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When and why should I replace my insulation?

It seems like a common theme here in the United States. We move from spring to summer, and all of a sudden, you’re house starts to double as an oven. No matter how much you run the AC, you just can’t get it cooled down.
Then there’s the opposite problem. We move from fall to winter, and it’s like living in an igloo. It gets cold enough in your house to see your breath.
Okay, maybe that’s a little drastic, but the truth is that improper insulation is a major problem in the U.S. According to many industry leaders, two-thirds of the house in the U.S. are not properly insulated, which leads to increased heating and cooling bills. There are a couple of ways to tell if you’re a part of the majority of homeowners in the country.
The most recommended way is to have an energy audit performed on your house. This will get a professional out to your house with infrared technology to help locate the gaps and leaks in your insulation, and is by far the most efficient way to pinpoint those pesky areas.
The other way that you can check to see if you need more insulation is to look at exposed insulation in your attic. Floor insulation in the attic works as the main barrier to prevent heat from escaping when it spreads to the attic. HVAC experts say that as a general rule, if you can see exposed floor joints, you don’t have enough insulation.
So, you’ve determined that you are losing both cool air and heat from your home due to it not being properly insulated. What’s causing that problem, though?
There are four major reasons that contribute to the majority of insulation problems.
• Your insulation has settled and compacted. This sounds a lot more serious than it actually is. Insulation is designed to hold its shape for decades, but they will still press down over time. When it’s no longer as thick as it once was, it’s no longer as strong as it once was. This problem is generally fixed by placing another layer over the one that’s compacted.
• Mold and Mildew have taken over. If you’ve had a water leak that got into the insulating material, especially over an extended period of time, you may have mold and mildew spores that grew into the insulation. Even after it dries, those spores remain and can make your family sick. This normally leads to full replacement of the affected insulation.
• You have older material. Before the government started setting standards on what the recommended amount of insulation is, some contractors would use as little as two to three inches of material. This is something that could be corrected by adding in additional layers of insulation.
• Your insulation has decayed. If you live in a house that was built a few decades ago, the insulation material of choice may have been cotton or wool. These didn’t have quite the lifespan that modern materials have, so they decayed at a quicker rate. If this is the case, you’d need to replace the outdated material.
Any and all insulation repairs and replacements should be handled by professionals. For that, you’ll want to contact the most trusted name in home repairs, Specialty Building Consultants.

*Specialty Building Consultants specializes in Home inspection, EIFS inspection, Stucco inspection and Asbestos testing in Birmingham AL, Huntsville AL, Decatur, AL, Cullman, AL, Athens, AL, Montgomery AL, Tuscaloosa, AL and Nashville TN.

Specialty Building Consultants
500 Southland Dr
Ste 134
Hoover, AL 35226
(205) 683-6484
specialtybuilding@gmail.com

Sources:
http://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-often-should-your-homes-insulation-be-replaced.htm
http://getcold.net/blog/does-insulation-need-to-be-replaced

 

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