Lewis Insulation Blog Posts

How it Works: Heat Flow & Foam Insulation

Everyone knows that foam insulation and insulation in general helps keep the home temperate. But, how exactly? At Lewis Insulation, we are experts in all types of insulation, specializing in foam insulation for Eden Prairie and the surrounding areas. We get many questions about how insulation works and we’d like to share a brief rundown of the concepts of general heat flow as well as what makes foam insulation so good at what it does.

foam insulation

Conduction, Convection & Radiation

Conduction is the way in which heat moves through materials. Insulation’s job is to slow down this conductive heat flow and keep the heat from moving from outdoors to indoors.

Convection is the ways heat circulates through liquids and gasses. Hot air rises and cool air sinks. Home insulation slows convective heat flow.

Radiation is heat that travels in a straight line, heating anything solid that lies in its pathway. Home insulation reduces this acquisition of heat and is most effective when directed towards airflow.

Insulation

Home insulation and foam insulation is integral in decreasing the flow of heat by offering resistance to the movement of it. In the cooler months, without insulation, hot air moves from heated areas to cooler areas of the home. The cold temperatures outside create the need for your home’s heating system to compensate for the loss of heat; constantly trying to fill in where heat has escaped. During the hotter months, cold air that is lost when heat enters and invades a space is then made up for by your home’s cooling system. It is your insulation’s job to stop this flow of heat and allow your systems to efficiently keep your home warm or cool. So, when open gaps in a building are filled with insulation, they reduce convective heat loss.

All types of home insulation come with an “R-Value”, a rating applied to an insulation type’s ability to resist conductive heat flow. Closed cell spray foam insulation has one of the highest R-values on the market today.
Closed cell spray foam insulation works well in difficult to reach nooks and crannies, like attics and crawl spaces since it is sprayed onto these surfaces.

These are only a few reasons you should consider closed foam insulation for your home. Call us and we can tell you even more!

Are you interested in learning more about closed foam insulation for your Eden Prairie home? Call us at Lewis Insulation at 763-477-2612, or you can contact us and set up a Free Estimate.

FAQ: Getting the Lowdown on Attic Ventilation

Did you know that as many as 90% of American homes have moisture levels that exceed acceptable limits? Your home may benefit greatly from attic ventilation as well as the installation of new insulation. But it is likely you have many questions about attic ventilation and insulation. As experts in insulation and attic ventilation for Eden Prairie, we have received many questions about both of these and would like to provide you with some answers. And, if you think your attic is too moist and could benefit from attic ventilation, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We will be able to assess the amount of ventilation and/or insulation work you need in order to make your home run as efficiently as it should.

Attic Ventilation Eden Prairie

What is attic ventilation?

Ventilation is what helps get rid of the heat and humidity, drawing it out of your home. Proper residential insulation and ventilation play a key role in making sure this heat and humidity do not build up in your attic.

What is the right amount of ventilation?

One must precisely calculate the proper amount of venting needed to allow for proper attic ventilation. Insufficient ventilation leads to moisture issues during the winter months and cuts down on the overall efficiency of your energy usage during the summer months

As a general rule, you should establish a 1:300 ratio in which every 300 square feet of ceiling space calls for 1 square foot of attic ventilation. Accessory items like grates, piping and others that sit on your roof may also be an issue in calculating and setting up true ventilation. And, just any opening into the roof does not count as true ventilation.
The experts at Lewis Insulation can help determine what your attic already has and what your attic needs.

Can’t I just add more insulation instead?

It is normal to think that adding more insulation would assist in the overall effort to prevent winter and summer issues in attic ventilation. That is not the case, however. Vents in the roof at points where insulation is installed allows for more opportunity for moisture to get in. Some venting is absolutely necessary on the roof but you do not want to add to it by installing more insulation.

Still have more questions? Call us up at Lewis Insulation and we can certainly get you scheduled for a visit. We will come out and take a look to determine proper ventilation, whether you have it or not. Without exception, you should talk to a professional to determine what your home requires.

For more information on attic ventilation for your Eden Prairie home, call us at Lewis Insulation at 763-477-2612, or you can contact us and get a Free Estimate.

Insulate Your Home for Summer: After All, It’s National Home Improvement Month!

May is National Home Improvement Month. So, why not include residential insulation in your Twin Cities home improvement plans? Spring is actually a great time of year to consider replacing and installing your home’s insulation. When some people think of residential insulation, they assume it’s only important when they need to keep their homes warm. But insulation also serves plenty of other purposes. It can help reduce the amount of outside noise you hear in your home, and it can also help keep your home cool in the summer. It can even help lower the cost of your utility bills. At Lewis Insulation, we are trusted residential insulation experts and can think of several reasons you should make sure your home’s insulation is ready to take on the summer months ahead.

residential insulation

Proper Ventilation

Ventilation is what helps get rid of the heat and humidity, drawing it out of your home. Proper residential insulation and ventilation play a key role in making sure this heat and humidity do not build up in your attic. And, insulation is what helps to keep the heat from the sun from entering your home in the first place.

Humidity

Humidity can get trapped in your attic due to the fact that heat rises. In order to cool down the home, the humidity and heat need somewhere to go once they reach your attic. Otherwise, your entire house can get uncomfortably hot. And, when you try to counteract this heat and humidity, you might end up running your air conditioner much more than you would have otherwise, leading to higher cooling bills.

Residential insulation contractors like the ones here at Lewis Insulation can come to your home to install the best kind of insulation that will help keep your home comfortable year-round. We can be sure the insulation we install will help keep your home comfortable no matter the season. And, May is a great time to do it! It’s before the intense heat hits and after the cold winter weather has gone.

There are many different factors that our residential insulation experts will look out for when deciding on what kind of insulation is best for your home. We will go over all of the options with you so that you are able to make an informed decision. After all, we offer a variety of insulation types including:

  • Fiberglass
  • Cellulose
  • Closed cell spray foam

Give us a call and rest easy knowing your home will stay cooler this summer. For more information about residential insulation in the Twin Cities, call us at Lewis Insulation at 763-477-2612 or you can contact us for a Free Estimate.

The Many Benefits of Hiring a Commercial Insulation Contractor

At Lewis Insulation, we frequently receive questions from business owners about whether or not they really need to worry about properly insulating their commercial building. We are a commercial insulation contractor for Minneapolis and pride ourselves in our decades of providing reliable, high quality service for Minneapolis and the surrounding area. Although we specialize in residential insulation, we do offer some commercial services.

commercial insulation contractor

At Lewis Insulation, a commercial insulation contractor, we know a thing or two about the types of benefits insulation can provide. When it comes to your business, just like your home, don’t you want to ensure it’s not only energy efficient for lower energy bills but that it is also safe and comfortable? These are just a few of the reasons to consider hiring a commercial insulation contractor for your businesses. And, we would like to provide you with a few more:

  • Interested in absorbing sound? A recent survey by Cambridge Sound Management revealed that 30% of office workers are distracted by coworkers’ conversations. These types of noises can even affect the productivity of workers. Hire a commercial insulation contractor and they can help your building absorb noises and provide something of a mute for loud noises coming from outside. All in all, an insulated building is a more peaceful, comfortable place for workers to operate in.
  • Does your business or residence include a metal building or structure? These types of buildings are frequently found in the housing of animals (livestock), the protection of equipment (agricultural) and other general industrial tasks. A commercial insulation contractor can install insulation to provide a wide array of benefits for metal buildings. Because however hot, cold, or humid it is outside; without insulation, your commercial building will reflect that temperature to an even more extreme degree.
  • Going green is not just a trend. Many consumers now go out of their way to find companies who are sustainable and environmentally responsible. It is important your building is operating in an environmentally friendly manner and proper insulation is a key part of that. If your building’s heating and air conditioning is leaking, you not only create a larger environmental impact, but a larger impact on your wallet as well.

Our commercial insulation contractor is here to help you reap the many benefits of quality insulation. For more information about our commercial insulation contractor in Minneapolis, call us at Lewis Insulation at 763-477-2612 or you can contact us for a Free Estimate.

The Many Benefits of Replacing Your Attic Insulation

Attic insulation in the Twin Cities is so important for so many reasons. With our cold winters and hot, humid summers, keeping your attic properly insulated keeps heat and air conditioning in, cutting energy bills by a possible 30%. But, just because you have insulation in your attic already, it does not mean it is doing what it was designed to do. Having your attic insulation assessed and upgraded can not only save you money, but improve a variety of other possible complications that can come with old, outdated insulation. At Lewis Insulation, we install high-quality fiberglass, foam and cellulose insulation.

attic insulation

If your home becomes warm quickly in the hotter months or if the attic gets too cold during the cooler months, chances are you need new insulation. When you have the experts at Lewis Insulation upgrade your attic’s insulation, you can expect year-round comfort. As experts in the industry for over 35 years, we have put together some of the many great benefits of replacing your attic insulation. Explore some of the benefits below:

Efficiency

Did you know that today, nearly 60% of homes in the US are not properly insulated? By having your attic insulation replaced, you can essentially ensure you are not letting money escape through the ceiling. Reduce your energy costs and help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Proper attic insulation can also allow for even temperature distribution within the home as well as provide moisture control, and contribute to a more environmentally-friendly footprint for your home. It even has the potential to increase your home’s resale value.

Safety

Old, damaged insulation in your attic can be hosting a number of contaminants left by rodents. Due to possible disease and bacteria, these contaminants can be incredibly harmful to you and your family’s health. These contaminants can even grow and spread throughout the home if not put in check. If there is an odor present, you might very well need new attic insulation, as your current insulation may have been affected by rodents or other pests.

attic insulation

A Sound Structure

Old attic insulation can even begin to affect the structure of your home. Many of us adopt an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality when it comes to attic insulation. However, ignoring your insulation can cause damage to beams or wood frames where rotting or mold can occur. To ensure the structure of your home, consider having your current insulation removed and new insulation installed as soon as possible.

Call the experts at Lewis Insulation today! We can assess your attic insulation situation and recommend the best type of insulation for your home or business’ specific needs. We take pride in the work we do. Take a look at our project gallery and see the quality of high caliber work we provide.

Do you want more information on attic insulation in the Twin Cities? Call Lewis Insulation today at 763-477-2612 or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate.

Choosing Commercial Insulation for Your Building

Your business is important to you. You want it to be successful, to have employees you can depend on, and a building where you can get work done effectively. Consequently, it is important that your Maple Grove building be all it can be to keep working conditions that will always meet all the regulations. One way to do this is with reliable commercial building insulation. After all, in many states the type of insulation used must meet a specific code of energy standard known as continuous insulation (ci).

Commercial Building Insulation

The CI grade of commercial insulation is added as part of the building process to help prevent the steel thermal shorts that can minimize the energy efficiency of a building. It can be used in any type of construction, residential or commercial, but is a must for commercial properties. However, there are various types of CI ranging from the rigid foam insulation to spray foam to three in one products and systems. Failing to have the proper amount or type of commercial insulation can result in thermal bridging (aka thermal shorts) – when heat flows through the path of least resistance such as the surface of steel and wood stud framing.

Thermal bridging can be significantly minimized through the use of continuous insulation because it moves the dew point from a wall cavity to outside the cavity thus effectively reducing the potential for condensation to form inside the wall, which will minimize – if not eliminate – the risk of mold or mildew forming within the walls.

If you find yourself needing to decide what type of CI your commercial property needs, there are several considerations to be made. Here are a few:

  • Thermal Performance – Check out aspects such as the temperature limit, melting or fusion temperature, heat capacity or storage, and the resistance to thermal shock.
  • Physical Properties – Some considerations include density or porosity, abrasion, wear and tear resistance, mechanical strength and how it performs at high temperatures.
  • Chemical Considerations – If your facility will be using any type of chemicals, then you need to know if there is any risk of reactions between the insulation chosen and those items.
  • Cost – We all have budgets in business, and the Lewis Insulation team understands needing to keep the bottom line in sight. However, don’t just choose commercial insulation based on the price for the CI, installation, maintenance and repair or replacement potential. Choose CI based on what will be best for your company’s needs.

When it comes to starting a business, there are many decisions to be made. From the type of carpet to the style of architecture, and the paint colors to the type of building insulation, the number of decisions to be made can be overwhelming. However, once the decisions are made, you will be glad that you took the time to consider each aspect and determine what was needed.

So, as you determine your building’s insulation needs, be sure to give the pros at Lewis Insulation a call. Contact Us today for commercial building insulation in Maple Grove and surrounding areas.

Insulation and Proper Attic Ventilation

It is estimated that as many as 90 percent of American homes have moisture levels that exceed acceptable limits. Your home may benefit greatly from the installation of some insulation in your attic. Lewis Insulation can most certainly take a look as well as insulate your attic for you! If you feel your attic may be too wet and are considering attic ventilation for your Plymouth area home, give us a call!

Attic VentilationOne must precisely calculate the proper amount of venting needed to allow for proper attic ventilation. Insufficient ventilation leads to moisture issues during the winter months and cuts down on the overall efficiency of your energy usage during the summer months. It is normal to think that adding more insulation would assist in the overall effort to prevent winter and summer issues in attic ventilation. That is not the case, however.  Vents in the roof at points where insulation is installed allows for more opportunity for moisture to get in. Some venting is absolutely necessary on the roof but you do not want to add to it by installing more insulation. In fact, these seams can be the source of blowouts during hurricanes or be entry points for a wildfire.

So, just how much ventilation should you have in your attic? As a general rule, you should establish a 1:300 ratio in which every 300 square feet of ceiling space calls for 1 square foot of attic ventilation. Be cautious though, the elements—in control of air resistance—call the shots a bit also, possibly reducing ventilation area. Accessory items like grates, piping and others that sit on your roof may also be an issue in calculating and setting up true ventilation. Just any opening into the roof does not count as true ventilation.

Call us up at Lewis Insulation and we can certainly get you scheduled for a visit. We will come out and take a look to determine proper ventilation, whether you have it or not. Without exception, you should talk to a professional to determine what your home requires.

For more information on attic ventilation for your Plymouth home, call us at Lewis Insulation at 763-477-2612, or you can contact us and get a Free Estimate.

Insulate That Metal Building to Keep Temperatures Regulated

At Lewis Insulation, we are frequently asked by business owners whether or not they should consider installing commercial building insulation for their Minneapolis metal-based buildings. These types of buildings are in use in all forms of business, but are frequently found in the housing of animals (livestock), the protection of equipment (agricultural) and other general industrial tasks.

Commercial business insulation can provide a wide array of benefits for metal buildings which often are at the mercy of Mother Nature—however hot or cold it is outside it is proportionately hotter or colder than the outside air.

Take a look at the benefits that commercial business insulation can provide your metal building:

Absorb sound

The sounds that emerge within your metal buildings can echo loudly off of the walls and ceiling, creating a reverberation of sound in all directions. Installing commercial building Insulation can help absorb these noises within the building and provide something of a mute for loud noises coming from outside of the building. An insulated metal building is a more peaceful, comfortable place for workers to operate in.

Control moisture

The drastic ups and downs of temperatures as well as the dropping of dew points can cause condensation to arise on cool metal surfaces. Metal buildings experience this on cool mornings, often resulting in a damp interior as the moisture condenses on the ceiling, dripping to the floor below. Insulation the ceiling can help prevent this from unfolding, both in keeping a temperature buffer and/or catching the moisture within, should it seep through.

Reduce heat transfer

The transfer of heat is an issue in metal buildings, the extremes of temperature making heat a summer nuisance, cold a winter issue. Adding commercial building insulation can make for a warmer winter and a cooler summer within the metal walls once installation is installed as it helps reduce the metal’s heat transfer ability.

Rodent and bird nesting prevention

Having exposed beams and rafters that are desirable to rodents and birds (for nests), metal buildings are greatly benefitted by commercial building insulation. By filling in crevices with insulation, you can help deter these pests from making your building their new home.

No matter what type of metal building you want to add insulation to, Lewis Insulation has you covered. Whether you are part of the agricultural and farming industry or operate an airplane hangar—your barn, shed or other metal storage buildings likely require some degree of humidity and temperature control measures. We would likely install a spray foam type of insulation, applying wet and ultimately expanding into hard foam. A polyurethane blend, spray foam is perfect for the interiors of metal buildings.

For more information on commercial building insulation for your Minneapolis business, call us at Lewis Insulation at 763-477-2612, or you can contact us and get a Free Estimate.

The Science of Home Insulation

In order to comprehend how insulation works within your home, one needs to grasp the concepts of general heat flow and three instruments that make it happen: Conduction, Convection and Radiation.

  • Conduction—Ways in which heat moves through materials. Think of pulling an item out of the oven—the heat felt through the oven mitt is an illustration of conduction. Home insulation slows conductive heat flow.
  • Convection—Ways heat circulates through liquids and gases. Hot air rises, cool air sinks. Home insulation slows convective heat flow.
  • Radiation—Refers to heat traveling in a straight line, heating anything solid that lies within its pathway. Home insulation reduces the acquisition of heat. It is most effective when directed toward airflow.

As a general rule, air travels from warmer to cooler until there is not a measurable difference in temperature. Thus, during the winter months hot air moves from heated areas to the colder unheated areas of your home—wherever there is a difference in temperature. Cold temperatures outside create the need for warmth inside, thus your home heating system compensates for the loss of heat. The opposite occurs during the hotter months of the year, the cold air lost is balanced out by your home cooling system. Home insulation is integral in decreasing this flow by offering resistance to the movement of heat.

All types of home insulation come with an “R-Value”, a rating applied to an insulation type’s ability to resist conductive heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more effective it is at insulating your home and is dependent upon the type of insulation, how thick it is and the density. So, the more layers of insulation stacked together and/or the more insulation in your home increases the overall R-value and thus, the overall resistance to heat flow.

A couple of factors will influence the R-value of your insulation. It comes down to how and where the insulation is placed. If compressed, or placed within the ceiling the R-value will be lesser than if the same piece was lying out in the open air, due to thermal bridging (area of an object which has a significantly higher heat transfer than the surrounding materials resulting in an overall reduction in thermal insulation of the object or building). So, when open gaps in a building are filled with insulation, they reduce convective heat loss.

A radiant barrier, looked upon as non-traditional insulation, reflects away the heat rather than absorbing it. So, a radiant barrier contains no R-value—the ability to reduce heat by reflecting it way from a space is the power of this type of home insulation.

For more information on home insulation in the Twin Cities area, call us at Lewis Insulation at 763-477-2612, or you can contact us and get a Free Estimate.

FAQs about Fiberglass Insulation

lewis insulation fiberglass insulation eden prairieAs a company that installs fiberglass insulation in Eden Prairie and throughout the surrounding area, we get a lot of questions about it. So we thought we would take the time to answer some of the ones that we hear the most often.

Q: What is fiberglass insulation?

A: Fiberglass insulation is a type of residential or commercial insulation that’s made out of very thin strands of glass. It is a man-made material and has a high surface area-to-weight ratio that makes it an ideal insulator for residential and commercial buildings. Nowadays, fiberglass insulation does not irritate the skin like it used to, and the manufacturing it is more environmentally friendly than it used to be. Many manufacturers nowadays are using recycled glass.

Q: What does R-value mean, and why is it so important?

A: R-value stands for “resistance value” and it measures an insulating material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulation power that material has.

Q: What benefits will I enjoy with fiberglass insulation?

A: Fiberglass insulation is a cost-effective way to insulate your home or commercial property. Not only could you see some savings on your heating and cooling bills, but it can also help reduce noise pollution. It is also non-combustible and non-absorbent.

Q: What parts of my home or commercial property should fiberglass insulation be installed in?

A: Fiberglass insulation can be installed just about anywhere in your house or commercial property other than in the basement. For your basement, you should consider closed cell spray foam insulation instead, which we can also install.

Q: Why should I choose Lewis Insulation to install fiberglass insulation?

A: We are a professional insulation company, and one of our specialties is fiberglass insulation. We have several decades of experience under our belts, and we are fully licensed, bonded and insured for all of the work that we do. You can get a free estimate on how much new fiberglass insulation will cost too. Our technicians show up on time, as scheduled, and do the work quickly but without cutting any corners. We have helped countless home and business owners throughout the past couple of decades, and we have many happy and satisfied customers.

Do you want to learn more about fiberglass insulation in Eden Prairie and throughout the surrounding areas? Call Lewis Insulation at 763-477-2612, or you can contact us to set up a Free Estimate.