Project Profile: Excavationless Foundation Insulation

Kinzler was hired to do excavationless foundation insulation at a home in Minneapolis. This home was built in 1907 and was recently purchased by a new homeowner that is in the process of turning it into a net-zero home, pursuing Green Star certification. The foundation insulation is one of the first items in this big project.

This is the third home where the excavationless foundation insulation procedure has been done. The procedure originally came out of a U.S. Department of Energy field study and involves using a Hydrovac truck to vacuum out a 4” trench of dirt down to the footings around the outside of a home. After that, 1.5” of rigid foam board is installed against the dirt and the remaining 2.5” of the cavity is filled with a special blend spray foam that was made specifically for this application.

The excavationless procedure works well on existing homes. The alternative approach is to use an excavator to dig out the foundation and insulate it using a different strategy. This alternative could take longer, be more expensive and will cause more damage to grass and landscaping.

In the next few months, when the home is ready, we will return and insulate the rest of the foundation above grade so there is a seamless transition between the exterior wall and the foundation insulation. Kinzler will also be insulating other areas of the home including the walls and ceilings. We are excited to be part of such an innovative project and is happy that the homeowner will now have a more comfortable, durable and energy-efficient home.

Trench
Trench created around the foundation of the home.
Spraying in Foam
Spraying in spray foam insulation after the installation of the foam boards.

 

 

 

Customer Testimonial. Homeowner

“From start to finish, the Cocoon team was very professional, courteous, and easy to work with. They were patient, detailed, and easy to communicate with. Even after the project was sold, they were available for phone calls and follow-up questions. Project Manager, Tim O., was very attentive to my scheduling needs and from the day the project started to the day it finished, Tim was in contact with me consistently, letting me know the status of the project and when they would be there. The project site was clean each and every day. Anyone who stopped by wouldn’t have known that any work was even being done. I would not hesitate to hire Cocoon for additional projects or refer them to any of my friends or relatives.”

–Michael  Fahning (Eden Prairie, MN)

Curtis Sturgill gets published by Metal Construction News

Curtis Sturgill, National Sales Manager for High-R Metal Building Insulation, a patented product owned and offered by Kinzler Construction Services, published an article titled “Retrofit Insulation, What Should You Know?” on Metal Construction News’ website in September.

Below are some key points and several quotes from Curtis Sturgill that appear in the article.

1.Air Sealing:

“No matter what type of insulation system you decide to use when retrofitting your structure, if it is not properly air sealed you might as well light your wallet on fire.”

2. Cavity Insulation:

“Attempting to get a fiberglass batt to fit in an existing cavity with no air pockets for condensation to occur is like finding a needle in a haystack.”

3. Retrofit Thermal Blocks?

“With an existing building it is next to impossible to add a thermal block unless you address the topside of the roof in some manner.”

4. Return on Investment

“There is a lot to be said for material R-values and installed R-values, a big misunderstanding by a lot of consumers and even some in our industry.”

5. Choosing the Right Company

“With the hassle of working around existing equipment and mechanical units, limiting downtime or slowed production of your employees, it is just as important to choose the right company as it is to find the right product.”

Project Profile. Home Performance

The customer had been experiencing ice dams for over 30 years. Raking the roof every winter was just a part of their normal routine and they learned that taking a vacation during the winter was not possible after coming home to ice dam damage and water intrusion. Upon consideration of selling their home, they were curious to see if this long-standing problem could be resolved because they did not want to pass on the burden of ice dams to a new potential homeowner.

A home performance assessment was conducted to create a specific scope of work aimed towards preventing ice dams and improving overall home performance. It was determined that air sealing, adding insulation to the attic and ensuring proper attic ventilation was necessary. The work was performed and a final test was conducted to gather data for comparison. The overall air leakage of the home was reduced by 20%.  Not only are ice dams no longer an issue, but the overall energy efficiency and comfort of the home have greatly increased.  Now the homeowners feel that anyone would be lucky to live in their high performance home.

  • Location

    Home Performance Before&After
  • Before

    Home Performance Before&After
  • After

    Home Performance Before&After
  • Home Performance Before&After
  • Home Performance Before&After
  • Home Performance Before&After
  • Home Performance Before&After
  • Home Performance Before&After
  • Home Performance Before&After

Project Profile. Retrofit

A homeowner recently remodeled but they were still experiencing high energy bills.  During the first winter of the renovation, condensation in the attic was developing to the point that water was dripping into the newly remodeled areas of the home and the roof sheathing was beginning to show signs of deterioration.

Upon evaluation we found that the attic insulation had been disturbed during the renovation.  The attic floor also had many gaps and penetrations from plumbing, electrical and framing components that had not been air sealed (typical for the age of the home).  We also found that a whole-house humidifier was set to allow higher than recommended levels of indoor humidity during peak winter periods.  We discovered that conditioned, moisture-laden air was migrating into the attic and forming frost on the underside of the roof.  This migration was likely increased unintentionally due to upgrades in the home’s windows, doors and siding during the renovation.

Kinzler removed the damaged and wet insulation so that the attic floor could be properly air sealed, stopping the conditioned air from escaping into the attic and ventilation chutes were installed to allow for proper ventilation of the attic.  A skim coat of spray-applied foam was installed on the entire attic floor for a complete air seal and supplemental fiberglass was installed to meet code R-values.  The customer also consulted the manufacturer of the whole-house humidifier for recommended settings based on outdoor temperatures. 

 

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