Blown-in insulation is becoming more and more densely packed when it comes from the manufacturer. The good news is that you can now carry more products and complete more jobs (or square footage) without having to reload the truck. That said, the change in density changes how material loads into the machine.
Blowing machines are designed to feed the material through the machine without assistance from the loader, but on job sites many open bags from the wrong end and bridge across the machine, causing crew members to get a broom or 2×4 and start shoving material into the agitators. One cause for needing to force the material to feed into a machine is improperly loading the material. On smaller blowing machines it is common to need to cut the bags in half in order to load the machine. Larger blowing machines will allow you to feed a full bag at a time.
For this reason, the first step of getting maximum coverage is loading the machine properly. When you open a bag of fiberglass the material will expand to more than twice its size. It is best to let the material expand into the hopper and do not shove the material into the machine without letting it expand. The more the material expands, the less conditioning the machine will have to do to the material. When opening bags of cellulose, it is a good idea to break up the first few bags by hand to help the machine agitate the material. The next bags will naturally break up from the bouncing on top of the previous material in the hopper.
Another reason they may need to force the material to feed is an issue with the blowing machine. A couple of common causes would be bent agitators or leaky airlock seals. All of these could cost you time, wasted material, and money.
For more tips and information on blowing insulation or any of the products IDI carries, come to an IDI training, reach out to your local branch, or contact us at the main office. Our goal is to help you grow profitably and we look forward to doing that every day.