Does attic insulation go bad? Absolutely. Here are some signs that your attic insulation is past its prime and due for replacement.
Many people wonder: does insulation go bad or does insulation need to be replaced if it's old or damaged?
Spray foam insulation, in particular, is generally resilient attic insulation. There's a belief that it will last as long as your house stands and that it is more effective than other types of insulation. However, there's a disclaimer. It will only last the lifetime of your home with proper insulation installation and regular maintenance.
Did you know that there are certain moisture, humidity, and temperature levels during spray foam installation that you have to keep? You must also apply it with high-pressure equipment and mix it well. As for maintenance, you might need a touch-up a few years after installation.
Even things meant to last forever need some upkeep from time-to-time. Consult a certified attic specialist if you suspect bad insulation in the attic or feel your existing insulation is already due for reapplication, removal of insulation, and insulation replacement.
Replacing old insulation might sound unnecessary and cumbersome, but it is the only way to ensure an energy-efficient home and see reduced heating or cooling bills.
So does attic insulation go bad? How long does attic insulation last?
Spray foam insulation can last for decades under the right conditions. What about the other types of insulation? How long does blown-in insulation last? Professionals say it can last upwards of 20 years, similar to cellulose insulation.
"I have fiberglass loose-fill insulation, though." "How long does fiberglass insulation last?" Experts claim anywhere from 25 to over 100 years, same as mineral wool insulation or rock wool insulation installation. Again, these are all reassuring numbers, but you mustn't solely rely on them and forget your attic insulation exists.
Fiberglass insulation or batt insulation, along with other insulation types, needs to be checked now and then for physical & water damage. Dirt and black spots on fiberglass insulation can signal air leaks in your attic.
While fiberglass batts are good as filler material for dust particles, they're not the first choice for air leakage. Air leaks carry moisture causing mold growth and rot, while conditioned air leaks result in home energy waste.
With varying lifespans and considerations, when should you replace insulation? Certified attic specialists recommend a general rule of thumb for when to replace attic insulation. Every 15 to 20 years, perform periodic checks and maintenance.
They say only time will tell, but apparently, your home's temperature can too. One of the signs of poor attic insulation is fluctuating temperatures. It's either a little too cold in one room or a bit too hot in another part of the house. Your HVAC system may be working round the clock to keep your home at a stable temperature, resulting in an energy bill that is noticeably higher than your neighbors or friends.
There are also random currents of cold air in some rooms or the whole house, indicating your crawl space insulation needs replacing.
Attic insulation experts can do an energy audit on your home to ensure your home's energy efficiency and that you are not paying more than you have to on your energy bill.
Did you know that different spaces of your home need specific types of insulation materials with varied R-values? For example, wall and floor insulations have separate recommended R-values. You can measure the effectiveness of insulation through its R-value.
There's a science involved in attic insulation, so it is best to consult with certified attic specialists and not leave anything to chance.
Unfortunately, you can also tell if your attic insulation has gone bad by observing the people in your household. Has your partner been suffering from an allergy cough for months now? No matter how well you clean the house or what medicine the doctor gives them, the cough won't disappear.
It might be time to check on your attic insulation. Even the most enduring attic insulation can suffer from unexpected water damage.
Wet insulation is a known breeding ground for mold and mildew. Toxic mold can make family members lethargic, have itchy skin and eyes, and create a sore throat. It can worsen or develop asthma and even accelerate aging.
Don't ignore these warning signs. You and your family deserve superb air quality, free from mold and mildew spores.
What does bad insulation look like? Seeing is believing, and the easiest way to spot bad insulation is by visual inspection. Schedule a visit from a reputable attic insulation service once the attic insulation has started falling, breaking apart, shifting, thinning, and getting wet.
Other visible clues are apparent damage, dirt, dust, and icicles during winter. Increased noise in the house is another non-visual clue on top of discrepancies in temperature and electric bills.
Don't think you can ride this one out or wait until you have maximized your insulation's life span. Bad insulation has financial and health consequences, as noted above.