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HPIP is the insulation association for industry experts.  Submit your question here to get advice from experts in installation, products, codes, systems specs, and just about anything else you may need to know about high performance insulation.

Advice

Insulating a Stairwell

Posted on April 25, 2017 by Shelby Beck.

This is a common stairwell in a new construction home. Does anyone have any ideas on the safest and most efficient way to insulate these types of areas? . . . . read more >>

Blown-In Glasswool in Metal Studs

Posted on November 28, 2014 by Shelby Beck.

Just because a builder is using metal studs for framing doesn’t mean that offering a high performance blown-in glass solution is out of the question. Glass wool will install the same in metal studs, but the stumbling block for most is how to fasten the fabric without staples. The answer? Glue. The first thing you . . . . read more >>

Ask An Expert!

Posted on August 29, 2014 by Kristin.

From: David Hoover I am looking to have the attic of my house insulated. The builder in 1999 put fiberglass batts between the 2×4 that form the floor of the attic. Then blown in Johns Manville fiberglass with an R-value of 11 was put over the batts. I live in a Chicago suburb. I am . . . . read more >>

Ensure Good Air Quality in Buildings

Posted on August 26, 2014 by Kristin.

Ensuring good indoor air quality (IAQ) in buildings is an important task for facility managers today, due to the significant impact it has on the sustainability of a building, as well as the health of its occupants.  Based on research done over the years, several national public health and environmental organizations, such as the U.S. . . . . read more >>

You Want to Blow What in my Walls?

Posted on August 15, 2014 by Craig Marden.

When I introduce the concept of a blown in wall with fiberglass blowing wool, I often get push back from customers and installers who think they are going to be blowing a product that is similar to batt fiberglass. I explain that the new blowing wools are made of a different fiber and are designed . . . . read more >>

Should party walls/demising walls in townhome construction be considered a part of the exterior building envelope?

Posted on August 8, 2014 by Marcus DeVere.

An ongoing disagreement between insulation contractors in Maryland involves whether or not party walls/demising walls should be considered a part of the exterior building envelope in townhome construction during the air seal/draft stop phase. The argument comes at a crucial time, as it pertains to the blower door testing required by the 2012 IECC Residential . . . . read more >>

Can’t Vent at Valleys and Dormers? Use a Smart Vapor Retarder (Not Foam)

Posted on July 25, 2014 by Floris Keverling Buisman. Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Straight gable roofs are easy to vent, and ideally would be vented.  But often we end up with dormers, valleys and other complications. In this post we feature Alex Wilson’s house rebuild in Vermont to explain how smart vapor retarders like ProClima’s DB+ or INTELLO can keep your sheathing dry, while also allowing it to dry . . . . read more >>

Managing Air & Moisture Flow to Create Comfortable, Healthy Buildings

Posted on July 21, 2014 by Ted Winslow.

A Complete Approach Whether you are an architect, builder, contractor, distributor or code official, you are being bombarded by countless challenges in the buildings you are helping to create.  It is your responsibility to minimize problems (e.g. mold, mildew, etc.) and increase value (i.e. energy efficiency) for your customers and you are being held liable . . . . read more >>

Development and Use of Product Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) by Insulation Manufacturers

Posted on June 25, 2014 by Kristin.

What percentage of insulation manufacturers are developing product life cycle assessments (LCAs) and using them to provide purchasers with the info they seek?  I ask in that Sphere E is interested in including their LCAs in our sustainable purchasing database at no cost.  I would appreciate hearing how best to connect with insulation manufacturers interested . . . . read more >>

Vapor Barrier With R21 Fiberglass Batt

Posted on June 12, 2014 by Kristin.

For concrete basements, should a vapor barrier be installed on the warm side of the wall if an R21 Fiberglass Batt is installed against the concrete?  The concern is that the concrete could contain moisture and become trapped in the wall if a vapor barrier is used.  Vapor barrier may be WMPVR, VRR, Flame Spread . . . . read more >>

Work Scope Recommendations Pertaining to Lighting

Posted on May 23, 2014 by Kristin.

Q: If water is leaking around the skylight, the flashing needs to be inspected. What three items should be checked to fix and avoid further leakage? A: The flashing should be installed where water sheds from surface to surface. You should ensure the following: (1) on the side nearest the roof ridge, head flashing should . . . . read more >>

Density Standard?

Posted on May 15, 2014 by Kristin.

From: Martin Houston: Is there a quality control standard for the installation of blown in batt?  Specifically, is there a density which can be measured to ensure that it has been installed correctly? . . . . read more >>

Is anyone presently using EcoSeal?

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Kristin.

If anyone is presently using EcoSeal, please contact me.  I am trying to work with a builder who uses it as a standard and would like to get some feedback on application and so forth. Victor Bautista Vbautista@delmarvainsulation.com   . . . . read more >>

Leaving Blown-Wall Fabric Material Exposed

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Kristin.

Is it okay to leave blow in fiberglass net exposed on the back side of an attic house wall? According to one manufacturer of the blown-wall fabric material used for this application, the material itself is NOT UV stabilized. That being said, if you leave it in the direct sun very long it will break . . . . read more >>

Remove ADA From Your Toolbox; Here’s Why

Posted on April 10, 2014 by Kristin.

After perhaps keeping the rain out, airtightness is the most important thing we can do to make our buildings energy efficient and comfortable.  That’s a building science fact.  A fully functional air barrier is fundamentally important to the proper functioning of the building.  Consequently we should take necessary steps to ensure that the air barrier . . . . read more >>

Is there such a thing as UL Rating for a hybrid system?

Posted on February 7, 2014 by Kristin.

We need a UL rating for an architect who is designing a mid-rise building.  He wants to know the UL code for the Hybrid system we are looking to use for this project. I have the foam and fiberglass UL codes individually, but in combining these products in the same cavity he is not comfortable . . . . read more >>

Vapor barrier recommended in this situation?

Posted on July 11, 2013 by Kristin.

Vapor barrier recommended in this situation? A homeowner would like information on putting a poly layer on the exterior wall, this is 2×6 construction spec’d for BIBS in the Baltimore, MD area.  What advice should the contractor give? . . . . read more >>

What’s the STC rating of this mid-floor assembly?

Posted on February 22, 2013 by Kristin.

Can anyone advise on the STC (with BIBS) of a mid floor assembly that’s 11 7/8-inch joists and 14-inch joist, 1/2 inch drywall and 1/2 inch OSB? I’d like to know how BIBS would perform in this assembly for sound control of a media room. Guy Roline Ecofoam Insolutions . . . . read more >>

What is the BIBS Air Infiltration Rating or ACH?

Posted on December 13, 2012 by Kristin.

Good Morning, I would like to know BIBS Air Infiltration Rating or ACH, Air Changes per Hour. Can anyone give me feedback on what it is, or how I can calculate it? I recall that the Perm (permeability) Rating for BIBS is better than Open Cell Foam but I do not know what that is or . . . . read more >>

Does the entire cavity need to be air sealed?

Posted on November 20, 2012 by Kristin.

When asked this question, Knauf Insulation representatives responded that with EcoSeal, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.  While it is not absolutely necessary to seal around all sides of each cavity, you will increase your effectiveness if you do.  Knauf’s EcoSeal earned the Energy Star rating without sealing all sides of . . . . read more >>

How will BIBS interact with hydronic heating tubing?

Posted on April 13, 2012 by Kristin.

The Blow-In-Blanket Insulation System (BIBS) will work well under your hydronic heating tubing, but to get the maximum efficiency from the under floor insulation you will need to install a foil or aluminized paper facing directly under the heating piping.  BIBS is an excellent thermal barrier, but the foil will provide a better reflective layer . . . . read more >>

Proper installation of soffit dams for blown in insulation

Posted on April 5, 2012 by Kristin.

I work as a building inspector and am trying to determine the proper installation of soffit dams for blown in insulation for CMU construction. The only illiustrations I can find are for wood frame construction and require that insulation covers the top plate. Does the insulation also need to be installed onto the top of . . . . read more >>

Do you have something that says you can use BIBS HP in basements?

Posted on March 15, 2012 by Kristin.

As long as the following BIBS and BIBS HP parameters are met, and local code requirements are followed, the BIBS HP system can be installed in a basement application: Requirements: An approved closed-cell foam from the following manufacturers, installed at the correct thickness: BASF Polyurethane Foam Certa-Spray (CertainTeed) Convenience Products Closed Cell Fomo Magnum * . . . . read more >>

Thermal Mass: What It Is and When It Improves Comfort

Posted on March 13, 2012 by Kristin.

Heavy or massive objects like masonry, earth, and water can hold a lot of heat. Because of this capacity to act as a heat source (warming their surroundings) or a heat sink (drawing heat from and cooling their surroundings), materials with thermal mass affect comfort both indoors and out.  Buildings in climates with large diurnal (day–night) temperature . . . . read more >>

What’s Wrong With This Insulation Job

Posted on March 8, 2012 by Kristin.

Good article forwarded to our office. Thanks Randy! What’s wrong with this picture? Can you spot 4 major issues?  This photo shows a representative insulation job performed by workers who used similar standards at an entire subdivision of new homes. The developer hoped that the homes would qualify for Energy Star. How many problems can . . . . read more >>

Question on BIBS in Metal Buildings

Posted on August 31, 2011 by Kristin.

We have a builder interested in BIBS in his commercial bldg. Exterior walls are built with steel studs. Any input on the best adhesive to use that applies quickly and will hold the mesh? If we have to pre-clean the face of the studs, what is the best cleaner? As always this job will require . . . . read more >>

Can Open-Cell Foam Waste be Used as Attic Insulation?

Posted on February 8, 2011 by Kristin.

Scott Gibson of Green Building Advisor asks what many  homeowners want to know. Open-cell polyurethane foam expands dramatically as soon as it hits its target, rapidly filling wall cavities and typically mushrooming beyond the stud line. After it’s firmed up, installers trim away the excess so drywall or other wall finishes can be put up. . . . . read more >>

Looking for Advice on Thermal Imaging Cameras

Posted on January 3, 2011 by Kristin.

I’m considering purchase of a Flir I7 thermal imaging camera.  While the price seems right on this model, I’m wondering whether it has sufficient features for a BIBS dealer to gauge gaps, voids, heat loss areas.  I don’t want to pay for features I don’t need, but don’t want to under-buy either. Anybody got advice . . . . read more >>

Should we be concerned with settling in this scenario?

Posted on October 6, 2010 by Kristin.

We are bidding a job that has wide exterior walls. The walls are 14 feet high. It calls for 3” of polyurethane spray foam with batts. We will also bid BIBS. We have an 8” deep space 14 feet high and a 14” space 14 feet high. Both have stud spacing of 16” on center. . . . . read more >>

View Charts: Fiber Glass Much Higher Performance at Much Lower Densities Than Cellulose

Posted on September 17, 2010 by Kristin.

There is no compromise on R-value with fiber glass when installed according to manufacturers recommendations. Over-blowing is not necessary to achieve superior R-value and airflow resistance. Fiber glass provides much higher performance levels at much lower densities than cellulose. Typical closed-cavity density recommendations for fiber glass are 2.0-2.2 pcf. Johns Manville (JM) recommends 2.2 pcf . . . . read more >>

How much insulation is recommended in your area?

Posted on August 5, 2010 by Kristin.

Insulation level are specified by R-Value. R-Value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-Value the better the thermal performance of the insulation. The table below shows what levels of insulation are cost-effective for different climates and locations in the home.   . . . . read more >>

Is BIBS More Expensive?

Posted on May 13, 2010 by Kristin.

The additional cost of the Blow in Blanket System (compared to conventional batt insulation) is one of the few things that you can do to create permanent energy cost savings for your home. Most people only insulate the walls of their house one time. It just makes sense to build in as much R-value as . . . . read more >>

What’s the best way to insulate a hip roof to an R49?

Posted on April 30, 2010 by Kristin.

I have a 1956 ranch w/ hip roof that I’m going to re-insulate attic.  I plan to remove all existing insulation because it’s very deteriorated and installed completely wrong.  Question is, if I get the attic down to nothing but bare ceiling (rock lath) and cavities, what would be the best way to insulate it . . . . read more >>

Air Space in Vaulted Ceiling

Posted on April 27, 2010 by Kristin.

Hello, We are currently working on a new roof design for our buildings using a prefabricated truss system. Our homes are multifaceted and circular which results in trapezoidal roof sections. Blow in insulation would be an ideal product, however because we are using trusses the roof is 18” deep. I believe that standard practice for . . . . read more >>

Question on BIBS

Posted on March 20, 2010 by Kristin.

Recently, I had the BIB system placed in my attic area. Some of the finished work contain a silver insulated covering–especially on the larger areas.   I do not see this in your videos. Are the eves of an attic insulated?  Also, will this insulation collect moisture and mold?  Is the BIBS system easily removed? . . . . read more >>