Answering Some Commonly Asked Questions About Residential Insulation

Your home's insulation is very important, as good insulation won't let your heating or air conditioning escape, keeping your utility bills lower. Quality insulation will also block humidity during summer months, reducing the risk of your home's framework developing mould and other such damage. Your home's interior will also be quieter when it's properly insulated! Because insulation is so important for any home, note a few questions you might have about this material and its installation, so you know your home is always protected and well-insulated.

Can you put new insulation over old?

You can typically add new insulation over old insulation, and doing so will save you the cost and the time it would take to remove that old insulation. This can also be safer for your home, as old insulation may be covering electrical wiring; removing it could then potentially pull out or damage those wires, increasing the risk of an electrical fire.

The only exception to this would be if the old insulation is wet. Adding new insulation over wet insulation can trap this moisture, potentially resulting in mould growth and damage to the new insulation. If you're not sure of the condition of your home's current insulation, call a contractor to inspect it and note if it needs to be removed before new insulation is added.

Is blown foam the best insulation?

There is no way to determine the "best" insulation for your home, as this will depend on your budget and the home's overall construction. Trying to cut and fit blankets of insulation around ceiling joists, plumbing pipes, and other such obstructions can be difficult, and blown foam insulation will fill in those cracks and corners more easily; however, blown foam is also more expensive than other materials, and not a DIY installation job. If your home doesn't have leaks or cracks in the roof and walls, you may not need the added protection of blown foam insulation and, instead, make do with fibreglass blankets.

Is insulation bad for the environment?

Having your home properly insulated is actually good for the environment, as this will mean less power used for heating and cooling. However, if you're very eco-conscious, consider blown cellulose insulation, as this material is actually made with reclaimed and recycled newspaper. Cotton batts are also typically made with reclaimed and recycled denim. This keeps those raw materials out of landfills, and also makes the insulation easier on the environment when it's eventually removed and disposed of in a landfill.