As a homeowner, creating a safe, comfortable refuge for your family is a top priority. Many of us focus on updating and improving the items and areas in our homes that we see daily because they are a constant visual reminder of what needs to be done. But what about the areas we don’t see? Too often the adage “out of sight, out of mind” rings true for many of us. If it’s not in obvious need of fixing, why bother?
The attic is just such a place. Tales of musty, creepy, bat-infested attics abound, so many of us have never ventured into the upper reaches of our home and have no desire to do so. You may be surprised to learn that this frequently overlooked area plays a vital role in keeping your family safe and comfortable throughout the year.
The Importance of Attic Insulation
Insulation is an important building block of every home. When your home was built, the builder installed insulation throughout it. Proper insulation pads your home with a “blanket” that helps keep your home at an optimal temperature throughout the year, regardless of the weather outside. Insulation can come in many forms and be utilized in many places in your home. One of the most important places to maintain proper insulation is your attic. The ultimate goal of adding insulation to your attic is to trap conditioned air and help keep it from exiting your home.
There are a number of types of insulation that can be used in a home, each with their own pros and cons. Some of the most common types of insulation used are:
How to Know When it’s Time to Remove Old Attic Insulation
As with anything, over time, attic insulation begins to degrade and become less effective. How many products do we still use that were made 20-30 years ago? Chances are, not many. Many of us do not venture into our attics often, so we may be unaware that our attic is crying out for an insulation intervention.
Without even stepping into the attic, there may be signs that your attic’s insulation is in need of replacing. The biggest giveaway is increasing energy bills. Constantly adjusting your thermostat up or down, a continuously running A/C, or rooms of differing temperatures are all things that increase your energy bill and are clear indicators of poor insulation. Also, if your home was built before 1980, you probably need new attic insulation.
When you are ready to venture into your attic, take a look at the attic floor. With a quick glance, If you can see more than the top of the floor joists, you need attic insulation.
The most common (and important) reasons attic insulation may need to be removed and replaced or upgraded are:
Mold – A leaky roof or window may significantly impact the quality of your insulation. Even though you may fix your roof or window, once insulation gets wet, it can be difficult to fully extract the water from it. Insulation is a porous, fibrous material and, regardless of its composition, water will damage it and limits its effectiveness. The ultimate result is mold and mildew growth on studs and other building materials. This can become a serious health concern for you and your family.
Poor heating and cooling – As mentioned before, if your heating and cooling bills are skyrocketing and your home is not heating or cooling as it should (and there’s nothing wrong with your HVAC system), it is time for an insulation upgrade.
Asbestos – Homes built prior to 1980 were often insulated with a dangerous material called asbestos that can cause permanent damage to your lungs. Although now banned, it can still be found in older homes. If your home was built prior to the 1980s it is a good idea to have it inspected for asbestos and have the old insulation professionally replaced.
Pest and Animal Infestation – You may not be the only family living in your home. Small animals love a warm, dry place where they can safely live and raise their babies. With cozy insulation, attics are the perfect place for wildlife, such as mice, rats, squirrels, opossums and even raccoons, to call home. These uninvited guests leave behind feces and urine (without paying a penny in rent). Their feces can carry various diseases while their urine creates the same issues as water damage.
The Benefits of Removing and Replacing Old Attic Insulation
Even though you find you should replace your attic insulation for one or more of the above reasons, you still may be on the fence about having it done. It may seem like a lot of work and expense for something no one will ever see. But the benefits of replacing old attic insulation far outweigh the cost and effort of removing it. New attic insulation will allow you to enjoy:
Maximum Energy Efficiency with Minimal Energy Bills – Improved attic insulation will create a more energy efficient home because your HVAC unit won’t have to work as hard to keep your house at its optimal temperature throughout the year. Your family will enjoy both consistent temperatures and consistently lower energy bills as a result.
Improved Indoor Air Qualityand Health – Air quality is just as important inside your home as it is outside your home. By replacing old, damaged attic insulation you will provide your family with cleaner air and improved health. Removing contaminants such as mold, mildew and rodent droppings, will dramatically increase the air quality of your home.
Higher Home Resale Value – Taking the time to make quality improvements on your home for the benefit of your family’s health and your home’s longevity will always be a good investment. Creating lower energy bills and improved air quality with brand new insulation are excellent selling points if and when you decide to sell your home.
Let the Experts at Delmarva Spray Foam Do the Work for You
Removing old attic insulation is a job that is best left to professionals because of the possible dangers and hazardous risks involved in removing it. Delmarva Spray Foam is your insulation expert in the Delaware area. We specialize in installing the highest quality insulation products in your home and providing you with the best customer service anywhere. We have been working with homeowners and builders throughout Delaware, Southern New Jersey and Maryland’s Eastern Shore since 2002 and are the region’s largest independent insulation contractor. The quality of our work speaks for itself. We look forward to talking with you and working together to improve the safety and comfort of your home for many years to come. Contact us today to learn more about our attic insulation removal and restoration services.