You are in the middle of a home remodeling project. You decide to give your home a contemporary feel and think of upgrading the R value of your attic insulation as well. However, your attic is already insulated but the material installed by the previous owners is outdated and does not serve the purpose anymore. You are then faced with the question – “should I remove the old existing Insulation when adding new insulation?
Situations where removal is required
Damaged insulation, over insulation and rodent infestation are two of the commonest scenarios where insulation removal is required. Often in old homes, the attic becomes infested with rats and squirrels.
The droppings of these rodents create an unpleasant smell which can then spread throughout your house. It creates an unhygienic condition in your attic and can damage your belongings.
After all, who wants to store their stuff in a dirty unusable space?
Another scenario where insulation removal is mandatory is when the old blown material becomes damaged and seeps out through cracks around the attic hinges.
If you have hired workmen to install modern insulation in your attic and end up finding out that your old insulation is swollen or damaged, you can ask them to remove it. Moisture buildup in the ceiling can occur from over insulation in the attic above it.
Situations where removal is not required
If your existing insulation is thermal efficient, is not damaged by fire or water, and does not suffer from rodent infection, its best to leave it alone.
You can just layer the new insulating material on top of the old one and save a lot of money and time. Suppose you already have an R-value of 25 in your attic, professional insulation removal services can detect how much more insulating material you need to bring up your R value to 30-37.
They do this by using the existing insulation as the base. If only specific areas of the insulation are damaged, do not go about removing the entire layer. Spot reduction should be practice in cases where only the damaged sections of the existing insulation are removed and extra material added to achieve the desired R Value.
Don’t drag the removed old insulation material right through your house. Airborne dirt particles, fiberglass chips and other contaminants that were in your attic will now pollute your house.
If you are removing the old material yourself from your crawlspace or attic, be careful not to hurt yourself. Different kinds of insulation material should be removed in different ways. For example, if the old insulation material is made of fiber glass it should be hand removed.
In case of blown insulation, vacuuming away the material is the best option.
It’s best to consult a professional insulation removal service as they use commercial equipment to remove the insulation material safely and effectively. Insulation that was used even 10 years ago is far inferior to modern insulation materials. All you have to do is follow some basic rules if you want a healthier and cleaner home and lower energy bills.