When do I need To
Remove Attic Insulation
Attic Insulation on Angie's List
350+ Customer Reviews
9 years experience
350+ Customer Reviews
9 years experience
Existing insulation can remain and benefit your retrofit attic upgrades in 4 ways:
You may be wondering if you need to replace insulation that has settled. Even if your existing insulation has settled, you can leave it in place and simply have insulation added on top of it (as long as it does not have any of the previously mentioned deficiencies). Insulation that has settled still has thermal resistive properties that add to the overall R-value once new insulation is added.
By leaving the old insulation intact, you are also leaving the original vapor barrier intact, as long as it was installed properly during the original installation. However, air sealing the attic floor with fireproof foam will need to be done before new the insulation is installed to increase efficiency and prevent moisture from inside the house.
If you have fiberglass batts in your attic, there is a good chance there is already a vapor barrier, as most of these batts have a thick piece of heavy-duty paper on one side, specifically designed to act as the vapor barrier.
For blown-in fiberglass insulation, you should see a plastic membrane or other vapor impermeable material installed to help stop the exposure of moisture to your insulation. Moisture will reduce the R-value (a measure of thermal resistance) of your insulation over time. This is another reason it is important to have a professional inspect your attic to ensure your vapor barrier is not damaged or missing.
When using blown-in cellulose insulation, a vapor barrier is not needed as it acts as a natural vapor barrier and will restrict the flow of vapor in the attic. It is always important to make sure the attic is properly ventilated to decrease moisture build-up. In some cases, it may be necessary to add supplemental ventilation in the form of an attic vent/fan.
For new construction and situations where insulation needs to be removed, a professional should air seal with fireproofing foam at all of the gaps in between the drywall and the framing members in the attic. After the gaps are sealed, they will install the baffle for proper ventilation and install up to 16-18 inches of cellulose to get an initial R-value of R60.
All insulation will settle, so an experienced professional will know to compensate for the settling by installing an extra 2 inches of cellulose insulation. Extra insulation will also be valuable in any future work that needs to be done in the attic as it can be disbursed to the areas that are worked on.
Blown-in insulation is a great option as it covers the area more effectively than bat fiberglass. A professional will blow in the material through a 3-inch hose and completely cover the attic floor, encapsulating the ceiling joists. This is important because wood has a low R-value, meaning it transfers heat very easily. By encapsulating the floor joist with insulation, thermal bridging (the transfer of heat) is eliminated making the insulation more effective.
The most common types of blown-in insulation are fiberglass and cellulose. Cellulose is a great alternative to blown-in fiberglass insulation because it is healthier, eco-friendly, and will resist mold growth while having similar, if not greater thermal resistive properties (higher R-value) than blown-in fiberglass insulation. Cellulose insulation is also a natural vapor barrier and will save you on the additional expense of removing insulation. Blow-in fiberglass is made out of rigid fibers and doesn’t stop the moisture or air leaks. Blow-in fiberglass also requires a continuous moisture barrier.
Although spray foam insulation is popular and applicable in many situations (such as commercial metal roofs), there can be serious problems if it is not applied properly. Even when it is applied properly, there are many situations where spray foam is not the most appropriate product to be used on the attic rafters. Many spray applied foam insulations pose fire hazards and make it hard to identify roof leaks since spray foam is applied to the underside of the roof decking.
If your foam insulation in the attic smells bad, it may have been applied at the wrong temperature, installed too thick, or not applied properly at the time of installation. Another cause for complications with spray foam in the attic is roof leaks. Spray foam insulation can cause the water to be trapped between the foam and the roof decking, creating a potential for the roof decking material to rot. It is imperative to have it removed and replaced if there has been water damage.
Thanks for reading, we hope this helped to answer your questions regarding if you need to remove your existing attic insulation before adding new insulation. Properly installed insulation is one of the many factors in maintaining healthy air quality, comfortable solar power ventilated, energy-efficient home. If you are having comfortability issues and high energy bills, it may be time to call a professional to assess your attic space.
The infrared camera inspection will help us determine problems with insulation, moisture and it will give us a chance to provide a best improvement solutions.
You will receive an instant follow up email and a customer service representative will be able to confirm your appointment.
Our energy efficiency experts will consult you about what is the best option for your house and provide a detailed quote.
Our team of technicians have the most advanced tools and equipment and use the most efficient techniques in the industry.
After all the steps are done the single thing you can do is to wonder how could you live without attic insulation before. Enjoy
Highly recommend! Green Attic is thorough, responsive, and professional. Although it has only been a month since we had the work done, the results are clear. Our house is more comfortable, while our gas consumption is down ~30% and electricity is down ~25%.
James provided a detailed and professional quote within minutes of being on site and saved me from spending $20k on an unnecessary new roof! I'm glad I contacted Green Attic.
If you are looking for a company that couples outstanding work with outstanding customer service, then Green Attic Insulation is who you should definitely call. I truly wish I would have called them years ago as I have been putting off suspected issues that centered around extreme temperature fluctuations between winter and summer, along with poor ventilation, within my attic.
We can answer any of more specific questions that you have at:
Insulation is material used that reduces heat loss or heat gain by providing a barrier between the inside of your home and the significantly different temperature outside.
Attic insulation removal cost is between $0.75 and $1.75 per sq.ft. depending on the type of existing insulation, sq.ft. of the house and roof type.
Talk with our specialists and schedule a free inspection to determine if your insulation needs to be removed.
You do not need insulation removal service unless the following applies:
It’s first important to understand where your house is losing air and the best route to fix this problem. We handle that for you and even show you our process and the results! Contact us today to find out if you need our insulation removal service.