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Do I Need To Remove Old Pieces of Insulation Before Installing New Ones?

removing old pieces of insulation

If you’re repairing or winterizing the insulation in your home, you might wonder, “Do I need to remove old insulation before installing new insulation?” Don’t simply guess or rely on friends or online tutorials when you can turn to Anthem Insulation & Home, a team of qualified professionals who have removed insulation from countless homes.

We can help you plan your renovations efficiently, saving you money on installation costs and energy bills. Anthem Insulation & Home is the top provider of wall and floor insulation in Woodstock, GA.

Understanding the Installation Process

During insulation installation, a professional insulation specialist at Anthem Insulation & Home will inspect the insulation’s position, composition, and condition. They will consider the following questions and discuss them with you during consultation at some point during the project preparation phase.

  • Will removing the insulation expose you or the technicians to harmful chemicals in the air?
  • Will the old insulation reduce the effectiveness of the new insulation?
  • Is the old insulation in good condition?
  • Does the space where the old insulation sits have enough room for the placement of the old insulation?

Things to Consider

The question, “Do I need to remove old insulation before installing new insulation,” is a starting point. A more informative question is, “What are the consequences of removing insulation or leaving it in place?” Before you touch your insulation, consider how each of the following factors could affect the decision:

The Type of Old Insulation

Most insulation materials that builders use in residential homes are spray foam, roll, or batt insulation. Roll or batt insulation consists of flat layers that are easy to remove if you need to unless they have damage. You can also leave it in place and put new layers over it.

If your current insulation contains the cancer-causing chemical asbestos or vermiculite, a mineral that can include some asbestos, do not try to remove the insulation yourself.

Disturbing the old insulation could release particles of insulation into the air, where you or your family members could breathe them in.

A professional will use specialized equipment and protective gear to keep themselves and anyone else in the house safe during the removal process.

The Type of New Insulation

Spray foam insulation is different; it completely fills the space you want to insulate, leaving no gaps. A good seal can improve the effectiveness of the insulation, but old insulation will get in the way. If you have old insulation of any type already in place, your installation technician will have to vacuum it out before spraying in the new insulation.

One type of insulation, called faced insulation, contains a layer that fits against a wall of the house and forms a seal to keep out moisture and prevents it from coming loose over time. The face layer does not work well if you place it against existing insulation. Instead, either remove the old insulation or face the new insulation inward so it can form a seal with an existing wall. 

Damage to Your Insulation

You are better off removing your insulation if it has water damage or if animals shredded it. Damaged insulation can leave spaces for air, water, or animals, ultimately compromising the structural integrity and energy efficiency of the new insulation. Damaged insulation can also breed mold and bacteria, which could infiltrate the home’s ventilation system.

The question, “Do I need to remove old insulation before installing new insulation?” is not always straightforward. If a homeowner tried to replace their own insulation as a DIY project, it could lead to long-term problems.

Mistakes in the installation process can be expensive to fix later on. Once you wall up the old insulation, you might have to tear up the plaster or drywall if you change your mind and decide to remove it.

Replace Insulation the Safe and Effective Way with Anthem Insulation & Home

Homes in our Woodstock, GA, community have a rich history. Our neighborhoods have a mixture of older and modern homes built with diverse materials using different construction techniques. The Anthem Insulation & Home specialists are ready to help you answer the question, “Do I need to remove old insulation before installing new insulation?” and develop a comprehensive renovation plan.To learn more about the Anthem Insulation & Home insulation removal guide, send us a message online or call us today. Take the weight off your HVAC system, and enjoy warmer air and comfort throughout the year.

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