No matter what climate you live in, insulation is a critical part of any home. Insulation protects your property from the elements, and prevents hot or cold air from escaping your home.
High-quality insulation can mean that your home routinely stays several degrees warmer or cooler depending on the season, ultimately saving you money on your energy bills.
If you are in the market for new insulation, there are several reasons why it is important to remove the old insulation first.
Even if you have very old insulation that has thinned or worn away, it will still take up space that should be filled with new insulation. Insulation is meant to fill up its intended space, not to be layered on top of existing material.
It may seem like layering in new insulation is a lower-cost option because you will need less of it, but it won’t save you much in the long run. Mixing old and new insulation isn’t a good way to ensure your home is protected in the best way possible.
Finally, if you are using spray foam insulation, it needs a clean surface to adhere to. Attempting to spray insulation over existing insulation doesn’t lend itself to a good seal, and you may find yourself calling for a follow-up visit when your insulation starts to fall.
One of the greatest benefits of new insulation is the improved energy efficiency you’ll experience in your home. Old insulation simply isn’t as advanced as modern materials, and it tends to be less effective over time.
New insulation does an excellent job of keeping your home protected from the elements, so you’ll want to have a complete swap. If you mix old insulation with new, you are not getting the maximum benefit.
Some insulation types are known to hold onto allergens and moisture. Over time, moisture in your insulation can lead to mold growth which can be dangerous to you and your family.
Mold can contaminate your air quality and cause serious health issues. Your moisture and mold risk is especially high if you’ve had a roof leak or if your air conditioner has leaked. If mold is uncovered when your old insulation is removed, it’s a good idea to also invest in mold remediation to ensure the area is mold-free.
Finally, it is not uncommon for critters to find their way into the insulation. If you have old insulation, you may find that insects or even rodents have made a home there. Critters like to build nests in insulation material, and they leave behind droppings, which can be a health hazard to your home.
If you have an infestation, it is best to remove the insulation and disinfect the area before replacing it.
Any reputable insulation installer will thoroughly remove old insulation before putting in the new. However, as a homeowner, you should double-check that they remove all of the old insulation as a first step.
Most contractors will vacuum up or carry out the old insulation and dispose of the material so you don’t have to worry about it. If you are getting rid of contaminated insulation, extra precautions should be taken to contain the contamination.
Make sure your insulation installers are carefully bagging the old insulation so that it is not contaminating the outside or inside of your home.
Ultimately, new insulation is an excellent long-term investment in your home. So make sure it is done right by removing the old before putting in the new.