Like everything else, insulation wears out over time. Since undamaged insulation can last a fairly long time, many homeowners do not have any experience with replacing insulation or identifying the signs that their insulation has become damaged. Failure to replace damaged insulation can lead to further damages and unnecessary future costs.

Valley Insulation explains the basics of insulation removal, why you may need it, and how you can tell if your insulation needs to be replaced.

What is insulation removal?

Insulation removal is the process of removing damaged or deteriorating insulation from walls, attics, and crawl spaces. Over time, insulation begins to deteriorate naturally and is no longer effective in regulating the home’s temperature. 

Damage can also occur from things like water, pests, and fires. If the insulation is no longer doing its job effectively it needs to be removed and replaced as soon as possible.

How long does insulation last?

Undamaged insulation can last a very long time, which is why most people may not have had to go through the process of replacing theirs. Insulation can last 80 to 100 years before it needs to be removed and replaced, as long as it has not been damaged. Regularly checking your insulation can ensure it stays in good working order.

How often should insulation be checked?

As long as you don’t suspect any damage, a good rule of thumb is to have your insulation inspected every 20 to 25 years. An inspection can help detect early deterioration or find places where water or pests may have destroyed areas of insulation. Catching and addressing issues early can prevent further damage and help your insulation to last longer.

What are common signs I need to remove old insulation?

One of the most common signs that your old insulation is deteriorating is a lack of control of the home’s temperature. If insulation is no longer doing its job properly, it will be difficult to keep the home cool on hot days or warm on cold days. Insulation allows you to regulate the temperature of the house without straining your utility bills. If you notice an unexplained increase over time in gas or electric bills, that’s a good sign it’s time for insulation removal.

How is insulation removed?

Insulation removal is based on the type of insulation you have. For blow-in cellulose insulation, a commercial-grade shop vac is used to suck up all the loose insulation in your wall or attic. Any dust or loose pieces are swept up as well. This can take some time depending on how much insulation there is and how much area it covers.

For fiberglass batt insulation, the insulation is simply removed and rolled up and placed in garbage bags to be carried out of the house. A shop vac will be needed to sweep up dust or small pieces left behind. It is important to be sure that all insulation is removed, especially if there are areas that are wet or may have animal urine or feces.

What are the dangers of damaged insulation?

Water Damage

If an area of insulation has been exposed to water due to a roof leak, burst pipe, or another issue, the insulation will likely retain the moisture for a while. Where there is long-term moisture there is a high probability of mold. Mold in wall or attic insulation can spread and cause health issues for the home’s residents.

Pest Damage

Anytime a pest gets into wall or attic insulation, particularly rodents, they can cause major damage. Not only do they tear up insulation, they can leave behind urine and feces that are not only unhealthy for residents but will soak in and keep the insulation wet. Long-term moisture can produce mold that can cause health problems over time.

Fire Damage

At Valley Insulation, we use Nu-Wool cellulose insulation, which is treated for fire resistance. This insulation can be important for minimizing the spread of fire in your home. If you have had any type of fire where the insulation was damaged, it will need to be removed.

How long does insulation removal take?

Insulation removal, depending on the type of insulation, can take several hours. Clearing an average size attic of blown-in cellulose insulation generally takes professionals anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, including prep, removal, and clean-up of dirt and debris.

Removing fiberglass batt insulation usually takes about the same amount of time, depending on the number of workers. Hiring professionals who have experience in insulation removal and come prepared with the right tools can make the process go faster.

Call Valley Insulation for Insulation Removal

Valley Insulation has been in business for over 40 years, serving the Greater Cincinnati area in all their insulation needs, including insulation replacement. Contact Valley Insulation or call (513) 353-4100 to get a free quote.

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