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Thursday, May 12, 2016
Thank-A-Teacher Campaign

Thank-A-Teacher Campaign

Thank A Teacher Campaign
DeVere Insulation is proud to be a 2016 sponsor of the Thank-A-Teacher Campaign through the 21st Century Education Foundation in partnership with the Anne Arundel County Public School System.

During the week of National Teacher’s Appreciation Day (May 2 through May 6), the Thank-A-Teacher Facebook Campaign asked their Facebook Friends to nominate their favorite active AACPS teacher. With nearly 3,000 votes, the winners were Central Elementary, Meade Middle, Annapolis High and Ruth Parker Eason. As a sponsor, our company helped secure prizes for these winning schools.

For more about the 21st Century Education Foundation, click here.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Four Easy Steps to Better Insulation

Four Easy Steps to Better Insulation

Air Leaks
It happens so often that residents in newly constructed homes or who occupy commercial spaces pay higher-than-necessary energy bills. Lower bills means happier customers – why not take the extra steps to ensure your customers are happy?

Here are four easy steps to keep your customers happy and ensure insulation is properly installed the first time.

Damaged insulation can be a result of something serious like fire or water damage, or something that was never even realized like weather or critter damage. Disrupted insulation is often caused by other subcontractors who may go into the attic to make upgrades or repairs. They move the insulation out of the way (e.g. blow-in fiberglass) and fail to put it back in place, or trample fiberglass which considerably reduces its R-value. Be diligent: if work is done or changes are made to insulated spaces, call your insulation team back in to be sure the product is in proper condition.

Properly installing insulation is critical to ensure your customer gets the most from their investment. An insulation professional knows how to properly install insulating products. One product most often improperly installed is fiberglass batts. Many people believe they are qualified to install them, but many are misaligned leaving gaps which reduces its effectiveness. Specific problems we see are batts that are torn, patted down, not cut to fit around openings/pipes, not touching the surface they are supposed to insulate (attic floor, for instance), or missing all together. Hire a qualified insulation contractor to be sure your customer is getting the most out of their investment.

Most commonly seen in renovations or rehabs, many older homes simply don’t have insulation levels that meet today’s coded. Recommended insulation levels for our region are as follows:
    Ceilings: R-49
    Walls: R-21
    Floors: R-30
    Basement Wall: R-13
When considering these standards we always recommend paying special attention to not just meeting codes, but also optimizing energy efficiency. Air sealing the building envelope can have a very short payback time through lower energy bills.

Similar to insufficient insulation, we run into cases where areas that should have been insulated were neglected or overlooked. Common trouble spots include knee walls, dropped soffits, chimney chases and sealing around attic access doors. Each exposed area is an opportunity for conditioned air to escape. When planning insulation on a new home or other space, be sure to take these areas into consideration.

Have questions about a current or upcoming project? We have the answers. Contact us today.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016
Save Up To $500 By Adding Insulation to Your Home!

Save Up To $500 By Adding Insulation to Your Home!

Adequate insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways a homeowner can save money on their annual energy bills! No matter the season, insulation helps to keep your heating or cooling bills in line. Thanks to the renewed energy tax credit, you can save both on your utility bill and your insulation investment!

Here is what you need to know to take advantage of the offer:

Have questions? Contact our office.

ICAA Tax Credit

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015
The V Factor

The V Factor

The “V” Factor: What You Need to Know About Ventilation in New Construction.

Ceiling Air VentVentilation is becoming an important topic is the world of energy efficient homebuilding (sometimes referred to as the “V” Factor). With the increase in green building and the tighter building envelopes that result, a new problem has emerged for builders. New buildings that are increasingly airtight can have poor indoor air quality.

Why the increase in air quality problems?
Older homes weren’t built as tightly as today’s standards and were ventilated by the wind or natural air leakage.  Let’s not forget that some older homes had no insulation or insulation made of natural materials. These older products did not include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), flame retardants or other additives commonly found in building products today, so ventilation wasn’t as much of an issue.

Today roughly 25 million Americans suffer from asthma. The idea of an “airtight” house  – which might be energy efficient – may not provide proper ventilation ensure their health.

Today’s tight building envelopes require controlled mechanical ventilation to maintain optimal air quality. And it’s a part of energy efficiency that can be overlooked.

Which type of ventilation is best? There are a number of factors that ultimately influence which system is most appropriate. These include code requirements, the size of the building, combustion appliance type, and budget. Four common ventilation system options are especially suited to energy efficient homebuilding:

  • Exhaust Only — This common method uses a small exhaust fan placed in a kitchen or bathroom, which runs continuously or intermittently to exhaust stale air and moisture. These systems are inexpensive and easy to install.
  • Supply Only — In supply only ventilation systems, a fan brings in fresh air and stale air escapes through cracks and air-leakage sites in the home. These systems can include a filter to trap pollen and dust or a dehumidifier to control indoor humidity levels.
  • Balanced — A balanced system provides a much better ventilation solution because it includes separate fans that drive both inlet and exhaust air flow, which allows control of where the fresh air comes from and where it is delivered. Typical systems are designed to ventilate living rooms and bedrooms where people spend most of their time.
  • Balanced with Heat Recovery — These systems co-locate the usually separate fresh air and exhaust fans and an air-to-air heat exchanger so that the outgoing house air will precondition the incoming outdoor air. This system is ideal for colder climates.  

Have questions about the proper ventilation system for your home or commercial building? Contact us today.

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Friday, October 9, 2015
Confined Space Guidelines

Confined Space Guidelines

OSHA's Permit-Required Confined Space Guidelines

Confined Space
As a partner in your success, we want to share the latest Confined Spaces Guidelines from OSHA. You can find the complete publication here.

Residential and commercial builders, remodeling contractors, home inspectors, sales representatives, and estimating contractors are all effected by these new guidelines so be sure to share this with your entire team.

First things first, what is a Confined Space?

A confined space is a space that…
  • Is large enough for a person to enter and work
  • Has limited or restricted means of entry and exit
  • Is not designed for continuous occupancy

OSHA defines a permit-required confined space as a space that has at least one of the following characteristics:
  • Contains or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere
  • Contains a material that has the potential to engulf an entrant
  • Has an internal configuration such that an entrant could be trapped or asphyxiated
  • Contains any other recognized serious safety and health hazard

Hazards associated with confined spaces include:
  • Slips, Trips, & Falls
  • Electrical equipment and wiring
  • Flammable materials or chemicals
  • Health hazards (i.e. Dust, Mold, Rodents)
  • Mechanical equipment
  • Hot surfaces
  • Combustible materials
  • Utility Lines (i.e. Gas)
  • Structural Collapse
  • Additional Concerns
  • Noise
    • Amplified due to acoustics of the space
    • Damages hearing and affects communication
  • Slippery or wet surfaces
    • Increased risk of falls and electrical shock
  • Personal protective equipment
    • More common PPE such as hard hat, hard-toed boots, safety glasses, face shield, gloves, and overalls must be worn when needed

If a hazardous atmosphere is detected while a worker is in the confined space:
  • All activities should stop
  • The worker(s) should exit immediately
  • The hazard should be evaluated
  • Protective measures should be taken   

Always remember:   
  • Test the atmosphere prior to entry and periodically
  • Never enter a confined space if the atmospheric conditions are not suitable
  • Ensure an attendant is outside the confined space at all times
  • Follow your company’s confined space permit

Prevent delays and keep your job site safe by:
  • Identifying Confined Spaces in advance
  • Identifying all hazards in the space
  • Controlling all hazards in the space
  • Educating and training employees
  • Avoiding creating permit required spaces
  • Staying current as the rules change
  • Staying on top of your program
  • Communicating with GC and Subs

Trust DeVere Insulation to uphold the highest standards of safety to keep your job site safe. Contact us today!

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