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How Old Insulation Impacts Indoor Air Quality Fort Collins

indoor air pollutants

The influence of insulation is not limited to temperature stability and soundproofing. It can also have profound effects on indoor air quality. As outdated insulating materials get older, they become less effective in blocking heat transfer and filtering air contaminants. Households can suffer in different ways when these happen. The best way to solve the problem is by installing new insulation, such as spray foam insulation. Read on to learn more about the details about the best insulation for air quality.

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How Old Insulation Impacts Indoor Air Quality

It may seem counterintuitive, but the quality of indoor air can be worse than the air outdoors. Several studies have found that the pollutant concentration is higher in homes that do not actively try to actively keep the air clean. Old, outdated insulation contributes to the problem in the following ways:

Excess Moisture


Old insulation can’t withstand moisture. When the rains start, the material will absorb moisture from the air which will further reduce its ability to resist heat. Wet insulation is a conducive environment for mold growth. The fungus can spread across the material and release spores into the air. A lot of people are allergic to these spores, so expect signs and symptoms to gradually emerge. These include uncontrollable sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, postnasal drip, and slight fever. Those who have chronic respiratory conditions may have difficulty breathing.

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Pest Infestation

Old insulation can sag and move out of place. Gaps may begin to emerge across the walls, allowing insects, rodents, and even birds to get inside the house. These pests may carry dangerous pathogens such as viruses and bacteria which could begin to circulate in the air through the HVAC system. People may start getting sick because of the infestation. Certain individuals may also have an allergic reaction when they get in contact with these pests, including redness and itching. It can be difficult to get rid of these pests because they are living in areas that are out of reach.

VOC Increase

Old insulation may contain volatile organic compounds. These VOCs may be released into the air as the materials degrade over time. Modern insulating materials are much safer, although these may still release dust particles as they break down. Both VOCs and dust can circulate around the home. They will cause discomfort and health issues for the occupants. The only way to stop these is to remove the old insulation with fresh insulation. Seek out expert insulation contractors to ensure excellent results.

Foul Odors

Old insulation may let outdoor air get inside the house through emerging gaps. This might be foul air due to smoke and gas from the streets, as well as other unpleasant substances. Bacteria may also thrive in the insulating materials because of the warmth and humidity. Over time, the bacteria can produce a bad smell that will permeate the house. This is most obvious when you are entering the home after being outdoors for a while.

Effects Of The Best Insulation For Air Quality

Minimize Mold Spores

New insulation with quality materials and proper installation will keep moisture out. You won’t have to worry about the rain because moisture will not seep in. The insulation can stay dry throughout the wet season, so mold and mildew will not be a concern. It means that fungi won’t be able to thrive inside the house, and there won’t be many spores that could trigger allergic reactions. People should be able to breathe better after an insulation upgrade.

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Keep Pests Outside

image of a rat infestation and old insulation

After applying the new insulating materials, the gaps that formed along the walls will be covered once again. These will block any creature that will try to get in, reducing the likelihood of infestation. You won’t have to see insects and rodents crawling around your home. You will not have to deal with embarrassment when guests come by. Most importantly, you will prevent the spread of dangerous pathogens that could lead to illness in the family.

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Reduce Indoor VOCs

Older types of insulating materials are known to contain volatile organic compounds. VOCs are also present in paints, solvents, aerosol sprays, household cleaners, moth repellents, and pesticides. These compounds can trigger irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. They can also make people feel nauseous. Long-term exposure may lead to liver, kidney, and nervous system damage. It may even result in cancer. By upgrading your insulation, you can lower the risk of these health threats.

Maintain Indoor Freshness

Wet and soggy insulation won’t be effective in blocking heat. They may even create headaches by letting bacteria grow which, in turn, can produce a foul smell. By replacing the old insulation, you can keep the walls dry and prevent bacteria from thriving. The home will smell much nicer after this change. Try to keep other wet areas of the house clean and dry as well, including the laundry, kitchen, and bathrooms.

Solving Air Quality Problems

To improve indoor air quality, you must be aware of the common sources of allergens and pollutants. These include carbon monoxide from appliances, radon from old homes, and cigarette smoke from family members. Don’t forget the contribution of old insulation as well. As you can see from the list above, the natural degradation of insulating materials creates problems for homeowners. Do not neglect the drop in performance and indoor air quality. Consult a professional insulation contractor to figure out the best way to counter these. They can help you choose a suitable insulation replacement based on your needs and budget.

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Good indoor air quality requires constant vigilance. Make it a habit to wipe surfaces and use a vacuum cleaner whenever necessary. Remove the sources of allergens and pollutants. If your insulation is old, then consider the possibility that it is contributing to the poor air quality in your home. It may be time to replace it with modern materials. Be sure to get the services of a competent insulation installer for optimal performance.

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Best Insulation For Air Quality In Fort Collins CO

When it concerns insulation, consulting with a professional insulation company is the best option. There are a lot of factors to consider when determining what type of insulation works best for your home. Ascend Construction specializes in insulation removal and installation, energy conservation, energy audits, whole house fan installations, and more in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the neighboring areas.

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Contact Ascend Construction for a free consultation today. We can provide you with practical solutions to address the problem areas in your Fort Collins home. All of our services are affordable and our work is guaranteed. Click here to contact us or click the button below to give Ascend Construction a call. We offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations.

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