5 Signs You Need New Insulation
Insulation isn’t just some random fluff contractors put in the walls and ceilings of a structure; it plays an active part in your building’s energy efficiency. When properly installed, insulation protects against heat loss in the winter and helps maintain comfortable temperatures in the summer. This is great news for your year-round comfort, and for your wallet. But what happens if it degrades? Trouble may be brewing in the form of mold and allergens, uncomfortable and inconsistent temperatures in the building, and high energy bills.
Unless your insulation was sprayed in with a polyurethane foam, it is vulnerable to degradation. In fact, the average lifespan of fiberglass, mineral wool, or cellulose materials is between 20 and 30 years, and degradation can start as soon as 15 years following installation.
Here are 5 signs You Need to Replace Your Insulation
1. Water Damage
If you have an active leak, you’ll most likely see blotches of dark stains on ceilings or flooring. Getting the leak repaired is your first priority, of course, but you may not realize that the material is also damaged from water. Wet insulation is not only ineffective, it can cause damage to the building’s structure.
2. Increased Allergy Symptoms and Respiratory Problems
Wet, aging insulation can breed allergens, bacteria, and mold. If you or someone in your building is experiencing an increase in allergy symptoms or respiratory issues, feeling sick for no definable reason, or suffering headaches, it could be a sign that your insulation needs to be replaced.
3. Uneven Room Temperatures
A sure sign your insulation needs to be replaced is uneven temperatures in the rooms of your building. Certain areas of the structure may be drafty, and it becomes harder to heat or cool the property. You may also be playing temperature tag throughout the day, adjusting the thermostat constantly to find the sweet spot.
4. Rodents and Other Pests are Taking Over
If you’re hearing rodents in the walls or crawl spaces, or seeing more pests than usual, this is a good sign that you will need to address your insulation. Rodents and insects cause damage, so if you’re seeing increased signs of unwanted guests, it’s probably time to replace it.
5. Your Energy Bills are Increasing
This is one sign will hit you in the wallet. Degrading insulation can no longer effectively do its job at keeping your property consistently comfortable. Temperature changes and constant thermostat adjustments will cause your energy bills to increase each month.
Choosing the Best Solutions for Your Property
Choosing new insulation for your property will largely depend on where it needs to be replaced. Crawl spaces, for instance, can be replaced fairly easily and inexpensively with fiberglass and cellulose. The downside to these materials is that they will settle and shift, allowing air to escape from the building after installation.
Fiberglass, one of the least expensive solutions, is tricky to install because of the extremely small, fine glass fibers that may be inhaled and embedded in the skin. It’s highly recommended to let professionals handle fiberglass installation.
Cellulose, made of recycled materials, is one of the oldest materials. Cellulose is one of the least efficient solutions, however, because it doesn’t create an air-tight seal, can shift from side to side, and will settle nearly 20% after installation. Professional installation can help combat these issues.
If you’re looking to add insulation to your property’s exterior walls, injection foam or blown-in is the best option. Luckily, this method doesn’t involve tearing down existing walls or remodeling. Your professional contractor will drill holes externally, inject or blow in the insulation, and then plug the holes.
Replacing Insulation is Best Left to the Pros
When done correctly, can make all the difference in your property’s energy efficiency, comfort, and even external sound reduction. If done improperly, however, the entire project can be a waste of time and money. Experienced contractors know the best materials to use for your building, and how to install them for optimum results and longevity.
Robey provides full-service installation services throughout Maryland, DC and Virginia.