We all know that there are good reasons to install insulation into a home; insulation helps to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, afterall. What many people don’t realise, however, is that there are reasons why the insulation in your home may need to be replaced. Attic spaces can be particularly vulnerable to the types of issues that would cause replacement to be required.
Why Would I Need to Re-Insulate?
Pests are a common reason why insulation might need to be replaced. While the attic is probably the most common area for this type of damage, walls are also sometimes the victim of an infestation. Any pest can cause your insulation to become contaminated with water or dirt due to the opening up of the outside barrier of your home to the elements, but larger pests like rats, raccoons, or bats can also defecate on the insulation, compress it by nesting, or move it around, creating cold spots.
Before replacing insulation due to infestation, all pests need to be removed. While it is possible to do this yourself, using experienced professionals is your best choice to get the job properly done. Many professionals will be able to tell you how to avoid getting more pests in your home as well. Make sure that you seal up any spots that pests can enter your home with appropriate materials as well.
Many people buy older homes due to the interesting character of the buildings or because they’d like a home that they can renovate just the way they like. One of the drawbacks with old construction is that the standards and codes were quite different in those bygone days. Even if the attic insulation isn’t damaged by leaks or pests, there is a good chance that it will be inadequate for optimal comfort or heating/cooling needs. Depending on the health and material of your current insulation, it may be possible to just add to your existing old attic insulation to bring your home up to modern R levels. Old fibreglass or cellulose may be able to be added to while asbestos will need to be removed by a professional.
Especially in your attic, a leak in your home can also be a very real reason to have to replace insulation. While it’s true that a bit of a leak by itself might not be reason to have to replace insulation in an area of your home, what is often the case is that a leak happens and then the insulation gets contaminated and/or compressed. Make sure that you call in a professional to repair a leaky roof or siding before replacing your damaged insulation.
The obvious benefit of replacing old or damaged insulation is that your home will have a better temperature barrier so that you can regulate the heat/cold better inside. What you may not have realised, however, is that by removing old or damaged insulation you can see the state of the construction underneath. In some cases, you may discover further pest infestation, water damage, or even mold issues. Taking care of these problems before replacing your attic insulation can save you thousands of dollars down the road, just by dealing with the issues before they get really bad. The combination of increasing your insulation’s R-level and sealing up any drafts in your home can save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs!
Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®