Is It Time to Replace Insulation in Your Attic: How To Know
If you live in an older home or it’s been a couple of decades since you had insulation installed, it could be time for a fresh batch. Many old homes were insufficiently insulated back in the day, and insulation does degrade and get damaged over the years. New insulation can improve your home’s energy efficiency, save money, and increase your comfort level.
There will be signs indicating that it’s time to replace the insulation in your attic, so keep reading to find out what you need to watch for.
1. Mold Growth
If you see mold growth on your existing insulation or around the framing of your ceiling plane, it’s a good indication that you need to remove and replace your old insulation. Mold shows that there is moisture is somehow getting into your attic or crawlspace.
You may need mold remediation to track down and address the issue because new insulation won’t solve the problem. You may not have a leak, but a leak isn’t the only way to get moisture into an attic.
Moist warm air in the conditioned rooms of your home can move up through small gaps. As it cools, condensation will build on the surfaces where mold can grow.
Check with your professional insulation service if you aren’t sure about how moisture is getting into your attic. They will examine your attic and address the issue so that mold won’t grow back.
2. Your Home is Old and Never Had Replacement Insulation
An old home that has never had the insulation replaced is a good candidate for having new insulation installed. Modern insulation materials have very long lifespans (30+ years for fiberglass insulation). Older insulating materials are not up to the same standards, so replacing them can make your home a lot more comfortable and energy efficient.
An old home may have a type of insulation called vermiculite. If you poke your head into your attic and see what appears to be small, grey-brown, or silver-gold pebbles, don’t disturb it. Vermiculite insulation can contain asbestos. You are not in mortal danger if your house is insulated with vermiculite, as long as you leave it alone and let the pros handle it.
We recommend you have it checked before doing anything else. If it does contain asbestos and you want new insulation, you will need a service qualified for asbestos removal to get rid of it.
3. Temperature Changes Between Rooms
If your living room is chilly but your bedroom is unbearably warm, it’s an indication that your insulation is not even across rooms.
Some types of insulation can compress over time, which compromises its resistance to heat (indicated as an R-value). It’s also possible the old insulation was not professionally installed and could need redoing.
4. Leaks and Water Damage
A leaky roof can cause major damage to the attic space if it’s not immediately addressed. In most instances, leaky roofs mean insulation will need to be replaced. It won’t be long before wet insulation develops into a mold outbreak.
Retained moisture can also get into the framework and building materials to spread mold growth to other areas of the house and lead to structural damage from wood rot.
Whenever you find a leak in your roof, always have your insulation checked as well. A small leak can go unnoticed for some time, and a little moisture can do a lot of damage.
5. Insulation Has Been Moved or Damaged
Repairs or renovations to your house can compromise your insulation coverage. Insulation may not be reinstalled as well as it should be or could have been damaged during construction.
Rooms that are different temperatures after a renovation are a good sign that the insulation has been moved. Your HVAC systems will use more energy to keep your home cool, which will increase your energy bills. Insulation that has been shifted may also leave gaps that can lead to condensation that will support mold.
6. Signs of Rodents
Rodent infestations can quickly decimate your attic insulation. The attic is the perfect hideout for rodents because it’s out of the way, warm, and humid. It’s even better if there’s a leak or condensation providing a source of moisture. Such a cozy home means any rodents taking up residence in your attic will quickly breed and get out of control.
Signs that you have a rodent problem in the attic include noises like squeaks, scampering, rustling, and gnawing from your ceiling or walls, and odors from dead bodies and their waste. Pets that have suddenly developed an intense interest in your walls and ceilings is another indication that pests have come to stay.
If rodents have had their way with your attic for some time, insulation needs to be removed and the attic space treated with rodent prevention measures. Only after the pests have been sufficiently dealt with and all entryways sealed, should you have new insulation installed.
Why A Professional Service Should Replace Insulation in Your Attic
Many types of insulation can be installed by just about anybody willing to work in a hot, cramped space like an attic or crawl space. However, not everyone is physically capable of traversing an attic. Even if you can, knowing how much insulation you need and how to ensure you have even coverage without any air gaps is difficult without experience.
Installing insulation yourself means you are limited in what you can use, which may not be the best type of insulation for your property. Professional installers will assess your property and recommend the insulation that is most suitable, which could be any one of the following materials:
- Rock wool insulation
- Mineral wool insulation
- Fiberglass batts
- Cellulose insulation
- Blown-in insulation (fiberglass fill or cellulose)
- Spray foam insulation
The above insulators are all great options, but many of them require professional tools and training to install. Trained experts also have the safety gear to protect themselves and your home from the release of decades of contaminant buildup.
Replacing attic insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to create a more energy-efficient and comfortable home. If you suspect it’s time to replace insulation in your attic, call Attic Pros, the professional insulation contractors near you today for a no-obligation appraisal.