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A
"Excellent workmanship,knowledge,and service. Completed the work as contracted.Prompt with all return calls .Friendly and willing to offer suggestions for improvments." Cleaned up after the job done like it was before. Would recommend this co to anyone. Trustworthy.

-Judy F.

A
"I had taken advantage of the offer to have insulation blown into my new home with a free energy audit.
, the owner, arrived on time, was" courteous, professional, qualified and a delight to deal with! He inspected my home and he not only assured me I didn't need any additional insulation, but that by installing a ceiling fan it would circulate the heat in my family room and should do the trick with my circulation needs in the winter. He went the extra mile by also suggesting that I add an additional carbon monoxide alarm into the room as well for precaution. He even reminded me to have money refunded since there was absolutely no charge! What a refreshing service in this day and age...a business willingly offering advice without a cost, or better yet, not selling you anything you don't need! Wow what a concept! I would highly recommend this company for the integrity it exhibits along with such sound business sense. I will not hesitate to contact them in the future when I need their business services again (they offer more than insulation!). In my opinion - this company is super AAAA++++ They made me one satisfied customer! Keep up the great work!

-Donna M.

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Local Articles in Vanderbilt

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 Vanderbilt

A

Rating
The company arrived right on time, and finished the job quickly. There was no mess, and our utility bills have been much lower since the installation.
- Phillip R.
A

Rating
Initial inspection found rotted section caused by mounting devices of pool solar panels. Applied a sealant around all hardware to make watertight until they could get back to us to make the repair. By the way, solar company has been up there twice over the years to fix leaks in the panels and never mentioned the noticeable damage and rotting! Rotted section of roof was about 4 foot square. They cut pipes to solar panels, lifted them out of the way, cut out rotted roof section and hauled away. Replaced roof section and shingles, then remounted solar panels, waterproofed the mounts, and reconnected the pipes.
- Laura W.
A

Rating
Great Service! Contact me immediately and were flexible in scheduling with me. Worked with
Vanderbilt Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
. Very knowledgable and professional, gave me options and answered all the novice questions I had. The review was exactly what I needed. He provided me an estimate on the spot. I will be hiring them for some of the work they suggested just as soon as I can.
- STACY W.
A

Rating
VERY WELL.
Four employees, including the owner, worked on the job for three days. It was a difficult job but they handled it perfectly.
While blown insulation can be messy, they thoroughly cleaned after the job was finished.
We were very impressed with this company !!!
- Donald K.
A

Rating
Vanderbilt Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
came to my home to evaluate an ice dam issue from last winter, and immediately diagnosed a blocked soffit problem, along with minimal
Vanderbilt Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
.
Vanderbilt Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
's team installed everything needed in the attic, fixed the ventilation issue, were professional, neat and very courteous. I highly recommend them!
- Kimberley C.
N

Rating
It all went very well. The crew arrived on time and went right to work.
Vanderbilt Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
had explained the process very well ahead of time, and the work order and other paperwork were very clear, so I knew exactly what to expect. Any surface in the house that could get any dust or dirt on it was fully covered -- including drop cloths over every inch of the bedroom where the attic hatch is located.
Vanderbilt Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
performed the blower door test and other tests both before and after the work, and explained exactly what he was doing. Obviously I could not see what was going on in the attic, but I was supplied with pictures to document the work that was done there. I was pleasantly surprised by how little time the whole process took -- I thought it would be an all day job but it was basically done by around noon (the crew arrived at 7 am). The cleanup was extremely thorough -- one literally would never know the crew was here. In short, a really hassle-free experience that hopefully will make my house much more energy-efficient.
- Alan G.
A

Rating
Excellent! On time and responsive. Furniture protection and excellent clean up. Fair price.
- William E.
A

Rating
The guy that did the original estimate under estimated the amount of work. The house was built in 1917 and the mouse droppings and insulation could well have been that old. The low pitch roof made it almost impossible to move around in the attic, but the workers that came would not quit until the attic was near perfect. The nails, gravel, oak leaves, acorns, and mouse feces kept plugging the vacuum hose mixed in with the old blown in insulation. After about 6 hours they completed the vacuuming and had removed all the old A/C ducting out. It was nearly 100 degrees out, but they never stopped. Needless to say, by the time they started installing the batting, it was time for them to quit. The company compensated for the inconvenience of needing an extra day by blowing in insulation into all the tight spots that batting wouldn't fit. My only gripe is that they used insulate foam to fill opening to the house (not aesthetically pleasing).
I'm not sure if I over payed, but as I watched them work, I kept thinking, "Thank God that's not me up there doing that work". The few places I called to insulate the attic would not do the clean up. They wanted to place new insulation on top of the old.
- Timothy M.

Insulation Contractors in Vanderbilt, MI

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

A-1 Services

701 Mackinaw Ave.
Cheboygan

A-1 Vinyl Siding Co Inc

48425 Forbes St
Chesterfield

ADELAINE CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT, INC.

8555 Commerce Ct
Harbor Springs

ALPHA ENERGY SOLUTIONS INC

513 Henrietta St
Algonac

Alpha Energy Solutions Inc

513 Henrietta St
Algonac

American Animal Control

11877 N Pine Rd

American Home Shield

889 Ridge Lake Blvd

B Dry System Of Michigan Inc

8175 Big Lake Rd
Clarkston

Bat Specialist of Michigan

490 N. Hurd Rd.
Ortonville

Built Solid Renovations LLC

123 Main
Sterling Heights

CGI Insulation Specialist

214 N Rolland Rd
Weidman

Cyber Bridge Marine, Inc.

209 S. Stephanie St

Doctor Flue, inc.

1610 Dinius Rd
Tecumseh

Energy First Home Improvements

114 East Superior Street
Alma

Exterior Touch Inc.

12610 Waverly RD.

Foil-Rite Corp

10750 Lewis Rd.
Vanderbilt

Foundation Systems of Michigan

32985 Schoolcraft Rd
Livonia

Harms Enterprises

88 W. Houghton Lake Drive
Prudenville

Home Renovation & Repair by Tom

4848 Manuka Trail
Gaylord

Inspectormike.com

45090 Thornhill Ct
Canton

Jeff Worden Builder

1616 Laurie Rd
Boyne City

Jess Arquette

7408 Hungerford Lake Dr
Big Rapids

Lake State Roofing Inc

4101 N Stephenson Ave
Iron Mountain

Mike Montini Builder Inc

2736 E Beaverton Rd
Farwell

MOMPER INSULATION

2431 W MAIN ST

New Beginnings Restoration

43805 Willis Rd
Belleville

ProBuild

1054 Old 27 N Hwy
Gaylord

Quality Built Building QBB

300 Atlantic Street
Bay City

Quality Coating & Insulation

133 Surfside Dr.
Roscommon

R & R DRYWALL & INSULATION INC

586 Industrial Dr
Clare

Retrofoam of Michigan Inc

200 Grover St
Montrose

RJD Inc

827 Michigan Ave
Gaylord

RSW Construction

2929 Fleming Rd.
Lewiston

Soundrite-Acoustics, Inc.

209 S. Stephanie Street

Spink Insulation

320 Farview St.
Horton

Terminix

1235 Roth Dr
Lansing

VaMoose Varmint

1001 Goose Creek Rd SE
Grayling

W.M.G.B. Inc

2131 Martindale Ave SW
Wyoming

Warmzone

12637 S 265 W Suite 100

WeatherGard

14350 W 8 Mile Rd
Oak Park

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