Why it is Important to Remove Old Insulation

There’s no hard and fast rule about removing old insulation. And while one contractor may opt not to remove, another may insist on starting the re-insulation from a completely clean space. But there are situations where removal is absolutely necessary – like water damage, fire damage, or rodent infestation. These are situations where the insulation is probably quite compromised, and the space is likely contaminated in some way. There would no question about complete removal. 

For the most part, homes usually have some existing insulation, for example in the attic. Although it’s possible to retain old insulation as a base when re-insulating, it’s important to have the space professionally assessed to determine the overall condition. Importantly, it’s essential to assess if there is any asbestos or similar product that could be hazardous. Here, a professional assessment is highly recommended – this is not the right time to be saving project dollars by cutting corners.

Another reason for professional assessment is to identify weak points where new insulation will improve energy efficiency and insulation performance. This is where a home energy expert will be able to ascertain how much R-Value may be required when re-installing new insulation, or if there’s a need for an air barrier or vapour barrier. Finally, there’s the issue of ventilation, and this is especially relevant in the attic because proper ventilation will allow the insulation to perform.

Good insulation contractors provide recommendations that satisfy client need. Where insulation removal is necessitated, it will be proposed – where the situation is not critical, another option will be introduced. For Great Northern Insulation, it’s customer need that is at the forefront. GNI experts carefully assess the need for insulation removal; they accurately estimate the amount of work required; and finally, they recommend workable options for new insulation to be installed.

GNI also discourages homeowners from taking the DIY path with insulation removal. It’s not only time-consuming and labour-intensive – it could be hazardous, and could pose serious health risks. Deteriorating insulation could be full of animal remains, mold and mildew deposits, and various leftovers from previous years. Its work that requires specialized equipment and the professional experience that most amateur homeowners don’t have. Above all, the risks aren’t worth taking.

Properly approached, insulation removal is only step one in a process. Definitely, a complete and thorough clean up is critical. But it’s also important to plan out potential repairs, choose a good insulation product for replacement, and ensure that ventilation is adequate. The experts at GNI strive to seal a space airtight, particularly in the attic and roof cavity. In fact, it’s just as important as the insulation – it assures moisture control and R-Value performance for many years to come.

When it comes time to choose and install new insulation, Great Northern Insulation consistently recommends Spray Polyurethane Foam. Industry wide, it’s considered the best product, mainly because it does more with one application than anything comparable. Professionally installed, SFI makes a space airtight, creates a combination air and vapour barrier, and provides high R-Values.