When You Should Replace Your Fiberglass Insulation

Posted on: 17 April 2015

Of the many different types of insulation your home can have, fiberglass is one of the most common and one of the easiest to install and replace. For the most part, expect your insulation to last at least a decade. Eventually you may need to think about replacing your insulation, because if nothing else, age will start to reduce its effectiveness. Once it starts wearing down, you will start seeing higher energy bills, and your house may get a little colder in winter.

Higher Energy Costs

If your energy costs are steadily rising -- your heating bill in particular -- this could be caused by a number of things, from an inefficient heater to poor ductwork. But aging fiberglass insulation is a common culprit as well, and this is because as it ages, it starts to sag and shift. Not only does this make the insulation less effective by compressing it in on itself, but it leaves gaps in your walls, ceiling and attic where there is no longer any protection.

You can't always check the insulation inside your walls without removing drywall, but you can check up in your attic where the insulation is generally exposed. The state of your attic's insulation can give you a good idea what the rest of your house is experiencing, and while you're there, you can also check for air leaks and drastic temperature differences that could indicate that your insulation is starting to fail.

You can also hire an energy auditor to inspect your home and get a recommendation. If your insulation is the cause of your home's rising energy bills, it will probably need to be replaced. The good news is, the money you save on future bills can help make up for the replacement costs.

Water Damage

Fiberglass insulation is sturdy, and because of the way it's designed, it can take being pushed around and even cut without losing much, if any, effectiveness. It can even withstand minor water damage, and will start working fully once it is dried out.

However, serious water damage can irreversibly damage your drywall. Fiberglass insulation is made by threads weaving together to form air pockets that hold in your house's heat while resisting the outdoor cold or heat. When it is soaked, the weight causes the insulation to sag, closing these air pockets. The water itself can also get inside the air pockets and cause the fibers to stick together, which renders the insulation completely ineffective. This is also why new insulation should not be packed tightly together.

If you had a flood or a leak somewhere in your house and you are trying to assess the damage, you should plan to replace your insulation if the fiberglass has been thoroughly soaked. Even if you manage to dry out the insulation, it will no longer work nearly as effectively as it used to, and that could start to affect your energy costs.

Contact an insulation company like Alaska Quality Insulators Inc for help choosing the right insulation for your home.