Here at Garvey Roofing Inc., we don’t just do roofing. We also do insulation, solar panels, and rain gutter installations. Furthermore, we also do general contracting. The reason why we have a general contracting license is because we know, when it comes to roofing, there’s more than just putting a roof on a house. There’s structural changes that sometimes need to be made, maybe a miscellaneous issue unrelated to the roof, etc. For example: changing rafter boards after they’ve been rotted out because the attic wasn’t ventilated properly (which can happen to people who run the AC all the time). So, we can change rafter boards and ventilate the attic as it needs to be. More importantly, we know why this needs to be done.
Fun factoid: if you ventilate the attic, the house stays cooler. Otherwise, the hot air stays up there like a hot-air blanket, keeping the warm air inside the house from rising. What a lot of people do is put fans in the attic, especially if you have a sloped roof. It’s amazing how much the house cools down from just turning on that fan. Hey… guess what… WE DO THAT TOO!!
Another fun factoid: don’t do it yourself. There are a lot of details that need to be taken into account when placing a spinning metallic, electrically operated machine in a place typically full of flammable, floating dust and old insulation, along with a litany of other possibilities.
One job we did for a city administration building was rebuild the roof and then fix the drain, a huge drain, in the dead center of the roof. The nature of the draining that occurred on this particular roof was like that of a toilet bowl. It had one drain in the dead center of the roof. Trust me when I say this is a bad way to do it. If that drain gets clogged by anything for any reason, like maybe 4 leaves, a squirrel, a paper airplane or an actual airplane, the roof will turn into a swimming pool. Water is heavy. It then builds up. The swimming pool then turns into a flood breaking in through the roof. If you work there, have a boogie-board ready, because this is going to be AWESOME!
Okay, anyways, so we made the drain bigger. A lot bigger. We would have re-built the roof entirely, but the customer wasn’t going to pay for that. Now, the roof is fine and the huge drain sounds like the toilet of the Gods continuously flushing every time it rains.
But enough of that.
The rest of this here blog post is about insulation. Fluffy, warm, loving insulation.
There are several things people are unaware of when it comes to this.
Insulation removal is a terrible, horrible thing that makes even the greatest of warriors curl up in the fetal position and cry underneath their beds.
Old-school roll-out insulation isn’t used anymore. Ya know, that pink stuff that looks like cotton candy, except that it isn’t and if you eat it your stomach itches for weeks afterwards?
No? That’s… that’s just me? No one else has done that? Okay, maybe I was quite tired and really hungry that day. Bottom line: don’t eat insulation.
FYI: Fiberglass is basically impacted sand. There are different types of fiberglass for different types of uses. Again, Google it.
Oh! Look what I found recently:
Save that. Share it. BE THE CHANGE!
ok where was I…
We try to avoid removing old roll out insulation because it’s usually found in a confined space similar to something you’d find in a nightmare (a small crawl space for an attic) and has to be removed by hand. You can’t pay a man enough money to do that. It’s hot, you have to wear protective gear, it’s dark up there, and rodents/bugs/demon imps like to make their little cozy homes in that stuff too. Not to mention mold grows there as well.
Say we, by some miracle, do end up removing that stuff: we use a vacuum. I think I’ve outlined the awesomeness that is our industrial grade vacuum in here. We use that. That thing could suck up the sun if one were so inclined. Like in the newest Star Wars movie.
What we use now is blown in and looks exactly like cotton balls. It is made of fiberglass as well, but it’s a different kind- different manufacturing. It’s non-abrasive, so no itchy-scratchy-my-skin-is-on-fire stuff, which really means you could literally sleep on it. I never have, nor have I eaten it (this one specifically. Fool me once, ya know?), and I highly recommend you don’t do either. But, uh, if anyone has… well, drop me a line. I’ve always been curious.
It doesn’t aerate either, so the inside of your house won’t look like a dandelion field that just got hit by a tornado. It settles down in the crawl space and… insulates.
What this does is keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
HOW this happens is that the heat from the roof doesn’t warm your house up like you’re living directly under a huge frying pan. Hot and cold stay away, thus keeping the internal temperature of the house constant. You turn the AC on, and it stays cool. Same with the heater. As a result, you don’t need it to run that long, thus saving you money. Insulating the walls is recommended as well, which we do.
It is a lot easier for us to insulate a roof after it’s been torn off. We can also do it much better, and clean it much more thoroughly beforehand. Not only that, but we Lysol the inside of the roof as well, along with seal any ducts that need it.
The easier the insulation job, the cheaper it will be. A large part of the cost is just how much of a hassle it is. And coming from roofers, that’s saying something.
How the insulation situation works for us:
We use the brand Certainteed Insulsafe 4©. It comes in three levels of thickness:
R-38 Thickness, which is 16 inches thick and costs $1.25 per square foot.
Then there’s R-30 Thickness, which is 12 inches thick and $1 per square foot.
And lastly, there’s R-15000 thickness, which is a mile and a half thick and costs $650,000 per square foot.
We advise against the last option because we have to use a naval battleship to spray/shoot it, it’s highly inefficient, typically has a high mortality rate, terrible for the environment, and isn’t even a real thing anyways.
Something to beware of is can-lights, otherwise known as in-set lights, otherwise known as recessed lighting, otherwise known as lights built inside the ceiling that don’t hang down. These are bad for insulation because they can result in things like:
There are two types of can-lights: IC lights, or Insulation Contact. These are okay, because they are made to be in contact with insulation and not set it on fire. (Wonderful how self-explanatory stuff in construction is, ya know?)
Then there’s Every Other Kind Of Recessed Lighting, which the industry typically refers to as Non-IC lights, or Ventilated lights. These have holes in them and vent the heat from the bulbs into the ceiling. If you look inside them (after you take the bulb out, genius) you’ll see a red tab that says:
WARNING: DANGER OF FIRE
Heat ventilating up into insulation = burning. One good way to tell if your lights are ventilated is if when you turn them on, the house gets hotter. The heat builds up in the attic and starts to push downwards.
Imagine it like an invisible cloud of Warm that grows downward the more Warm gets added to it. Another way to tell if you have ventilated lights is if you look up in the crawl space or attic with those lights on, you can see light coming through. If you have 10 or more can lights, we simply don’t insulate or seal because it’s too much of a liability. Replace the lights first, then call us.
And there ya go!
Insulation with cellulose is bad. It is, literally, shredded newspaper soaked in boric acid and sprayed as insulation. If you open up a case of this stuff, you can actually read the words on the shreds of paper, if you don’t pass out from the smell first. There’s also such a thing as denim insulation as well which, much to my disappointment, is not made from shredded jeans. It’s also cheap and bad and really doesn’t work too well and don’t go with that option either.