When is the Best Time to Remove Insulation?

Do you feel like your home is not keeping in warm air like it used to do before? Does it seem like cool air easily escapes your house? This might be because your attic insulation is aging and losing its effectiveness. 


Just like anything else in your lovely house or sturdy commercial building, your attic insulation will not last forever. When your home insulation starts to wear out, you will be exposed to many problems. In addition to high energy bills, degrading insulation may leave your home or commercial building vulnerable to other hazardous substances, such as mold, creating a health risk for you and your loved ones. 

Owners with cellulose insulation will sometimes notice abnormal amounts of dust or a thin powder in their house as their cellulose insulation begins to break down and the dust seeps into their living areas. This can be particularly bothersome for homeowners with pre-existing respiratory issues.

If a home or commercial building owner has had animals in their attic, the health risks present dramatically increase. Diseases can live in critter feces for years and be spread through the air, putting residents that have had animals in their attic at an even higher risk of contracting a disease or illness if they do not replace and / or sanitize their attic insulation. 

One of the best solutions to avoid all these issues is to remove your insulation at the right time. But how do you know when is the best time to remove insulation?

7 Signs Insulation Removal Is Necessary

In the dog days of summer, homeowners and commercial building tenants feel the heat in their houses (or in their checkbooks!). For the large majority of homeowners, proper insulation is the best way to save your hard-earned money on utilities. However, many homeowners might not know how to check the condition of their attic insulation. How do you know if your insulation is normal or could get a significant upgrade?

The best time to consider insulation removal is when you notice one of these signs mentioned below:

Hot or Cold Spots 

The purpose of attic insulation is to regulate the temperature of your house. If you have a proper covering of insulation throughout the house, the temperature will stay relatively constant across different areas of the house. However, if you have a piping hot kitchen or a drafty home, then it is evident that insulation is not doing its job. 

Over time, insulation can shift from its original even distribution. One cause of this is home service providers working on home features in the attic. If you get your ductwork, HVAC, wiring, lighting, or other features in the attic worked on, the insulation will inevitably get redistributed, resulting in thicker layers and thinner spots. Another common cause of redistribution is having animals in your attic. Whether it’s mice, rats, squirrels, opossums, or raccoons, animals will create nests in certain parts of your attic and stomp down other parts. Insulation goes from looking like a fresh snow to a dirty slush.

When insulation coverage is uneven, air can more easily penetrate through gaps or thin spots, resulting in cool or warm drafts. If your house has become drafty, it is a good time to consider insulation removal.

Unusually High Energy Bills

When insulation starts to wear out, the sign most commonly noticed by homeowners is unusually high energy bills. After creeping up slowly over many years, homeowners often look up and realize they are spending significantly more on utilities than even a few years prior. 

Poor attic insulation results in higher HVAC utilization, and thus higher energy bills. Efficient and up-to-date insulation helps homeowners save a tremendous amount of money on utility bills. So this should come as no surprise – if your energy bills have gotten out of control, you should consider removing and replacing your insulation.

Wildlife Infestation 

One sign confirming you need to consider insulation removal might walk in on four legs. Most of the time, squirrels, bugs, rats, raccoons, and opossums build their nests in the plush warmth of your attic insulation. 

They will not only live comfortably there but also multiply and invite all their friends to their new home. Do you want critters to party in your attic insulation? Of course, not. You will have to hear them scratching and tapping around your attic all night. 

Other than causing a disturbance at night, their fecal droppings and urine can carry airborne diseases, making it unsanitary to breathe in your own home. If these critters are not taken care of immediately, they can destroy your insulation, leaving you with no choice other than considering insulation removal.

Because fecal droppings and urine can be quite hazardous, but it can only thoroughly be removed by removing all of the insulation simultaneously, replacing your attic insulation can often be necessary when dealing with a wildlife infestation in your attic if you want to preserve a safe environment in your home for you and your loved ones. 

Old Home 

In the last few decades, insulation technology has rapidly advanced. Insulation companies’ previously used material is being replaced with more efficient and durable materials. So, if your home was built in the 1980s or earlier and the insulation has not been replaced since then, it is high time for you to consider insulation removal. 

With each passing year, attic insulation deteriorates. After several decades without replacing or adding to your insulation, you can be left with a mere fraction of what newly constructed buildings have when built to code. Additionally, your old insulation could contain many harmful substances, which the most notable being asbestos. Asbestos can cause lung cancer and many other fatal diseases, yet, sadly, is still residing in many homeowners’ attic.

Water Damage 

There is a saying that perfectly goes with Texas' weather, "If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes (and it will change)." In Texas, people are used to sudden rainstorms and flash floods, especially in the spring and summer months.

So if your roof has a water leak or your house was severely damaged by floodwater, you will have to consider insulation removal for your house. Even if a small amount of water breaches your wall or roof, it will be soaked up by insulation, which eventually compromises its effectiveness and results in larger issues such as mold growth.

Mold Growth

Even if you live in a dry environment, your house is not entirely immune to mold. Whether it occurs naturally from the spores in the air or is brought in by water, mold can rapidly grow in dark attic insulation.  

Mold is definitely a threat to you and your family members' health. However, it cannot be removed without replacing your insulation. 

Cold Interior Walls

One simple test to assess the condition of your insulation is by simply conducting a touch test. All you need to do is touch the interior walls of your house. Are they warm and dry? If yes, then your insulation is in good condition, and there is no need to remove it. However, if the walls are cold and moist, either your insulation has completely deteriorated or is close to wearing out.

Basics of Attic Insulation Removal 

Attic insulation removal is no walk in the park. At Critter Stop, it is the toughest work we do. The process itself may be simple, assuming you have all the right equipment, but it is extremely taxing work – especially when it is even moderately warm outside.If a homeowner decides to do it themselves, it is important to invest in the proper safety equipment and to take necessary precautions. 

Essentials 

To remove the attic insulation of your house all by yourself, you will need to invest in some protective gear to make sure the project goes smoothly and safely. Before starting an insulation removal project, it is necessary to buy rubber-coated gloves, either a respirator or surgical masks, and reliable goggles with anti-fog coating. While not necessary, full body jumpsuits are also often used by professionals.

Rubber-coated gloves will help protect your hands from any hazardous substances, while masks will help protect your lungs from any potential dust or mold. The same thing goes for goggles - they will ensure your eyes remain safe from irritation and contamination. Full body jumpsuits protect your skin from irritation and itchiness, both of which are common when removing insulation regardless of the type or amount of insulation.  

Other recommended supplies before removing attic insulation by yourself are:

  • A Flashlight - attics are usually darks areas, so you will need it to see what you are doing 
  • Hard Hats -  attics are generally not designed with tall people in mind and usually have nails sticking through the roof 
  • Water – removing insulation is very taxing so it is important that you stay hydrated!4

Safety Precautions 

Attics are generally not built to have multiple people walking around for long periods. Keep your eyes on the floor and make sure you are stepping on floor joists only to ensure your safety. 

If you accidentally step on drywall and apply too much pressure, your foot, or even your entire body, will go through it. So, it is important to watch your step to keep yourself safe. 

Why Should You Consider Hiring Insulation Companies For Insulation Removal?

Doing home improvement projects yourself can be rewarding and economical, but some home projects are much more challenging than others. If you have never dealt with insulation before, getting professionals to do it for you is usually the best option.

Insulation removal can be anything but easy. Suppose your attic is severely infested with rodents or other wild animals. A DFW insulation company can replace the insulation for you, but Critter Stop can replace the insulation and seal off all of the entry points into the house to ensure animals cannot continue to get into your attic.

Regardless of your initial inclination, getting a quote from an insulation company near you is a good first step. They will provide detailed insights and cost estimates for adding new insulation to your attic to save energy and improve comfort. 

Deciding to Remove or Repair Insulation

Even after knowing all the signs to consider insulation removal, it can be challenging to decide whether you need insulation service, repair, or other home improvements. Fortunately, there are many DFW insulation professionals that can assess the situation you are facing and help you determine the work that is needed.

Conclusion

Removing old attic insulation helps in improving the energy efficiency of your house once it is replaced. Also, it will keep you and your loved ones safe from hazardous substances such as mold and diseases carried by rodent and other wildlife feces. If you suspect your attic insulation has deteriorated, consider reaching out to a reliable insulation removal company in your area. 

Critter Stop has attic insulation professionals that have many years of experience helping homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. We can help you get rid of old insulation and replace it with new, more efficient insulation. With proper installation, energy efficiency will be maximized, along with your return on investment. So, if you want to get your insulation removed or get a quote on it, give us a call or check our website. Let us handle your insulation problems!

Best Time to Remove Insulation

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