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What Happens To The Old Insulation In The Walls When Adding Foam Insulation In Fort Collins?

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The signs of an aging house are not limited to visual cues. Homeowners can often feel the effects of old insulation, like frequent drafts and uneven temperatures. Your energy bill may also rise until you decide to act. At this point, it makes sense to install new insulation. Choose a material that can make a drastic difference. For example, spray foam has a high R-value to shield you from extreme temperatures. It can also provide an airtight seal, repel moisture, dampen noise, and stop pests. Before you proceed, figure out what insulation you currently have and whether it will let you add spray foam.

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What Happens To The Old Insulation In The Walls When Adding Foam Insulation?

Below, we discuss what an insulation contractor considers before they add updated insulation, such as spray foam, to your home. You can also do a little research on your own. Here’s how:

Get to Know Your Old Insulation

How do you make way for the new material? What happens to the old insulation around your home? The answers will depend on the current setup. Therefore, you must first investigate the contents of your walls. The easiest way to get information is to ask the previous homeowners. Reach out and inquire. If you do not have their contact details, try asking your real estate agent instead. Perhaps this person can give you answers. If not, you may have to roll up your sleeves and perform a manual inspection. As always. you can also get the assistance of insulation experts.

For the exterior walls, you can cut a small section of your drywall to check the interior. It should be enough to see exactly what insulation you are dealing with. Just patch it back up when you are done. If you prefer a less intrusive method, drill a hole in the wall. Concerned about leaving a mark? Do this inside a closet that is built into an exterior wall. You can also drill behind furniture to hide the hole later. A professional can use an inspection scope to get a better look inside. Your baseboards may also have gaps that are big enough to see through.

Related Article: 9 Signs Your Fort Collins Home Might Be Under-Insulated

When to Remove or Keep Insulation In A Colorado Home

image of old rock wool insulation

Now that you know what you are dealing with, you can proceed to the next steps. If you have fiberglass insulation, it typically remains in the wall cavity during the spray foam insulation installation project. It will not have any negative effects on the new material. The spray foam can push it down upon injection and fill the space. Other types of insulation, such as cellulose fibers, can create problems down the road. Check how much cellulose is in the walls. If it exceeds a threshold, professionals may recommend its removal before adding foam. Each case requires careful evaluation by a certified insulation contractor.

Removal strategies depend on how the cellulose clings to the wall. In most situations, experts remove the bottom siding around a home and try to access each stud cavity. They can rely on the strong suction force of a vacuum machine to get every trace of the old cellulose. After cleaning the walls, they can install the spray foam. However, sometimes the old insulation material is glued into place, making it impossible to remove. In this case, spray foam insulation may not be feasible. Seek professional advice on viable alternatives.

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Other Considerations for Spray Foam Installation In Fort Collins

Drywall Removal

Assuming that you can install spray foam, you must first prepare the home to accept the new insulation. That means hiring a professional to remove the drywall to expose the cavities where the foam will reside. The material will expand to fill these spaces. You need to expose the wall interiors to give the foam enough room to rise and provide an airtight seal. If you do not remove the drywall, the expansion might produce tremendous pressure against anything in its path. You may end up with significant damage on your walls.

Related Article: Airtight House: Can Spray Foam Make My Colorado House Too Tight?

Priority Locations

image of spray foam upgrade

If you are on a tight budget, be strategic with your spray foam installation. Prioritize vital areas to get the most out of your money, including the basement, crawl spaces, walls, attic, and skylight shafts. Poorly insulated basements can get cold and damp. Adding spray foam will help you lower heat loss and humidity, resulting in reduced energy bills and greater comfort. The foam will also keep the pests out for better health. As for crawl spaces, focus on the rim joists to seal air leaks and stop drafts.

The attic can get extremely hot in the summer, and that heat radiates across the home. Add insulation in this area to keep your family comfortable despite the scorching sun. If you can do this, you won’t have to rely too much on your air conditioner for cooling. You can decrease energy consumption throughout the season. After you are done with the space, it will be comfortable enough to serve as more than just a storage area. You can turn it into a home office or another bedroom.

Consider adding foam around your skylight shafts as well. It will let you enjoy natural light while shielding you from extreme weather. Take advantage of its sealing ability to prevent air and water leaks. It helps with energy efficiency and prevents water damage.

Related Article: Can You Insulate The Walls Of A Finished Fort Collins Home?

Call To Make An Appointment


After a few years, your old insulation may no longer feel sufficient. Determine what you have behind your walls to plan your next move. Some materials can stay put as you add new insulation. Others must go before you can begin the process. If you are not sure what to do, consult a professional insulation contractor. They have the knowledge and experience to guide you in any situation. They also have the skills and experience to complete the installation with impressive results.

Insulation Removal Fort Collins CO

When it concerns air sealing or upgrading your home’s insulation, consulting with a professional is the best option. However, not all will offer the same quality of service and pricing. Always work with the best one in your area. Residents of Fort Collins and the neighboring area can call Ascend Construction for superior service.

Ascend Construction specializes in insulation removal and installation, air sealing, energy conservation, energy audits, whole-house fan installations, and much more! You can count on us to provide you with service that outshines the rest!

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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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Ascend Construction
301 S Howes St #1241
Fort Collins, CO, 80521
(970) 420-5495