The good news is that professional insulation replacement should last for decades, assuming your attic and interior wall spaces are well-maintained and barring no major damage. However, you never want to assume your attic insulation is A-OK. It’s best to inspect the attic space and insulation each year to make sure it’s in good shape.
If your home is 15 years old or more, you’ve sustained water damage, or you feel your home isn’t as draft-free or comfortable as it should be - it might be time for insulation replacement.
Here’s everything you need to know about insulation replacement and how to move forward.
Some of the most common reasons a building’s insulation needs to be replaced include:
Click Here for more sure fire signs it’s time to replace your insulation.
It’s best to work with a local licensed insulation contractor or your HVAC company to schedule a home energy audit. These thorough inspections highlight whether or not insulation needs to be replaced, and the energy auditor will provide a list of energy efficient modifications for you to work on in order of their priority and impact on whole home energy efficiency.
First and foremost, an inspection of your attic and crawl spaces will indicate whether or not your home has enough insulation. While a good look around the attic with your flashlight is a start, energy.gov recommends paying for a professional attic inspection or home energy audit, “because checking the condition of the insulation in other areas of the home proves more difficult, hiring a professional to perform and energy audit is recommended…”
Read, How Do I Know if There’s Enough Insulation in My Attic?, for specifics on how to perform an assessment of insulation amount and sufficiency.
Once you decide to replace your insulation, you have some decisions to make. The R-Value of your insulation is determined by the climate where you live. Then, there’s the question of which type of insulation is best for the space.
Spray foam insulation is a popular choice right now because it’s energy efficient and can’t be moved around the same way batts and loose fill can. However, it’s still prone to pest damage so you’ll want to make sure you’ve completely cleaned out the attic and removed any sign of pest infestations. If your attic has odd or unusual nooks and crannies, loose fill insulation may be best. Your insulation contractor will discuss the various insulation options with you and help you make the best choice for your attic space.
Removing old insulation requires special care and precautions to keep you and your household safe. Unless you’re a pro yourself, and have all the right equipment, insulation removal should be handled by professionals. At the very minimum, you need a respirator and a high-powered, commercial vacuum with specialized filtration to keep harmful and toxic insulation particles from getting into your lungs or into your home’s forced air system.
Once the old insulation has been removed, clean your attic from top to bottom. When you’re finished cleaning, there should be no traces of insulation or resulting particulate matter, dust, pest debris, moisture damage, mold, mildew, and so on. It should look like new. If there are obvious signs of structural damage from prior leaks or pest/mold issues, address and repair them now before replacing the insulation.
If you’ll be installing the insulation on your own, make safety a priority. In terms of physical safety, you should wear a long sleeved shirt and pants, boots, gloves, and safety goggles. A respirator is also important to keep harmful particulate matter from getting into your lungs.
Prevent any risk of fire hazard by keeping insulation materials away from recessed lighting, wiring, or from getting too close to your water heater. Loose fill insulation has a tendency to drift, so keep that in mind as well. If you’re at all worried about safety, hire a professional to do the job for you.
Once your new insulation is in place, your home benefits from immediately improved comfort and energy efficiency.
Looking for a licensed professional insulation contractor to remove and replace your insulation? Contact us here at Attic Solutions. We take care of every aspect of the job, from safely removing old insulation and cleaning your attic, to preventing pest infestations and replacing new insulation that will last for decades.