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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

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

Greater Toronto Area

2 Guided Court
Etobicoke, ON
M9V 4K6

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

GTA East

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

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914

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

Niagara Region

25 Lincoln Ave
St. Catharines, ON
L2P 2C7

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


Great Northern Insulation - Better Business Bureau Profile.

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

Trusted for Over 40 Years

Over 40 Years in Business

At GNI, we service your project with the most experienced staff in the industry. Ongoing professional development is an obsession at GNI and we will not compromise at any level to bring to our customers the very best Installers, Sales Representatives, Customer Care Personnel, Field Superintendents, Estimating and Technical Support to your project.

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

January, 2021 regulatory phaseout of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with the introduction of WALLTITE CM01. Using hydrofluorolefins (HFOs) with lower global warming potential (GWP) compared to HFCs, WALLTITE CM01 is the next generation of spray foam insulation.



Heatlok® Soya HFOTM leverages Honeywell’s latest Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent technology. This new hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agent is the most environmentally conscious blowing agent produced to date, with a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) of 1, which is more than two orders of magnitude (99.9%) lower than HFCs used in this industry.


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).

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 Home Efficiency Rebate Plus program offers up to $10,000 in home reno rebates – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.


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


We are Verified & Bonded by eRenovate. When you choose to proceed with our services through their platform, you receive the gaurantees set forth through their program.

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?

Climatizer Cellulose


CLIMATIZER PLUS cellulose insulation is manufactured from a minimum of 85% locally-sourced post-consumer recycled newsprint. Non-toxic additives are applied to the uniquely fiberized paper generating a building material with superior thermal and acoustic properties, as well as exceptional resistance to fire, moisture, mould and pests.

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