Can I Add New Insulation Over Old?

If you’re thrift-minded (and who isn’t these days?), you know the importance of a well-insulated home and you hate throwing things away when they’re perfectly functional. So if your home has been feeling less comfortable lately, you might suspect you need more insulation — and you might be wondering if you can keep the insulation you have and add more on top. The good news: You can! Usually.

Installing new insulation over old is value-added in many ways! ENERGY STAR® says adding new insulation over old is a great idea because the layer of vapor-resistant material on top of or between layers “supersizes” your insulation’s ability to reduce energy loss.

Additional insulation:

  • Adds value to your property no matter what the housing market is like; it’s what homebuyers seek — an eco-friendly, sustainable solution
  • Increases your home’s warmth or coolness by working with your heating and cooling system
  • Keeps indoor air quality healthier by reducing airborne bacterias and allergens
  • Makes your home more environmentally friendly because your heating and cooling system doesn’t have to work as hard to provide the desired comfort level
  • Minimizes noise pollution
  • Reduces energy use and lowers monthly energy bills

Even very old insulation can serve your home well for as long as 75-80 years if undamaged. If you want to boost your home’s insulation without removing the old, reliable layer, you can put new insulation atop the current — if the old insulation is not damaged (from impact, moisture, mold or mildew) and there are no signs of rodent or insect infestation. Damaged insulation doesn’t do its job, and it can trap and retain toxins. It should be removed and replaced as soon as possible.

8 Signs You Need To Add More Insulation

Even if you have already added insulation to your home, if you or your family members are uncomfortable on summer days or too cold in winter, you should consider adding more insulation. It’s possible you don’t have adequate insulation or that your insulation has been damaged.

An under-insulated home in Jersey or New York is a real problem. We have extreme winter weather and some very sticky-hot summer days. Properly insulated homes can have comfortable air temperatures year-round with minimal energy loss.

Your home is under-insulated if you have:

  1. Drafts: If you feel cold air when standing near a door or window during winter, that’s not normal. Extra insulation will seal air leaks that cause drafts.
  2. High energy bills: Your neighbors have the same square footage and similar designs as your home, but their energy bills are higher. You could have air loss behind walls or — literally — through the roof.
  3. Pests: Damaged insulation is a bug magnet. Even worse, rodents can make nests in insulation. Droppings from pests pose a genuine indoor air quality threat, especially if you have infants, elderly or chronically ill family members.
  4. Pipes freezing: Burst pipes can cause expensive damages. You may need additional crawl space or basement insulation.
  5. Roof ice: When heat escapes through your roof, it melts snow and ice, causing ice dams. They indicate under-insulation but are also a safety risk for nearby pedestrians.
  6. Touch-test fails: You don’t have enough insulation if your interior walls feel clammy, moist or cold. However, your exterior walls should feel cold because you’re keeping heat inside, where it belongs.
  7. Uneven temperatures: One room is too cold; another too hot.
  8. Water: Any water leaks near insulation are dangerous and require fast repair. The damage can lead to mold/mildew issues or structural damages.

Professional Insulation Installation: Experience and Quality Materials Are Priorities

Consider the realities: Are you experienced at handling insulation? What is your time worth? And the retail-priced insulation materials you want are back-ordered at your big-box hardware store…

The fact is, if you’re considering DIY insulation, you’re wasting time and money. You may be buying shoddy, ineffective materials.

While you’re struggling to locate the right insulation at the right price and taking the time to dedicate yourself to your home improvement project, your local insulation contractor could have come and gone, leaving behind a clean workspace.

Eastern Contractor Services is part of the Installed Building Products Family of Companies. This means we can get the high-quality, American-made supplies and materials we need for your project faster and at a lower cost. We share those savings with you.

Call 609-296-1159 (South), 973-361-9505 (North), 866-446-7858 (toll free) or contact Eastern Contractor Services.

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