Frequently Asked Questions for T•A•P
With all of the “green” claims on products these days, is T•A•P truly environmentally friendly?When viewed in the context of the entire product life-cycle (from production to operation to disposal), cellulose insulation is one of the greenest building products in the world. Cellulose insulation takes less energy to make than other insulation products, is made from 80%+ recycled paper, reduces a home’s carbon footprint by saving energy, and provides no post-installation waste. T•A•P is the only product labeled by EPA to control insects that also bears an Energy Star label!
Does T•A•P have to be renewed or replaced to continue to control insects?
No. Pests cannot build up tolerance to the borates in T•A•P, so the pest control properties remain in effect as long as the insulation remains in the home.
My research shows boric acid is roughly as toxic as table salt. If so, how can it kill pests?
Boric acid attaches to the bodies of the pests as they crawl through or nest in the insulation. Since these pests are “self-grooming” insects, they ingest the boric acid when they groom themselves. As the pests cannot excrete the boric acid, it accumulates in the gut, eventually proving lethal due to dehydration, malnutrition, or both.
How long does installation on an existing home take?
Installing T•A•P over existing attic insulation typically takes half a day, although installation time depends on the size of the home.
I already have insulation in my attic, do I need T•A•P?
Probably. First, your current insulation most likely does not have pest control properties, so adding T•A•P would be greatly beneficial. Second, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a fairly significant amount of insulation (R-49) in residential attics. This amount far exceeds most building codes and specs which means that many homes do not have enough insulation. It has been estimated that 65% of homes in the U.S. are under-insulated, and most homes over 10 years old have about 1/3 of the recommended amount of insulation.
Does T•A•P smell?
The borates in T•A•P actually help absorb and reduce any foul odors.
Do I need to take my existing insulation out before installing T•A•P?
No. T•A•P can be installed right on top of existing insulation. However, it may be advisable to remove your existing insulation if previously damaged by pests.
How is T•A•P installed?
T•A•P is blown in using a machine. When blown in, T•A•P forms a perfect fit in your wall or attic, seeking nooks and crannies and filling the entire cavity. Stud cavities in attics are not uniform in size; thus, gaps and voids form when traditional insulation rolls are used. Unlike the fiberglass insulation rolls, T•A•P is never cut on the jobsite, or stuffed into the cavity to fit behind pipes and conduits (which reduces the effectiveness of insulation). Once blown in, T•A•P fits over your ceiling like a blanket.
Isn’t cellulose insulation a fire hazard?
This is a common myth often perpetuated by other insulation industries. Most houses are cellulose (made from wood and forest products). T•A•P contains a fire-retardant that actually makes homes safer in case of fire. Ordinary fiberglass insulation can melt, creating a chimney-like effect in a wall. T•A•P, with its fire-retardant characteristics, will not hold a flame and forms a “charred” surface barrier which limits the spread of fire.
What is T•A•P made of?
Recycled paper and specially formulated borates.
Who can install T•A•P?The government closely regulates any product that claims to have an effect on insects or other pests. Because T•A•P is a substance that controls pests, it must be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as each individual state in which it is sold. These entities mandate that T•A•P can only be installed by licensed pest management professionals.
How much does T•A•P cost?
The cost of installing T•A•P varies depending on several factors including access, location, market, size, etc. As with most things, you get what you pay for. T•A•P is a product for the discriminating homeowner who wants the best for their home. In time, T•A•P most often pays for itself by reducing energy costs!
How does T•A•P reduce my bills?
T•A•P keeps homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter by reducing the ability for heat to transfer through walls and attics. Because T•A•P is denser than fiberglass insulation, air does not move through it well, so it resists heat transfer by convection, as well as conduction and radiation. And since there aren’t the leaks and drafts associated with ordinary insulation, mechanical systems don’t work as hard and can often be down-sized, further saving money. Areas in the home maintain more uniform temperatures between floors and ceilings, upstairs and downstairs, even next to exterior walls.
Where do I buy T•A•P?Ask your trusted pest management professional about T•A•P. If they do not offer it, click on the “Where do I buy” tab under the “Homeowner’s” section of this site to find an installer near you.
Doesn’t all cellulose insulation control pests?
Most cellulose insulation contains some boric acid or crude borates to provide fungi resistance and to act as a fire retardant. Whether a particular borate substance can or will kill an insect depends on several factors, including the formula, concentration (i.e. dosage), and presentation of the substance. Some cellulose insulation may contain boric acid at insufficient levels to kill some insects, and some insulation may contain sufficient concentration but the substance may not be presented in a form that can be ingested by insects. Without proper testing and registration, it is nearly impossible to know if the borates or borate derivatives in cellulose insulation will control insects. Therefore, only products that have an EPA label and have been scientifically tested, such as T•A•P, can legally claim to control insects.
Does T•A•P control mice, rats, or squirrels?
No, T•A•P has no effect on mice, rodents, or squirrels. However, it does not act as a food source for these animals.I received a quote from a contractor and he says his insulation is “the same thing” as T•A•P but cheaper. Is this true?No. T•A•P can only be installed by licensed pest management professionals. If told that a product can affect insects, ask to see the EPA label!
Does T•A•P “repel” or “resist” insects?
No. T•A•P is lethal to certain insects that come in contact with the insulation. Many companies claim that the boric acid in their product “resists” or “repels” insects. Scientific studies reveal that boric acid is undetectable to insects. Insects cannot be repelled from something that they cannot detect, so individuals or companies that make such claims are uninformed about the scientific properties of boric acid.