reflective insulation

  • Retrofit Insulation for Air Dome – Insulating After It’s Built

    What a great project and we sure learned some new tricks.  InsulationStop received the call from the owner of an air dome in Central Pennsylvania.

    Our client had recently added an air conditioning unit to his existing air dome and wanted to insulate the dome to retain as much cool air as possible.  We provided custom length InfraStop® double bubble foil to meet their requirements.

    The InfraStop® was installed by an ingenious method of cutting pilot holes at the top of the dome sections.  A wrench tied to a long cable, acting as a snake, was tossed to the bottom.  Working from automatic lifts, workers pulled the insulation to the top and tied each left section to its corresponding right section.

    Check out some of these images to get an idea of the scope of the project and take a look at the video below showing the actual installation of one of the sections.

    We would like to thank our customer for allowing us access to their jobsite. This was definitely a great project to participate in.

  • Helping Your Animals Handle Heat Stress

    Heat Stress App Heat Stress App

    After the difficulties of the cold winter months, animal producers are glad that frigid weather is over for now. However, the weather patterns will soon be swinging to the other extreme when the blazing heat of summer arrives.

    Heat Stress in Animals

    Extremely hot temperatures are just as dangerous for animals as extremely cold temperatures can be. Those who raise pigs, chickens, and cattle must be aware of the effects of hot temperatures and take precautions to cool their animals off when a heat wave arrives. Watching your animals closely when the mercury soars will help you determine when you need to step in.

    • Poultry: Chickens can't sweat, so they rely on panting to cool themselves. Their normal body temperatures range from 103 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. If a chicken's temperature reaches 113 degrees, they are in serious trouble. However, even slight heat stress can cause chickens to stop laying eggs, stop eating, and produce inferior eggs. If they get too hot, they can die.
    • Pigs: Pigs are extremely sensitive to heat. Even getting overheated for as few as two to six hours can upset the digestive systems of pigs, leaving them vulnerable to infections. Additionally hot pigs don't eat, meaning that they won't gain weight. Taking too long to get to market weight will affect your farm's bottom line. Pigs can't sweat, so they have to pant or wallow in the mud to cool off.
    • Cattle: Cows, especially those with black hides, suffer tremendously in the heat. Their internal digestion generates heat as their rumen microbes break down their food. Hot cattle will demonstrate increased respiration, increased heart rate, and increased panting. They will not gain weight and lactating cows will produce much less milk when it is really hot.

    Tips for Preventing Heat Stress

    If you are a livestock or poultry producer, you must have a plan in place to combat heat stress. You could stand to lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars when the temperatures rise. Even if you don't lose an animal, they will be less productive when it's hot, meaning that you won't make as much money as you might otherwise. Therefore, you should consider using these strategies to keep your animals cooler during the hot months of summer.

    • Water: Having plenty of water is essential to keeping your animals comfortable on hot days. Make sure that there are several water stations so that dominant animals don't keep the less dominant animals from getting all that they need. You may want to add some electrolytes to the water to help the animals maintain the appropriate electrolyte balance.
    • Ventilation: If your animals are housed in barns, keep the air moving by using fans and opening every window and door that you can. If your barn is overcrowded, you may want to either find another place for some of your livestock or sell a few of your animals to help the rest of them stay cooler.
    • Insulation: Many people think of insulation only when it's cold. However, using reflective bubble insulation can block the transfer of radiant heat from the outdoors to the indoors. Using this kind of insulation on barns, calf hutches, water tubs, and chicken houses will keep your animals much cooler and more comfortable during a heat wave. This is a very inexpensive way to combat heat stress.

    Technology Aids

    For cattle producers, you may want to look into some technological advances to help monitor your animals. The University of Missouri has created an app called Thermal Aid to help cattle farmers monitor the effects of heat on their animals. With this app, you can input your cows' respiration. The app coordinates this information with current weather conditions to help you know when your animals need additional help in getting cool.

  • Insulating Windows with Reflective Foil Insulation - A Simple Low Cost Solution

    InfraStop® Used for Window InsulationIt's a challenge for many homeowners to keep their homes cool in the summer time and warm in the winter time. But aside from creature comforts, there's also the issue of rising utility bills. In fact, for rooms in direct contact with the sun's rays, it's not uncommon for there to be a temperature swing of 20 degrees compared to rooms that are more shaded. Yes, homeowners can spend money on the likes of smart thermostats and expensive windows to stay comfortable - but there's the upfront cost involved in such actions, not to mention taking the chance that the expenditure will eventually pay off in energy savings.

    Then there's also more affordable, yet equally effective, measures such as window insulation - specifically that of the reflective kind. What is reflective window insulation? Simply put, it's highly reflective aluminum foil with a bubble core that's placed on a window which works to reflect the sun's light, rather than absorb it. Covering windows in the summer prevents heat from entering the home, thereby keeping it more comfortable. And this type of window insulation reflects heat from both the inside and the outside, so it's capable of preventing heat from escaping when applied during the winter months as well.

    Here's a look at some other benefits of reflective window insulation, compared to other energy-saving measures one can take around the home:

    • Reusable: This variety of window insulation can be taken down and reapplied whenever a homeowner chooses, meaning that it can be used year after year for long-lasting effectiveness.
    • Practical: While reflective window insulation may not be applicable for every room in your home - after all, you're likely going to want some sort of natural light entering the home regardless of the season - it's ideal for seldom used rooms, such as attics and guest bedrooms. It also works well in RV windows, car windows and more. You can even place the insulation on the rooftops to reflect the sun, which will also keep the home cooler.
    • Affordable: Just because it's worth mentioning again, reflective window insulation is a preferred energy saving solution for households that are on a budget. Rather than ponying up hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for state-of-the-art products to maintain creature comforts, there's a comparably low upfront cost associated with this product, which makes it even more attractive.

    It's a fact that heating and cooling costs are rising and will likely only to continue to rise moving forward. But that doesn't mean that you can't do something about it. While there are several ways you can maintain creature comforts and keep energy costs manageable, reflective window insulation is one technology that is as practical as it is affordable.

  • Insulation: New Materials and Techniques Means There's Never Been a Better Time to Upgrade

    Aerogel InsulationWhen insulation works well, no one notices it. So it's not always top of mind when homeowners think of improvements and renovations. Still, there are many reasons to replace, upgrade or enhance insulation.

    New Materials that Meet Higher Standards

    Insulation in older homes, especially those built before 1980, usually fails to meet current recommendations for slowing heat flow through a building (manufacturers report this as the R-value on insulation materials).

    Fiberglass remains the most common insulation material, but modern installations use fiberglass tailored to provide an R-value for the home's climate, and designed to prevent air leaks that can make it more expensive to heat or cool a home. Installing upgraded fiberglass can help homeowners save between 5 and 50 percent on energy costs, depending on how efficient the previous insulation was.

    Recycled materials can provide similar effective insulation, and many homeowners appreciate the chance to install a green material in their homes. Denim, hemp and wool scraps from manufacturing are the most common recycled insulation materials.

    Cellulose-based insulating materials are made from soybeans and other plants. Cellulose is a flexible and easy to install material, since it can be found in both standard and spray-on versions.

    Polystyrene and similar plastics have made a name for themselves among insulating materials. Remarkably efficient, these premium insulation products offer high R-values with the convenience of spray-on applications that can help place the material in hard to reach corners of attics and roofs.

    Reflective materials, designed to complement existing insulation, are described in more detail below.

    Improved Installation Methods

    Not only do homeowners and contractors have a choice of materials, they now have additional flexibility in how to apply many of the materials.

    Blanket installation is quick and easy, perfect for do-it-yourselfers. This technique does have a couple of drawbacks however. Compressing the material to fit into tight spaces can reduce the efficiency, and the blanket sheets may not fit into tight corners or around structural supports.

    Applying loose-fill materials provides a better fit than the blanket technique. It's vitally important to apply materials consistently and to the correct depth, however, so this method is best left to professionals.

    Spray-on plastics can serve as a complete insulation, or be used in difficult areas where blanket or loose-fill techniques don't provide effective cover. Spray on insulation provides the tightest seal against air and moisture, so it helps block air and water leaks, as well as retain heat.

    Reflective Systems

    Reflective systems, or radiant barriers, add another layer of insulating protection, working in tandem with other materials. In summer, for instance, outside heat is absorbed by the insulating material in walls. Over time though, heat trapped by insulating material will warm up the air around it, and hotter air will gradually flow into the cooler air of the home. As a result, indoor temperatures rise and cooling systems have to work harder. The same process takes place in reverse during winter, as warm inside air flows to the cooler air outdoors.

    Reflective systems represent the next step in efficient insulation. Radiant heat reflects off the surface, so the underlying insulation does not warm as quickly. Rather than slowing heat flow, radiant barriers prevent a significant amount of heat from entering a building at all. Reflective insulation can help keep a building at a comfortable temperature and reduce energy use whether it uses central air, air conditioning or fans.

  • InsulationStop Teams up with Shopper Approved - Ratings and Reviews

    We are making a few changes to the website. If you are one of our regular customers you will certainly notice the front page has changed.  If you have never shopped with us before, welcome to the latest version of our website.  We are continually trying to improve your buying experience.

    A major change, and one that directly benefits you our consumer, is that we have teamed up with Shopper Approved.  You can see their icon in the right column off of our home page.

    Shopper Approved is a customer review and rating service that interacts with you to gain insights on the products and service levels we provide.  The reviews and comments you will find are from actual customers of ours.  We think this addition to our website is a great way to build trust with our future customers as well as let our existing customers express their thoughts and opinions regarding their shopping experience with us.

    Please note, we have always believed in an absolutely hassle free shopping experience.  This interaction with Shopper Approved is completely optional and will not get in the way of your shopping experience with us at any time.

    We welcome Shopper Approved to our website and hope their service provides value to our customers.  Thank you for choosing Insulation Stop as your radiant barrier and reflective foil insulation supplier.

    Take a look here to see some of the foil insulation reviews we have already gathered.

  • Watch Your InfraStop® Order Being Made!

    We are excited to offer you this exclusive, backstage pass where you can watch and see how your order is produced. Come take a look.

  • Crawl Spaces: A Look at Moisture, Ventilation, and Insulation

    Crawl Space Insulation R-21 ApplicationWe build homes in the United States differently in every local. This is primarily due to geographic concerns. For instance, many homes in the North have basements. This is not the case in the South where high water tables can make basements problematic. There are millions of homes built from Northern Florida to Ohio and Indiana that are built over crawl spaces.

    Crawl spaces are an important and often misunderstood area of the home that can cause issues for a homeowner. Moisture, the number one concern in these areas, can attribute to high humidity, mold growth, and buckled hardwood flooring. Understanding how to deal with moisture can be further complicated by various crawl space ventilation and insulation techniques used.

    Traditionally, homes in this region were built on posts or piers. Although not constructed optimally from an insulation perspective, the under floor area was perfectly vented and the ground temperature followed the ambient outside air temperature. As time moved on, we learned that crawl space temperatures follow seasonal temperatures. They are not as cool in the winter or warm in the summer as post or pier construction therefore heating and cooling costs can be reduced. Thus, crawl spaces became more common.

    To ensure crawl spaces still behaved like post and pier buildings, crawl space ventilation became a code mandate in the 1950s. The basis for the code requirement was two-fold; that the primary source of crawl space moisture was evaporation from the ground, and that crawlspace ventilation would allow this moisture to escape. Eventually, we moved away from this code. After time, no significant evidence was available to support the mandate.

    Crawl Space Insulation R-17 ApplicationToday, many crawl spaces are closed. With the widespread use of air conditioning, most crawl spaces are now non-vented, especially in the East. The disparity of hot, humid outside air contacting interior cooled air is a recipe for condensation. The basic approach is simple.

    Polyethylene ground sheets are now widely used as they inhibit evaporation from the crawlspace floor. Fiberglass insulation, which has proven to be ineffective in moisture prone areas, is being replaced with reflective insulation. Reflective insulation is not affected my moisture and its use under floor has two benefits. The first is the construction of the insulation. Because the insulation consists of reflective aluminum and polyethylene it cannot absorb moisture. The second benefit is its heat blocking ability that keeps inside heat in during the winter and out during the summer.

    Coupled with a groundsheet and insulation, it is also vitally important to keep bulk water out of crawl spaces. Site grading is generally the most important consideration as drainage from pavement and roofs are a potentially huge water source. Paying attention to any plumbing maintenance is also critical.

    The decision to seal or not depends largely on your climate. Identifying the various complexities involved in your specific house and paying attention to your climate and geography will help ensure you have a healthy, problem free crawl space with low moisture and good insulation.

  • Enhancing Efficiency: Insulating Exterior Walls with Fiberglass and Foil Insulation

    InfraStop® Staple Tab Wall InsulationIf you want to combine insulation types, using reflective insulation and fiberglass insulation in a wall space can boost the R-value by 3.9 points. By utilizing reflective insulation, an R-21 total wall assembly can be created, with a vapor and moisture barrier.

    In our InfraStop® line is a foil staple tab insulation product offered in 16", 24", and 48" widths. The staple tab option allows you to recess the insulation 3/4" into the stud bay.

    This necessary 3/4" airspace is for the reflective insulation to operate optimally. This is also your goal while installing, to create continuous 3/4" airspace between the insulation and the interior panel, most often drywall.

    For fiberglass insulation, choose R-19 un-faced option. You do not need the kraft back as the reflective insulation provides the vapor and moisture barrier. The un-faced is also less expensive.

    To install, un-roll and cut the fiberglass insulation to length. Compress into the stud walls. To install the reflective insulation, unroll and cut to length. From the top, staple every 2", 3" as you go down the stud, compressing the fiberglass insulation as you go. Click the image for our installation page for this application.

    The benefits of adding reflective insulation are two-fold. One, you get an increased thermal benefit, R-21, a 10% increase. Secondly, you get the major benefit of a radiant barrier. The reflective insulation will block 96% of radiant heat. This will pay dividends in comfort and in your pocket during the heating and cooling seasons.

  • Reflective Insulation & Heat Waves: Record Highs Set for June

    The Southwest is hot now, record breaking hot.  Death Valley set their all-time June record yesterday at 128 degrees.  The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth is in Death Valley, 134 degrees in 1913.

    Las Vegas also tied its all-time record high temperature of 117 degrees yesterday.  The low temperature yesterday was 89 degrees there which also ties the cities all time highest, low record.

    With all of these records, it is time to talk about materials that can help you in these situations.  Reflective insulation will help in these extreme conditions and here is why.

    The problem with attics, metal and steel buildings and steel roofed barns and pole barns is the metal and asphalt shingles can reach temperatures much higher than the ambient outside temperature.  This is also true for recreational vehicles, buses, and campers.

    This excess heat has to go somewhere and is radiated into cooler areas, your livable space.  This heat exchange will operate constantly until the heat is blocked or the inside is hotter than the outside.  This extra heat from above can continue to radiate through the evening and night well after outside temperatures have lowered.  Most of this is unnecessary.

    Reflective insulation blocks 97% of this heat transfer when installed correctly with the proper air space.  There is no better insulation to block the transfer of radiant heat than InfraStop® reflective insulation and because it's so thin it can be easily used in all the building types above.  It's also perfect for RV's, transportation, and food and material packaging because it is non-toxic as well as being thin, flexible, and easily workable.

    You cannot avoid the outside temperature.  But at least with insulation, you can certainly help avoid any increased heat absorption by using reflective insulation, especially in these high heat prone areas.

  • Barn Insulation - Finding the Right Type for You

    There are so many products available these days.  Choosing the correct products when determining what barn insulation to use is no different.  We find it helpful to look at specific details of your barn to determine what insulation to use.

    The first question is, where are you?  What state do you live in?  Understanding your local climate is the first criteria in understanding your insulation solutions.  It is no wonder residential code construction in the south for example comprises of 2 x 4" construction.  In the North, it is 2 x 6". This has nothing to do with strength and everything to do with wall thickness.  In the North, the code requirements for fiberglass insulation are designed for a 5 1/2" batt.  Conserving heat is of prime importance during the heating season in the North.  Wall construction is changed to allow for the insulation to fit.  This change does not help homes in the South because the heating season is considerably less and the low temperatures, although cold by southern standards, are balmy for the North.

    The second question is, what are you using your barn for?  Barns are built for many different reasons and they are used for a wide variety of applications.  Are you going to heat your barn? Are you concerned about solar heat gain?  These questions help determine the correct barn insulation for you to use.

    Or maybe you are concerned about or are experiencing condensation.  Condensation is a main concern in metal buildings and pole barns with metal roofs.  Condensation inside a building happens when dew point is reached.  Metal roofing material, although inexpensive and strong, is a poor insulator and very conductive.  This means the temperature of the metal roof on your barn in the winter is going to be fairly close to the actual outside temperature.  Condensation can happen when the inside warmer air comes into contact with the cold metal material.  If the humidity level and temperature extremes are right, moisture will occur.

    From this information we can start to draw some conclusions.  Let's make up a barn to show some practical examples.  For an insulation choice, we will choose our InfraStop® insulation.  When installed correctly InfraStop® is a vapor barrier and will create a thermal break to alleviate any condensation concerns.

    Now, let us say our metal building is located in Texas.  Most of it is warehouse or storage with a small area for an office.  Let's only heat the office infrequently in the winter.  What should we do?  We would install our InfraStop® underneath the roof joists or over them for new construction.  We would also install it across or down the side walls.  We would frame in the office area and insulate the walls and ceiling with fiberglass insulation and line the exterior or warehouse facing walls and ceiling with reflective insulation as well.

    What will this do?  First, it will block most of the heat entering the building that is radiating through the metal roofing and walls.  This will help cool the building down.  Because you are paying to heat the office and it's a small area, fiberglass insulation is used in addition to reflective foil insulation.  This will ensure trapped air and limited air movement to help in the cold months.  The radiant barrier is added to keep the warehouse heat out should you want to use air conditioning in the summer.

    Let us now say we have a pole barn in Wisconsin.  We are using the area as a shop and are heating it via a wood stove during the day.  We know our barn is getting hot in the summer but our main concern is keeping in some of the heat generated by the wood stove.  For this application, we would again use our InfraStop® insulation but move its position in the building.  Instead of putting the material underneath the purlins we could move the material to underneath the trusses.  This would significantly decrease the amount of cubic space to be heated and would reflect the heat from the wood stove back into the room. You will still get the benefit of blocking overhead heat during the hot months.  If you wanted the insulation at the roof level, either above or below the purlins, it will work but there will be more cubic feet to heat.

    Hopefully these two examples get you thinking of your type of barn, its location, and its use.  When you look closely at your specific needs it is easier to determine what type of barn insulation will accomplish your building's goals.

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