Common Problems with Insulation
Proper insulation can help regulate the temperature in your home and improve your family’s comfort. Most types of insulation can last for decades – sometimes even a century. However, nothing lasts forever, and insulation is no exception.
Many homeowners are unsure when to replace home insulation. Rather than looking for a particular “expiration date,” it is helpful to recognize some of the signs that your insulation is failing and know when it’s time for an upgrade.
Here are some of the major issues that tell you when it is time to replace your insulation. If you have questions about insulation removal and replacement, please don’t hesitate to contact REenergizeCO in Denver or Fort Collins today.
Age/Wear and Tear
Small but persistent problems are usually what drive homeowners to make improvements. Perhaps you’re tired of high electric bills to heat and keep your house cool, or you’re fed up with uncomfortable drafts.
Insulation degrades over time, resulting in less effective resistance to heat transfer. Upgrading your home insulation can address these issues.
Older homes usually have older insulation, but this is not always the case. It is important to check the insulation in areas such as your attic, basement, ductwork, and more to determine if the insulation is old and worn, as well as identify other energy inefficiencies common among old houses.
Insulation Damaged by Animals
Fiberglass insulation (the most common type of insulation used in homes) is warm and soft. Unfortunately, this makes it an ideal environment for unwanted pests.
Rodents such as mice, rats, and squirrels, as well as bugs, birds, raccoons, bats, and other creatures, love to make their homes in insulation. Old homes are particularly at risk for infestation, as the exterior of the house may have gaps, cracks, and other openings through which animals can enter.
If animals have taken up residence in your insulation, you may find animal hair and droppings, as well as pieces of fiberglass inside and/or outside the house. These are surefire signs that your insulation likely needs to be replaced – and that you may need an exterminator.
Although Colorado has a fairly dry climate, portions of your home may suffer water damage as a result of rain, snowmelt, and ice thaw. Leaks and water damage should always be taken seriously, especially in key structural areas such as the roof and the foundation.
Some forms of insulation have strong resistance to water, such as mineral wool and spray foam. However, fiberglass insulation and other common materials can be ruined when they are exposed to moisture.
One of the biggest dangers that can arise when insulation gets wet is mold. Mold may grow anywhere there is water damage, including within the walls, under the roof, in basements, and more.
Water-damaged insulation allows air (as well as mold spores) to move freely, creating the drafts that make rooms in your house too cool or too warm. Spores can also spread through the house via poorly insulated HVAC ducts.
Mold devalues your home. It is also a health hazard, especially for those with allergies and respiratory disorders. As a result, mold removal is best handled by a professional remediation company. Once the mold is gone, you can focus on replacing the damaged insulation.
It may seem counterintuitive, but having too much insulation can negatively impact the energy efficiency of your home. Adding too much insulation is expensive, unsustainable, and increases the risk of mold growth. Excess insulation also carries little to no benefit for reducing your energy bills.
The signs of excess insulation inside your home are similar to what you experience with failing insulation, including high electric bills, drafts, and uneven cooling or heating of the rooms in your house. Fixing the problem involves identifying where the surplus insulation has been installed, removing it, and replacing it with quality materials.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when insulating your home is to install new insulation (such as spray foam) over old or worn insulation. This is a common error among homeowners who attempt to install insulation themselves, and it is a problem you can avoid by hiring a professional company.
Combining new insulation with old will not resolve issues with your home energy efficiency and heating and cooling problems. In fact, outdated insulation will continue to degrade and the new material will be less effective.
Find Fixes for Problem Insulation
Insulation issues should not be ignored. Your family’s budget, comfort, and even health could start to suffer if problems with your home insulation are not addressed.
REenergizeCO is a professional home insulation company with extensive experience improving the comfort and energy efficiency of houses throughout the Front Range. We understand the importance of investing in your home, and we work with you to identify the best solutions for removal and replacement of insulation.
The first step is a home energy audit that identifies issues with insulation and other aspects of your house. Next we develop a comprehensive plan for all of your efficiency improvements. Finally, removal of old insulation and installation of new materials is handled by our experienced and courteous efficiency crew – these are trusted employees of REenergizeCO, not third-party contractors.
Contact the team at REenergizeCO today to find solutions for superior home insulation. We are proud to serve homeowners in Denver, Fort Collins, and throughout the Colorado Front Range.