Attic insulation is an essential component of any home, providing comfort and energy-efficiency. However, due to its construction with natural materials, the product will eventually lose effectiveness. Fiberglass insulation usually needs to be replaced 15 to 20 years after its lifespan, as it can become dirty, wet, moldy, and be ineffective if there is a roof leak or if any type of water damage occurs. Likewise, if the attic is poorly ventilated, heat and humidity can deteriorate the insulation.
A quick and easy way to tell if your attic needs more insulation is to look at the attic floor. Attics are open to outside air, making attic insulation vulnerable to dust, mice, cockroaches, raccoons, dirt, wind, heat, and cold. If your insulation was installed more than 10 years ago, you may already need an update depending on the materials used. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the typical lifespan of attic insulation indicates that spray foam insulation, insulation for wrapping houses, and duct tape can last up to 80 years or more.
In general, it's a good idea to check your attic insulation every 5 to 10 years to ensure it's in good condition. If you've lived in your home for many years and are wondering how often you should replace your attic insulation, there are several factors to consider. It's important to keep the attic space well ventilated to prevent moisture from accumulating, and cellulose insulation helps regulate the temperature in the attic. However, all insulation can be weakened by several factors such as water damage if left unattended to as fungi and mold can still form and corrode the exterior and interior insulation of the attic.
Although attic insulation is said to last between 80 and 100 years, it loses effectiveness as it ages. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures or high humidity, your attic insulation will break down more quickly. Spray foam insulation can reach and fill these spaces creating an airtight seal that helps keep the attic warm in winter and cool in summer. Attics can reach up to 150 degrees in summer so if attic insulation is poor those high temperatures will radiate directly into the rooms.
Old insulation can be less effective at insulating your home which means you won't get the full benefits of the new insulation. You'll likely need to seal air leaks throughout the house before insulating it (including the attic before updating the insulation). Proper attic insulation can help keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter and minimize drafts and noise pollution.