When animals get into your attic, they often make a particularly bad mess of the insulation. Their urine and droppings cause odors and germs that can circulate through the home (especially if you have HVAC equipment in the attic), and the compacting, tearing, and clawing they do to the insulation can reduce its thermal efficiency, leading to higher heating and cooling costs.
Because there's no way to clean up contaminated insulation or to restore damaged insulation's efficiency, Rid-A-Critter recommends the replacement of attic insulation any time its been damaged by animals of contaminated by their wastes. This service is available as part of any attic animal control job we do or as an independent service.
Because of its structure, insulation makes a good breeding medium for pathogens. When it becomes contaminated with animal urine or droppings, the insulation can become a medium for the development of bacterial and fungal pathogens. These germs can get into your home and make you sick, especially if you have heating or cooling equipment in the attic.
In addition, dried animal droppings can form a dust that can contain fungal spores, which can become airborne (for example, when the animals run around) and then settle into the insulation. Obviously, there's no way to clean the insulation, so the only way to get rid of the dried droppings and the spores is to remove the insulation.
In addition to the disease risk, insulation can hold animal odors from urine, droppings, and bodily secretions, and slowly release it back into the air, causing a persistent odor problem. Again, because there's no way to wash the insulation, it has to be removed, discarded, and replaced by new insulation.
Animals reduce the thermal efficiency of insulation in two ways. The first way is by physically damaging it, which many animals do. Sometimes they tear it up to use it as nesting material, other times they damage the insulation or its vapor barrier with their claws by running on it, and sometimes they just pull it down for no apparent reason. Maybe they're bored.
The second way that animals damage insulation is by compacting it. This happens when animals "flatten" the insulation by running back and forth on it. Insulation that's been compacted loses most of its insulating efficiency. Compacted insulation is also a sign that the animals have been there for quite a while.
Everyone has things that they're especially proud of, and for Rid-A-Critter, replacing dirty, damaged insulation is one of those things. First of all, we're very good at it because we've been doing it a long time and we take pride in our work. But even more so than the rest of the work that we do, there's a kind of immediate satisfaction from replacing insulation because it's the kind of job where you can immediately see -- and smell -- the difference.
Some of the insulation we see in attics that have had animal problems looks and smells really gross, especially on warm, humid days. When we remove that insulation (and sanitize the substrate, if needed), the place immediately starts smelling fresher and cleaner.
The other things our customers like about our attic insulation replacement (so much so that some of our insulation customers have never even had an animal problem) is that we do the whole job, start-to-finish, including hauling the old stuff away. We also use nothing but the finest insulating products available and install it with meticulous attention to detail. For older homes, where the existing insulation probably wasn't as efficient as the more modern products, the energy savings can be dramatic.
If you've had animals in your attic, then in all likelihood you have contaminated or damaged insulation that needs to be replaced. We'd be happy to provide a professional inspection and treatment estimate.
Here are pictures of some of the insulation replacement jobs we've done in and around Macon, Georgia.
Please call us today for more information about insulation replacement or to schedule an inspection.