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4 Forms of Damage That Warrant Removing Your Home's Insulation

Your home's insulation barrier can be compromised to the point that it needs replacement at practically any time, even shortly after installation. If you fail to repair the damage and replace the insulation, your heating and cooling bills will rise along with the eventual cost of home repair due to spreading damage.

Accidents, slow and hidden problems, and even installation mistakes can all interfere with the performance of your home's insulation. Replace damaged insulation if a home inspection reveals any of the four following problems.

1. Insulation Compression

The R-value of insulation drops dramatically if the air has been pressed out of it. The air pocketed between strands of fiberglass or puffs of cellulose is what primarily minimizes heat transfer. Blown in types of insulation can compress over time because of exposure to water or the slow force of gravity.

If you have an attic area with exposed spray foam, it can be easily compressed from people pushing boxes up against it or accidentally stepping on it while inspecting the space. The fiberglass insulation can become compressed by boxes being stored on it and improper installation of walk boards or attic flooring.

Time and gravity play a big part in the compression of your homes insulation regardless of its type. If the insulation is installed incorrectly the first time in a way that compresses it, only removal and replacement will fix the problem. Insulation cannot regain its volume again after it is compressed.

2. Animal Infestation

When you have a major pest infestation in the attic or walls, the insulation is more damaged than you might think. Large rodents like squirrels and rats make nests and tunnels through any fluffy insulation. These pests leave behind trails of urine and feces where they go. The mess spreads disease on top of the fact that your home will not heat and cool as well due to the tunnels and compression.

Bugs are also hard to clean out of cellulose or fiberglass. They can occasionally chew holes in solid forms of insulation like rigid foam boards and spray foam, but they tend not to burrow into them at least. Replace any animal or bug infested insulation after you get rid of the pests rather than trying to clean up the mess.

3. Roof Leaks and Flooding

Any time water has been coming through your roof for a good period of time before you discover the leak, have the attic and ceiling insulation inspected. Wet insulation does not provide the same R-value as dry materials. It tends to settle more because the water permeates the insulative material and makes it heavy.

The trapped moisture also breeds mold and mildew. Wet insulation that remains in contact with wood can cause it to rot. The lower walls of a flooded structure would also need all of the insulation that was submerged or splashed removed. Insulation doesn't usually dry out quickly enough for safe and energy efficient reuse.

4. Fire Damage

Lots of things need to be replaced after you have a fire in your home, but insulation is often overlooked if it isn't directly damaged. Fiberglass, cellulose, and even spray and board foam products can all trap smoke residue that filters through the ceiling.

Smoke-contaminated insulation keeps the smell of smoke in your home and causes steady indoor air pollution. Any ceiling or attic area located over a room where even a small fire occurred deserves a refresh of the insulation material.
When you're ready to remove some damaged or old insulation from your home, call us here at KLEEN AIR. Our technicians will come in and make quick work of the material regardless of how it became damaged.