4 Top Reasons to Remove and Replace Insulation

Credit: Mindy Georges, FlickrCCMany of us view insulation rather simply – you either have it, or you don’t. If you don’t have insulation, you might consider installing some, since insulating your home can significantly reduce energy costs. If you do, however, have insulation, it’s not uncommon to assume your work is done, and that you don’t need to worry about it anymore.

That’s not exactly true. Even if your home is insulated, that insulation may be old, and outdated. Old and outdated insulation can sometimes be just as bad as no insulation at all.

So today, we thought we’d talk about replacing your existing insulation – why you should do it, when it’s time to replace it, and what to keep in mind.

As you’re gearing up to replace your existing insulation, consult with A&D Construction Plus to make sure you don’t overlook any relevant aspects.

So why should you replace insulation?

1.   There’s been water damage.

It’s natural for your home to fall prey to some amount of water damage over the years. Even the best sealed, and well-insulated houses in time and through natural wear and tear suffer the damage of heavy rain, snow, and flooding.

All of these natural elements can, in time, permeate the roof and the walls, getting to the insulation itself. Now, this will depend on the type of insulation you’re sporting, as some are more susceptible to mold and mildew than others. Fiberglass insulation, for instance, is known to be very resistant to mildew. However, that’s not to say it’s 100% proof. Even fiberglass insulation can have paper layers which are difficult to air out and dry, so once they become wet, there’s a good chance they’ll develop mildew or mold.

Of course, other types, like cellulose-based insulation, are even more susceptible.

Mold and mildew don’t just weaken your insulation, but they actually pose a threat to your health, since prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory problems.

2.   They fall prey to pests.

It’s no secret that animals love attics, and that this is one of the most likely areas where you’ll find squirrels, raccoons, bats, opossums, and pretty much any other type of nuisance wildlife.

Why? Because most people don’t spend that much time in the attic, and typically use it for storage. As such, there isn’t much traffic through the attic, while there are lots of boxes, and storage items for animals to nest in.

What does that mean for your insulation? In one word, damage. Some animals, like opossums, are naturally heavy, and will trample your insulation under their feet. Trampled insulation obviously is less efficient.

Some animals may tear out bits of insulation to use as construction material for their nest.

Last but not least, you need to consider animal feces as a threat to your insulation. Because animal feces tend to be highly acidic in nature, this can destroy the insulation pretty fast, rendering it useless.

3.   Insulation actually doubles as soundproofing.

While most people only take into account the thermal benefits of insulation when first installing it, insulation can also go a long way in creating a more peaceful, noise-less home. Insulation effectively acts as a buffer layer between you and the world outside. The air bubbles inside the insulation act as a shield against car horns, cries, loud music, arguing, and any other external noise that may disrupt the flow of your day.

As with anything, though, in time, insulation becomes old and ragged, and not as efficient. If you’re constantly complaining how loud your house seems to be, and how there’s always noise from outside, it might be a sign of faulty, weak insulation.

4.   You’re noticing uneven, inconsistent temperatures.

In theory, your insulation should act as a buffer between your home and the outside world, preventing the passage of heat. That’s to say, it should keep your home warm in the winter for longer, but also prevent hot temperatures from permeating in the summer.

Now, even old insulation can do that, that much is true. However, if you’ve been noticing inconsistent temperatures in different areas of your home, your insulation might be to blame.

As the years go by, even the best insulation falls prey to natural wear and tear, and becomes crumbly. This causes the insulating layer to lose its properties in the areas where it’s most decayed. That’s why you find inconsistent temperatures in the house. And that’s not just inconvenient – the colder rooms will require additional heating, thus causing a spike in your energy bill.

So, now that you know about the danger of squirrel feces, old, crumbly insulation, and noise reduction, what are you waiting for? It’s sound practice to have a professional examine your home’s insulation periodically, to make sure it’s in proper working order. While it may seem like a hassle to replace the insulation now, it’s actually way easier than having to deal with the huge electrical bills, and the cold rooms this winter.