What Most Insulation Companies Don’t Want You To Know
In the building industry, many contractors do a great job.
Unfortunately, there are also a few contractors that will attempt to cheat the system. They’re the ones that give the building industry a bad name. They are the ones that make consumers nervous when it comes time to updating or remodeling their homes.
Attic insulation is no exception. In fact, the process has enough problems so that the Insulation Contractors Association of America (ICAA) has recognized the problem and come up with a Plan to Stop Fluffing and Cheating of Loose-Fill Insulation in Attics.
Cheating involves either shorting blown-in cellulose or fiberglass insulation, over fluffing blown fiberglass. Shorting involves not blowing in enough insulation to meet the R-value standards listed on the bag. Fluffing results from adding too much air on the blowing machine so that the depth listed on the bag doesn’t match what settles into the attic.
Cheating can occur for several reasons.
The first is that there is little or no accountability in the industry. Blowing attic insulation takes considerable effort, but the process of verifying and checking the process takes almost an equal amount of time. Because of the time factor, most builder, utility companies, and inspectors don’t perform thorough inspections, and assume the correct level is installed based on depth rulers and attic cards that are used as measuring tools within the industry.
The second comes down to profit. In this industry, it’s not uncommon to find bids come in at all kinds of price points. And when one is significantly lower than the others, it’s almost always a sure sign that they aren’t providing enough material to meet R-values.
Unscrupulous companies can bid based on printed R-value on the product bags alone, without taking into consideration a house’s needs. Installers aren’t rated for quality work – most homeowners don’t crawl up in the attic to view the job, and wouldn’t know what to look for if they did. Instead, companies work by the job. The more work they take in, the more they get paid. It benefits them to get in and get out as quickly as possible. And that means blowing in insulation based on manufacturers guidelines rather than checking the work themselves.
How do you know who to trust? Do your research first. Don’t rely on a company simply because they offer a good price. Adding insulation isn’t an emergency repair, so you have the time to do a little investigating on your own. Check out the company. Look at reviews. Ask questions. And don’t settle until you feel comfortable you’ll get the job you were bid for.