Attic insulation provides a critical barrier to heat transfer. While many people in Texas realize the importance of insulation in their homes, especially during the coldest and hottest months of the year, they may not realize that attic insulation becomes less effective over time.
Whether you have been in the same home for many years or you just bought a new house, you might want to check the condition of your attic insulation. Sometimes, old insulation has deteriorated materially or is no longer working properly due to rearranged or unevenly dispursed. In such cases, insulation removal and replacementis likely a wise financial decision over the long-term. There are many reasons you might need insulation removal services, and in this blog, we try to cover a few of them.
At the end of the day, insulation removal simply facilitates replacement, which may be needed for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the motive, new insulation will provide greater energy efficiency and reduce your monthly energy bills.
No matter what type of insulation you have in your house and how long it is supposedly guaranteed, no insulation is perfect or invulnerable to harm. The most common factors that can significantly cause harm to your insulation and diminish its lifespan are below:
We have provided insulation removal services thousand of times, and in our experience, if there is one thing that will undoubtedly damage your insulation, it is water. When water enters your house through a leak or another damaged component of your house, it dramatically affects your house’s insulation. Whether your insulation is fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, or something else, water is nearly impossible to fully extract once it is absorbed by the insulation in the cool, dark attic.
Insulation is a porous and fibrous substance, so water can be its worst enemy. Not only will it damage the insulation and limit its effectiveness, but it will also contribute to mold and mildew growth which will become a serious health concern for you and your family.
When we have provided our insulation removal services, we have found that if your house has experienced a fire in the past, it mostlikely needs insulation removal. Fire can damage insulation and hinder its ability to work efficiently.
Even if the fire did not come in direct contact with the attic insulation, the smell of smoke can become trapped in the insulation and be a massive nuisance for homeowners that can linger for many years if not addressed. If your home has experienced a fire that caused any sort of smoke damage, insulation removal may be necessary.
In our experience as insulation removal experts, another common factor compromising the lifespan of insulation is contamination. This may take the form of mold, mildew, or animal droppings. Attics are regularly targeted by wildlife that are seeking a warm, dry, and a place safe from predators. Given the ideal conditions in the attic, wildlife, whether its something as small as a mouse or as large as a raccoon, frequently use attics as a home base to have and raise their babies.
Mice, rats, squirrels, opossums, and raccoons are the most likely culprits that gain access to homeowners’ attic spaces and leave behind feces and urine, which can carry any number of diseases. These contaminants, which continual build up with every day the animals are in your attic, not only carry many hazardous diseases in the feces, but can cause all of the same issues as water damage via their urine.
Rodent-infested attics usually have insulation that has been walked over and trampled down, which means it is no longer insulating to its fuller capacity. At Critter Stop, we regularly come across attics that have seen their insulation go from more than13” inches to less than 4”, with effectively all of their 2”x4” floor joists showing. Thus, insulation removal becomes highly recommended given the deeply suboptimal insulating impact of the compressed insulation.
Many people consider removing their insulation completely when their attic becomes severely infested by rodents. As discussed above, rodents such as rats, mice, and squirrels view the attic insulation as their ideal home, since they are warm and dry areas safe from predators. When rodents create nests in your insulation, they become increasingly difficult to fully eradicate since all of the newbornbabies view it as their home, and the pheromones / scent given off by the nestis difficult to fully destroy, given its hidden and secluded nature.
Some of the significant health concerns that can arise from rodents nesting in your attic insulation are:
If you have dealt with rodents in the past, or are even familiar with the metaphor, “As quiet as a mouse,” you know that rodents can be very discrete and go unnoticed for many months. Unfortunately, with every day that passes that you have rodents in the attic, the contamination becomes worse and the difficulty of full rodent removal becomes more difficult.
If your insulation has been damaged or is not functioning at its highest level, removing old insulation is likely a wise investment in your home’s energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and of course, safety. Many houses in Texas are over 30 years of age and have not seen much attention to the attic. Attic insulation replacement is often viewed as non-urgent. Combined with its price, the can often gets kicked down the road. This is why it’s not uncommon for homeowners to find themselves with attics with minimal or outdated insulation, far below where they should be.
Additionally, building practices and materials have taken a great leap forward, so the simple act of removing your old insulation and replacing it with the newest, technologically-enhanced materials can have a significant effect on your entire home. Some of the major benefits of removing your compromised insulation are:
Removing your old or contaminated insulation and replacingit with a better one, your house will become more energy-efficient. With a more efficient attic, your HVAC unit can handle the hottest and coldest months of the year, keeping your home’s temperature exactly where you want it.
By increasing the energy efficiency of your house, you are lowering your monthly bills. Removing your insulation and replacing it has adirect effect on your monthly heating and cooling costs. So, if you don’t want to blow your budget every month, consider making the up-front investment to replace your old insulation with the latest and greatest.
In Texas, people usually spend most of their time inside their homes with their loved ones, making indoor air quality a crucial factor in their health and wellness. Air quality inside houses can be improved dramatically by removing old attic insulation.
Replacing your home’s insulation is one of the quickest and best ways to improve air quality inside your home. Old insulation can be a home for many contaminants such as urine and feces from rodents and other pests, affecting your home’s air quality. For example, if the material has ever gotten wet, from rainwater or rodent urine, it can easily become moldy, producing a musty smell through out the entire house. Worst of all, if any airborne mold spores are inhaled by people living in the house, they are at a significant risk of experiences all the negative consequences of mold.
If your home has many connections from the attic to your house, whether that is for wiring, can lights, exhaust vents, etc., simply removing the insulation and replacing it with fresh insulation will help improve the airquality, but it is highly recommended you also perform a sanitation process to thoroughly kill all of the mold spores, germs, micro-bacteria, pheromones, biological markers, and urine markers left behind while your attic is down to the bare decking and the sanitation chemicals will have the greatest impact.
If rodents or other wild animals have severely infested your attic insulation, you are at high risk of developing one of many severe diseases that can live in their feces for years. To protect you and your family, inspecting the attic for contamination is highly recommended, as removing and replacing the insulation may be necessary.
Rodents and their fecal droppings pose a serious health risk to humans. Rodents leave droppings effectively everywhere they go, spreading any diseases they may be carrying all over your home. Many diseases can be spread via touching anything the rats’ feces or urine touched, or some are spread simply by breathing in the air that the feces inhabit. Getting your contaminated insulation replaced will help improve your health as well as thoseliving around you, restoring your attic to the best shape it has ever been.
Insulation is an investment that will pay off well in the future, in the form of both lower energy bills as well as a higher sale priceif / when you plan to sell your house. By choosing to remove your old attic insulation and replacing it with a new one, your house will become more attractive for potential buyers.
We regularly work with home buyers that require the seller address their attic situation before they buy. For most homeowners selling one house and moving into another, they have a long list of expenses budgeted for their next house, whether it is home repairs or simply new furniture. If you plan to sell your house in the future, new attic insulation should be a priority, as it will significantly increase your property value, prevent you from having to replace it at time of sale, and save you money on your monthly bills in the interim.
In the 1980s or earlier, many insulation companies used asbestos, a dangerous material that can cause permanent damage to your lungs. It was officially banned in most countries, but it can still be found in older houses across the United States. If your home was built prior to 1980s and you are not aware of it ever having the insulation replaced, you should seriously consider having it inspected. We have never had a customer regret replacing insulation from the 50’s, 60’s, or even 70’s. At that point, it is almost ano-brainer.
It should go without saying, but if you believe you might have asbestos in your attic insulation, getting it removed and replaced is a job for trained professionals. Improper handling can lead to fatal consequences– whether you call Critter Stop or another insulation contractor, we cannot recommend hiring a professional for these situations more highly.
Insulation removal is anything but easy. At Critter Stop, we deal with dead animal removal, feisty wild animals, and everything in between, but the toughest work we do is insulation removal. While the work is tough, the biggest reason to call a DFW insulation professional is to ensure the dirty and / or contaminated insulation is handled and removed properly. The process will most likely go like this:
If you leave your insulation dirty and contaminated for along period of time, it can present a serious health risk to you and your family. To ensure your house remains protected, your old insulation should be removed and replaced as soon as possible.
Due to the equipment involved, the number of team members needed for execution of the job, and potentially hazardous materials involved, it is necessary for most homeowners to hire a professional like Critter Stop to remove their attic insulation and replace it. Insulation is a big job, with many potential consequences for your home, so it is important to consider a company’s reputation before selecting the first contractor you come across.
With such alarge investment, you want to be sure you select the best value available. While we are obviously biased, we believe we offer that at Critter Stop for customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Best of all, we provide free inspections and estimates, so go ahead and give us a call at (214) 234-2616!