The useful life of insulation typically ranges between seventy and one hundred years. The incredibly long lifespan of the construction material leaves many homeowners confused as to how often the insulation needs to be replaced and whether it even needs to be removed. In general, insulation does not need to be removed unless the damage incurred will damage the new insulation as well.
Useful Life of Insulation
The useful life of undamaged insulation is between seventy and one hundred years. The useful life of the product is diminished when the product is damaged or gets wet. A leaking roof, gaping crevice, or open window can all cause water damage to your attic insulation. It is important to keep insulation dry, once it is exposed to water, it can grow mold or mildew. Water damage can spread from old insulation to new insulation if placed next to each other.
Home Energy Audits and Inspections
It may be a good idea to have a home energy audit or insulation inspection once every ten to fifteen years. These methods monitor the condition of your insulation as well as your home’s ability to regulate temperature and energy usage. These audits and inspections can provide you with an early indication of insulation damage, allowing you to save the undamaged insulation.
Signs to Replace Insulation
A home energy audit or inspection would provide you with an indication of whether you need to replace your installation, but there are many other signs as well. Temperature fluctuations throughout your home are a sign that insulation needs replaced. If you would designate your bedroom as the coldest room in the house, or there’s a closet that is excessively warm, these are signs that your insulation is not even.
Your energy bills provide another indication of whether your home’s insulation needs to be replaced. Most regions have an average energy cost per square foot. If your home’s energy cost varies significantly from that cost, you may need to replace your installation. Moisture and humidity are two more symptoms of ineffective insulation. Humidity and attic moisture indicate that the insulation is wet and at risk of mold or mildew. Wet insulation should be removed and replaced immediately as it can cause further damage to your home.
When to Remove Insulation
While replacing your home’s insulation it is not necessary to remove the old. Most professionals would recommend that you leave old insulation in place as it further benefits your home and increases its ability to regulate temperature. The only instance where it is absolutely necessary to remove insulation is when water damage has occurred. In these cases, it is not only recommended but necessary to remove the damaged insulation. Once wet, the insulation can spread mold and mildew to new insulation and cause the underlying wood to rot.