Main St & Peru St
Princeton

Guaranteed Comfort and Energy

20 Schiber Ct
Maryville

H.O.M.E. LLC

Montgomery

Healthy Spaces

2501 N Cullen Ave

Illiana Insulation Inc

PO Box 300
Cissna Park

Illinois Valley Insulation

PO Box 364
Princeton

Insulation Service

11693 N County Road 1200e
Charleston

J & R Remodeling and Construction

215 W 16th St
Metropolis

JB&D Siding & Window-Galesburg

425 Home Blvd.
Galesburg

Mid Northern Construction

412 E Dixon St
Polo

Power Home Remodeling Group

9450 West Bryn Mawr Avenue
Rosemont

Prairie State Insulation

706 26th St
Roseville

R Cozzie Waterproofing

633 N Center St
Naperville

Robinson Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc

667 E Lasalle Street
Somonauk

Saunders Insulation

201 E. Winslow Rd
Warren

Solutions Contracting

1173 BAinbridge St
Barry

Soundrite-Acoustics, Inc.

209 S. Stephanie Street

Stormpro Construction LLC

548 Legend Lane
Mchenry

Sunshine Exteriors Llc

18-2 E Dundee Rd
Barrington

Top Notch Remodeling Inc

12040 S Aero Dr
Plainfield

Warmzone

12637 S 265 W Suite 100

Window World

1100 NW Valley Ridge Dr.

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