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When to Replace Attic Insulation

Posted on: September 28, 2017

If your attic is properly insulated, you are likely saving money on your energy bills each month and your home consistently stays comfortable at the temperature you prefer. Attic insulation typically doesn’t last forever, unfortunately. You may need to replace, or add to, your current attic insulation under certain conditions.

When to Inspect Attic Insulation

Inspecting attic insulation could help find the source of problems:

  • After a roof leak
  • When energy bills are rising
  • If AC or heating systems no longer keep your home comfortable

Problems with your attic insulation could be partly or completely responsible for your home comfort problems. Here are some specific attic insulation problems to watch for:

Settling of Insulation

Insulation settles over time, and can leave thin spots of inadequate coverage in attic walls, ceiling and/or floor. More insulation should be added to any thin areas to restore the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. A professional should inspect your attic and add insulation appropriate to our Zone 3 climate.

Unhealthy, Inefficient Moldy Insulation

Even a small roof leak or humidity buildup can cause mold growth and permanent damage to your attic insulation. Some homeowners only discover minor roof leaks by inspecting the insulation. If allowed to continue, leaks/moisture can damage the structural material of your home, causing wood rot, for example.

Mold growth is also a health concern for your family. After any leak is fixed, it is typically advisable to replace your attic insulation to ensure all mold is eliminated.

Vermiculite Insulation Containing Asbestos

If your attic insulation is very old, installed before 1990, it likely contains harmful asbestos fibers. Not all vermiculite insulation contains asbestos, but the mining company that most often supplied vermiculite during that time period used contaminated material. Experts, including the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency), assume that most homes from that era contain asbestos-contaminated insulation.

Asbestos-containing insulation material is dangerous if disturbed, because asbestos can then be inhaled and may damage the lungs, even years after exposure. Asbestos can only be safely evaluated and handled by a professional.

The EPA recommends that you do not open your walls to check for this dangerous substance. If you happen to discover this insulation on your own, do not touch it. If asbestos is discovered or suspected, recommendations may include not using your attic or, if remodeling is planned, having the material safely, professionally removed.

Consider a Home Energy Audit to Evaluate Insulation Needs

If you’d like a professional assessment of your attic insulation,  contact Moore Mechanical, based in nearby Dublin, CA. During a home energy audit, we will quickly find the source of any home comfort or energy efficiency problem (including attic insulation problems) in your East Bay, CA home. The energy audit can even help reveal potential indoor air quality issues.

We Get to the Bottom of Attic Insulation Problems

When your energy audit is complete, we will make recommendations for energy efficiency improvements, which may include attic insulation, and work to restore your home comfort. Call Moore Mechanical at (925) 307-6479 today.

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