June 2013

Atlantic Sprayfoam: Plenty of Reasons for a Comfortable Life at Home

Author: Michael Paskevich | Photographer: Carrie Friesen Photography

Place a phone call to Atlantic Spray Foam insulation in Okatie, and its owner T.J. Anderson answers, not an unknowing administrative assistant or another mind-numbing answering machine. “I’ve taken calls at 10 or 11 at night and I think that’s what people today really want,” Anderson said. “Like any other service business, this is about building relationships; and if a customer has questions or issues, I want them talking directly to me, the person who is on the job, instead of a manager who first reports to another manager.”

Anderson began learning the business in Statesboro, Ga., relocating to Okatie in 2008 after tiring of a corporate approach to business. He and a trio of certified staffers handle the insulation needs of homeowners and contractors throughout Beaufort County providing solutions to mold or mildew problems, costly energy-loss issues, or needs for a clean and functional upstairs storage area.

“Every house is different,” Anderson said, “so we give free estimates and comprehensive energy assessments using an infrared camera to see if there’s outside air coming in. We show them what we find, and that allows a homeowner to make a logical decision.”

Jamie Kaye, owner of Hilton Head-based Elm Energy Group, began working with Anderson a few years back and praises his hard work and honesty. “T.J. and I work together almost everyday and he is constantly helping me find better ways of testing homes for energy efficiency. I feel confident recommending him, he’s not just looking to sell you a product and then install it.”

Anderson explains that spray foam insulation started in 1970s as a heating-loss hedge against freezing Canadian winters. The process eventually migrated south to local climes where heat and humidity are big issues and cooling systems often struggle to keep homes comfortable in the summer. “If an air-conditioner is working upstairs where its 140 degrees, it’s not going to be as efficient and that has an impact on energy costs and the lifespan of the system,” he said. “What spray foam does in the north, it does for us in the south, and we can get the attic temperature down to around 85 degrees. It’s about being comfortable and enjoying your home year-round.”

Blocking outside air flow likewise lowers humidity. A properly sealed home also improves air quality by cutting down dust and critical condensation that, if left unchecked, can lead to mold and mildew. “Mold can tear up your sheet rock, and that creates much bigger problems,” he said. “Although there are people out there who are trying to scare people about mold. We get it in our showers and that doesn’t hurt us. Some types of mold can be dangerous, and just spraying a chemical on it isn’t going to help. It’s just a band-aid, and it’s going to come back. By going in and testing the root of the problem, we can permanently fix things before there’s real trouble.”

^Anderson & Family

Using a top-quality substance that’s environmentally safe and increasingly common in schools and hospitals, Anderson and company, unlike the majority of their competition, always remove existing fiberglass in older homes rather than just cover things up to save time and effort. The process takes a day or two, and Atlantic Spray Foam then uses Elm Energy’s Kaye for post-work infrared camera testing to assure a quality seal. “We want to get things right the first time so there won’t be any issues in the future. There are also times when we go in and have to fix somebody else’s work, too,” Anderson said.

“There isn’t a new home being built today that doesn’t have some sort of spray foam insulation in it,” he added, “but there are a lot of older homes around here that still don’t have it.” The ensuing energy savings alone has even more people taking a closer look at upgrading their insulation and comfort levels. “The power bill is going to be cheaper because it keeps the heating and cooling inside,” he noted. “But I don’t sell just based on power issues, because everyone’s lifestyle is different.”

Ben Kennedy of Brighton Builders in Bluffton is another fan of Anderson’s work. “Good insulation is a major improvement comfort-wise, and it really raises the resale value of a home,” Kennedy said. “What we especially appreciate about T.J. is that he’s so hands-on; he’s always there on the job site, and he really stands by the quality of his work.”

Anderson runs the area-wide operation out of an industrial section of the New River Mall just off Highway 170 that divides Beaufort and Jasper counties. His fully-equipped trucks respond to inquiries and, of course, “anytime someone calls, they learn they’ll only be talking to me,” he said. “I believe little things like that are very important.”

Atlantic Spray Foam is located at 49 Browns Cove, Suite A2, Ridgeland, SC 29936 and is open weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call (843) 441-6690 or e-mail tj@atlanticsprayfoam.net.

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