Reason #1: Rodent damage
The first and most common reason for insulation removal is rodent infestation. Raccoons, squirrels, possums, and birds also like to nest in attics. After more than 40 years of looking into attic areas half of the attics, we inspect have had evidence of some amount of rodent activity in them. Here is a list of the types of insulation the animals are attracted to:
- Fiberglass batting (white, pink, yellow and brownish)
- Fiberglass loose blown material (white, pink, yellow )
- Rock wool (dirty white or gray)
- Palco wool (redwood shavings)
Once animal infestation has been discovered in an attic insulation removal is always recommended because the urine and droppings from these critters are toxic. They can be a health hazard causing breathing problems, odor issues, and the urine can bleed through and stain your sheetrock.
Reason #2: Fire and smoke damage
It is rare that insulation can survive a fire not just because of fire damage but because of the smoke odor that is everlasting.
Reason #3: Water damage
Most commonly water damage occurs from a roof leak or a pipe bursts. Once the insulation gets wet it will hold that moisture and create other problems such as mold, mildew, pipe corrosion and sheetrock damage. The insulation will also lose its R-factor and the ability to insulate due to being compromised from the water. Immediate removal is suggested to minimize further damage.
Reason #4: Home improvement projects
Removing the insulation from the attic area when installing new lighting, fans, rewiring, and raising or lowering your ceilings makes the job less messy and more convenient for all involved. Once the work is completed new insulation can be installed.
The process for insulation removal
Batt insulation is removed manually by rolling it up, bagging it up, removing it and hauling it away.
Blown or loose fill insulation is removed by a high powered vacuum system that sucks up the insulation and animal debris. All materials will be hauled away and properly disposed of. At this point an inspection for any entry points will be sealed and secured.
If rodent or fire damage were the reason for removal the attic will be deodorized after the removal and before new insulation is installed.
Installing new insulation
When you are ready for new insulation we do not recommend the afore mentioned insulations of; fiberglass blown or batting, rock wool, palco wool because they are the least effective of insulation options, health hazards with warning labels right on the packaging, and animals are attracted to these products.
We do recommend Cellulose insulation made from recycled papers. It is non-toxic and free of, formaldehyde, asbestos or glass fibers and meets the safety standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Due to a unique fire retardant made of 100 percent borate, this insulation is nonflammable and rodent resistant.
Cellulose insulation is very effective at sealing buildings against air filtration which is one of the most important factors for energy efficiency in the thermal performance of a building. Cellulose can fill every nook and cranny leaving every space insulated with the dense material. Buildings insulated with cellulose have a noticeable “quietness.”