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Over 3,300 reviews for
International Falls Insulation Contractors from people just like you.

A
"Found leak in ventilation system that was causing spots on ceiling, but doesn't do ventilation work. Recommended additional insulation to bring attic to Energy" Department recommendation. Gave price for additional insulation. Was honest in telling me that if planning to sell house in four or five years, would not recommend because would not be able to recoup investment. Also advised that buyers probably don't care about R value of insulation but do care about utility costs.

-CONSTANCE J.

F
"Work performed was fine. Workers were really friendly. Customer service from the boss was absolutely terrible. After they finished the job there was a bunch" of insulation left in our garage - which is not a big deal at all - but it was unclear about whether they were finished or not. I hadn't received any contact whatsoever even though I had left my number with the workers. My wife called and was told by someone that there was potentially a water leak somewhere. Later in the day she received a rude voice mail from the boss demanding payment. I then ended up playing phone tag with the boss (
?) for two days, but when I finally got him on the line he was RIDICULOUSLY RUDE, yelling in my ear demanding payment and threatening to hire a debt collector and take me to court, all while refusing to even hear why we hadn't sent the check yet. I have never in my life dealt with an adult so childish. He accused me of leaving the house on purpose to escape paying on site (sorry I don't have multiple hours to sit around at the house on a WORK DAY waiting for them to finish!) and of screening his phone calls - even though every time I had missed a call I had called him back and he hadn't picked up either. And keep in mind that this was the FIRST time I was hearing that the job was actually completed, and it was still less than a week after they had done the job anyway. I hope I just caught this one guy at a rough time in his life, but if this is common practice for this business it's pitiful. Unfortunately, I won't be using them again to find out.

-Gabe N.

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Local Articles in International Falls

Avoid ice dams with proper attic insulation

Do you have icicles forming on your eaves and gutters and ice collecting on your roof? An ice dam can cause serious problems 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 International Falls

D

Rating
Service was completed as expected with punctuality. In less than a year we found ourselves in exactly the same rodent situation, same symptoms. Called them again to come out and they recommended doing the exact same service except this time with an addition $500 for extermination. They offered a 10% returning customer discount.
We let them know we were dissatisfied with the previous work because we had spent quite a bit of money assuming they were able to take care of the problem. They refused to discount the work or provide any explanation as to why we should expect any different results this time around. Hard to justify having them do the same work again, especially when you know they don't appear willing to stand by their work if it doesn't fix the issue.
- Matthew A.
A

Rating
Went good. Wish they would have covered up my furniture that was currently in the garage so the overspray would not be all over my couches because there were ceiling panels missing in my garage area. They covered up the area somewhat but wasn't enough to prevent from the overspray. Outside of that, product done as promised and very prompt on everything. Guys were knowledgeable and provided some helpful tips to help provide more air flow to the attic. I will probably go with them for insulation as well based on the quoted price I received.
- Daniel B.
B

Rating
We are conflicted about how to review
International Falls Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
. On the one hand, the work was well done, but on the other hand there were serious issues with project management that made this experience a lot more stressful than promised! We were able to schedule the attic cleanup within a week of obtaining our second estimate (an increase of 1000 over the estimate we received during the winter, as a sort of summer fee and price raise, according to our technician). Our technician seemed knowledgeable, but there were some issues with how the actual cleanup was handled.
The day of the cleanup the crew arrived promptly, and our technician walked the project manager through what we needed to have done--the main attic, the other part of the attic separated by a hallway, and the attic areas around the finished main room. We had sorted through the items in the attic to streamline the cleaning process, and left the debris in the main attic room. Within the first 2 hours, the project manager became ill. Only after this did the workers put on protective gear. Because the project manager was no longer working, a member of the team stepped up to take his place. Unfortunately, our technician seems to have not clearly explained what areas of the attic were included in the estimate, because at the end of the day, when the de facto project manager walked us through, we realized that the smaller attic spaces had not been cleaned. They were great about rescheduling to finish the work within a few days, and returned to finish the job. We were really happy with the cleanup, the workers did a good job and finished promptly.
There were two main issues we had with this job. First, our technician tried to ask us to pay more for the unfinished job telling us that he would have trouble paying for the equipment and labor that another day on the job would cost. He worked out the issue with his office, but this was a stressful interlude, while we waited to see if they would finish the work for the original estimate.
Secondly, several days after the work was completed, we realized that they had mistaken a gutter hole for an entrance and pumped it full of insulation foam. It was a bit of a hassle to pick out enough foam to let the water drain.
Minor issues included the stripping of varnish from a door when the carpet was removed, and a chip in the wooden paneling of the finished attic room during the vacuuming process.
We would definitely consider going to
International Falls Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
again if we had attic issues, we would just make sure to check in a lot more on what was being done, and that everyone was on the same page.
- Martine M.
B

Rating
I bought this house in Feb and am using this room as a kennel room for my 3 dogs. It was quite hot in there with the old insulation.The room gets the afternoon sun until dark exposure. It is an AMAZING difference with the spray foam in. I rarely use the window a/c in the evenings when I bring the dogs in, and if I do, it's just for an hour to make sure the dogs are comfy. Before, I had to have the a/c on for at least 3 hours and it did NOT cool down the room, and the celing had ABSOLUTELY no insulation in it when they tore it out. It was hard to get the drywall people and spray foam company to work in tandem. Something that I expected to take one week to complete ended up taking 3 weeks, because the subs that did the drywall did not come back and finish the job right away completely. In the future, I will not pay in full until all work is complete, my bad. Or I will hire my own drywall workers.
International Falls Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
and his team diid an amazing job and would hire them back for future work, which I will probably need in the future to sound proof part of my basement. Also, I was not there initially when they started the work, and they went ahead and cleared the room, took down the blinds, etc, which is not something they usually do. They were running ahead of schedule time-wise, so they came early and decided to start.

- Cathy B.
A

Rating
Forrest was extremely responsive. I called and he was able to come by, I believe, the next day to an energy audit to determine why my electric bill was outrageous and the temperature varied throughout the house. Right away he determined there was virtually no insulation in the attic (easier said than done considering the dark, 3 ft crawl space filled with giant metal ducts) except what was left from the original install in 1975. I was able to schedule to have the work done in about 5 days. I'm not sure if the price was good or not but I really liked Forrest and he was available to get the work done ASAP...that made it the right price! He and his crew arrived when they said they would, blew in the insulation, mended ducts, expelled all the critters in the attic, and replaced the broken booster fan blocking the air going to the opposite end of the house. I also texted Forrest Friday with concerns that there was hot air coming out of the vent when the AC wasn't on, he said he could be there the next day to check it out. He showed up when he said he would, determined that coincidently, I walked under the vent right when the AC turned on and all the hot air was being pushed from the duct. There was no issues other than my bad timing. I will continue to use this company for everything and anything they can provide that I need in the future.

- Erin M.
A

Rating
the work was great they were fast and the job was done correctly and walked me through everything he just put so much effort into making sure the job was done correctly.
- steven J.
A

Rating
They arrived on time and were finished with the job at the promised time. They put down some tarp near the hatch to catch some of the stray insulation, and even vacuumed the entire staircase and hall where the hose ran up to the attic. Very professional and would recommend to anyone.
- Jeffrey S.
A

Rating
I was incredibly impressed with
International Falls Insulation Contractors Provider Name Locked
Insulations job at my house recently. Everyone involved on the project was amazingly professional and helpful. I would highly recommend them to anyone!! Our house is already increasingly cooler to the spray foam insulation that was installed in our VERY hot attic! Thanks again for everything!
- Mary W.

Insulation Contractors in International Falls, MN

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

Advanced Roof Technologies, LLC

2720 Maplewood Drive
Maplewood

Aim High Construction LLC

31540 147th st
Princeton

American Home Shield

889 Ridge Lake Blvd

Blown-In Insulation

1694 Leon Drive
Mora

BoeKett Building Supply Inc.

709 North State Street
Fairmont

Brainerd Pipe Supply,Inc.

13917 Shawkia Drive
Brainerd

Bushard Construction LLC

10117 County Rd 11
Sauk Centre

Columbus Exteriors Inc

18529 Hwy 65 NE
Cedar

Cyber Bridge Marine, Inc.

209 S. Stephanie St

Dan Richter Construction LLC

90 Reserve Dr
Grand Rapids

Expert Building Services

3106 E Us Highway 169
Grand Rapids

Exterior Touch Inc.

12610 Waverly RD.

Kirchner Siding and Window Inc

1430 E Main St
Owatonna

Professional Exteriors, Inc

3158 Viking Blvd. NE
East Bethel

R W STUCCO, Inc.

38246 500th ave
New York Mills

Red Cross Construction

1332 Jurdy Rd
Saint Paul

RetroGreen Energy

315 Franklin Ave NE
Saint Cloud

Ryan Windows & Siding Inc

3750 85th St NW
Oronoco

SIMONSON LUMBER CO

1802 FILLMORE ST
Alexandria

Soundrite-Acoustics, Inc.

209 S. Stephanie Street

STROMBERG CONSTRUCTION LLC

41372 LITTLE CLARA DR
Deer River

Swanson Home Specialists, LLC

240 S. Central Ave.
Balaton

TRI-COUNTY FOAM INSULATION

10991 ZIMMEL RD NE
Carlos

Vance Construction

609 16th St E
International Falls

Warmzone

12637 S 265 W Suite 100

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International Falls Zip Codes

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