Home too Cold for Comfort?

On one particularly cold day during the chilly blast that hit us in early November, I fielded at least 50 calls from homeowners, property managers, builders and developers. Each person was calling about an “insulation emergency.” I explained to each of them that we can help and that it can be done for the right amount of money and on the proper schedule. I also explained that if  the work had been done right the first time, they would not have this issue.

If you want to ensure your home is comfortable throughout Chicago’s hot and cold weather extremes, it’s critical to make the correct choices during the planning phases of construction, renovation or rehab. Not sure what those correct choices are? Call us! We can help prevent these cold-weather crises.

Too Cold for a 2-Year-Old’s Bare Feet

One family that contacted me was in the middle of preparing to welcome baby number two into their home. They were making decisions about which home improvements to accomplish before the baby’s arrival. It quickly became clear that tackling the cold floors in the master bedroom was going to be their priority.

“My 2 year old was screaming for me in the middle of the night from the hall,” the boy’s mother told me. “When I said, ‘Honey, why don’t you come and climb into our bed,’ his response was, ‘Floor cold!’ and he returned to his own bed.”

The master bedroom had been built over the garage, and cold floors are a common problem in living spaces over garages because they are notoriously difficult to insulate with standard insulation.

In the case of this family, the builder technically met the building standards when they installed the conventional installation. But they failed to deliver on the needs for the family. I hear stories just like this on a daily basis, and residential spray foam was designed to solve these issues.

Yes, it does cost more to insulate with spray foam… But you’ll find your comfort is worth every penny!

Why Traditional Insulation Doesn’t Work for Rooms Over Garages

Typical fiberglass or cellulose insulation settles over time and allows air to flow between the subfloor of the bedroom and the insulation that is now resting on the dry-walled ceiling in the garage.

In order to use regular insulation effectively, you MUST SEAL EVERY BAY and EVERY JOINT in the exterior walls of the garage before installing the fiberglass and drywall. Additionally, a batt should be sized properly to fill the entire bay so that no air movement or cold gets to the floor. Most general contractors do not have such skilled labor on their insulation crews.

However, when you use spray foam, it’s applied directly to the subfloor and provides a permanent air barrier and insulation in one, protecting the comfort of the family and reducing your heating and cooling costs for the life of your home.

In this family’s case, installing spray foam was easy to do and cost about $5,000 for the spray foam and drywall work. Just after New Years, the father of the house sent me a text photo of their 2 year old in their room in the middle of the night with a, “Thank you! His tiny feet were toasty, and he happily climbed into our bed!”

Comfort Is Only a Foam Call Away

At Chicago Green Insulation, we handle all aspects of demo, foam and replacement of the drywall to get you back in your living space over the garage. We cannot help with the screaming child, but we can make your home space warm all winter long.

If you have any concerns about air leakage and insulation in your home, call us today at 847-987-3626. The best time to have a conversation is during the planning stages of a construction project so that your crawl space, kitchen remodel or room addition above the garage is everything you want it to be—and not your worst nightmare.

However, if you’re calling post-construction, we can still help. As I always say: Comfort is only a FOAM call away!

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About the Author, Tom Decker

With ten years of experience selling spray foam insulation in Chicago, Tom Decker is THE person to call and the Chicago Green Insulation is the organization to hire when you are looking for top notch quality and performance as well as someone who can deal with the needs of code officials, home owners and general contractors. Call the others in Chicago, if you are interested in the cheapest price, call Chicago Green Insulation if you are interested in using your dollars to make Chicago a better city for all of us!

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