If you have bought an older home, one of the areas that may need your attention in the near future is your attic. That’s because roof supports and insulation were designed and installed differently in past generations. While insulation should last for decades, moisture and humidity may damage it sooner than expected.
Older homes weren't built with insulation in mind. Instead, it was believed that the wood needed to breathe, so minute gaps were left to allow for this process. Unfortunately, this also meant that tiny amounts of water often seeped through and into the house. The wood typically dried before any real damage could be done.
However, as insulation was added to retain a moderate temperature, those tiny amounts of water were absorbed by the insulation. Over time, much insulation acted like a sponge and absorbed more water.
This buildup often caused the layers of insulation to warp and lose their protective value. Warping led to more homeowners seeking out “insulation contractors near me” on the internet to update the insulation in their homes.
While you may need a contractor to perform a more thorough evaluation of the condition of your home’s insulation, you can detect the early signs of an insulation problem.
As insulation in Duval absorbs more water and becomes damaged, it will allow more rainwater into the attic or crawlspace. This leaking will lead to recognizable damage in your home.
A very early sign of damaged insulation is peeling paint, so you shouldn’t assume paint chips in your attic are just natural signs of an older home. As water is absorbed by the paint on the walls, it will cause the paint to bubble and peel away. If you see paint chips in your attic, you should look for more signs of water damage.
If your home’s roof has any type of leak, the water that passes through this area will cause the underlying wooden beams to rot.
As the wood absorbs the water, it will become bloated and softer. This weakening will lead the wood to bow or break under the pressure of your roof. Even if the wooden beams in your home aren’t bowing, look for wood that has splintered, feels soft to the touch, or seems unusually dark.
You may find mold on the walls or floor in your attic, indicating that your roof has suffered extensive water damage. This mold occurs when the insulation has become so saturated with water that it won’t dry.
In addition to allowing water to pass into your attic, saturated insulation will allow mold growth to occur between the insulation layer and the wood of your attic ceiling.
As a precaution, you should have a professional contractor inspect the insulation in your older home’s attic. They can determine whether the insulation should be replaced and if there’s roof damage that should also be addressed. Fixing these issues together will provide you with better protection for your home.