6 Warning Signs That Your Attic Insulation Needs Attention

Insulation: your home’s hidden blanket. Like your favorite comforter, insulation keeps you comfy year-round — and is also bound to wear down over time. When it does, especially in the attic — a main source of energy loss in your home — you’ll likely start noticing that your home isn’t as cozy as it used to be.

With some proactivity, though, you can prevent a potentially uncomfortable situation. Watch for these seven signs that your attic insulation needs to be replaced:

1. Hot and Cold Spots

Insulation can shift over time, resulting in gaps in certain areas. If you don’t replenish the insulation in these spots, cold and hot air will more easily escape. This also forces your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a consistent temperature, consuming more energy and jacking up your energy bills in the process.

If you notice hot or cold spots in your home, take a peek into the attic to see if there are insulation gaps.

2. Water Damage

Insulation does its job by staying puffy and acting as a bad conductor of heat. If it gets wet, that puff crumbles down and, as a result, the insulation is unable to do its job. Even if you have fiberglass insulation that is less vulnerable to water damage, the small amount of water would result in mold and endanger your family’s health. 

If you have a leak in your home that you believe originated from the roof, you likely have some insulation damage. Head on up, take a look, and contact a professional if the damage is widespread.

3. Infestation

You love to stay warm during the winter; so do rodents. Mice, rats, and other creatures often seek to nest in the attic since it’s warm. With that comes not only damaged insulation, but also dead critters, droppings, and other residues that can spread pathogens. 

If you hear critters in the attic or your walls, you may want to get your attic professionally cleaned and, if needed, your insulation replaced.

4. High Energy Bills

If your energy bill is unusually high but you haven’t changed your consumption, you should check your windows, roof, and insulation for wear.

Swapping out your attic insulation is a relatively inexpensive fix that tends to deliver high ROI in terms of both energy savings and costs recouped at resale.

5. Allergies

Sniffing, sneezing, and rubbing your eyes — but allergy season ended months ago? You may have mold growth in your attic and the surrounding areas. This happens when your insulation absorbs and traps moisture: the perfect conditions for mold growth.

Mold can cause serious health problems for you and your family. Not only is it advised that you get your insulation professionally checked, you should also locate and fix the source of excess moisture. This may include servicing ducts, ventilation, as well as sealing your attic to avoid a mold problem in the future. 

6. Your Home Is Old

According to Home Inspector Insider, insulation can begin to fail around 15-20 years if moisture or rodents are present. So, if you have moved into an older home and don’t know the age of your insulation, you’ll want to do a visual inspection and, potentially, get it professionally checked and replaced.

Again, with technological advancements, modern insulation is relatively inexpensive compared to other home improvements, has higher thermal resistance and durability, and provides solid ROI — an investment everyone will be comfortable with.