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installing batt insulation

What is batt insulation?

Batt insulation (also known as blanket insulation) comes in flat pieces. It is made of fiberglass or mineral wool which is pre-cut into flat pieces. Batt insulation is an inexpensive way to insulate your home. Some batt insulation comes with a foil or paper (kraft) facing and some comes with no facing. The need for facing is determined by your climate and whether you need a vapor barrier in the area of your home you are insulating.

Batt insulation is typically installed between the studs, rafters and joists of your home and can be used to insulate walls, floors, attics and ceilings. Batt is very flexible so it can be fit into framing to reduce heat transfer and help reduce energy bills. Batt insulation comes in a variety of R-values and can be layered for additional R-value. Batt remains effective over time because it does not settle and it can also help with sound dampening.

Batt insulation must be installed and fitted correctly for maximum effectiveness. Call The Hayes Company in Kansas City to determine if batt insulation is the best choice for your project.

installing gas fireplace

How to install gas fireplaces

Gas fireplaces are a popular choice and can add a warm atmosphere to your home. Because they do not need to be replenished during use, they can be easier to use than a wood burning fireplace. They come in many beautiful styles and can be conveniently operated by a wall switch or remote control. The most common style of gas fireplace is a direct-vent log fireplace which can be vented horizontally.

Before installing a gas fireplace, select the location in your home and measure to be sure it will fit. You will also need to place the gas fireplace on an elevated surface for safety. Next a ventilation point needs to be cut in your wall or ceiling and pass-through piping is installed. A professional will need to be hired if a new gas line needs to be installed.

If you do not want to add a hole for ventilation you may want to consider a vent-free gas fireplace which does not require a flue or an electric fireplace.

Our technicians at The Hayes Company are highly trained in correct gas fireplace installation techniques. Call us today!

cleaning glass shower door

How to clean glass shower doors

The best way to keep your glass shower doors clean is to prevent the water from drying and causing mineral buildup. For a quick clean and to stay ahead of mineral build up, keep a squeegee handy. Use it to clean the glass after each shower.

There will still be times when your shower glass needs to be cleaned. You can clean your shower glass by saturating it with a spray bottle of white vinegar. Let the vinegar soak for a few minutes (longer for tougher buildup) then scrub the glass with a plastic bristle brush or a sponge dipped in baking soda. Do not use metal brushes or scouring pads because they may scratch the glass. Then rinse the glass doors with cold water and dry with a microfiber cloth or soft absorbent towel.

You can also purchase a commercial cleaner containing phosphoric acid to clean the mineral deposits from your glass shower doors. If your home has hard water, installing a water softener is another option that will lessen the mineral buildup on the shower glass.

If you are looking for the perfect shower door for your home call The Hayes Company. We will travel to your home, take measurements and give you our expert advice.

Where To Invest - Insulation Or Windows?

Insulation or Windows? Where to Invest

When thinking of a home upgrade that will increase energy efficiency, homeowners typically consider two projects: insulation or windows.

There is a lot of confusion about which investment provides a better return on investment.

Building envelope

Your home’s envelope consists of the walls, floor and roof. When considering the total square footage of your home’s envelope, windows make up a very small portion of it. By investing in upgrading the energy efficiency of your home’s attic and walls (more square footage), you’ll be maximizing energy efficiency across a greater portion of your home’s envelope and you will see a greater energy benefit.

Heat flow
Air inside a home naturally flows from ground to sky. A home loses 70% of energy through the attic and roof – far more than is lost through windows or doors. Upgrading attic insulation keeps the air you’ve paid to heat in your home. Adding air sealing further prevents conditioned air from seeping out around areas like ducts and attics.

R-value
R-value is a measure of the amount of heat flow a certain product resists. The higher the R-value, the better it reduces heat flow. The R-value of windows can vary based on the number of panes, air space between panes, etc. Double pane windows have an R-value of 1.5 to 2. Upgrading insulation to current code would result in attic R-value of R-30 to R-38 in Kansas City. When you consider the difference in R-value and the natural heat flow in a home, it’s easy to see how a fresh blanket of insulation is a great investment.

Cost
When looking at bottom line, the choice is clear. According to Home Advisor the average cost to upgrade windows in the Kansas City area is $4,064. The same report shows the average cost to upgrade insulation in the Kansas City area is $1,295. When you look at how much home insulation costs, the cost of home insulation is more affordable than the cost of windows.

Ready to add insulation to your attic? Contact us to schedule your free estimate.
Someone In Your Home Suffers From Allergies

Suffering from Allergies? Air Seal Your Home!

When winter begins to fade, thoughts of warm days and green grass are welcome. If you suffer from allergies, spring brings many symptoms that can make the season hard to bear.

If you or someone in your home suffers from allergies, air sealing your home is one way to keep pollen, dust and other irritants out of your home (not to mention it can make your home more comfortable).

A home’s envelope has many penetration points that allow air to enter and exit the home. These penetration points can be around areas like duct work and chimney chases and exist between building materials (studs, framing, etc.). As a home naturally breathes, outside air is drawn into the home’s interior. This natural process draws outside pollen, dust and other irritants into your home’s inside air.

Sealing air leaks helps keep outside air and pollutants from entering your home. In addition to reducing interior allergens, air sealing your home has other benefits:

  • More comfortable living environment. Air infiltration can contribute to problems with moisture, dust, and the entry of pests. Sealing air leaks can help maintain your indoor comfort.
  • Reduced energy bills. Sealing air leaks keeps conditioned air inside your home. This means your HVAC system will do less work to maintain your home’s internal temperature, which can reduce your energy bills.
  • Quieter home. Air leaks also allow outside noise to infiltrate your home. Sealing these leaks helps keep out noise and results in a quieter home.

Interested in air sealing? Contact or call us today for a free Air Sealing estimate!

Basement Rim Joists And Box Sills

Looking to Save Money on Energy Bills? Check Your Basement

For most homes, basement rim joists and box sills are a major source of energy loss. These areas are located around the perimeter of the basement ceiling where the walls of the home meet the foundation.

This is one of the thinnest points in a home’s exterior, which allows outside air to easily leak into the basement. This area is also a convenient way for pests to enter a home. Spiders, bugs and other creatures can easily find their way into your home through residual penetration points around HVAC, electrical and plumbing along the basement ceiling.

Spray foam is an ideal product to insulate and air seal your home’s rim joists and box sills. Spray foam insulation is a two-in-one product that both seals air leaks and insulates – and it goes beyond what a homeowner can do on their own.

Insulating and air sealing your rim joists and box sills will make your basement (and entire home) more comfortable, help block out pests and aid in reducing your energy bills. Contact us to schedule your free estimate!

Tips for Attic Insulation

What You Need to Know About Attic Insulation

When it comes to home insulation, the first area that comes to mind is the attic. Building airflow moves from ground to sky, naturally pulling conditioned indoor air up and out of a structure. Proper attic insulation helps keep conditioned air inside your home and helps keep your home more comfortable. When conditioned air remains inside your home it helps reduce wear and tear on your heating system and keeps energy bills in line. How to install insulation in an attic depends upon many factors. With different insulating options, it’s important to hire an experienced insulation contractor so you are sure they know how to install insulation to gain maximum insulating benefit.

There are three common methods used to insulate attics – blown-in fiberglass, blown-in fiberglass with air sealing and spray foam insulation. Here’s what you need to know about each:

BLOWN-IN FIBERGLASS

Insulating attics with blown-in fiberglass insulation is a quick and easy way to add R-value. This is a basic method of attic insulation and a cost effective option to upgrade attics of existing homes or insulate attics in new homes. Properly knowing how to blow in insulation can make a difference in how the insulation performs. The product must be evenly installed across the attic space to ensure even and proper insulating of the home.

BLOWN-IN FIBERGLASS WITH AIR SEALING

Combining blown-in fiberglass insulation with air sealing dramatically increases a home’s energy efficiency. This method helps keep conditioned air inside the home and adds R-value. In an existing home, attic insulation is removed and penetration points around the attic floor are sealed. After air sealing is complete, a fresh blanket of blown-in fiberglass insulation is installed. In a new home, penetration points around the attic floor are sealed before blown-in insulation is installed.

SPRAY FOAM INSULATION

Installing spray foam insulation in the attic of a new or existing home provides optimal energy protection. In an existing home, insulation is removed from the attic and spray foam is installed along the roofline. In a new home, spray foam insulation is installed along the roofline as part of the construction process.

Proper attic insulation combined with air sealing is one of the most cost effective ways to save money on monthly energy bills. Wondering if your home could benefit from additional attic insulation? Ready to discuss insulation for your new home project? Contact our office today!

 

Allergies Symptoms

Suffering from Allergies? Did you know…

Do you or someone you love suffer from asthma or asthma-related attacks?

It’s estimated that 26 million Americans are affected by asthma or asthma-related conditions. It’s proven that these attacks have a direct link to air quality — and air sealing your home can help.

In the lungs of asthma sufferers, swollen airways become extra sensitive when the individual is exposed to asthma triggers such as pollen, smoke, pet dander, dust, mold, chemicals in the air and more. To make things worse, an American Lung Association study indicated too many people in the United States live in areas where the air is unhealthy for them to breathe.

Sealing a home’s air leaks can help improve indoor air quality by lowering the number of asthma triggers that can enter the inside of a home or building.

Spray foam insulation is a great option to both insulate and seal air leaks in one step. In fact, one of the key benefits of spray foam is improved indoor air quality. The material provides an exceptional air seal, works as a thermal barrier (insulator) and helps control moisture issues. This improved air-tightness provides better control of indoor humidity, which reduces mold inside the home. It also dramatically reduces the number of pollutants that can enter the home (pollen, dust, etc.) and allows a home to have proper mechanical ventilation to filter the air and keep the interior air clean.

By reducing these asthma triggers, anyone affected by asthma or other breathing issues will benefit.

Interested in learning more about air sealing and the benefits to you and your family? Contact us for a quote today.

Choosing A Shower Door

Five Tips When Choosing a Shower Door

Whether you are remodeling your bathroom or it’s simply due for maintenance, choosing a shower door can feel like a complicated and tedious task. A shower door is designed to contain water and steam and also is a significant component of bathroom design. Choosing a shower door is often the final piece of a bathroom design or remodel – and it’s a big decision! Here are five things to consider when choosing a shower door:

  1. Function
    Think about how your shower door will function. Is the door for a stand-alone shower or for a bath/shower combination? Is your shower designed to include steam? Where is your shower or tub located in the bathroom? What types of studs are available to support the shower? These questions can impact the weight of the glass, type of frame and more.
  2. Space
    The layout of your shower or shower/tub unit can determine the type of shower door. How much space is available inside the shower or shower/tub unit? Choosing the right door for the shower can maximize the feeling inside the shower. How much space is available outside the shower? The layout of your bathroom can impact type of door (sliding, pivot, etc).
  3. Care and Maintenance
    Different shower door materials require different levels of maintenance and care.  For example, sealed glass doors help keep moisture in the shower and also require more cleaning than other types of shower doors. Find the balance that’s right for your lifestyle and meets your needs.
  4. Style
    This is the fun part! There are endless options for shower door glass, doorframe, hardware and more. When choosing shower door glass, consider how much light is needed inside the shower and the amount of privacy desired. This can help determine whether clear glass door or a translucent finish is best.
  5. Budget
    Project cost can help make the final decision about the type of shower door for your bathroom. If you have a budget in mind before considering design, that should be one of your first considerations. Either way, be sure to choose a shower door company that provides free estimates. With so many shower door options, you can have the shower door you want at a cost that works in your budget

Are you looking for a shower door to complete your bathroom remodel or simply replace your outdated one? Contact our office to discuss your project and schedule your free estimate!

Pipes Freezing

Tips to Prevent Freezing Pipes

It’s no secret our area of the country has been faced with cold temps! We’ve been receiving an influx of calls from homeowners and builders dealing with frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are inconvenient and can cause significant damage. When the temperature of a water pipe drops below freezing, water in the pipe can expand up to 10% in volume. This creates additional pressure on water pipes and valves, causing pipes to burst.

It’s important to keep pipes from being exposed to cold temperatures. Here are some ways to protect pipes during extreme cold:

  • Add insulation to walls that affect water pipes. This can include adding dense packed fiberglass, injection foam or spray foam insulation to exterior walls.
  • Cover exposed pipes in crawl spaces or attics. Applying foam insulation can protect water pipes from cold temperatures, and its water resistant properties make it ideal for use on water pipes.
  • Seal gaps around basement rim joists or seal your crawl space. This will help keep cold air away from pipes. This also will help the main floor of your home feel more comfortable.

If your home has frozen water pipes or you want to prevent future damage, contact our office to schedule your free estimate. Our team will review your home and make recommendations for ways you can help reduce the risk of your pipes freezing.