Attic insulation helps keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. An attic without insulation increases the costs of your energy bills and will make your home feel less comfortable.
But if your attic is already insulated, or you’re planning to renovate your home, you may be wondering if you should be removing or replacing the spray insulation from your attic. To help you determine if and when insulation should be removed, the experts at St Louis Insulation have put together this guide.
Spray Foam Versus Fiberglass Insulation
Depending on when your home was first built, your attic may either have spray insulation or fiberglass insulation.
Spray Foam Insulation
In recent years, spray foam insulation has become a popular choice for homeowners. Extremely durable and well-insulating, spray foam insulation is considerably more energy-efficient than fiberglass insulation. Spray foam is applied by spraying polyurethane foam into an attic’s walls and ceilings. The spray then expands to create an air and moisture-tight seal that insulates an attic space.
In addition, spray foam deters pests, and because it's capable of keeping moisture out, protects your home from mold and water damage. While spray foam typically has more expensive initial costs to install than fiberglass insulation, after a few years, you’ll save money on energy costs. Spray foam lasts far longer than fiberglass as well.
Fiberglass insulation is commonly used in home attic spaces. Fiberglass insulation works by limiting the air movement of a space. While fiberglass insulation is less costly than spray foam insulation is to install, it’s particularly vulnerable to moisture and damage from rodents. If undamaged, however, fiberglass insulation can last around 100 years before needing replacement. Though it can begin to deteriorate after 15 to 20.
Another advantage of fiberglass insulation is that homeowners can often install it themselves. Spray foam insulation will always need the help of a professional.
When to Remove and Replace Old Insulation
There are a few indicators that it’s time to remove old insulation.
For instance, if you’re wanting to renovate your home by adding longer-term spray foam insulation, you’ll likely want to remove old fiberglass insulation.
Although spray foam is highly durable, critters and inclement weather can sometimes damage the integrity of the insulating materials. Though, it's much less common for spray foam insulation to be damaged than it is for fiberglass insulation.
If your attic were to become overrun with mice, the animals may use the insulation for nesting as it acts as a warm space safe from the outside. When you find mice in your attic, you’ll want to remove and replace fiberglass insulation to prevent the risk of diseases and keep your home comfortable.
What’s more, if fiberglass insulation is repeatedly exposed to moisture due to an unsealed, leaky attic, mold can build up on the insulation and impact your home’s air quality. While it is harder for mold spores to thrive on fiberglass itself, the underneath paper covering on fiberglass insulation is more vulnerable.
Besides mice infestations, renovations, and moisture, you should also consider removing and replacing your fiberglass and spray insulation when:
- You’re building onto your attic or tearing down walls
- You notice certain rooms are warmer or colder than others
- Your home is old and your insulation has never been replaced
- Fiberglass insulation is dusty or dirty
Get in Touch with The Experts at St Louis Insulation
Not sure if you should be removing the spray foam insulation from your attic? We can help you determine if now is the right time to remove or replace your current insulation. And, when you’re ready to install new insulation, we can provide you with accurate estimates that prioritize your specific needs.
Contact us today to start the process.