The Blog

How To Tell If Your Attic Insulation is Old

By Mike on May 27, 2015

Even though the attic is not a place we visit very often, its condition can actually play a significant role in other areas of our lives. A common problem with attics that are not properly cared for is a decrease in the quality of the insulation. Knowing what to look for in your insulation can help you to see and address the issue before it starts to cause bigger problems.


Why Should I Care?

This is a question many people are asking themselves at this point. Why should I care about the condition of my attic if I’m never up there?

Good question.

1. Animals

Old insulation quickly becomes an ideal breeding ground for rodents and insects looking for a comfortable escape from the outdoors. The attic protects them from the elements, they often have access to food, and can make a comfortable nest in your insulation.

2. Air Quality

Old insulation tends to collect dust and dirt, and can start to host mold and bacteria colonies if exposed to moisture. Dirty, musty smells and mold spores can start to fill the air of your attic and diminish the air quality of your entire home.

3. Energy Efficiency

Old insulation is often incapable of thoroughly insulating your attic. Without it, energy is allowed to pass freely between through your roof and the open air outside. Families that struggle to maintain comfortable temperatures in their home during the summer are often victims of old insulation’s inability to lock in those cooler temperatures. Families that replace their attic insulation have been able to enjoy savings of 30% or more, simply because their insulation can do its job effectively.

How To Identify Old Insulation

It’s for all of these important reasons that we strongly encourage Everett homeowners to examine the condition of their attic insulation. Here are are a few ways you can tell if your insulation needs to be replaced.


Old insulation can start to collect dirt, dust and soot after several years. If you’ve had a animal infestation, it might also contain feces and waste.


Insulation can start to peel for different reasons. It could be that it’s heavy from dirt buildup, or flaking because of moisture absorption. Animals may have gotten in and started to tear it apart. Whatever the case may be, insulation that is peeling has diminished capacity for creating a secure barrier and should be removed to allow new insulation to be put in its place.

Moist / Damp

Moist or damp insulation is a very serious issue and should be removed as soon as possible from your home. Not only is wet insulation incapable of insulating your home, but it can also provide a food source for mold and bacteria growth, especially when the moisture is trapped against an organic material such as the wooden beams of your home. The mold and wood rot deterioration can spread into the walls and frame of your home, weakening and damaging its structure. To protect against this, professional attic cleanout and restoration services should be sought to remove the damaged insulation and perform an inspection of the area’s condition.


Many homes do not have insulation that is dense enough to adequately insulate their home. While their insulation may have started out thick and full, time and exposure can cause many types of insulations to become compressed and thereby lose their ability to insulate.

Spray Foam Insulation

If your attic’s insulation matches any or all of the above descriptions, it’s time for your attic to be reinsulated. One of the best types of insulation on the market today is spray foam insulation. Unlike other insulators, spray foam is made up of two unique compounds that form an insulation with the highest R-value available on the market today. Spray foam also has the following benefits.

  • Tightly seals corners and cracks
  • Discourages animals
  • Resists water
  • Indefinite lifetime

Download our free Ebook to learn more about the benefits and properties of spray foam insulation.

For new insulation to do its job effectively, it has to installed properly. A professional attic insulation business can help to make sure that you’re insulation is properly installed so that you’re sure to enjoy all the benefits an insulated attic can bring. At Clean Crawls, we offer full scale attic cleaning, insulation, and restoration services throughout Everett. For more information, feel free to give us a call, or fill out our contact form.


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