3 Ways Home Insulation Impacts Indoor Air Quality

Woman holding in sneeze.

When was the last time you thought about the insulation in your attic?

Sure, it’s probably keeping your home more comfortable by preventing heat from escaping in the winter and heat from infiltrating in the summer. That’s a positive.  However, if it’s old and contaminated, ineffective insulation can negatively affect the air you breathe in your home and even increase the negative health symptoms you experience.

Here are the three ways your old insulation can hurt the quality of your indoor air, commonly referred to as indoor air quality or IAQ, and how attic air sealing and new insulation can help. 

1. Water Damage & Mold IssuesWall with mold growth.

Water is the mortal enemy of insulation.  In fact, moisture encountering your insulation will render it useless. 

Water decreases the heat-resisting qualities of both fiberglass and cellulose insulation.  Moisture will also accelerate the mold growth process.  Unattended wet and moldy insulation can cause a number of symptoms for the people in your home, such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose and postnasal drip
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Itchy and dry eyes, nose, and throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry skin and irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

If your allergy-like symptoms are in full force when you wake up in the morning, and seem to dissipate during the day while you’re away, then return after you arrive back home, you may be dealing with poor IAQ.

2. Pests

All sorts of pests such as mice, rats, birds, bats and insects are tempted to make their homes in the fuzzy insulation in your attics, where they will deposit their feces, urine and other waste. 

These unwanted materials can be sucked into your breathing air or even your ductwork. If you have noticed this type of material in your attic, or if you hear pests in your walls, call a professional pest removal service as your first step. 

Once you get rid of the pests, removing the contaminated insulation is your next step.  Then, you will need to seal up all the holes, cracks, and penetration where air (and pests) can leak into your attic. 

Finally, add a thick blanket of new cellulose such as TruSoft, ™ which is treated with a mineral that repels pests and insects, and will provide a more comfortable, energy efficient home with better indoor air quality.   

3. VOCs & Indoor PollutantsPainting wall white with paint roller.

Did you know that the EPA estimates indoor air contains two to five times more contaminants than the air outside your home?  You may be surprised to learn what is floating in the air you breathe, and where it is coming from.

You may have heard about vermiculite insulation that was contaminated with asbestos.   Also, as insulation deteriorates, it can introduce more dust particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your air.  The most common sources of VOCs in a home are:

•             Paints and paint products

•             Wood preservatives in your building materials & furniture

•             Household cleaners

•             Office & crafting supplies

All of these can make allergy symptoms and allergic reactions, especially in older homes, much, much worse!

The Solution? Air Seal Your Attic and Upgrade Your Insulation!

Your health isn’t the only reason to upgrade your insulation — if your outdated fiberglass batt or blown-in insulation has deteriorated to the point of affecting your indoor air quality, it is affecting the overall comfort you experience living in your home!  We can help you remove your old, ineffective and unhealthy insulation, air seal all the gaps and openings where pests, air and moisture can enter and professionally install new insulation. This work will make your home more comfortable, healthy and save you money on your heating and cooling bills throughout the year! 

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