Removing Insulation in Old Homes

It is often far cheaper to buy an older property and fix it up to a better condition. The cost of repairs is usually far less than the difference in price for a newer home. Among the things that need repairs, in most older properties, is the insulation.

Old insulation is often soggy, damaged or simply less efficient than newer materials, causing you to run the heating and cooling overtime, which costs you lots of money on a monthly basis. Removing old insulation, especially in the attic area, can be a fairly complicated task. It needs to be done with lots of care and precautions, not only to do a good job, but also to observe the health and safety of everyone involved.

Is Insulation Removal a DIY Project?

Most insulation industry experts will tell you that it is a process better done by professionals – who have both the expertise and equipment necessary to do a safe and thorough job. While there are homeowners who approach insulation removal as a DIY project and manage to do a decent job, many others end up regretting taking up the hefty task.

The risk factors that come with insulation removal are considerable. Risk is especially high in older homes, dating to years when use of certain hazardous materials was still common in construction. Before it was banned from use, asbestos was commonly used, as well as vermiculite, which is another hazardous material. Both become extremely dangerous when disturbed. In addition to asbestos, there is the risk of black mould, which is harmful to breathe if it isn’t removed properly.

Insulation Removal – Expert Tools

Removing insulation is best done with specialized equipment and safety gear. Quick fixes and corner cutting are really not recommended in this job. When choosing a contractor for this, make sure you hire someone with recommendations and experience. Also, don’t hire anyone who tells you that all the insulation has to all necessarily be removed without even inspecting your property.

A good contractor will examine your home in detail, and will only recommend removing the insulation when, and where, absolutely necessary. Every situation is unique, with some homes having good but poorly installed insulation, and others suffering from a cold in specific areas due to a leak from the roof. In some cases, insulation should be removed altogether, of course, but it doesn’t need to be the default choice. Make sure your contractor has your best interest in mind, first and foremost.

Insulation removal is a job you really want to get done right the first time, since the added costs of fixing a poorly done job are far greater than the money you save on it in the first place. If you haven’t done insulation removal before but are a die-hard DIY homeowner, take the time to learn from your contractor when he works on your home so that you can use this knowledge for your next insulation removal. Nothing can replace real experience and professional training, so learn as much as you can if you want to do it yourself in the future. Good luck!

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