Replacing insulation

When to Replace Insulation

Insulation is an important element of Canadian living but one that receives little attention because it’s behind walls and hidden away in attics and crawl spaces – and it came that ways when we bought it.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) experts say insulation offers one of the best lines of defense for keeping cold and warm air from escaping your home but unless it is properly installed and maintained in ideal conditions, a number of conditions can shorten the lifespan of your insulation, including: 

  • water damage from roof leaks can degrade the insulation and break it down faster;
  • if mold forms on the insulation, it will not remain effective;
  • batt insulation (fiberglass or cellulose) tends to fall down from crawl spaces or ceilings starting 15 to 20 years after installation;
  • insulation that gets dirty or clogged with dust will be less effective;
  • loose-fill insulation may settle over time, leading to air leaks; and 
  • puncturing the insulation will decrease its effectiveness.

There are a number of signs that your insulation has degraded:
  • High Utility Bills: a symptom of poor attic or crawl space insulation that allows cold or warm drafts into your house, depending on the season. Replacing your insulation will allow you to regulate your home temperature and lower your monthly bill. 
  • Inconsistent Room Temperatures: as above these drafts make it harder for your HVAC system to regulate the temperature in your home. Oftentimes, this is due to insulation that has shifted in the attic areas and is allowing cold air or heat into the home, additional insulation or replacement is required.
  • Animal Infestation: Insects and other pests (squirrels, rats, mice, snakes, opossums, and bats) like to make their homes in insulation - leaving feces and grime all over your insulation. If there are any signs of infestation, it’s best to have it replaced to avoid future pest problems.
  • Water Damage: When loose-fill, foamboard, cellulose, fiberglass, rock wool and loose fill insulation become moist, damp, or sopping wet, there is no salvaging the material because the tiny air pockets that are instrumental in trapping the air and maintaining the temperature are plugged with water, rendering the insulation useless.

O’Reilly Brothers has been providing effective insulation solutions that meets our customers’ demands for 50 years in Ottawa. As you consider several types for your home or business, you should know that that our lightweight spray foam works well for all areas in your house or office and yields one of the longest lifespans in the business.

The Energy Star program suggests that adequate insulation is one of the most cost-saving home projects a homeowner can undertake. Proper insulation and weather-stripping can reduce your monthly heating and cooling costs by up to 20 percent. Different types of insulation have different advantages including spray foam insulation which is better at sealing air leaks and preventing both air and water leaks than other types of insulation.

It’s possible that your old insulation has lost its effectiveness, or if you live in an older home, they didn’t have as much insulation as homes built today, so it’s possible that your home is simply inadequately insulated. If you want more information on replacing your insulation, contact one of O’Reilly Brothers knowledgeable team members at 613-224-1677 today to learn more about spray foam or any of our other products.
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