There are various factors that affect how often a home’s attic insulation should be replaced. A good rule of thumb is that standard insulation should be inspected to see if it needs to be replaced at least every fifteen years. After this amount of time, insulation begins to peel away from the walls and degrade. To get the best idea of whether your insulation should be replaced, there are a few things you should understand about insulation and the way it works.
Different insulation materials
There are several different kinds of insulation used to protect homes today. Understanding the materials used helps to determine how frequently they should be replaced.
Reflective insulation. This variety of insulation is designed to reflect both cold and heat. Reflective insulation is typically made from cardboard or Styrofoam sheeting that is covered in a foil reflective material. This type of insulation may last up to 100 years or more.
Spray foam insulation. This insulation is made from a foam material that is sprayed into the installation area, then expands to fill the space. Spray foam insulation is often used in places that are difficult to access and install other types of insulation. Depending on environmental conditions, this insulation can last 80 years or more if installed properly.
Batt insulation. This is likely the type of insulation you are most familiar with, as it is the most common variety used in homes. It contains natural or fiberglass fibers that act to capture or repel heat. This insulation can also last from 80 to 100 years if it is installed properly and doesn’t sustain any damages.
Indicators you need new insulation
Most homeowners don’t know how old their insulation is unless they built their home new, have a relatively new home, or installed the insulation since they bought the house. If you live in an older home and aren’t sure when your installation was installed, here are a few signs that it may need to be replaced:
Excessive moisture or mold problems. When you inspect your insulation, first, check if it feels wet. Second, do a visual check for buildup of mold or mildew. If either of these conditions is present, it is likely that you need to have the insulation removed, any damages repaired, and new insulation installed.
Drafty places in the home. When you have cold drafts in your house, you should always check a few things. First, make sure your weather stripping around windows and doors is not degraded. Don’t stop there – also check your insulation to ensure it is keeping cold air out. If the insulation isn’t functioning properly, you may need to have it replaced.
Extreme heating and cooling bills. If you feel your energy costs are significantly more than they should be, the problem may lie with your home’s insulation. If it does not properly contain the air from your HVAC systems, they will have to work overtime to heat and cool your home, which costs you unnecessary money on your energy bills.
Inspecting your home’s insulation is a task that pays off in utility savings and the increased comfort of your family. If you suspect that you may need new insulation, contact the professionals at Mr. Roof. You can reach us at (800) 884-9760 to schedule a proper inspection.