Duck Calls & Energy-Efficient Homes
Ryan Howard, brother of Duck Dynasty’s Korie Robertson, had his home insulated with spray polyurethane foam with the ‘help’ of a very special crewmember.
By Juan Sagarbarria
If you’re a fan of reality TV, as well as ample, fully-grown beards, chances are you watch A&E’s smash-hit show Duck Dynasty. Going into their eighth season, the show follows the lives of the three-generation Robertson family into the Louisiana backwoods where they share their niche specialty, duck hunting, with millions of viewers worldwide. Not only are they expert duck hunters themselves, they have created a business empire known as Duck Commander, which has a substantial offering based on duck hunting and duck hunting accessories, from hunting tools to their signature duck call (also known as Duck Commander). Their “quacky” and incredibly lucrative operation aside, Duck Dynasty’s members also appreciate comfortable indoor living and energy efficiency, which is why Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander, and his wife Korie had their home insulated with spray polyurethane foam a while back. Spray foam certainly made its impression on them, and it wasn’t long before Korie Robertson’s brother, Ryan Howard, learned about the benefits of spray foam, and in turn decided to have his own home insulated.
“They love it and now I’m loving it too,” says Howard.
Opting for SPF
Howard’s 6,500 sq. ft. newly constructed house (4,000 sq. ft. heated), is located in West Monroe, Louisiana – which is Duck Dynasty territory, and just a short ride from his sister and brother-in-law’s home. He sought an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient product for his home, and even though he’d heard of SPF insulation’s benefits from Korie, he originally weighed the option of a solar panel installation to conserve energy. So, Howard phoned a friend in the solar panel business to inquire about the logistics of a solar panel installation, but his friend’s response took Howard by surprise.
“He told me that my best option would be to spray foam the house instead, which would require a much lower energy load and the payoff would be much sooner than with solar,” says Howard. “I thought to myself, ‘Wow here’s a guy in the industry and has a chance to make a sale and instead points me in another direction!’’’
Friend of a Friend
His friend in the solar panel business actually pointed Howard in the direction of Shadrick “Shad” Wall, one of the owners of Energy Assault Solutions, a contracting company that specializes in the application of SPF insulation. Upon contact, it turned out that Shad used to live in West Monroe and is a longtime friend of the Duck Dynasty gang – and he was actually responsible for the SPF application in Willie and Korie Robertson’s home. Shad was also a constant presence in heated Texas Hold ’Em-style bi-weekly poker games with Ducky Dynasty star Si Robertson, among other players. Shad has since relocated to Houston, Texas, but had no reservations in making the commute to his old hometown in order to help a mutual acquaintance.
“Once he was sold on the benefits that SPF was going to provide for his home, Ryan called me and put two and two together about the people we both knew, but more importantly, we devised a plan for the insulation application,” says Shad. “He wanted it almost everywhere that was possible!”
The project consisted of the application of spray foam to the exterior walls, the underside of the roof, the garage, and the subfloors. Shad assembled a four-man crew from Energy Assault plus himself. They equipped themselves with two 16’ Isuzu Box Trucks, containing in-house, custom-designed skids with day tanks, Graco E-20 proportioners, PMC AP-2 spray guns, and a total of 400 feet of hose, and proceeded to Howard’s home.
SWD Urethane & Duck Dynasty Team Up
During this project, Energy Assault worked directly with SPF systems house SWD Urethane (SWD). Throughout the project, they installed SWD’s Quik-Shield 106, a 0.5 lb. open-cell spray foam. At the same time the project was green-lit, SWD Urethane members were promoting their recently released, game-changing open-cell spray foam technology – Quik-Shield 108 (see “Open-Cell Game Changer” in May/June 2016 for more information). In the midst of this, Shad decided to pull some strings and subsequently place a unique promotional opportunity on SWD’s radar that entailed having his old card-playing buddy Si Robertson talking about spray polyurethane foam and SWD’s offerings post-application. SWD Marketing Director Alan Annis and his team jumped at the chance.
“We were ecstatic about the opportunity of working with Si,” says Annis. “Spray foam is a fantastic product, but if we can have someone talk about it in a more entertaining and stimulating manner, then all the better.”
And so, by way of persuasion from Howard, Shad, and Annis, Duck Dynasty’s arguably most eccentric character agreed to endorse SWD Urethane’s spray foam.
Ready, Set, Spray
Meanwhile, the SPF project got underway. Prior to spraying foam, the Energy Assault crew prepped the frame of the home by masking off the window and door openings with plastic sheeting. Additionally, the crew applied TVM’s Bull Seal adhesive caulking sealant to the king studs around the framing of the openings. In order to get to the cathedral ceiling underside, the crew built a six-foot scaffold and worked off of it. The Energy Assault crew wore PPE consisting of custom-made coverall suits that displayed the SWD logo on them, full-face respirators that attached to a fresh-air system, steel-toed boots, and gloves. They also placed large industrial fans around the work area and had them going for proper ventilation throughout the entire application.
The installation consisted of 3.5 inches of open-cell foam being put on the exterior walls, the subfloors, and the garage of the home. For the underside of the roof, the crew increased the foam depth, applying 5.5 inches to the ceiling of the attic space between the rafters. Two days and nearly three sets of foam later, the insulation portion of the home was completed.
The Fifth Crewmember
Foam installed, it was time for Si Robertson to take center stage. According to Annis, SWD wanted “Si to be Si:” To discuss SPF while maintaining his regular demeanor and comedic prowess as the camera rolled.
“We wanted to keep Si in his element,” says Annis. “So, we gave him a general idea about how SPF works and let him roll with it. We had some assistance from a local production team who worked with Si in the past, so the sequence that was shot almost mimicked the natural feel of the show.”
Si arrived onsite wearing jeans, a grey-and-black flannel shirt, and a black hat that can only be described as a cross between a cowboy and a fedora hat, which nearly covered his grey ponytail. At first, he examined the area with its new insulation system in place. Then, while sipping iced tea, the Duck Dynasty star suited up in an SWD coverall, wielded one of the Energy Assault crew’s AP-2 guns, and started shooting the place up à la Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando. Of course, no foam ever came out the gun due to the unfortunate circumstance of Si lacking the “licensed SPF applicator” title in his highly decorated resume – yet it provided some much needed laughter and entertainment for the hardworking Energy Assault crew and the SWD team onsite.
“We ended up having a wonderful time at the shoot, and of course in regular Si fashion he was hilarious and kept us all laughing,” recalls Howard. “He really thought it was cool. And if you know Si, anytime he gets a chance to shoot (“spray”) anything, he is game!”
Shortly after, Si was coaxed into putting the spray gun down and instead discussing some of the benefits provided by SWD’s Quik-Shield SPF insulation that had just finished curing – it goes without saying that his speech was not void of color.
“Hey, boys – see this insulation behind me?” points out Si, while standing in front of one of the insulated walls in Howard’s home. “It’s foam, alright? Two reasons for it: Cost-effective, comfort, and it is energy-efficient. It ain’t rocket science… hey, on second thought, it is rocket science because they use two chemicals that mix together in a hose and heat it for it to expand!”
Even though Si’s SPF monologue might seem disjointed, he wasn’t far off in explaining the building science behind spray foam. In his element, he elucidated further about heat loss, as well as air infiltration.
“Heat is coming from the outside or going out from the inside? No! Heat ain’t going anywhere! Heat is going to bounce off the walls, rise and hit the ceiling, come back down… there ain’t nothing getting out and there ain’t nothing getting in, unless you let it in or you let it out!” explains Si. “Nothing’s coming through from the outside and nothing is coming out from the inside. It doesn’t take an idiot to figure this out!”
“Heat is coming from the outside or going out from the inside? No! Heat ain’t going anywhere! Heat is going to bounce off the walls, rise and hit the ceiling, come back down… there ain’t nothing getting out and there ain’t nothing getting in, unless you let it in or you let it out!” – The benefits of spray foam insulation as told by Si
Following Willie and Korie Robertson’s SPF home and the benefits therein, there is now another satisfied customer within the extended family of the Duck Dynasty members. With crucial helping hands from members of SWD, Energy Assault, and even Si Robertson, Howard’s home will now certainly have the energy efficiency he demanded. Shad confirmed one of the main components contributing to future low energy bills is the SPF’s air-sealing capability, which causes the home’s HVAC equipment to work less and still maintain an ideal climate inside the home, even on the hottest of days.
“So far, it’s been calculated that the HVAC equipment’s use and mechanical cost will be reduced by 35 percent,” says Shad. “It is no secret that the application of SPF to a home pays itself off in energy bills in the long run.”
As Howard’s home nears completion, he
notes that he can already feel an important difference as the height of the Louisiana summer draws near.
“It’s one of those things that is theoretical until you experience it. We are still in the process of completing the house but it is beginning to get warm in Louisiana,” says Howard. “I can honestly say I am amazed at how cool my attic space is and how cool the house is staying with no A/C running. In my previous home, it would’ve felt like a hot box by now, but that’s not the case here. I’m sure I made a great decision – one that I would recommend to my friends and family. I believe I will be very pleased going through this first hot Louisiana summer.”
For more information, please visit www.swdurethane.com.
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