So, with a name like Mass Energy Lab, you’re an actual home insulation company?
Yup, a Cambridge, Massachusetts Insulation Company. We called ourselves Mass Energy Lab because we noticed a huge knowledge gap in the construction industry. A gap between the disciplines of physics and materials science and the construction industry. And that gap isn’t in a lab. It’s in the field, where the insulation is actually being installed. So we’re taking the lab to the field. Scientific Building Principles define our approach to home insulation and ventilation.
We’ve heard many roofing contractors talk incorrectly about “breathing roofs”, as well as many HVAC folks talk about “hot roofs” and attic ventilation in a manner that defies the laws of physics, just because it can be confusing. We see and hear highly suspect implementations and explanations of vapor barriers, water-resistant vs water-repellent, causes of ice dams, even the seemingly lowly water pipe insulation wraps. We believe our customers deserve real, science-backed explanations. After all, it’s your home. So it’s our job to be the Lab. Research and find solutions to your problem. And deliver them. Homes should breathe? Well, let us figure out how much your home should breathe...and how much it should sweat (lame geeky condensation pun intended). Hey, we're Cambridge, Mass based, what'd you expect?
What insulation project size do you specialize in?
We have a project minimum of $2000.00 for home insulation or ventilation projects in Massachusetts. This allows us to deliver the highest quality of product and service, along with the Quality Assurance and Warranty, on even the most basic of projects. We can also use such diagnostic building technology tools like the infared camera on each and every insulation estimate. Yup, we bring an actual thermal imaging camera to learn where you should invest in insulation in your home (read about the 5 benefits of WHY YOU SHOULD ONLY hire an insulation company in Massachusetts that uses an Infrared camera on all insulation estimates here). We don’t believe in the vague construction fallacy of “no job too small, no job too big”. We have a sweet spot and we have it down to a sweet science. So while there are some projects that are too big for us, $2000 is the most minimum sized project we take on.
Does Mass Energy Lab Insulation have Insurance and Licenses?
Yes, Mass Energy Lab Insulation is insured by industry leading national insurance companies in the following categories -
General Liability Insurance: That’s our property damage coverage insurance for you. Sometimes on a construction project, mishaps can occur. For example, a ladder can slide and hit a gutter. Its very important that when you hire a home insulation company, particularly in Massachusetts, where home values are significantly over the nation average, that as a homeowner you make sure that they have adequate General Liability insurance coverage.
Professional Liability Insurance: Frequently insulation contractors show up with a hose and trigger ready to spray foam insulation on your roof. In your unique situation, the roof should have been ventilated and then the floor of the attic should have been insulated. Professional Liability is a good insurance to have for insulation companies. Ask any company that you consider for a home insulation project whether they have Professional Liability Insurance or not. Again, with Massachusetts home values, its imperative to consider this, as a homeowner.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance: Companies are people working for people. Sometimes people can get injured at work when doing awesome things. This can be an issue when the work place is your home. Safety is a top priority for us with OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 certifications, as well as OSHA confined spaces certifications. However when injuries occur, the most important thing you can do as a homeowner hiring an insulation company is to make sure the contractor has Workers Compensation Insurance so that the liability doesn’t fall on you, as the injury occurred on your property.
Commercial Auto Insurance: Another critical Insurance for you to consider as a homeowner. Does the construction company driving their truck or van onto your driveway or street have auto insurance coverage?
Mass Energy Lab is well covered in all of the above categories as a professional experienced insulation contractor.
Additionally, Mass Energy Lab Insulation is a licensed Massachusetts Home Insulation Contractor. We have a Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor’s (HIC) License as well as a Massachusetts Construction Supervisor’s License (CSL).
When a Massachusetts insulation company tells you that they’re “licensed, bonded and insured”, as we often see on the sides of trucks and vans driving around, ask to see the actual licenses and look them up here.
Massachusetts HIC Look Up: https://services.oca.state.ma.us/hic/licenseelist.aspx
Massachusetts CSL Look Up: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/check-a-construction-supervisor-license
Once you pull it up, you may also come across prior complaints from other homeowners, complaint records, expiration date etc. This is all part of the due diligence so that you hire the most qualified home insulation company for your project and are protected by Massachusetts laws and insulation building construction codes.
What certifications do you actually have?
We’ve studied for and passed the Massachusetts Construction Supervisor License exam for Insulation. This is so we can understand Massachusetts insulation building codes and how homes are built here. Massachusetts building insulation codes are based off of the IECC - International Energy Conservation Codes.
We have even been certified by the SPFA (Spray Poly Foam Alliance) and are an actual SPFA member (one of only two Massachusetts Insulation Companies as of October 2018 to be certified to spray insulation by the SPFA in Massachusetts). We traveled down to Georgia for a week and visited multiple spray foam sites and manufacturers to see what spray foam success and failures are like, to be trained hands-on by people who have been insulating with spray foam insulation since the 1960.
We’ve additionally completed a number of AABA (American Air Barrier Association) courses and classes to understand how to tighten your home. Following Building Science Principles certification, we now follow the BPI whole-home-as-one-system approach as well as their motto of “do no harm” to the home.
We believe that learning all about home Insulation is not enough. We must also learn about how insulation acts and reacts with other components of the home.
Its why we've completed the Mold Remediation Training and Certification. Just so we can understand how and why mold grows in homes and how do we actually work to make sure that insulation installs don't cause a mold issue.
Its why we've completed HVAC trainings and certification, along with the ASHI (American Society of Home Inspection) trainings and certifications, so we can understand your Heating and Cooling systems and your duct work.
We even have completed all the ASHRAE 90.1 Ventilation Design, Assessment and Install Certifications for homes so that we can understand exactly how much a home should "breathe". Condensation on your window? We can work with you to solve that problem.
We recently got certified with the OSHA Confined Spaces program so we can learn how to deliver insulation projects in those tight attics and crawl spaces of your home, safely and effectively.
What are your industry associations?
We are a learning organization. Learning is dynamic. It involves focus, curiosity and the willingness to share the knowledge, along with obsession for the subject matter too, to truly be a master in the subject. For us, we aim to be the most knowledgeable insulation company you will ever work with so its our job to learn all about your home as well as how it would act with your home insulation design so we are a member of a number of associations for the purpose of continuing education.
In addition to the certifications from the numerous organizations listed above, where we are a member, we are also a member of the following continuing training organizations, unconventional for a home insulation company:
North American Technical Excellence for HVAC (NATE) -
NATE certification is the gold standard for technician development in HVACR.
Mass Energy Lab Insulation is an active member of the NATE and passed the exams to join so that we can constantly keep up with the real world knowledge needed to understand the relationship between your latest HVAC equipment in your home and the our plethora of insulation products that we install. The air quality in your home, the allergies of the family members and the comfort/humidity/temperature are all affected significantly when you add or remove insulation or HVAC systems.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) -
When you graduate from architecture school, you get a membership to the esteemed AIA. Based in D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image. The AIA also works with other members of the design and construction team to help coordinate the building industry.
We’re committed, lifelong members of the AIA as well. We have access to numerous classes and events that offer the latest developments in product and design of homes.
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) -
The standard for the American Home Inspection. As members we are able to have access to ASHI Online Learning Center as well as ASHI school to learn every component of home inspections as well as home insulation assessments, particularly Zone 5 marine energy zones like Massachusetts.
Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) -
Founded in 1987 originally as the Polyurethane Foam Contractors Division, the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) is the collective voice, along with the educational and technical resource, for the spray polyurethane foam industry. Our experienced staff and member-comprised committees provide a wide variety of services to the industry.
Mass Energy Lab Insulation is an active member of the Alliance and continues to receive training, education and the latest industry updates on everything from Spray Foam Insulation safety, application, the latest insulation R&D innovations, technical literature on insulation, state and federal regulations/codes as well as project best practices, to our homeowner clients in Massachusetts. www.sprayfoam.org/
What is your warranty on Insulation Projects?
All Mass Energy Lab Insulation installs are backed up by a TWO YEAR LABOR WARRANTY vs the industry’s standard ONE YEAR LABOR WARRANTY. We only partner up with and install building products and construction materials purchased from ISO companies and ones that meet ASTM standards.
ASTM’s building standards are instrumental in specifying, evaluating, and testing the dimensional, mechanical, rheological, and other performance requirements of the materials used in the manufacture of main and auxiliary building parts and components.
This allows us to install the finest premium insulation products out there from A grade product partner companies and back it up with the MASS ENERGY LAB INSULATION TWO YEAR LABOR WARRANTY vs the industry’s standard ONE YEAR LABOR WARRANTY.
This labor warranty is separate AND in addition to the stand alone manufacturer’s materials and parts warranty.
We are very transparent and explicit in our work agreements about our warranty so you can buy with confidence knowing that the real value of our project lies not just in the research and insulation selection process, along with the seamless install, but also the Post-Install Project support.
Why do you only focus on home insulation vs insulation companies than insulate anything at all?
While all buildings individually act as a whole system, homes have different specifications of use, occupancy times, as well building materials, in addition to a slew of other factors, that drastically differ from commercial and /or Industrial (C&I) buildings. C&I buildings also are governed by different standards and codes. For example steel stud construction with fiberglass insulation batts in the cavities have a different installed insulation R-value than wood framing construction with fiberglass insulation in a Zone 5 Massachusetts climate.
Homeowners also have different priorities around safety, use and concerns from a building owner or property manager of a commercial site. As of now, we have focused all of our efforts on mastering home insulation and homes. We have been in close to 6000 homes in Massachusetts to assess various insulation and ventilation related problems and have completed over a 1000 Massachusetts home insulation projects. We know what's important to homeowners. Getting your kids to the school bus stop at 6:48 am is as important to you (or even more) than just choosing the right vapor barrier for your home. We accommodate that. That’s what makes us a home insulation company vs an insulation contractor. See Why Should You Hire a Massachusetts Insulation Company That Only Insulates Homes Vs a General Insulation Company?
Do you offer project outcome guarantees?
Yes, we do sometimes. In an ever litigious industry like construction (the world’s largest construction company now calls itself a contracts company), we are sometimes able to work with you to identify a quantifiable outcome and then include a guarantee clause. This could be a pipe freeze or an ice dam project. We don’t shy away from guarantees and say things like, “well, nobody can guarantee anything”. Its more so about identifying the variables and then working to control them.
Sometimes, especially with insulation or ventilation solutions in existing home remodeling projects, we’re working with some areas or components that will not be altered and since the whole home works as one system, that can make a guarantee a bit of a challenge, however we actually do like to work to provide a guarantee, as we are an empirical company, that believes the famous words of Lord Kelvin - “if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”.
What is your typical homeowner client like?
We only work for homeowners of single family homes right now. And we only work for homeowners who really care about their homes, the results we achieve and the time we take to achieve it. Its why all of our certifications and continuing education is heavily focused on learning all about home insulation and Massachusetts homes.
We want to listen to your concerns, assess the symptoms and get on the same page as to what the problem is. We like to stay in the problem space for a while. Make sure we are asking the right questions. We provide science backed explanations for everything and work with you till you’re comfortable with the solutions. This is an important part of how we work. We don’t rush you. Your concerns are of utmost importance to us. So is your home.
We are not a good fit for homeowners looking for a by the board foot/square foot contractor, as we invest a lot in the design and diagnostic phases, along with the project install, management and post install support phases. Doing the job right is the most important thing to us, so we are typically not a good fit for the homeowner that wants to rush the project either. We frequently need to do due diligence with your city, or even a product manufacturer of another product already installed in your home, so we can do an awesome job for you and you’re happy with the insulation or ventilation results. This takes time and can mean researching actual latest technical documents published by industry organizations, like the ASTM or even us shipping a sample of your roofing shingle to a materials lab to make sure, that when solve your ice dam problems, we don’t cause a mold or mildew issue with another part of your home. If you appreciate this kind of process and straight answers that are empirically based, then we are the right company for you. Almost 80% of our work comes through referrals and repeat business from clients who are absolutely delighted and we have many awards for the same. Our reviews on 3rd party sites like Yelp and HomeAdvisor talk extensively about our quality and how we are never the lowest bid on a project. We are frequently the highest bid but add significantly more to the project.
This makes our project value add very unique and makes landlords looking to find fixes to hold off till next winter, and contractors interested in just meeting codes, flipping homes or low cost products not a good project design fit either.
So what is your post install support like?
Well, our post-install warranty kicks in right after the install is complete. We offer a two year labor warranty on all of our work vs the one year labor warranty so we always follow up with you directly after the project is complete. Your Insulation Project Manager will reach out to you personally after the project is complete, in a day or two, to ask how everything is.
Almost 2 in 5 clients do ask us a question or two or we may have to touch up something or come by to address something after the project install day. This isn't uncommon in general with construction projects. What we strive to do however is take ownership for anything for anything we do. We work to make sure that you're happy with the project and we can be your choice of insulation company for the long term. Almost 50% of our home insulation projects come from clients that we have already worked for before and 30% of our new clients come in through referrals from existing homeowner clients whom we have already solved problems for. Homeowners in Massachusetts do choose us year and year again to insulate different parts of their homes as they finish their basement or attic or even build a four season porch and want us now to come by and insulate the crawlspace under.
We want to be your insulation company of choice so do reach out to us and tell us more about your home insulation project!
Do you think we are a good match? Great! Then let's talk. Schedule a 15 minute phone call with a technical project manager below to discuss your home insulation project or fill out our contact us form