Are you a homeowner? Are you getting tired of your house being too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter? Although you might be blaming your heating and cooling system for your plight, the truth is that your systems may actually be working perfectly. It could actually be that your insulation is to blame. Although insulation can often be expected to last "forever" in a home, there are still conditions in which insulation can decay and need to be replaced. Here are some of the top signs that you need to replace or improve your insulation:
Icicles: Although icicles can be a pretty sign that winter has arrived, ideally they shouldn't exist. Warm air obviously rises, but it should be stopped by the insulation in your attic. If instead, your attic starts to heat up, this can warm the snow on your roof enough that it starts to melt a little. As this melted water gets to your eaves, it will refreeze into ice dams or icicles. While alternating warm and freezing days can also cause icicles to form, their presence can be a clear indicator that your insulation is less than ideal.
Leaky roof or pipes: Although fiberglass insulation doesn't rot in quite the same manner that wood rots, it is still susceptible to water damage. A small amount of water can cause the paper backing of fiberglass insulation to start to grow mold and to decay, thereby lessening its effectiveness. An excess amount of water can cause fiberglass insulation to start to crumble in place, especially once the supporting backing has since disappeared. For vertical installations of insulation, such as in your walls, this may result in gaps of several inches to several feet near your ceiling where there is no insulation present. The weight of the water in the past has caused it to break up and sink towards the floor. If you know or suspect that there was once a leak in an area, it's a good idea to have the insulation inspected to ensure that it's still in working condition.
Vermin: While vermin like rats, mice, carpenter ants, and others don't actually eat the insulation in your walls, they often have no qualms about burrowing through it. Rodents and insects both view the material as an ideal nesting substance. It's soft, lightweight, and easy to tunnel through. Certain insects may even view the paper backing as a food source. Serious infestations of pests make it more likely that your insulation needs to be replaced once these vermin have been eradicated.
For more information about replacing your home's insulation, talk to a company like Alaska Quality Insulators Inc.