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Removing Old Insulation - A Very Good Idea - But With Care and attention.

March 24, 2015

Insulation removal may be necessary (and recommended) during a renovation or retrofit. And while it's true that new insulation can be readily installed over existing insulation, the very best results are accomplished when the old insulation is completely removed and new insulation is installed. When removing old insulation, and especially in the attic, it's worth doing the job right the first time - and it must be done with care and attention, without affecting the health, safety and comfort of occupants. Cutting corners to save money could be risky in the long run. Home improvement centers are full of products, equipment, and advice - all of them related to removing old insulation. However, industry experts agree that this is a project best left to an expert. On the surface, it looks simple and straightforward, and of course, the DIY enthusiast is ready to go. But all things considered, jumping into an insulation removal project may well be premature - it's the professional contractor or renovator who has the expertise and experience to do the job properly, and may even offer insulation removal as part of a full service package. For the uninitiated homeowner, removing old insulation may pose potential risks: hazardous materials might still be present from a previous installation - harmful accumulations of mold or mildew might exist - and in a worst case scenario, there may be leftover deposits of asbestos or vermiculite. Needless to say, the right kind of removal equipment is essential, and safety gear is a must. This is not the time or place for taking shortcuts, whether it's the DIY property owner or a contractor who comes on the scene with some extremely "low-ball" estimate. A reputable insulation professional will advise their customer whether removal is even needed. It may be a situation where existing insulation just isn't installed properly. It may be a situation where a leaky roof is damaging only a section of the insulation. Or it may be that the insulation is in good condition, and only requires upgrading. A good contractor will assess all of the above in the best interest of the customer. As well, a reliable contractor will help their customer to understand that insulation removal is part the "big picture" that includes re-insulating. Doing the job right means having an all-inclusive approach. It means totally removing every bit of old insulation. It means that a new vapor barrier might be required. It could mean that old, outdated wiring needs to be removed completely. Or, it could mean that new air-vents (in the attic, for instance) may be necessary. Whatever the situation, a comprehensive installation is preferred - one that includes proper sealing, proper ventilating, and proper insulating. The components work together and compliment each other for the best possible outcome. In the end, it's up to the individual to make astute decisions about insulation removal. There are plenty of issues to consider, and a number of options to weigh. But it's clearly the right time for a professional.

Western Ontario

935 Keyes Drive
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4V 1C3

Phone: 1-800-265-1914

Fax: (519) 539-7946
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Canada L4N 9V5

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2 Guided Court
Etobicoke, ON
M9V 4K6

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103 North Port Road
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Canada L9L 1B2

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

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

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25 Lincoln Ave
St. Catharines, ON
L2P 2C7

TOLL FREE: 1-800-265-1914


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Homestars Best of 2022 Award

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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.

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

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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.


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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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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.


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


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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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