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Should I Remove Old Attic Insulation Before Adding New Insulating Materials?

Insulation being installed

Insulation is without a doubt one of the most important factors in home efficiency and comfort. This is especially true in the Little Rock area, as many homeowners are placing focus on installing new, high-performance insulation to create a more comfortable home environment and reduce their energy bills. One question that often comes up is whether or not old insulation needs to be pulled out before new installation can be installed.

While the answer to this question will depend upon the specifics of your home, it’s safe to assume that removing your old insulation before installing new materials is the best course of action, and SEAL can help.

The Purpose of Insulation in a Home

When most people hear the word “insulation,” the winter months are what typically come to mind. It’s true, too, that insulation is crucial during the winter—it’s basically a sweater for your home. What often goes overlooked, however, is that insulation’s true purpose is to keep conditioned air within a home from escaping no matter what the temperatures outside happen to be. For this reason, insulation is just as necessary during the summer months when keeping cool air from escaping as it is in the winter when heat must be retained.

When combined with air sealing, insulation helps to tighten up the home’s building envelope and prevent heat transfer. As warm air rises and the heat of summer bears down on the home, insulation becomes especially important in our attics. This is a result of what’s called “stack effect,” and the influence it can have on home comfort can be quite dramatic.

Can I Just Add New Insulation on Top of Old?

The short answer to this all-too-common common question is “maybe.” Even if this worked in terms of insulating capabilities, there are a few concerns that should not go overlooked. Poor indoor air quality, for example, can stem from your old insulation being dirty or moldy. Wetness can also influence the performance of new, high-performance insulation, which is why it’s essential to get rid of any old materials that may be retaining moisture.
In most cases, it will be more beneficial to remove old insulation than to leave it when installing new materials. The team at SEAL is adept at removing insulation from older homes, and we’ve got the knowledge and experience it takes to create a healthier, more comfortable environment for you and your family. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.