If you are considering foam insulation and live anywhere in Indiana, eastern Ohio, northern Kentucky contact our sales/installation team to get the same attention and quality service we received. I provide their contact detail at the bottom of this post. We couldn’t be MORE pleased with our insulation. I provide details of our experience from start to finish here. If you have any questions at all, I am always an email away.
OUR PERSONAL FOAM INSULATION EXPERIENCE
My husband had the home we live in built 14 years ago. It is a Hallmark home. Since it is considered a newer home, we were surprised, with each passing year, it was growing to be less and less efficient. It wasn't until we had the foam insulation installed that we learned we did NOT have the insulation we thought we had. What we had was a loose fill type which is known to settle over time. We also learned that instead of having plywood behind our brick, we have foam board. I was not happy. If you're having a home built, you might want to keep an eye on that.
We began noticing a couple of problem areas in one of the master bedroom closets and in the guest room. In the winter, especially, the walls would get much colder, there would be a bit of condensation on a couple of the walls and around the window. A couple of times a year, I would have to clean the walls with bleach because we noticed a small amount of mold forming. This year, I painted the guest room closet with a Kiltz, the problem had gotten so bad.
Obviously, something was wrong and our insulation was no longer doing it's job.
We researched foam insulation, watched some of the horror stories and we kept deciding against it. We were most concerned about this “smell” problem that some people have reported after having their house insulated.
We are now in our forth winter with a wood burning insert. We have a Regency Cooktop insert we purchased from TJ's Chimney Service in Greenfield, Indiana. We absolutely LOVE it. Still, there were parts of the house that would remain much colder while the main area of the house would get so hot we'd have to crack windows or doors to give us some relief. We would close off the colder rooms that we rarely used – which wound up making the mold and condensation issues worse.
This year we bit the bullet and called USA Insulation. An appointment was scheduled for an appraisal the next day. Brian Belbin showed up on time to meet with us. Brian was very thorough in discussing the entire process, start to finish. He walked around our house, took measurements and showed us a video that was like one we had seen but provided a bit more detail on USA Insulation, the process and what makes them different from the companies we had seen in the foam insulation horror stories we had seen and read online.
Brian carried a sealed container with him that had a sample of the foam that we could see, touch and smell. We could also see the foam sample had at one point, had a lighter or match held to it showing just how flame retardant it is.
Besides the obvious benefits, we discussed added benefits of using foam insulation such as reducing bugs, spider and other critters like mice. Foam insulation also works as a sound barrier which for us was a bonus because we live on a highway that can be quite busy at times.
Since Brian was so thorough in his presentation, I was left with only one question – that being what happens if by some chance we had to cut into a wall to access a pipe or wiring that has been insulated?
Brian explained that while such an occurrence is very rare, our insulation job comes with a repair service that if, for any reason, we must access wiring or pipes, they would come back and refill that area up to a rate that is equal to 10% of our original job.
We were sold.
Our home is right at 1600 square feet, we arranged to have our walls and attic done. We could have done the crawl space and the garage, but the fact that we wanted to pay cash instead of financing, we needed to stay a bit more conservative. We negotiated our price and scheduled our appointment to get the job done. Many people search for pricing or cost of foam insulation and will find information saying it can range between $1.50 to $6.50 per square foot – realistically, it’s more in the range of $4.50 to $6.50 per square foot. This is one of those things you DO GET what YOU pay for! It’s not something to scrimp on. Note: There are several factors that go into pricing, so the best you’re going to find is a RANGE of pricing and not a set amount. If you do find a set dollar amount, I would avoid them like the plague. Just sayin’
PREPARING FOR FOAM INSULATION INSTALLATION
Prior to having foam insulation installed, Brian explained to us that some items should be removed from the walls. The drilling process tends to vibrate the walls and could cause items to fall.
MY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PREP
- Remove all (or most) items from the outside walls.
- Pull furniture out away from outside walls.
- Remove clothing and other items from closets that have outside walls.
I'll explain why later in this review.
FOAM INSULATION INSTALLATION DAY – START TO FINISH
The morning of our scheduled appointment, three young men showed up right on time. I love how prompt everyone was throughout this process. All three introduced themselves and shook my hand. Kevin, the lead on the job went over the paperwork with me and collected the cashier’s check I had ready for them. We did a pre-job walk through to make note of any existing cracks or flaws that existed. He left the paperwork and check laying on the bar in our kitchen until the job was complete at which time we would conduct a post job walk-through with a checklist.
Caleb and Jon were just outside our garage getting things ready to begin.
The main attic access was in a closet at the opposite end of the house from the garage, so large(ish) hose was ran from one end of the house to the other.
Outside, there were holes being drilled in the mortar. In each section where the insulation would be injected, there were three holes drilled. One high, one middle and one low.
Once the holes were drilled, one guy would stay on the inside of the house, one would inject the foam into the holes and the other would oversee the foam mixture. The foam was mixed in a special container in the truck which I think helps to mix it properly to avoid those “chemical reactions” that cause the odors mentioned in the negative reviews of similar companies.
The guy on the outside would knock on the brick to let the guy on the inside know where he was at. The guy on the inside would place his hand on the wall. From what I could tell, the foam mix goes in cold enough to where you could feel it when it reached the place to stop the injection. This helps to avoid overfill and a sloppy mess. When one section was done, they would move on to the next. This went on every few feet all the way around the outside walls.
Once the outside walls were filled, mortar plugs colored to match the mortar in our brick were placed in all the holes. Before they could work their way around the entire house, some of the plugs had already dried enough that I had to search to find them. Unless I were to show you the exact spot of those plugs, you would never see them. I have circled the spots in this picture – the two at the top were more shaded and took longer to dry, but the two on the bottom were in partial sun and dried quicker. I wanted you to see a before-and-after picture – I just happened to grab one in the same shot.
Next, they would inject foam into the wall between our house and the garage. They did have to cut through drywall there. Once finished, the filled the holes and sealed them good. We have to paint over that wall, but we had planned on repainting the garage soon anyway.
Finally, the attic. I think it took them about a half hour to spray the attic. While they were spraying, I absolutely could not smell anything out of the ordinary. I was prepared to have some odor, but there was nothing.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
Once the job was done, I checked the attic first, then did a walkthrough of the inside and then outside to make sure everything looked good. I would have expected the mess to be worse than it was. You could tell these guys took a lot of pride in their work. I liked that!
ARE YOU CONSIDERING FOAM INSULATION?
If you are considering foam insulation and live anywhere in Indiana, eastern Ohio, northern Kentucky – I highly recommend you contact Brian Belbin and get the same attention and quality service we received. Brian works with a couple of teams and with any luck, Kevin, Jon and Caleb will get you set up.
You can reach Brian Belbin by cell phone at 765.960.5607 or by email at email@example.com – Be sure to tell him Gayla Taylor sent you and you want to work with him and HIS team. I KNOW you won’t regret it!
If you have any questions about my personal experience, you can always reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org