Even if it seems like it does nothing but hide in the walls, your home’s insulation has a shelf life. Outside forces, pests, wear and tear, and more can interfere with or damage it, preventing it from doing its job. Figuring out that your insulation is on its last leg isn’t all that hard, though. Here are some signs that you need new insulation:
The easiest way to tell if you need insulation removed is by looking at it, especially after an event such as a fire, burst pipe, or other bad circumstance. Some parts of insulation are combustible—cellulose burns, as does the foil or paper backing on batting—and should be replaced after a fire. Burst pipes, leaky roofs, and mold can likewise wet down insulation, making it ineffective. Remove the insulation, fix the water source, and then replace it. Sometimes insulation batting can eventually lose its grip and fall away from the wall or roof. Just push it back and take care to wear gloves and a dust mask. Most insulation types, such as batting and spray foam, last for many decades—but if you have cellulose insulation that’s 20 years old or older, have it inspected.
Insulation can become infested by all sorts of creatures that break into your home and take up residence in the attic and walls. Aside from the fact you can hear them skittering overhead, they make their presence known by chewing holes through the cellulose, foam, or batting in your attic and leaving traces of their feces and urine behind. Insulation that’s been eaten through isn’t just gross—it’s incapable of doing its job. Common insulation destroyers include rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, termites, and others. Call a pest removal service, seal off any entry points, then call a residential insulation services provider to replace whatever insulation has been damaged.
Even though your HVAC system is at full blast, does your hose still feel too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer? Are your gas and electric bills soaring? Your insulation may not be doing its job. As mentioned, batting insulation can fall away, but cellulose insulation can degrade because of temperatures, weather conditions, and age. In this case, have an energy audit performed on your house to see what’s going on up there, or call in a provider of residential insulation services.
Feel a Draft?
While looking for signs that you need insulation removal services, pay attention to what you can feel. Namely, notice if you’re feeling drafts anywhere—or everywhere—or if parts of the house feel hotter or colder than they should. Gaps and cracks can form in the walls and around doors and windows, but sometimes insulation drops or shifts inside the walls. Note where the temperatures feel strangest and call in an expert for an inspection.