When Should I Remove Attic Insulation?

Attic insulation helps keep your interior spaces comfortable while energy use is on the low. While you are trying to get cozy, you need to know that sometimes your insulation might fail or have some issues that might make you want to remove it.

Is it a question of time? Of climate? When should you remove your attic insulation? The right time to remove attic insulation is when you feel that it is no longer serving your needs and doing its job. Here are all the possible reasons for a removal and reinstallation.

The Attic is Pest Infested

Rats love a neighborhood with fruit trees, and they’ll turn your attic into their comfortable haven, especially if it’s warmer than the temperatures outside. You may even hear these nasty visitors squeaking and running up and down your attic at night. Rat urine and droppings are a health hazard and depending on your insulation material, you might be forced to remove it after a rat infestation.

Critters will build nests, make families, and invite friends to your attic. A party no homeowner wants! Other animals, such as bats, raccoons, and birds, also leave urine and droppings that are unpleasant to remove, and you are left with one option – removing the saturated insulation material.

Moisture Leading to Mold

If your attic was exposed to moisture, let’s say from a roof leak or steam from the kitchen or bathroom, and you haven’t addressed the issue, then you could have a bigger problem to deal with. If there’s mold and mildew in your attic, it won’t be wise to keep the insulation.

If you ignore wet insulation, mold will grow… and spread. However, our insulation experts will assess the situation and let you know whether you can remove the infected section only or if you need a bigger removal job. You might be tempted to install new insulation on top of the existing moldy one. We highly discourage that! Mold is alive and will continue to spread, making a small problem bigger in no time.

When Removing the Old Insulation is Needed

Not every type of insulation should be removed when installing a new one, and not every material can be installed over old insulation. Asbestos, for instance, is the kind of insulation you should take down. Asbestos fiber was a popular insulation material back in the 80s, but today, it’s considered one of the most dangerous and toxic materials.

Asbestos is resistant to electricity, heat, and corrosion but has been known to cause cancer and other health problems. Therefore, if you have asbestos insulation in your old home, you must get rid of it as soon as possible. But this is no DIY job. Only an expert with proper safety gear should touch asbestos! Once it’s been safely removed, there are several modern insulation options to choose from as replacement.

The Insulation Has Served its Time

Every insulation has a lifespan. Fiberglass and cellulose will insulate your home for over 80 and 20 years if well maintained. Soon after that, they will start losing their insulation values. The biggest winner is spray foam, going strong for over 100 years, practically a lifetime!

The usefulness of the material might also diminish due to damage and exposure. A leaking roof or open window can cause your attic insulation to get water damage. Either way, when your insulation serves its time, you’ll have to remove it and replace it with new insulation.

If You Are Installing Spray Foam

Spray foam boasts a higher R-value, and unlike other insulation materials like cellulose and fiberglass, it is resistant to elements like moisture and doesn’t require much maintenance. However, spray foam can’t be sprayed over existing insulation. The older one has to go!

The insulation contractor will remove all the existing insulation from the attic floor before installing spray foam. This material crawls into the tiniest spaces to provide a tight air seal. There will be no tiny dust particles entering from the outside, and the air quality of your home will ultimately improve.

When You Want to Improve Your Air Quality

It makes sense to remove your entire attic insulation to improve the air quality of your home. If your home has a lot of air leakages, the attic floor is not air sealed. Removing the insulation and installing new might not fix the problem, though. The leakage pathways will still be present and create the same problem.

The best way to resolve the issue is to ensure the attic floor is air sealed to block the attic air from getting into the house. Room pressure balancing is crucial because the attic room becomes pressurized as the rest of the house sucks air from outside.

When Signs Indicate the Insulation is Not Working

A home audit and inspection might come to one conclusion – replace your insulation. Temperature fluctuations, such that there are rooms that are excessively warm while others are colder, mean your insulation is not working evenly.

Another concern is your energy bills. If your home’s energy cost varies, and you find that the costs vary significantly, that could be a red flag for your insulation.

Removing and Replacing Your Attic Insulation

Removing your insulation can be overwhelming, but when there are no other options on the table, you must have it removed and replaced. At Ideal Insulation, we are experts in everything insulation, and we work hard to meet your needs. Reach out to us today for a quote if you need to remove attic insulation and start fresh!

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