Is It Time For An Insulation Upgrade For Your Commercial Building?

07/23/2019 | By Pamela Vargas-Touchard |

How old is the insulation in your commercial building? Have repeat episodes such as roof leaks, electrical or plumbing work in your business’s attic spaces, or pest infestations compromised your existing insulation? If so, your business should consider insulation retrofitting. 

An article on discusses how a three-story, East Coast business with 19,000 square feet reaped a 15.6% savings in annual energy spending after upgrading their outdated insulation. And that’s only the beginning of the benefits you gain when replacing old insulation with new insulation that complies with your state and local building codes and energy efficiency guidelines. 

Signs It’s Time For An Insulation Upgrade In A Commercial Building 

The cost of upgrading or replacing insulation, bringing it to the current recommended energy efficiency levels, will have a positive impact in multiple ways.  

First, you’ll experience energy savings because your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to keep your building comfortable in peak hot and cold seasons. That has a positive effect on the environment. And, improved insulation and airflow mean improved interior comfort and air quality. 

Here are some of the signs that it is time to consider retrofitting the insulation at your place of business: 

Your building is 20 years old or older 

It’s hard to imagine that we are already two decades into the 21st century. If your building was built before the year 2000, there is a good chance it is time to amend or replace your insulation. In addition to choosing from more modern, energy-efficient, and planet-friendly insulation options, you’ll bring your building up to date with current building codes, which makes it more attractive to future tenants or buyers. 

The building was constructed prior to the 1980s 

Was your building constructed prior to the 1980s? Do you know firsthand whether the insulation has been replaced since the original build? If you have any doubts, we highly recommend scheduling an inspection with a licensed insulation contractor to ensure you do not have asbestos materials in your attic or crawl space. 

Read our post on How Older Insulation Can Cause Health Concerns to learn more.  

Temperatures are inconsistent throughout the building 

Have employees commented on the fact that one side, wing, or floor of the business is hotter/colder/stuffier than another? This could mean there is an HVAC system issue, and that’s worth looking into. 

However, if your HVAC is maintained at least once a year, and you are still having issues maintaining consistent interior temperatures and comfort, there is a good chance the insulation is the culprit. 

You’ve had a major roof leak or a history of small roof leaks 

Roof leaks can be devastating to certain types of insulation, especially fiberglass batts or blown-in cellulose insulation. If your building suffered a major roof leak in the recent past, or you’ve had a series of small leaks, do your business a favor and schedule an insulation inspection to make sure it is all in good shape. This includes the crawl spaces and exterior walls. 

The interior spaces are showing signs of mold, mildew, or pest infestations 

Mold or mildew infestations need to be addressed immediately. In addition to compromising the structural soundness of your building, elevated humidity levels have a dramatic impact on interior comfort. More importantly, mold and mildew compromised indoor air quality because the spores recirculated through the forced air system, via drafts, or that erupt during mold/mildew blooms affect the respiratory health of your employees and customers. 

You should have your attic, crawlspaces, and/or basement spaces inspected at the first sign of a mildew or mold infestation in your building. Once the moisture source is located, have it repaired, and amen or replace compromised insulation to restore healthy humidity levels. 

Similarly, pest infestations need to be addressed because the toxins released from accumulated pest waste or decomposing bodies compromise indoor air quality. In almost all cases where pests have settled into the attic, some level of insulation removal, clean up, and insulation replacement is required to get things back in shape. 

Energy bills are steadily increasing beyond normal rate hikes 

Energy rates are always subject to hikes, but that isn’t the only reason you may notice increased prices on your bills. The older and more dilapidated or broken down your insulation becomes, the more energy is required to maintain your thermostat settings. As a result, your energy bills will continue to go up in cost until you update your insulation. 

It's time for an insulation upgrade when the acoustics are terrible 

Does it seem like sound transference from one room to another or one section of the building to another, is louder than it should be? Retrofitting your business’s insulation can reduce noise pollution inside the building, and can protect the interior from exterior noise pollution as well. Improving the acoustics simultaneously improves working conditions for employees as well as customer experience if you have a brick-and-mortar main street business. 

You are updating or replacing your HVAC system and

If you are planning to update or replace your HVAC system, we recommend coordinating the work with an insulation upgrade. Together, you will experience exponential improvements in energy efficiency. Your HVAC contractor will be the first to tell you that updated insulation protects your HVAC investment.  

If you purchase a new HVAC but have outdated insulation, the system will work extra hard to make up the difference, and that translates to increased wear and tear and repair costs. 

You are interested in making your building more “green” 

Is eco-friendly or running a green business a part of your mission? Retrofitting outdated insulation will help you achieve those goals and prove that you honor the tenets you outline to the public. 

What Type Of Insulation Is Best For My Business? 

There is a wide range of insulation options out there, and all of them have their own pros and cons. To get started, we recommend visiting our brief guide on the various types of attic insulation. That is a good way to learn about the insulation basics and will help to guide your conversation when you meet with prospective insulation contractors. 

Suspect your business should consider an insulation upgrade? Contact Attic Solutions. We will help you determine whether your insulation is adequate or not. If you need to update or replace it, we will also help you select the best type of insulation for your needs and energy efficiency goals.

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