Your home insulation is one of the most important parts of your home, so when it is past its serviceable life and needs to be replaced, it is important you get on top of it as soon as possible. However, it can be difficult to know when your insulation needs to be replaced and can no longer just be repaired. There are some tell-tale signs, like a drafty house or high energy bills – but this can be caused by other issues aside from poor-performing insulation. In this article, we will be uncovering some of the key signs your insulation is beyond repair and needs to be replaced.
Take Stock of Your Current Insulation Type
There are several types of insulation you can choose from and each of them have different lifespans. Chances are you have different insulation installed in different parts around your home, so below is a quick guide to the lifespan of the most common types of insulation.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is a relatively new method for insulating a home. There are different types of foam insulation, but the most common is polyurethane foam, which is sprayed into ceilings and walls. It works by quickly expanding and forming an air-tight seal, and can be used to insulate a new home or added to the insulation of an existing one. It is best used when dealing with small crevices and cracks. In terms of lifespan, spray foam can last a lifetime or longer. It is mold resistant and does not hold moisture, so most people never have to replace their spray foam insulation. However, poor weather, bug infestation or other factors can compromise your spray foam insulation.
Cellulose Loose Fill Insulation
Loose fill insulation, which is also known as blown insulation, is one of the most commonly used types of insulation. It can be made up of a variety of materials, such as: cellulose, fiberglass, polystyrene beads, perlite or vermiculite. Loose fill insulation can be used in new or existing homes and is very versatile due to its pliable nature.
Cellulose loose fill insulation is the most environmentally friendly insulation option, yet because it is made of mostly recycled material, it can degrade over time with the average lifespan being 20 to 30 years.
Blanket Insulation (Fiberglass)
Fiberglass insulation that comes in the form of a blanket is the best insulation for new construction and spaces that are easy to access, like attics. Blanket insulation comes in rolls or batts, making it easy to cut and fit in any space, including around electrical boxes and pipes. Fiberglass insulation is a popular choice among homeowners because it is both effective and cost-effective. It can also last a long time – anywhere from 80 to 100 years. In saying that, insulation can start falling from fiberglass batts after 15 to 20 years, so this might be a cause for it to need replacing.
Factors That Can Lessen Your Insulation’s Longevity
While insulation is built for longevity, nothing is invincible, meaning your insulation may not last as long as it is expected to. From water damage to mold, severe weather to dirt and dust, to fires, or even if you simply have an older home – your insulation can be failing without you knowing. That is why it is important you look out for the below signs, which may indicate your insulation is beyond repair and needs to be replaced.
8 Signs Your Insulation Needs to be Replaced
Below are some of the 8 common signs you might notice if it is time for your insulation to be replaced.
- Your home’s temperature fluctuates continuously
- Your energy bills are higher than normal
- Your house feels drafty
- Even when your air conditioning is on, you have trouble finding the right temperature and keeping it steady.
- Only certain rooms in your house feel drafty
- You have an issue with rats, mice and other pests or rodents
- You are experiencing frequent leaks or condensation
- The insulation looks wet, is too thin, has shifted or breaking down