Why old insulation removal needs to be done
While it is normal to expect a large scale home improvement project such as insulation to last for many years, you should know that sooner or later it will need replacement, because new insulation materials and methods appear on a regular basis and you might want to upgrade to something more effective. One of the best examples in this regard is the replacement of fiberglass insulation with new cellulose insulation. However, one question arises in this process: can you add the new insulating layer on top of the old one or should you remove the old one first? The answer to this depends, but, for extra safety and efficiency, you should remove old insulation and apply the new layer on a smooth and clean surface. Here’s why:
Situations when replacing old insulation is a must
Some old materials used for insulating purposes tend to mould in time, which is not very hygienic. If you apply a new layer over this mould, then you’re really not doing your health any good and you could be faced with issues such as allergies or respiratory problems. Besides, if you’ve had pests in your attic or basement, then keep in mind that some of their excrements could even be stuck in the old insulation, so the place would be in need of a cleanup. Also, old materials are not fireproof and keeping them is not the safest option for you and your family. Insulation in homes built more than three decades ago is the most dangerous, because at the time the use of asbestos was not regulated, so there might be traces of this toxic substance in the insulation.
Steps involved in removing old insulation
After you get rid of the old layer, you should also consider doing some improvements that facilitate the application of the new insulation and seal the space even better. For example, you can double check that all the cracks are covered, fix broken air ducts and, if necessary, even install exhaust fans to make sure that the area is well ventilated. You might not be able to spot sealing issues, so contact a professional for best results.
Who should remove old insulation?
If your first instinct is to commence a DIY project, then you should know that old insulation removal is not a job for homeowners and you should call a team of professionals instead. On the one hand, the process can take a long time and it’s tedious and messy. You might not have all the tools and high end equipment for proper cleaning, so you won’t be able to remove the old layer completely. On the other hand, you also need protective equipment. As previously mentioned, old insulation is often a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria and toxic debris and touching it without protection could endanger your health. If you want to save money in the long run and make the wisest choice for your family, then hiring an expert is the way to go.