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How to Identify If You Need New Insulation

By Mike on April 4, 2017

Does your home have an unpleasant odor emanating from the attic? Are your energy bills inexplicably high all of the sudden? Do you notice random drafts or unexplained heat retention in certain parts of your attic?
how to identify if you need insulation

Identifying If You Need New Insulation

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your attic insulation may be to blame. Over time, attic insulation becomes deteriorated due to exposure to the elements and possible animal infestations. Discover some of the main culprits and signs of faulty attic insulation and what to do when replacing attic insulation is the best course of action.


Temperature Fluctuations

If parts of your attic are randomly hot, or if you feel cool breezes from time to time in parts of the house, your attic insulation could be the root of these fluctuations. Over time, insulation can shift around and create gaps that let in too much cool air, while thick pockets of insulation may retain too much warm, stale air in your attic.

While it’s possible to pat insulation back into place, this type of a fix generally doesn’t last for very long. Changing around your insulation is not safe without a professional who knows how to protect workers from exposure to substances within the insulation. If insulation is old enough to have shifted and created awkward pockets of differentiating temperatures, then attic insulation replacement is your best bet.



While it may be an unpleasant thought, infestations can wreak absolute havoc on your attic’s insulation. Rodents, opossums, and bugs can make themselves at home in the comfortable warmth of your insulation. These infestations can go largely undetected. Keep a keen eye out for disturbed patches of insulation and/or fecal droppings, and sniff around for any foul odors to determine whether or not you have an infestation.

If you suspect an infestation, your home needs help immediately. First, you will need to eradicate the animals, then move to replacing attic insulation. At the bare minimum, you need attic insulation removal and replacement where the infestation occurred and damage is present.



Because of the exposure to the elements that attics receive throughout the year, mold is an issue that often plagues homeowners. Attic insulation is a particular candidate for mold infestation as it provides the warm, moist and dark environment that spores need to survive and thrive. Our humid and rainy Pacific Northwest doesn’t help in this regard!

An attic infested with mold not only damages your insulation and leads to deterioration over time, but also presents a significant health hazard to you and your family. Replacing attic insulation that has mold on it is the only way to get rid of the mold in the insulation. No amount of cleaning, scrubbing or chemicals can remove the mold from the insulation.


Skyrocketing Energy Bills

An increase in your energy bills might be due to an issue with your attic insulation and is a possible symptom of one of the aforementioned problems with your attic insulation. Higher energy bills may be your first sign that something has gone awry with your attic insulation, especially if you haven't been in your attic recently.

When there’s an issue with your attic insulation, your air conditioning works harder to adequately cool your home during the summer, leaking cool air outside and letting the heat penetrate inside. Conversely, in the winter your heater will be doing twice the work to warm the home. Your comforting, warm air simply seeps out through your roof.

If you suspect that abnormally high energy bills may be related to a problem within your attic walls, call an insulation specialist to evaluate whether or not poor insulation is the culprit. Professional inspectors know what to look for and can make recommendations for properly replacing attic insulation. Correctly installed new insulation will make your home more energy efficient instantly, and will return your bills back to normal.


Replacing Attic Insulation: What to Do

Replacing attic insulation is not a home project that you should attempt to do yourself. Even if you plan to replace your current insulation with a material like foam board that doesn’t carry some of the dangers of airborne substances other insulation types contain, the removal and installation process is generally beyond what most homeowners can handle.

Attic insulation removal and replacement requires precision work and plenty of safety measures to ensure that everything is removed completely and correctly. Older insulation may be rife with toxins, mold, or remnants of infestation that you won't want to handle on your own. Some insulation in really old homes contains mildewy newspapers, molded and damp items, or even cancer-causing asbestos. Lead-based paint is also a potential hazard in older homes - these hazards are not something the average homeowner should handle.


Replacing Insulation In Your Attic

The crew at Clean Crawls is more than ready to take on the challenge of your attic insulation removal and replacement project. We’ll inspect your attic for any issues and let you know about your options for attic insulation removal and replacement. From removing old, nasty insulation to making sure that your replacement insulation is perfectly suited to your home and energy needs, we’ve got you covered!

If you found this information helpful, check out our free ebook The Homeowner's Insulation Handbook. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you solve your attic insulation problems.

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