When Should You Replace Your Insulation?

replacing insulationReplacing home insulation is sometimes necessary in certain situations. In other cases, it may be simply a worthy option in order to upgrade home energy efficiency and support consistent comfort. Insulating material typically doesn’t deteriorate or “wear out” unless it is damaged or otherwise compromised.  However, under very specific circumstances, replacing insulation may be the best course of action.

Here are some examples.

When Insulation Gets Wet

A roof leak or a ruptured plumbing pipe are common causes of wet insulation. Here some factor to consider if your insulation gets wet:

  • Standard fiberglass insulation may be dried only if water exposure is minor and the wet area is very small. However, extensive saturation usually means the insulation must be removed.
  • If left in place, soaked insulation dries very slowly and mold growth  inevitably occurs within the fibrous material.
  • Moldy insulation cannot be effectively treated. Unless removed, the contaminated insulation may infect other parts of the house.
  • Blown-in cellulose insulation is more susceptible to damage from water. Once soaked, drying cellulose in place is not usually feasible.
  • Mold growth will very likely occur within wet cellulose. Moisture also causes the fluffy material to compact, permanently degrading its insulating properties.

When Insulation’s Too Old

Strictly speaking, if insulation hasn’t been compromised by water damage and/or mold contamination, it should continue to resist heat transfer. However, in recent years, manufacturers have made strides in improving materials and boosting insulating value of common types like fiberglass and cellulose. Therefore, if insulation installed in your house is more than 20 years old, replacing it with newer, more effective product may increase  energy efficiency as well as lower monthly cooling and heating costs.

Since removal and replacement of attic insulation—the most critical zone for insulating your home—is a relatively low-impact, cost-efficient project, removing old material and replacing it with new, improved insulation may be a worthwhile investment to consider. Alternatively, you might opt to simply add newer layers of insulation atop the existing, older layers.

For professional advice about replacing insulation in your home, contact the experts at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating.

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