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Properly Removing Old (or Damaged) Insulation

July 13, 2015

With the upsurge of home renovations and retrofits these days, it's common for the homeowner to remove and replace existing insulation. It's actually quite an important home improvement, and with a much better payoff than something like a washroom renovation. For those moving into a "new" home, it's difficult to know what to expect with the existing insulation. In fact, removal of the insulation may well be necessary, and often recommended by a professional contractor. Many a home centre will suggest that new insulation (whatever the product) can be installed on top or over existing insulation. But the professionals will likely recommend otherwise - it's because the best results are achieved from scratch. One never knows what's underneath, and it's far better to remove old insulation, make the necessary repairs and restorations, and install brand new insulation. In other words, doing it right the first time is the preferred course of action. Removing old insulation (especially in the attic area) can be complicated. It's a process requiring care and attention, if only to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone involved. And it's not a project where cutting corners can save money. In the insulation industry, the experts agree that this is work best left in the hands of a professional - someone with the experience and expertise to do the job properly, and with the right tools and equipment to handle all of the complexities. For many homeowners, removing old (or damaged) insulation looks like a simple task, something the DIY devotee can do over a long weekend. This thinking may prove to be premature, mainly because of the risk factors. To be sure, there may be hazardous materials leftover from previous installs, and there may be deposits of harmful mold. In the worst-case, there may be asbestos or vermiculite, both of which become very dangerous when disturbed from their resting state. Removing insulation requires the right type of equipment, and the right type of safety gear. It's not the right time for quick fixes, and certainly not the time for a dubious contractor. The truth is, a good insulation contractor will actually advise if removal is even necessary! And every situation is different - it may emerge that the existing insulation is just inadequately installed - or perhaps the roof is leaking and creating damage on only a portion of the insulation. When hiring a reputable insulation contractor, experience and expertise is included. The experts can see the "big picture", which includes removal, remediation and reinstallation. And most of the time, the contractor has the best interests of the customer in mind. As such, recommendations are designed to bring long-term results, including suitable options for products and installation. There is really no better alternative than doing it right the first time. At the end of the day, a comprehensive approach to insulation removal is preferred. Of course, the reinstall is equally important. In addition to properly insulating the space, it's also necessary to properly seal and ventilate, all of which contributes to an improved, energy efficient environment.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Southwestern Ontario

7035 Industrial Drive
Comber, Ontario
Canada N0P 1J0

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Muskoka, Haliburton, Northern Ontario

1027 Elwell Park Road
Gravenhurst, Ontario
Canada P1P 1R1

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Central Ontario

29 Ferndale Industrial Drive
Barrie, Ontario
Canada L4N 9V5

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

103 North Port Road
Port Perry, Ontario
Canada L9L 1B2

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA & South Central Ontario

450 Industrial Dr,
Toronto (Milton), Ontario
Canada L9T 5A6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Eastern Ontario

1035 Moodie Dr #1,
Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


259 Campbell Street
Sarnia Ontario
Canada, N7T 2H3

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

Niagara Region

6260 Don Murie St
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 0B4

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.


Best of 2017

From reputation to responsiveness, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thanks to everyone for the great ratings! 

HomeStars 2018

Best of 2018

For the second year in a row, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thank you again to everyone!

Homestars Best of 2019 Award

Best of 2019

For the third year in a row, HomeStars ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

Homestars Best of 2020 Award

Best of 2020

For four years now, HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

Homestars Best of 2021 Award

Best of 2021

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2021.

Homestars Best of 2022 Award

Best of 2022

HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2022.


GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Enenrgy Savers

Energy Saving

Energy saving and energy efficiency is easier than one might think. Great Northern Insulation helps to identify performance issues, while taking advantage of improvement opportunities.

100% Canadian

100% Canadian

Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

Foam Masters

Do it right the first time
- with foam mastersTM

WALLTITE® ECO™ is a high-performance system, professionally installed by certified and approved specialists. Its C.C.M.C. approved (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) - with product quality guaranteed - and with installation by highly trained experts with the technical know-how to do the job right, the first time.

Insulthane Extreme

Insulthane® Extreme

For the ultimate in high performance spray foam insulation, Insulthane® Extreme is the professional choice for residential, commercial, and industrial application. With improved thermal performance over other products, Insulthane® Extreme has an exceptionally low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Considered environmentally friendly, this next generation spray foam insulation is non-ozone depleting, and exceeds specifications of other HFC product alternatives.


3MTM products.
Quality + Performance = Savings

3MTM energy-saving products are designed to keep warm air in, and cold air out, while keeping energy bills down. Products optimize energy efficiency in buildings and homes; improve indoor environment for occupants; and effect the reduction of seasonal energy costs. 3M products are authorized for LEED credits (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).


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Professional, Certified and Insured

Baeumler ApprovedTM gives you peace of mind when connecting with contractors, trades and home service providers. All Baeumler Approved members have demonstrated high quality work for customers and other trade professionals. Members must also have Workers Compensation, liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 and prove professional certification.

Holmes and Holmes

Holmes and Holmes


Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.


Enbridge Incentives

The Energy Conservation Program provides incentives of up to $1,600 to customers who achieve energy efficiency and fuel savings – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.


Great Northern Insulation proudly abides by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct set by RenoMark™.


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As Seen on Love It or List It

The GNI crew have been featured installing insulation on Love It or List It - have you seen our logo in an episode?

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