People expect their home’s insulation to last a lifetime. In most cases, those expectations are met — especially if the home is newer and has quality insulation. There are some circumstances, though, that call for insulation to be replaced. Know how to spot the signs that a replacement is due before it becomes an issue.
Settling and Compacting of the Insulation
One of the biggest grievances that people have about potato chips is the amount of air in the bag. The bags actually are quite full when they leave the production line, but settle along their way to the supermarket shelves. Insulation behaves in a similar way.
Most insulation materials are designed to maintain their shape for decades, but lower-quality options might lose some mass over time. This can lead to gaps and wasted energy. It might not be necessary to replace all of the insulation (you may be able to add another layer in certain areas), but if the material continues to settle, replacement might be the best option.
Insulation and Water Damage
Roof leaks are always serious, but they are much worse if they go unnoticed for a time. When insulation gets wet, it suffers physical damage, which creates the risk for mold. Mold and mildew within the ceiling or walls can become airborne and travel through your entire ventilation system. These mold spores can cause respiratory infections and other health complications.
The water damage may be limited to certain sections of insulation, which makes replacement easy and cost effective. While settling and water damage can happen in homes of any age, this is often an issue with older homes.
Material That is Too Thin or Too Decayed for Proper Insulation
In the past, there were no regulations about the depth of insulating material. Contractors could use as little insulation as they liked. Some builders left customers with just a few inches of the material to protect their homes. Now, the United States Department of Energy provides guidelines on insulation requirements depending on the state in which you live. Florida, for example, generally has a recommendation of 10 to 15 inches. If your older home is too hot or too cold, it’s a good bet that the home has inadequate insulation. The solution, of course, is to add more insulation or to replace what little is left.
Before fiberglass insulation was available, materials like cotton and wool were popular for home insulation. Fiberglass is durable and has a long lifespan, but these older options are at risk for rot. Over time, they’ll provide poorer and poorer protection. In this case, a replacement is necessary. If fiberglass is added to the existing insulation, the old materials underneath will simply continue to degrade.
Evaluate your home’s age, condition, and current insulation. If you recognize any of the situations described above, it could be time to invest in new insulation. Contact us for more information about our insulation services.