Should I remove old insulation from my attic?

insulation cut and ready to be installed

Keep your home temperature regulated

If your home doesn’t have attic insulation on roof underside or on the floor of the attic, you are probably losing a lot of air conditioning and heating, which is costing you in energy bills. Every homeowner is always interested in saving money where they can, with energy expenses being the top money saver and an attic no insulation is the one thing many of them overlook.

Too many homeowners have questions, such as the validity of if attic insulation does it help and how much attic insulation is required to be an energy saver. As you continue reading this article, we’ll be answering frequently asked questions with helpful information, advice, and tips. By the end of this article, you’ll see how important attic insulation is and you’ll want to make sure your attic is sufficiently insulated. 

How thick should attic insulation be?

Having the right amount of insulation in the attic of your home is the number one way to reduce your energy cost. Attic insulation is rated in a measurement called R-Value which tells you how well it will work with a range of 2.0/inches to 8.0/inch. Cellulose and fiberglass R-Value ratings are 2.9/inch to 3.8/inch, while sprayed foam insulation can measure up to 8.0/inch. A higher R-value will do a better job of preventing heat to transfer. In simple terms, the average amount of attic insulation is about six inches. Don’t forget to insulate the attic door either!

How do I know if my attic needs more insulation?

A quick and simple way to know that your attic needs more insulation is to look at the floor for the attic. If you can see more than the top of the floor joists, you need attic insulation. If your home was built before 1970, you probably need attic insulation, but here are some indications that will confirm the need for you:

  1. Attic Troubles: While you’re up in the attic checking the attic insulation, do you feel or smell moisture?  Do you see where water has come through the ceiling, notice wet spots on the ceiling or the floor of the attic?
  2. Energy Bills Blasting: You do all the things you can think of to make your home cool or heat more efficiently and cut the AC and heat down. Sadly, nothing is working, and your energy bills keep increasing. Cooling and heating in your home are how you keep everyone comfortable, so you keep lowering or raising the thermostat to make it comfortable. Or do you notice the AC/Heat system is constantly running? These are both indications that your home needs attic insulation.
  3. Winter Wonderland: During the winter, does your roof have giant icicles hanging off the roof? While this may look pretty, it isn’t. They can damage the gutters and roof each time the heat rises and heats the attic. If the attic insulation is adequate, the heat will escape through the vents. If the attic insulation is insufficient, the heat will rise to the roof and melt the ice and snow and create ice dams and icicles.
  4. Cold and Hot Rooms: If one room in your home is a sauna, and another is like you’re in an igloo, that is a big red flag that your attic insulation is uneven. A home should not have any drafts if it is properly insulated. 
  5. The Current Insulation: If you find crumbly insulation while in the attic, it is expired and is not doing your home any good. Do not try to remove the attic insulation yourself, it always best to have a professional insulation contractor remove the attic insulation. They will have the equipment and gear to remove the old insulation.
  6. Cracks: If there are small cracks around the doors and windows, applying some caulk over those cracks to seal them is a simple fix. Sometimes a few small cracks are leaking enough cool air or heat to contribute to high energy bills.
  7. Pests: Lastly, mice droppings or like indications of pest infiltration can compromise your home’s structural integrity as the pest eat away at the attic insulation and structure. 

How long does insulation last in the attic?

The typical lifespan of attic insulation according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors says that spray foam insulation, house wrap insulation, and wrap tape can last up to 80 years or longer. Cellulose, foamboard, loose-fill, and rock wool insulation can last 100 years.

However, when the basic homeowner maintenance is ignored, the lifespan can be shortened. Attic insulation is durable, and the attic insulation made today is humidity and weather resistant.  to weather and humidity. Still, all insulation can be weakened by several factors, such as water damage that is left unattended, as mildew and mold can still form and corrode the exterior and interior attic insulation.

Additionally, puncture to the surface of attic insulation can render it ineffective. When cellulose, fiberglass, or other batt attic insulation falls, it creates “blank spots” where mold growth can harbor, it gets dirty and becomes less effective.

Can you put new insulation over old?

Unless the old attic insulation is wet, new insulation can be installed over old insulation. Any wetness will get trapped between the old and new it will mildew, mold and rot the attic floor and rafters.

How often should attic insulation be changed?

Even though attic insulation is said to last anywhere from 80 years to 100 years, it does lose effectiveness as its ages.  Insulation experts recommend replacing after 15 years to assure it is doing the job you need it to. Any time you have a leak in the roof, check the insulation if it has been affected and replace it necessary. It is only to a homeowner’s benefit to install attic insulation and keep it in good condition for energy savings and comfort within their home.  When the attic insulation in good condition, it saves the HVAC system from having to work so hard, and that will save the homeowner money by not having to get repairs or replacement. For your attic insulation installation in Fort Worth, TX, dial 817-781-8781 for ACT Home Energy Specialists!