When animals like rats, squirrels, bats, raccoons, or even mice get into your attic, they can make a mess of the insulation. This causes odors, health risks, and loss of heating and cooling efficiency. That's why Rid-A-Critter recommends that customers consider replacing their attic insulation if it's been contaminated or seriously damaged by nuisance wildlife.
Animals damage insulation in several ways. They contaminate it with their urine, feces, and other bodily fluids; they tear it up to use as nesting material; they flatten it out by running over it, which destroys its insulating ability; they scratch and damage the vapor barrier with their claws; and sometimes they pull it down from the walls for no apparent reason at all.
No matter what the reason, however, contamination of or damage to insulation by animals is a serious matter.
When animals contaminate insulation with their urine or droppings, the insulation itself can serve as a breeding medium for bacterial and fungal pathogens. These organisms can eventually make their way into the living areas of your homes. This can happen almost immediately if you have forced-air heat or central air-conditioning, especially if the air-handling equipment is in the attic.
In addition, contaminated insulation can cause odor problems. Most insulating materials can absorb, and then slowly release, the substances (that is, animal droppings and urine) that are causing the odors. There's really no other way to address this problem other than replacing the contaminated insulation. It's not the sort of stuff you can put in the washer or send out to the cleaners.
Obviously, when animals damage insulation in an attic (or any other place, such as a basement or crawl space), they also affect its insulating efficiency. We've seen situations where animals like raccoons have completely stripped all the insulation from the walls and rafters. Why? Who knows. Maybe just to be ornery. Or maybe they're just bored.
Replacing animal-damaged insulation will restore your home's energy efficiency. It may even make it better than it was before. Today's insulating materials are much more efficient than the ones used years ago.
Rid-A-Critter started offering insulation replacement years ago as an add-on to our animal removal services, and that's still the case most of the time. Over the years, however, we've gotten so good at it that we sometimes get calls from customers who don't have an animal problem. They just want their insulation replaced.
That's because at Rid-A-Critter, we take pride at being the best at everything we do, including installing insulation.
When we do an insulation-replacement job, we strip out the old insulation, cart it away, and resposibly dispose of it; clean, decontaminate, and deodorize the substrate, if needed; and replace it with top-quality insulation of the type best-suited for the house and preferred by the customer. We install fiberglass, foam, and blown-in insulation, as appropriate to the particular job.
The difference that new insulation makes always impresses us. The place just smells cleaner. The energy savings can also be considerable, especially in older homes where the old insulation was less efficient than the products available today.
If you've had an animal problem, then chances are your insulation has been contaminated or damaged. If so, you really should consider getting it replaced. Animal-contaminated insulation is unhealthful. Please contact us for a professional inspection and consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.
Here are pictures of some of the insulation replacement jobs we've done in and around Metro Atlanta.
Please call us today for an in-person inspection and consultation.