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An Interview with Kevin Kinzler

“We definitely have an entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy serving. To this day, I enjoy solving customer problems. That’s our roots…the driving force really has been the customer.”

Kevin Kinzler, Founder

Kevin and his wife Yvonne founded Kinzler Construction Services in 1984. In this episode of the Iowa Business Report, Kevin talks about growing the company from his garage to six locations in three states.

K-13 Thermal & Acoustic Insulation Installed at Carroll Readiness Center

Look how great this K-13 Thermal Insulation looks! Kinzler Construction Services was brought in by Badding Construction to install K-13 at the Iowa National Guard Carroll Readiness Center.

K-13 was the ideal product to install on this ceiling because it meets project requirements for insulation (R value), noise reduction (NRC), color, durability, condensation control, texture, and aesthetics.

The K-13 system begins with specially prepared cellulose fibers combined with natural fire retardants in a strict, quality-controlled manufacturing process. K-13 is then spray-applied by Kinzler’s professional installers to ensure consistent and predictable results. During application, the K-13 fibers combine with a water-based adhesive resulting in a durable, exposed finish.

Kinzler’s K-13 Insulation Experts

Kinzler Construction Services brings more than 35 years of experience to help with your insulation needs. We serve home builders, commercial construction contractors, remodelers and home owners. Contact us today to see how we can partner on your next project!

Next Generation Spray Foams Required by January 1, 2021

An installer from Kinzler Construction Services, Home of United Insulators, applies HFO spray foam in a multi-family unit being built in Denver, CO.

Reformulated versions of spray polyurethane foam with only a tiny fraction of the global warming potential of their predecessors will be required in Colorado beginning January 1, 2021. Kinzler Construction Services, Home of United Insulators, is already installing closed-cell spray foam made with the hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agent.

Blowing agents are essential ingredients in spray foam insulation. They create the tiny bubbles of trapped gas that slow the movement of heat and make foam such a great insulator. But the most common blowing agent in spray polyurethane foam today, a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), has a global warming potential (GWP) more than 1,000 times that of carbon dioxide. HFO spray foam formulations now have a GWP of 1.

Colorado’s HFC Phase-Out

Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission unanimously adopted Regulation 22, which is a result of climate legislation that established statewide greenhouse gas emission goals.

The regulation is based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s nationwide timeline for HFCs phase-out by January 2021. That timeline has been set back by litigation after a federal court ruled that the EPA can’t ban HFCs under a provision of the Clean Air Act, since the concern is climate and not ozone. U.S. Climate Alliance States — including Colorado — have decided to move forward with the phase-out.

Improved Performance

WATCH: HFO closed-cell spray foam is installed by Kinzler Construction Services, Home of United Insulators.

HFO manufacturers say the new spray foam has several advantages over products made with HFCs. One is an increase in the maximum thickness of each layer, or “lift,” of foam that can be applied.

Spray foams are mixed on site in an application gun. The ensuing chemical reaction produces heat as well as the characteristic foam. If the foam applied in a single pass is too thick, the chemical reaction can generate too much heat. Typically, spray foam can be applied in lifts of a couple of inches, but HFO can often be applied 6 1/2 inches thick in a single pass.

The HFO-blown foam also has high R-values – as much as R-6.3 per inch when measured in a 2-inch thick layer, but R-7.4 per inch at a depth of 8 inches. The “stacked R-value” is higher because the thermal resistance of a thicker layer of foam is not linear — it adds up faster than a simple multiplication of its 1-inch R-value would suggest.

Kinzler’s Building Science Experts

Kinzler Construction Services, Home of United Insulators in Denver, brings more than 35 years of experience to help with your insulation needs in metro Denver and the Colorado Front Range. We serve home builders, commercial construction contractors, remodelers and home owners. Contact us today to see how we can partner on your next project!

Kinzler Employee-Owners Give Back Through Annual United Way Campaign

Kinzler Construction Services believes in giving back to the communities where we live, work and play. A big part of that is our annual United Way Employee Campaign. 

Together we raised $44,304 to be distributed between United Way chapters across Iowa, Colorado & Texas – in communities where Kinzler Construction Services operates branches. The money was raised through 118 employee pledges, a corporate donation and a generous dollar-for-dollar matching gift from company founders Kevin & Yvonne Kinzler.

“Across the country, United Way leads the fight for our community when it comes to health, education, and financial stability,” said Jason Mortvedt, Kinzler’s Marketing Director who chairs the annual Kinzler Construction Services campaign and also serves on the United Way of Story County Board of Directors. “I am blown away by the generosity of our employee-owners every year. We’ll be able to reach so many people through vital programs because of these donations.”

Join our Caring Team

Kinzler Construction Services is a leading installer of insulation products, gypsum concrete, fireproofing & air barrier. Kinzler also distributes a full line of construction materials, including drywall, steel framing, acoustical ceiling tile & EIFS. Kinzler is a rapidly-growing, employee-owned company offering industry-leading service to the best customers with locations across America’s heartland. To search job openings and apply to join the Kinzler team, visit www.KinzlerCareers.com.

Ask the Expert: Blower Door Tests & Air Sealing

Air leakage control is an important but commonly misunderstood component of the energy efficient house. Tightening the structure with caulking and sealants has several positive impacts. A tight house will:

  • Have lower heating bills due to less heat loss
  • Have fewer drafts and be more comfortable
  • Reduce the chance of mold and rot because moisture is less likely to enter and become trapped in cavities
  • Have a better performing ventilation system
  • Potentially require smaller heating and cooling equipment capacities.

International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC) have significantly stepped up requirements for limiting building air leakage and duct leakage. Blower door testing must be performed to verify air leakage limits. 

Meeting these stricter requirements needs deliberate effort. Kinzler Construction Services specializes in air sealing, insulating and performing blower door tests.

We recently spoke to certified building science expert and Kinzler Operations Manager, David Valenzuela, who shares tips for helping you ace your blower door test.

David Valenzuela
Operations Manager
Kinzler Construction Services, Home of United Insulators

What is a blower door test and how does it work?

DAVID: Air leakage testing is now required to ensure that new buildings use less energy to heat and cool the home. A tight home is an efficient home.

Air leakage testing involves performing a blower door test on the building to determine how leaky the home is. 

To conduct a blower door test, we place an infiltrometer or blower door fan in the main entry doorway to depressurize the house or suck out air from the interior. This process will cause outside air to be drawn into the house through leakage points. 

The new codes are fairly strict and attention to detail during construction is required to pass these tests.

Kinzler’s home energy experts use blower door tests to help determine a home’s airtightness.

OK, so what do you recommend to contractors who want to pass these tests the first time?

DAVID: In my experience, there are seven key areas to address with air sealing in order to have success passing the blower door test. They include:

  1. Ductwork
  2. Transfers
  3. Bath Fans
  4. Outlets
  5. Attics
  6. Exterior Penetrations
  7. Installing Top Plate Gaskets

Please walk us through what needs to be done in each of these areas.

DAVID: Absolutely.

Ducts that needs to be sealed.
Ductwork: The ductwork from the furnace to your registers need to be 100% sealed around all joints. I see a lot of ductwork where the boot at the furnace is broken or missing mastic. Check the seams around elbows and wherever there are long trunk lines. Your returns should be ducted as well and not just run using the wall cavities. Using wall cavities as returns allow air to rush in from the attic or mid floors. Using ducted returns ensures it’s sealed and won’t pull air from other areas. The duct for the range should also be sealed using mastic.


Transfers: The transfers at room entrances can be sealed around the framing on both sides using sill sealer or a flexible gasket. You can also seal these after drywall if you prefer using Spray foam or caulking if the opening is big enough.


Bath fans: Bath fans should be installed using a damper with some type of gasket. Cheaper bath fans do not have a damper with a gasket and allow a lot of air to flow through. The bath fan housing should be sealed to the drywall. Any opening in the bath fan that isn’t being used should be sealed as well – I normally see holes in the cheaper bath fan housings. 


Outlets: Outlets allow air to flow through the knockouts and the lines coming in. Sealing the back of the outlets at the knockouts and lines coming in with canned foam helps prevent air from flowing in. The foam might shrink or lift off the surface, these should be inspected after the foam has hardened to ensure you have a proper air sealed outlet. The outlet box should be sealed to the drywall. This applies to all outlets in the home – exterior, interior, ceiling boxes, and non-airtight can lights. 


Attics: Attic air sealing is done before blow-in insulation is completed. The drywall is sealed to the framing using canned foam or another type of sealant. This will eliminate the need for a top plate gasket since the top plate will be sealed to the drywall on the attic side. Also, any penetrations through the drywall will also be sealed to prevent air flowing in the home. So the need to seal drywall penetrations from the top floor ceiling will be taken care of. If the attic is large in size, this would be the best option. Smaller attics should use other methods mentioned to ensure all will be sealed. 


Exterior penetrations: Penetrations such as exhaust ducts, plumbing, electric cables, and gas lines are normally air sealed using foam during the draftstop process. Air still flows through the gaps between the plywood and studs. The gap at the top, bottom, and sides of stud bays can be sealed using canned foam or caulking to prevent air coming through. Spraying 1” of Spray Polyurethane Foam to your exterior walls and box sills will effectively seal all of these areas and prevent air from flowing in. Windows should always use caulking or window and door foam. Stuffing fiberglass around the window will only filter the air coming in. 


Installing Top Plate Gaskets: Top plate gaskets help out a lot and are called out on most multi-family buildings we do involving smaller finished areas. 3.5” sill sealer or a liquid applied top plate gasket prevents air flow down the drywall from an attic space or mid floors. The gasket is applied to the face of the top plate before drywall is installed. The drywall will compress the gasket creating an air tight seal. The top plate gasket can also be applied to the face of the bottom plate to prevent any air coming in from the exterior sheathing. The drywall can also be caulked or foamed using canned foam to the bottom plate or plywood. 1” gypsum concrete will also create this air tight seal along the bottom plate to drywall, but can leak a little if the gypsum concrete shrinks while drying. The only issue I’ve seen while using the sill sealer as a gasket is when other trades remove or pull on it. Most of the time they don’t put it back in place. 

That’s pretty thorough! Should all of these be done on every job?

DAVID: No, doing all of these things is not necessarily needed to pass a blower door test. That’s why Kinzler Construction Services offers different levels of air sealing service, depending on the job.

Blower door tests are based on how often the volume of air in conditioned space is exchanged per hour. When the conditioned area is in the hundreds of square feet, consider doing most of the suggestions listed above. When the conditioned space is above 2,500 square feet or so, you can skip a lot of the detailed work and focus on the main areas such as box sills, attic air sealing and top plate gaskets.

If your furnace is in unconditioned space, then it should definitely be inspected and tested. If you have a party wall, then 1” spray foam around the box sills, a top plate gasket, and sealing the drywall to floor should be done.

This is great information. How do you know so much about this?

DAVID: I’ve been doing this work out in the field for years! I also have several certifications from the Building Performance Institute so that I can help our customers by:

  • Performing comprehensive energy audits and offer recommendations to save energy, improve comfort and increase a home’s safety and durability.
  • Performing blower door and duct leakage tests on new homes, as required by IECC 2009 and IECC 2012 building codes.
  • Resolving problems related to the building shell, such as moisture, ice dams, mildew and drafts.

Thank you, David! We appreciate your time.

DAVID: I’m happy to help. The good news about these newer energy codes is that they pay building owners back by way of reduced operating and utility costs down the road!

Shoot us a message or give us a call at 888-292-2382 and we’d be happy to make recommendations based on your specific project.

Kinzler Construction Services Response to COVID-19

Kinzler Construction Services is a family and employee-owned construction subcontractor, but we’re also local community members ourselves. Like you, we have been monitoring the evolving news regarding COVID-19 and we’re taking the Coronavirus situation seriously. 

All of the communities in which we work are taking measures to slow the spread of the virus and protect individuals. Kinzler Construction Services remains open, fully operational and we don’t want our people or anyone at the job sites we work on getting sick. If someone on your jobsite is sick or think they may have been infected, please tell us immediately so we can keep our employee-owners safe.  

To protect our teams and other construction partners on jobsites, we have made and will continue to make changes to our work practices based upon guidance from our federal, state and local governments. These changes include:  

  • Establishing a COVID-19 Task Force that meets to monitor developments and make adjustments, led by our President & CEO Tanner Kinzler.
  • Daily “Fit for Duty” screenings, based on CDC guidelines, for COVID-19 related potential exposure for all team members.
  • Daily talks with our teams to make sure everyone is feeling well and hasn’t been exposed to any infected person. 
  • Strict rules in place for coming to work sick. If anyone has a fever, is showing signs of illness, or has had close contact  with someone who has the Coronavirus as defined by the CDC, they are not allowed at work. 
  • Posted signs in English and Spanish, restricting access to Kinzler facilities to anyone (including team members) who is experiencing symptoms, has traveled in the last 14 days, or has been in close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19.
  • Providing free telemedicine visits to all employees on Kinzler’s health care plan. 
  • Guests or visitors are not allowed in our job sites or offices. 
  • Travel between our branch offices has been suspended. 

In addition, all personnel have been trained on best practices for transmission prevention. Some daily strategies we’ve implemented include: 

  • Daily “Fit for Duty” screenings, based on CDC guidelines, for COVID-19 related potential exposure.
  • Assigning the same crew the same tools and the same truck as much as possible. 
  • Have team members report directly to worksites to avoid riding together in vehicles. 
  • Increasing cleaning and sanitation of facilities, trucks, tools and work areas. 
  • Gloves, respirators and other PPE as required per site or scope of work.
  • Maintaining 6 feet social distancing whenever possible. 
  • Staggering crew start times.  
  • Conducting toolbox talks and safety meetings remotely. 

As your partner in the construction industry, we understand our essential role in keeping job sites open, people working and the economy moving forward. Despite the challenges, we are so grateful for the inspiring people on our collective teams and in our communities that are getting us through this difficult time. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at (888) 292-2382.  

Kinzler Named Top 25 U.S. Insulation Contractor

Kinzler Insulation Installers pose for a photo and at a construction jobsite.
Walls & Ceilings Magazine recently announced Kinzler Construction Services as one of their Top 25 Insulation Contractors in the United States.
 
They made their selection with the help of W&C staff and its editorial advisory board—in particular the guidance of Michael Kwart of the Insulation Contractors Association of America. They decided on who they felt are among the best and most ambitious insulation contractors in the U.S. 
 
“As insulation demand continues to grow—both in the U.S. and globally— it’s important to take notice of all the different and expanding lines of insulation,” says John Wyatt, editor of W&C. “All these different types are designed and engineered to meet the unique demands of the various projects from across the globe.” 
 
The chosen insulation contractors have multiple characteristics that qualify them to be among the Top 25. Winners range from commercial to residential contractors, which apply spray foam to fiberglass and everything in between. 
 

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