Blog: When Achieving Maximum Comfort May Require You To First Remove Your Existing Attic Insulation

Photo of compressed attic insulation taken by Amanda Godward at Ecotelligent Homes
January, 2017

Can’t I Just Add Insulation On Top of My Existing Attic Insulation?

If you are considering adding insulation to your attic, chances are you are experiencing some comfort concerns.  Maybe your daughter's bedroom is freezing cold in the winter or your master bedroom is too hot in the summer.  Depending on the condition of your existing attic insulation, simply adding more insulation on top of your existing insulation could be like throwing a rug over a hole in the floor without repairing the floor...It may look better on top, but it's still going to be quite uncomfortable and dangerous when you step into the room.

When to Remove Your Existing Insulation

Sometimes it can be perfectly fine to reuse your existing attic insulation, but in the following cases we recommend you remove the bad stuff and start with a clean slate:

  • Traces of Critters or Rodent Damage

  • Mold or Asbestos

  • Water Damage

  • Sensitivity to Dust or Allergens

  • Poorly Installed Insulation

When to remove your existing attic insulation

While critters and water damage may seem like more obvious reasons to remove your insulation, the most common, and unfortunately most overlooked, reason to remove your existing attic insulation is because what insulation you have is not properly installed. Not all of the rolled out pink stuff is created equal.

Don't Make the Common Mistake of Covering Up Poorly Installed Insulation

Fiberglass is a very common type of insulation used in attics because it's cost effective and easy for builders to have installed.  For fiberglass insulation to be effective it needs to be fluffy and in contact with the surface it’s trying to insulate. The construction and tight spaces of your attic make it difficult to achieve these basic requirements. During our Comprehensive Home Energy Audits, we typically find fiberglass insulation compressed under plumbing and electrical wiring and bridged over joists and light fixtures. These obstacles are prevalent throughout attics causing hundreds of efficiency leaks that can add up to a big waterfall of energy loss and uncomfortable rooms.  Please see the drawings and photos below, coutesy of our multi-talented owner Amanda Godward, for some visuals!

Ecotelligent Homes shows a drawing and real life picture of compressed insulation

Ecotelligent Homes shows a drawing and photo of bridged insulation

Ecotelligent Homes is the Trusted Energy Efficiency Expert in Metro-Detroit

The detailed visual inspections and thermal infrared imaging included in our Comprehensive Home Energy Audits will determine if you should remove your existing attic insulation for maximum performance and comfort. If it is necessary to remove your insulation, our skilled team will take care of the full removal.  The clean slate provides improved access which helps our skilled team to properly air seal your attic floor, and increase ventilation with our premium baffle process before installing blown cellulose insulation.  And have no fear, we use blown cellulose because it’s treated with a natural mold and pest deterrent and its fine particles settle in around all of the obstructions of your attic for a well installed custom fit.