fiberglass insulation installed in wall cavities

Is It Worth Removing Fiberglass Insulation?

Homeowners often ask us about fiberglass insulation removal. Fiberglass is one of the most commonly used insulation materials. However, like any type of insulation, it can lose its effectiveness over time.

The good news is that total removal and replacement of fiberglass insulation is rarely necessary. Instead, REenergizeCO is often able to add to the existing thermal barrier with upgraded home insulation.

Before you attempt fiberglass insulation removal on your own, we encourage you to contact REenergizeCO to discuss your options. Our installers may recommend reinforcing your existing insulation instead of overhauling it completely.

denver fiberglass insulation removal

What Types of Insulation Can Be Added To?

Adding insulation to an insulated space is effective in the majority of circumstances. This is true regardless of the material currently used to insulate your home:

Fiberglass Insulation

One of the benefits of fiberglass insulation is that older and newer materials can be effectively combined to enhance the thermal barrier of your home. This is especially the case with blown-in fiberglass insulation; the new insulation can be blown in through a small hole in the wall.

Many homeowners contact us with questions about fiberglass insulation because that is the material used in so many homes. However, fiberglass is not the only home insulation material. It is important to know that other types of insulation can be added onto rather than being removed and replaced.

Cellulose Insulation

When comparing insulation options online, you will likely find information suggesting that cellulose insulation is superior to fiberglass. In reality, both materials have high quality ratings. As such, we recommend reinforcing the existing insulation instead of removing and replacing it.

Cellulose insulation is made from recycled paper and other materials. It can be effectively combined with any other type of insulation, including fiberglass.

Mineral Wool Insulation

Multiple recycled materials may be used in mineral wool insulation, including rock, glass, and steel slag (a byproduct of steel manufacturing). Houses constructed in the 1970s were commonly insulated with mineral wool.

Reinforcement rather than replacement is generally an option if you have mineral wool insulation. Fiberglass and cellulose insulation can be effectively added to the mineral wool you already have in place.

Spray Foam Insulation

Adding spray foam insulation is a great way to improve the efficiency of an area of your home in need of a stronger thermal barrier. Spray foam has the highest R-value of any insulation on the market, making it an extremely effective way to seal your home.

However, we cannot stress enough that spray foam insulation should not be applied directly to existing insulation materials. This is a common mistake homeowners make when trying to install spray foam insulation on their own.

Spray foam does not bind well to fiberglass and other types of insulation. If you want to upgrade a conditioned space, it is important to add spray foam insulation so it enhances the effects of existing materials without coming into direct contact with existing insulation.

When Does Insulation Need to Be Removed and Replaced?

Total removal and replacement of insulation is the exception, not the rule. Generally speaking, we are able to add insulation to an existing thermal barrier without the need for a messy and time-consuming replacement project.

However, there are situations where fiberglass insulation and other materials need to be replaced so new and improved insulation can be added. These include:

  • Moisture has accumulated in the insulation, leading to the growth of mold and mildew. (This is not a big problem in a dry state like Colorado, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.)
  • Insects, rodents, and other pests have taken up residence in the insulation.
  • The existing insulation is very old and has started to degrade.

You might notice a host of issues related to compromised home insulation, including drafts, poor air quality, and higher energy bills. To determine how your insulation is performing, our team conducts a comprehensive home energy audit.

By starting with a home energy audit, we are able to precisely identify energy efficiency issues and determine potential solutions. The depth and performance of your home insulation is a major consideration for our team.

As mentioned above, fiberglass insulation removal and/or the removal of other insulation is typically not necessary. Whenever possible, we will recommend retrofitting the current home insulation with additional material to improve your home’s thermal barrier.

Upgrade Your Home Insulation Today

You probably don’t think about your home insulation very much. That’s because, when insulation is doing its job, there is no reason to give it a second thought. But, when there’s a problem, it is important to consider potential upgrades.

REenergizeCO can add insulation to your current fiberglass, cellulose, or mineral wool. Our installers respect your home and customize the job to your specific needs and energy goals.

For information on improving your home’s insulation in Denver, please call us at (303) 227-1000 today.

If you live in Fort Collins, give REenergizeCO a call at (970) 323-3191. We serve homeowners throughout the Colorado Front Range.