Customers often ask us, “When should I replace my insulation?” Insulation doesn’t come with an expiration date, but there are several signs that indicate when it is time for it to be removed and replaced. In most cases, we add to the existing insulation in attics to bring it up to the ideal insulation level. Here are three key signs that the insulation needs to be replaced:
- Wet insulation - When insulation gets wet it absorbs moisture and usually takes a long time to dry out. Moisture that is trapped in the insulation can cause mold to grow on adjacent wood structures, or dry wall, and spores can be caught in the insulation. Moisture also damages the insulation by either causing it to be compressed in an attic or causing it to fall apart in a crawlspace. As a general rule, if insulation is wet it needs to be removed.
- Rodent dropping in insulation - Mice, rats, opossums, squirrels, bats, and other rodents think crawlspaces and attics are a wonderful place to live. Not only will they move in, but they will also leave behind their droppings. Rodent feces can damage the air quality in your home due to it harboring smells. In some cases, it can spread harmful diseases or fungus too. Batt droppings, also known as guano, can be particularly detrimental if they pile up in the attic. Piles of guano can grow histoplasma capsulatum fungus which can cause a disease called histoplasmosis. This disease affects the lungs and can cause a wide range of detrimental issues. If there is any significant amount of rodent feces in your insulation the wise course of action is to remove it.
- Moldy or dusty insulation - If there has been mold or fungal growth around insulation it will have a lot of spores trapped in it. Often, in a crawlspace, mold will grow on the wood structure next to the insulation. To get the crawlspace clean, it is best to remove the insulation because of the spores that will be trapped in the porous surface of the insulation. In older homes, years of dust build-up can cause the house to be dusty. Removing this insulation, sealing up the attic floor, and installing new insulation will make a huge difference in improving the air quality of the home.
Clean, dry, odor free insulation can make a big impact on improving your home’s indoor air quality. Since insulation is much like a blanket wrapped around your home, fresh insulation will keep it more comfortable and make you breathe easier.