Top Insulation Supplier Explains the Basics of Vapor Retarders

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Have you ever walked down the aisle at a home improvement or hardware store and saw the words “vapor retarder?” Did seeing the product make you wonder what in the world it was for? Well, as longtime insulation suppliers, we can shed some light onto that mystery for you.

A vapor retarder is designed to do one very important task effectively and efficiently. That task is to prevent water vapor from entering into a certain area and causing damage. As such, many insulation suppliers attach them to their glass wool and rockwool products.

“So what materials are used in the creation of vapor retarders?”, you may ask. Believe it or not, there are quite a few different materials that have been used as vapor retarders over the years. Some of the more common are asphalt-coated kraft paper, paper-backed aluminum and foil-backed wallboard.

It is also important to note that not all vapor retarders are created equal. Thus, they are typically classified based on what’s known as a perm rating. Being knowledgeable insulation suppliers, we can tell you that there are three classifications. The difference between the three is the amount of water vapor that can feasibly permeate the material. The materials that have the lowest permeability possible are listed as Class I. The materials with the highest permeability are listed under the Class III heading.

The classification needed for a particular application will partially depend on the local building codes and the climate involved. The climate will also determine how the insulation and vapor retarder should be installed. For instance, in some areas the vapor retarder should face towards the building’s interior. In others, it will need to be placed facing the building’s exterior.  

To continue learning about this topic and more, please contact us. As one of the world’s top insulation suppliers, we welcome the opportunity to answer questions from home and business owners alike.

Glass Wool Supplier Discusses the Basics of Blower Door Tests

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

As one of the world’s top glass wool suppliers, we tend to field a lot questions from home and business owners about insulation. Sometimes those questions center on blower doors and blower door test basics. As such, we wanted to talk about that topic this week.

Blower doors are special pieces of equipment that are traditionally used with smoke sticks during home and business energy audits. Although they are often used by professionals, individuals may purchase or rent the blower doors through select retailers. We should also mention that the equipment comes in two forms, calibrated and uncalibrated.

Both types essentially consist of a moderate to large size, variable-speed fan and flexible side mounts. However, we’d suggest that you choose the calibrated type because it provides much more information than the later. Basic blower door tests, at their root, are designed to measure at least two things. Those two things are a building’s airflow and pressure differences. The advanced or calibrated tests may also be able to determine the effectiveness of a structure’s insulation.

Once the blower door is on location, the person in charge of conducting the test must install it. Installing it involves placing the equipment in an open doorway. The flexible panels are then pulled out and the entire unit is temporarily sealed into the door jam.

Next, the person carrying out the test turns the blower door on and lets it run. At the end of the testing period, the machine provides one or more readings. The readings, in turn, are then analyzed. After the analysis is complete, recommendations are made as to which areas could benefit from additional glass wool insulation or air-sealing caulk.

To learn more about ensuring that a structure has the proper amount of glass wool insulation, please contact us. As longtime glass wool suppliers, we have extensive industry knowledge and the quality products needed to help you get any insulation job done right.

Insulation Factory Pro’s 5 Tips for Avoiding Ice Dams and Icicles

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Our insulation factory’s pros know that there are many compelling reasons to properly insulate a business or home’s attic. One of them is the avoidance of ice dams and icicles. Over the years, those two things have been known to cause astronomical property damage, personal injury and death. With that in mind, our insulation experts wanted to offer up the following tips for making killer icicles and giant ice dams nothing more than distant nightmares:

#1: Add Glass or Rockwool Insulation

Heat coming in contact with snow is one of the chief causes of roof icicles and ice dams. Essentially, the heat from inside of a dwelling rises up into the attic. Over time, that heat warms the roofing material. That, in turn, causes any snow and sleet that may be present on the roof to melt.

Once it does, the resulting water finds its way into the building’s gutters and attic where it refreezes. When that scenario takes place several times, the ice builds up and causes the problems that we mentioned previously. Thus, the first step in preventing ice formation is to add more glass or rockwool insulation. Doing so will help to keep the building’s heat transfer to a minimum.

#2: Air Seal Small Openings

In addition to adding glass or rockwool insulation to the building, it is also important to engage in air sealing tasks. They too will help to keep the heat from transferring to the attic. You can read more about air sealing in one of our previous blog posts.

#3: Add Ventilation

According to our insulation factory’s resident experts, adding enough roof ventilation to the structure is also important. It allows any remaining heat in the attic to escape before it has a chance to warm the roofing materials. It should also be noted that clothes dryers, plumbing stacks, stove pipes and exhaust fans should never be vented into the attic. Otherwise, you are just contributing to the heat transfer problem.

#4: Add Water Repellant Membrane

Depending on your situation, installing a water repellant membrane underneath of your building’s exterior roofing materials may help too. The only downside to installing one is that the existing roofing materials will need to be removed and replaced in the process. However, at the very least, it should cut down on the occurrence of attic leaks.

#5: Invest in a Roof Rake

Lastly, our insulation factory’s pros would like to suggest that you invest in a roof rake. It is designed to aid in the safe removal of snow buildup. By removing the snow buildup, you basically gain two advantages. First, it keeps the snow’s weight from causing structural damage. Second, it reduces the amount of snowmelt.

To discuss these tips further and learn more about preventing ice damage with insulation, please contact us. Our insulation factory’s staff may be reached online or by calling +852 65454223.

Rock Wool Factory Pro Discusses Soundproofing Laundry Rooms

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

We’ve all read the sales brochures that tout how quiet certain brands of washing machines and dryers are. However, what those brochures fail to address is that no matter how state-of-the-art the machines are, they still make noise. In addition, the machines also tend to vibrate. So what’s a domestic diva or laundry mat owner supposed to do about those two things? Well, as rock wool factory pros, we’d suggest soundproofing the laundry room with rock wool insulation.

Rock wool insulation is ideally suited for use in both home and commercial laundry rooms for several reasons. To begin with, it resists fire, heat, water, mold, mildew and insects. In addition, it has the inherent ability to reduce noise and vibrations. So those are eight concerns that will immediately be minimized if you use rock wool insulation.

In order to soundproof your laundry room with rock wool insulation, you’ll need a few supplies. We’d suggest using rock wool pipe insulation for the water lines. Rock wool blankets and slabs will be needed to insulate the floor, interior walls and ceiling. Of course you’ll also want to have sealants, caulks, a utility knife and a vapor retarder on hand as well.

When you are in the process of insulating the floor, you may want to consider making a few additions too. Items to consider adding to the area are a raised threshold, waterproof flooring, electronic shutoff values and a floor drain outfitted with a trap primer. All five should help minimize water damage should one of the machines or pipes break.

Once the rock wool insulation and waterproof flooring are in place, consider investing in anti-vibration mats or pads. They are often sold at appliance and home improvement stores. Traditionally made of anti-slip rubber, they get placed underneath of the machines. The rubber is designed to help quell vibration noise and keep the machines from “walking” across the floor during operation.

After all of those things are in place, your home or commercial laundry room should be blissfully quiet. To speak with our rock wool factory’s pros about this or other soundproofing applications, please contact us online.

Fiberglass Insulation Supplier Discusses HVAC Duct Cleaning Basics

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Did your local HVAC company suggest that you have your business or home’s duct work cleaned? Are your HVAC system’s ducts presently lined or wrapped with fiberglass insulation? If so, there are a few things that you should be aware of:

For starters, cleaning HVAC ducts that have been lined or wrapped with fiberglass insulation requires a measure of care. That’s because certain pieces of cleaning equipment or chemicals may cause more harm than good. As fiberglass insulation suppliers, we are aware of at least three methods that are commonly used to clean the ducts.

The first method involves using a portable, household or shop vacuum and various brush attachments. They can be used by most any adult to carefully vacuum away any debris. If you do decide to use the first method, just make sure that you don protective goggles and a dust mask first. Otherwise, you may end up getting ductwork dust into your eyes and nose.

The second method our fiberglass insulation professionals are familiar with is called power brushing. It is traditionally completed with a special vacuum and a high powered, rotation brush. Both of which could easily damage the fiberglass insulation and seals. Because of that, we’d recommend that the method only be used by professionals or those homeowners trained to use such machines properly.

The third method frequently used to clean fiberglass insulated ductwork is often referred to as air washing. Like the power brushing method, it should really only be undertaken by someone with experience. That’s because it involves the use of a high powered air compressor and a skipper nozzle. If used incorrectly, the machine can dislodge the fiberglass insulation and break the ductwork’s seams.

Those are the three main methods that are typically used to clean up aging HVAC ductwork. If your local contractor insists upon using other methods, we’d recommend that you make sure he or she plans on guaranteeing their tech’s work. Otherwise, you may have no recourse if their unproven methods damage your ductwork’s fiberglass insulation.

To learn more and ask questions about fiberglass insulation, please contact us.

Rock Wool Supplier Discusses Wood Stove Installation Safety

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Nowadays, many people like to use wood stoves as alternative heating sources. Some do it in an attempt to free themselves from the power grid. Others opt to do it for other reasons. So with that in mind, our rock wool suppliers wanted to briefly touch upon installation safety.

First and foremost, it’s important to point out that not all wood stoves are created in the same way. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions. They will spell out exactly how much rock wool insulation should be used and where it should be installed.

It is also critical to check your rock wool supplier’s product information sheets. You’ll want to use them to determine what heat shrinkage temperature under load and thermal conductivity ratings have been assigned to the rock wool blankets and rock wool slabs on offer. That way, you can be assured that they are capable of being used in a high heat environment.

In general, many wood stove manufacturers will recommend the use of rock wool boards or blankets that can withstand 816 degrees Celsius or more. However, as we alluded to previously, some manufacturers may suggest rock wool insulation with a different rating. At Tenou Firesafe Insulation Company, our rock wool products tend to withstand temperatures in excess of 500 degrees Celsius. So they should be suitable for such applications.

Once the wood stove is installed, be sure to keep safety in mind. Our rock wool suppliers would recommend that you keep the chimney flue clean and watch out for hot embers. It’s also a good idea to keep your fuel and other flammable items away from the area. Doing so should help to reduce the chances of a fire occurring around the wood stove or inside the chimney flu.

To learn more about insulating the areas around your home’s heating equipment, please contact us. Our knowledgeable rock wool suppliers would love to answer all of your insulation related questions.

Insulation Supplier’s Winter Chill Science Experiment Idea for Kids

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

It is no secret that as insulation suppliers we like to share our industry related science experiment ideas. After all, it is something that we have included in our blog on previous occasions. So today, we wanted to share another insulation themed project idea with you. This one is designed to show what a difference rock wool and glass wool insulation can make when it comes to retaining heat.

In order to complete this particular science experiment, you’ll need:

  • 1 Ice chest (filled – with lid) or access to a snow bank
  • 2 Lab thermometers, immersion style
  • 3 Plastic bags, resealable (large)
  • 3 Baby food jars, lids included
  • 1 Microwave, with potholder
  • 1 Kitchen thermometer
  • 1 Permanent marker
  • 1 Rock wool blanket
  • 1 Glass wool blanket
  • 1 roll Masking tape
  • 1 pair Scissors

Begin setting up the experiment by filling one resealable bag with two pieces of rock wool blanket. A second bag should be filled with two pieces of glass wool blanket. The third bag should not have any insulation in it whatsoever. Next, take the three baby food jars and fill them with the exact same amount of tap water. Microwave the jars until the water gets hot. Then remove the jars and use your kitchen thermometer to determine the temperature of the water in each jar. Record the temperature in your science notebook.

Continue by placing one immersion thermometer into each jar and sealing it tight. Then place one jar in each of the three resealable plastic bags. Once that is done, place the bags into the cooler or snow bank for 1 hour. At the end of the hour, check and record the temperature of the water in each jar. When you are finished, put the plastic bags back into the cooler for another hour. Then remove them and take a final temperature reading. Afterward, review the three readings and determine which jar held the heat the longest.

To discuss the results of your experiment and learn more about the benefits of insulation, please contact us. As one of the world’s leading insulation suppliers, we are always willing to discuss the advantages of using both rock wool and glass wool insulation.

Glass Wool Manufacturer Discusses the Basics of Air Sealing Buildings

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

As a leading glass wool manufacturer, we wanted to focus some attention this week on the basics of air sealing a home or business. Air sealing, as you might have guessed, is designed to stave off costly air leaks. It is typically achieved with items like glass wool insulation, rock wool insulation, weather stripping and caulking.

Before attempting to air seal a building, it is important to understand several things. One of them is the need for balance. Ideally, a building should have enough ventilation to allow for the release of moisture and harmful pollutants like volatile organic compounds. Too much ventilation, on the other hand, can result in exorbitant heating and cooling costs. It can also allow pests to freely enter a home or business. Hence, that’s why balance is needed.

The amount of ventilation that a building needs is traditionally determined by several factors. Among them are the building’s square footage, intended purpose and occupancy level. If you are not sure how much ventilation your building needs, you may want to consult with a person that specializes in maintaining indoor air quality. Once you know how much ventilation is needed, you can safely look for and seal air leaks.

We’d suggest using rock wool insulation in areas where exposure to pests and moisture may become problematic. That’s because our rock wool insulation is water and pest resistant. Our glass wool insulation is ideal for various applications as well. For example, it could be used to insulate ceilings, walls, pipes and floors. The weather stripping and caulking are best for insulating small cracks, window panes and door frames.

To learn more about them and the other products needed to air seal your home, please contact us. Our glass wool manufacturers would be more than happy to discuss the virtues of each insulation product further.

Glass Wool Factory Staff Discusses How Insulation Works

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

During the course of their work, our glass wool factory staff members are sometimes asked questions by inquisitive young people. In many instances, the questioners want to know how insulation works. So we decided to answer that question in today’s blog post. Perhaps our answer will help to satisfy a few curious minds.

In order to understand how insulation from our glass wool factory helps to keeps a home comfortable, one must first be aware of how heat functions. Heat, like other elements of life, is a form of transferrable energy. It is typically transferred through convection, conduction and radiation. Glass wool insulation and rock wool insulation help to block that transfer from occurring. As a result, the heat remains in one area.

We should also mention that although they both stop the transfer of heat, glass wool insulation and rock wool insulation have different properties. That’s because each one is made with different materials. The glass wool insulation that is manufactured at our glass wool factory is made with natural sand and fiberglass. Fiberglass, just in case you are not familiar with it, is made with silicate fibers. Silicate fibers are made from finely spun sodium silicate, which is also known as water glass.

The rock wool insulation, on the other hand, is made with sand and rocks. Depending on the manufacturer, the rocks used in the process are either manmade or byproducts of volcanic eruptions. In manmade situations, natural materials are placed into high temperature furnaces that are designed to generate volcanic like heat. The end result is molten rock, which is then spun into fibers. The fibers are then formed into rock wool slabs, rock wool blankets and rock wool pipe sections.

At this point, you may be wondering if other materials can block heat as well. In short, they can but not as efficiently as the materials produced by our glass wool factory staff. There are various experiments that you can do at home to test other materials’ insulation properties. However that is a subject for another day.

In the meantime, to learn more about insulation and how it works, please contact us our glass wool factory staff. Our phone number is +852 65454223. We may also be reached by e-mail (info@insulationmanufacturing.com).

Rock Wool Supplier’s Tips for Insulating First Floor Crawl Spaces

Monday, October 21st, 2013

In earlier blog posts, we’ve talked about insulating a variety of areas in one’s home. Insulating attached garages and wine cellars were just two of the topics that we covered previously. This week, we decided to continue the discussion by providing our rock wool supplier’s tips for insulating crawl spaces. Depending on your home’s layout, the crawl space may be located underneath of your dwelling or in the attic area. Today, we wanted to talk about crawl spaces that are located underneath of a home’s first floor.

Our rock wool suppliers suggest insulating the area with R-13 value rock wool mattresses, rock wool blankets or rock wool slabs and rock wool pipe sections. Of course you’ll only need to invest in the rock wool pipe sections if you have pipes running through your ground floor crawl space. In addition to purchasing the rock wool insulation, you’ll also want to consider obtaining a roll of 6 mil polyethylene sheeting, adhesive caulking, a staple gun, staples, a tape measure and a utility knife.

Once you have your rock wool insulation, polyethylene sheeting and other supplies on hand, double check your crawl space’s measurements. Then cut your sheeting and rock wool insulation to those exact specifications. The sheeting should be used as a vapor retarder.

When installing the vapor retarder, make sure that you take the time to overlap the edges. In our rock wool suppliers’ experiences, a 6 inch overlap should be sufficient. It is also recommended that for optimal efficiency, the overlaps should be sealed with a high-quality adhesive caulking. After you have the entire area covered with the vapor retarder, attach the 6 inch exterior overlaps to the crawl space’s wooden beams. Doing so carefully should ensure that the vapor retarder will remain in place.

Those are obviously just a smattering of our rock wool suppliers’ tips. To learn more about insulating crawl spaces with rock wool insulation, contact us online or by phone. We’d also like to encourage all of you DIY enthusiasts out there to stay tuned to the Tenou Firesafe Insulation Company blog for more useful information.