Serving Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, & Middlesex County
To keep the air quality of your home healthy, prevent damage to your attic and roof, and keep your HVAC system running cost-efficiently, it’s important to maintain an air barrier between the living space of the home and the attic. Simply put, everything works better when attic air is kept out of the house and house air is kept out of the attic. Why? Let’s start with keeping attic air where it belongs. If you’ve ever ventured into the attic, especially during the warmer months, you know that attic air can be outright nasty. It often contains dust particles and other contaminants — contaminants that can cause health problems for the home’s occupants. The less attic air that enters your home’s living spaces, the better.
Just as important, we want to keep living space air out of the attic. Living space air can can be filled with water vapor. When that air is exposed to colder attic temperatures, the vapor gas condenses into water droplets that can potentially cause roof rot and mold growth (unfortunately, mold is an all-too-common attic contaminant). Living space air naturally tries to move up into the attic, especially in the winter, because of the “stack effect.” Heated air rises and expands. As air heats up, its molecules are pushed farther away, making it lighter (that’s why hot air balloons float). The air pushes upward against the attic floor. If there is a way for the air to find its way in, it will. Air leakage into the attic stresses your HVAC system, increasing your heating and cooling bills. There are a number of possible sources of air leaks, but attic hatches are at the top of the list. More often than not, attic hatches are unsealed and have gaps that allow for unwanted air movement. There is an easy solution for this: Attic stairway covers.
The homeowner mentioned to us that he was concerned that his attic hatch was causing significant air leakage. We had the perfect product: the Hatchmaster Attic Stairway Cover. This lightweight, durable cover secures around the perimeter of the attic hatch frame. It’s made of double-bubble reflective insulation, has a 15 R-Value, and a heavy-duty zipper to open and close.
This Windsor homeowner had suffered through both a bat and raccoon infestation in his attic. Cowley's worked with the homeowner to evaluate the problems, and identify a solution that would revitalize and protect their attic. We cleaned the attic, sanitized, deodorized, and then installed TAP Pest Control Insulation to insulate and protect against future pest problems.
Rhett Cowley and I were sent out to a home in Jackson. This home had previously been serviced for bat exclusion by Little Rascals by Cowleys, our wildlife division. In this TAP insulation project, Rhett and I would be removing all of the fiberglass insulation in the main attic space, as this insulation had bat guano (droppings) and urine saturation and staining. The insulation has to be bagged in the attic before it can be transported down to the dumpster container to prevent contamination.
Following the removal of all of the affected insulation, all of the bat droppings must be HEPA vacuumed. A HEPA vacuum is used to prevent air borne contamination of the dangerous guano. Afterwards, we completely sanitized and deodorized the entire attic using a professional grade chemical treatment. The following day I returned with James Baggata, another wildlife technician and TAP installer to prepared the attic by enclosing the recessed lights and installing baffles to allow air flow from the soffits. Then finally, the TAP Pest Control Insulation is blown in.
The installation of TAP will not only help repel many common pests, but can provide savings on energy bills and add a sound insulation to the attic.
These Beachwood homeowners had a colony, or cloud, of bats nesting in their attic for quite a while. Although there was no longer an active bat infestation. the bats left behind a toxic mess of guano (bat droppings).
After the clean-up, we replaced the attic insulation. Cowleys is more than a pest control service. We also provide a variety of home improvement services, including installing insulation. Cowleys are a licensed dealer and installer of TAP Pest Control Insulation. Based on its specs, this insulation is one of the best insulation products on the market. TAP, which stands for Thermal, Acoustical, and Pest Control, offers superior thermal and acoustical (sound-deadening) properties as well as third component that is missing from most insulation products — a pest control component. The paper fibers are treated with a borate solution that is harmless to people, but lethal to many insects including ants, beetles, and termites.
For this attic, we blew in 10" of fresh new TAP insulation. Because of its excellent thermal capabilities, TAP insulation helps homeowners make a significant dent in their heating and cooling bills. Ten inches of TAP insulation has a 40 R-value. This translates a well-insulated attic, more than enough for the high and low temperatures that we can expect in New Jersey. A higher R-value increases the efficiency of the HVAC system by keeping the home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and with TAP, a homeowner will see noticeable savings on their utility bills.
A home in Toms River had a mouse infestation in the attic. A Cowleys pest control technician quickly resolved the infestation, and potential entry points were closed. However, mice were not the only problem. Depending on the length of the infestation and the type and number of invading wildlife, a homeowner may find himself with significant property damage. Often, it’s the attic insulation that takes the worst beating. Once mice or other wildlife takes up residence in the attic, a good portion of the insulation is often ruined beyond repair. The insulation is not only torn and shredded, but it is saturated with urine and droppings. Wildlife droppings can contain bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens. When the pellets dry, microscopic spores are then released into the air, which is a health hazard for the home’s occupants. The urine odors are often so strong that they permeate through the entire house. Unfortunately, this ruined insulation in this Toms River home could not be salvaged and had to go.
This homeowner had first-hand experience with the quality of Cowleys services, and was happy that he could continue to rely on Cowleys, which has its own experienced home improvement team to handle all of its insulation projects. Cowleys installs TAP Pest Control Insulation, an environmentally safe, ENERGY STAR designated, UL classified, fire retardant loose-fill cellulose insulation that is made primarily from ground-up newspaper. TAP stands for Thermal, Acoustical, and Pest Control. This insulation not only offers superior thermal and acoustical (sound-deadening) properties, but also offers a proven method of pest control. The paper fibers are treated with a borate solution, which, while harmless to people, is lethal to certain insects including ants, beetles, and termites.Because TAP insulation is safe to use around children and pets, it does not affect mammals such as mice, rodents, or other wildlife pests. For these pests, you still require traditional pest-control methods such as blocking potential entry points into your home.
The insulation team completely removed the contaminated insulation and debris. Next, we applied a disinfectant (steri fab) to sterilize the attic, so the attic would be as good as new. Once we were done, there was not a single trace that there ever was a mouse infestation. We then prepped and staged the attic by boarding off usable floorboards and installing baffles to allow the attic to ventilate properly, which is important so that excess moisture is removed and a mold problem is not triggered down the road. Good attic ventilation is important for a variety of reasons from cooling down the house in the summer to preventing ice dams from forming in the winter. Some insulation installers cut corners to save time and block the attic’s venting system. Cowleys has had to treat attic mold problems in homes because of this oversight.
Finally, we installed the TAP insulation. The homeowner was pleased. He not only has an attic that is free of wildlife odors, but has also improved the value of his home by having expertly installed top-quality attic insulation. With TAP in his attic, he will save money on his heating and cooling bills for years to come.