Some forms of home insulation like loose-fill are meant to last 30 years while other types, such as fiberglass, will lastthe life of the home. Still, any insulant can run into situations where its effectiveness is in decline, and replacement or reinforcement is necessart. Here are six good ways to tell if you need new insulation.
Signs on Roof
If your home’s attic has inadequate insulation then you don’t need to look much further than your roof after it snows. If the snow on your roof melts unevenly or at a faster rate than the houses surrounding you this is a good indication that you are losing heat through your home. The formation of icicles around the ridge of the roof can also indicate an issue with the r-value of your attic insulation.
Whether it involves turning up the heat in winter or the air conditioning in summer, bigger energy bills might indicate that the home’s insulation is no longer doing its job. Over time, blown-in insulation made of fiberglass or cellulose fibers will sink towards the ground as gravity takes its toll. Though this issue is solved with stabilized versions of cellulose insulation like our Pro Grade product.
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Caught in a Draft
One possible indicator that new wall insulation is required is the occurrence of drafts flowing through the house. A drafty section in a home can also be caused by gaps around doors and windows, though, so these problems should be ruled out first. Regarding insulation, a draft can result from blown-in insulation settling, old insulation decaying, or fiberglass batting insulation not forming a snug fit in the wall, ceiling, and rim joists. If strong winds can circulate past exterior walls, they can also force its way through individual insulation strands and overcome the material’s thermal resistance.
One Extreme to Another
Since old insulation won’t give out evenly, another sign of low insulation levels inside your exterior walls is a noticeable temperature difference from one room to the next. This is sometimes easy to miss if you don’t use some rooms as often as others. Even if the occupants aren’t spending much time in these areas, the heated or cooled air in the home will still be flowing into them and out through the poorly insulated walls.
If walls or ceilings are leaking or showing wet spots, the water causing it has probably soaked into the insulation as well. This can create a home for mold in cellulose insulation or older materials like cotton or wool. It can also sometimes spawn mold on the paper backing of fiberglass batts.
Both insects and mice find the insulation in walls and ceilings a comfortable location to build a nest. If there’s an infestation indoors that coincides with cracks or gaps in any walls, there’s a good chance some part of the insulation is being used as a home for unwanted pests. In the process, it’s thermal resistance seriously reduced.
Is The Right Fix New Insulation?
If you think there may be gaps in your home’s insulation, we can help. If you schedule a free no-pressure estimate, we will send one of our insulation experts to your home to inspect the insulation and explain your options. In most cases, we can install your new insulation over the old material negating any need for expensive removal or remodeling.