What First-Time Home Buyers Should Know About Insulation

what first time homebuyers need to know about insulation

Looking for an insulation contractor to upgrade your attic or crawl space? Or maybe you’re wondering which insulation to buy. The good news is that new insulation is one of the most cost-effective ways to modernize your new home. And one that will save you big money on energy bills.

Atticare’s quality attic insulation can handle temperature extremes. After all, we work across New York and New Jersey, as well as installing San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles insulation.

why is insulation important

Why Is Insulation So Important?

You know that insulation works to keep your home warm. But it does so much more than that.

#1 Stay Cool In The Heat And Cozy In The Cold

Sweltering Los Angeles summers and freezing New Jersey winters are not for the faint hearted. So you need insulation that maintains your home at the temperature you set. Anything less and you won’t be able to focus in the daytime, or even sleep properly.

#2 Save Big Money On Bills

Do you have old attic or crawl space insulation? Then your money is likely floating right out through the walls, ceiling and roof.

With perfectly installed crawl space and attic insulation you will hardly have to use your heating and cooling systems.

#3 Protect The Environment

As you’ll need way less heating and A/C, your impact on the planet will be much lighter.

#4 Save Money On HVAC Repairs

Why? With great insulation your heating and cooling system just doesn’t have to work as hard. When HVAC equipment has an easy life it lasts longer with fewer breakdowns.

#5 Noise And Privacy

Did you know that insulation is vital in maintaining your privacy? Because expertly installed attic and crawl space insulation stops noise entering and escaping.

That means no more disturbance from traffic, and your pets will thank you for the quieter fireworks.

You and your neighbors won’t disturb each other with music or parties any more. And it’s a great sense of freedom to know that no-one can overhear your conversations.

#6 Condensation Control

Up-to-date attic and crawl space insulation that’s precisely installed will prevent condensation. Pipes especially need targeted insulation in order to remain dry outside.

And attic and crawl space moisture control is a big deal. Condensation corrodes your ducts and cold piping, as well as ruining your roof drainage system. When insulation gets wet it quickly leads to mold, which makes the air inside your home toxic.

Atticare technicians are happy to advise on pipe insulation with vapor retarder.

#7 No More Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes at best just don’t work. And at worst they suffer permanent damage and leak or explode.

New Jersey homeowners will know you need to be especially vigilant about keeping your pipes warm in winter. However in particularly cold winters, San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles insulation is important because pipes there can freeze too.

#8 Indoor Air Quality

Excellent insulation withstands moisture and keeps everything dry where you can’t see it.

When there’s no condensation or mold, there are no dangerous spores in the air you breathe.

This is especially important if there are young children, seniors or people with respiratory issues in your home. If you have constant nasal irritation it might just be poor insulation that’s the problem.

How Long Does Attic And Crawl Space Insulation Take?

It depends on the size of your home and whether there is any damage from old insulation, like mold or corrosion. Generally speaking, a crawl space insulation contractor only needs about 2 or 3 hours to get the job done.

And for the attic? A day or two. We’ll let you know when we inspect the area.

In a nutshell, this is all we need to do.

  • Come to your home for a free assessment of your attic or crawl space.
  • Remove the old insulation.
  • Inspect the space for any damage that needs to be repaired.
  • Clean the space.
  • Install your new insulation.

What Shortens The Lifespan Of Your Insulation

Any knowledgeable insulation contractor will tell you that a huge 90% of homes don’t have adequate insulation. This is almost certainly true if your home is older.

Professionally installed, high-quality insulation can last up to 100 years. So what goes wrong?

Poor Installation

A lot of insulation isn’t installed correctly. Then it’s easy for moisture to get in, for one thing. And when insulation gets wet and then moldy it just doesn’t last.


The other factor limiting the lifespan of your insulation is pests. Cockroaches and rodents can eat insulation, and dislodge it from where it should be to make their nests. Unfortunately, warm insulation also makes a really cozy nest.

Their droppings make the whole area unsanitary and damp. Then the air in your home is hazardous, too.

When You Need To Call An Insulation Contractor

There Was A Storm

If your insulation is old you’ll likely notice a moisture buildup or musty smell after the rain. Don’t ignore it, because mold can make you and your family extremely sick.

Water Damage To Your Walls And Ceiling

You may have a leaking pipe in your attic or crawl space. Old, worn out insulation can cause drips, pooling and water marks. Attic and crawl space moisture control gets harder over time, even if the warm weather is coming.

Some Rooms Are Cold Or Drafty

If you have your heating or A/C running, all the rooms in your house should be more or less the same temperature.

But if some rooms are cold or drafty it points to a problem with your insulation.

There Are Ice Dams On The Roof

Yikes. Ice dams are big pieces of ice that form when snow melts and freezes over and over again. It melts when your home is warm but your attic isn’t insulated properly. Then they form icicles over your gutters.

Your Bills Are Higher

You probably have a friend or neighbor who’s just had new insulation fitted. Find out what they pay for their bills and see if you’re paying too much in comparison. 

It’s really just a false economy to continue with your existing attic or crawl space insulation if you’re losing all your power through the roof and walls.

how to tell if your insulation is good or bad

What Should You Know About Insulation?

The Good

This is the type of insulation that Atticare provides. 

  • Energy efficient to save you money on bills.
  • Perfectly fitted to your space, either with blown-in insulation or rolls of fiberglass batts.
  • Insulation with a high R-value, meaning it’s resistant to heat transference. A minimum of R38 is a good start, or even higher if you’re in an extreme climate. New Jersey and Los Angeles insulation needs to be powerful.

The Bad

How old is your attic or crawl space insulation? It seems crazy to think of it now, but old insulation used to be flammable. Modern insulation contains flame-retardant materials.

The Ugly

If the insulation in your home was installed before about 1990, it may be vermiculite. This actually contains asbestos so it needs to be removed with great care by professional insulation contractors.

Which Insulation You Should Buy

These are the most common types of residential insulation, so which insulation to buy depends on the properties of your crawl space or attic.

Fiberglass Batts

Large strips that come in rolls or pre-cut into standard sizes. You can get fiberglass batts in the thickness and level of durability that suits your property.

Blown-In Fiberglass

This is also called cellulose insulation. It gets blown in with a big hose. Blown-in fiberglass is ideal if you have crevices and holes that need to be specially insulated.

tips for choosing the right insulation material

Can I Install Insulation Myself?

In a word, no. It’s a really bad idea. Unless you’re a trained insulation contractor you’re likely to cause more harm than good. Here’s why licensed attic insulation companies are the best choice.

You Might Accidentally Use Too Much Insulation

Doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? We often over-order when we buy things.

But too much insulation can damage your property. If you use too much insulation you’ll obstruct the airflow. Homes expand and contract naturally with the seasons and they need space to do this.

And reduced airflow is when insulation gets wet. Mold and mildew grow where you won’t notice it until it’s too late. Even worse, if you accidentally block HVAC vents or lighting, it’s a fire hazard.

You’ll Be Ineligible For Energy Rebates

In order to qualify for energy rebates you need a professional insulation contractor to install the insulation.

And energy rebates are a significant saving. You can get back up to 10% of the cost of the materials.

It’s Risky Work

Ever seen someone fall through a ceiling? It’s easy for untrained homeowners to break a leg or worse just by putting one foot in the wrong place.

Quite apart from a trip to the emergency room, there can be dangerous materials in an attic or crawl space, like asbestos. So if you work there with non-professional breathing gear you’re putting yourself and your family at risk from airborne toxins.

Can I Remove Old Insulation Myself?

Again, it’s more complicated and risky than people realize. Licensed attic insulation companies need to carry this out, and here’s why.

Each Type Of Insulation Is Removed Differently

Blown-in insulation is a completely different animal to fiberglass batts. So as you can imagine, you need a pro who’s experienced in removing the type of insulation that you have.

You’d Risk Poisoning The Air In Your Home

A professional contractor for insulation will handle and discard your old insulation correctly. This means none of the following will pollute the indoor air quality.

  • Fiberglass
  • Asbestos
  • Mold spores
  • Chemicals you’ve previously used to control pests
  • Pest droppings

What Steps Are Involved In Insulation Services?

Don’t know where to start? The Atticare team is always on hand to advise on the best insulation to suit you, plus the steps that we’ll take along the way.

#1 Protect Your Belongings

Removing and installing insulation can be a dusty business. So your dedicated contractor for insulation covers everything with plastic sheeting so your home stays clean and safe.

#2 Inspect The Attic Or Crawl Space

This is what the Atticare team needs to check before removing your old insulation.

  • Pest damage and infestation
  • Exposed electrical wires
  • Presence of asbestos
  • Moisture and mold
  • HVAC system
  • The roof

Measuring the R-value of your old insulation is important too. You’ll be able to tell us if your home isn’t insulated enough right now so we can plan a better replacement.

#3 Clear The Area

Now’s when the insulation contractor removes the old insulation and debris. Everything is placed into heavy duty garbage bags while it’s still in the attic. This prevents your home getting dirty.

#4 Deep Clean And Decontamination

It’s no good laying new insulation over a dirty space. We’ll eliminate the dust, fibers, mold, pest droppings and anything else. That way the toxins and allergens are gone, and your new insulation will work more effectively.

#5 Attic And Crawl Space Moisture Control 

If there’s any remaining damp then now’s the time we dry it out. 

#6 Block Potential Pest Entrances

When your attic is clean and clear, we’ll check for any tiny spaces where rodents and insects could get in in the future. Then we’ll seal them up.

#7 Block Cracks To Prevent Leaks Or Drafts

Atticare professionals block and caulk any areas where air or moisture could pass through. Doing this means your insulation will work the best it can for years to come.

#8 Install Your New Insulation

Finally we install the insulation that’s the best for your attic structure, and your budget.

#9 Advise You How To Maintain Your Attic

We want to keep your new attic insulation performing at its peak for years. So we can show you how to check for rodent activity and everything else you need to know to maintain your attic.

Atticare Is Your Best Choice For Attic And Crawl Space Insulation

Need a contractor for insulation in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York or New Jersey? Just call us at 866-692-5449 or send us a quick note here to schedule a free attic inspection today.

Atticare is not only licensed and insured, but we’re a Diamond Certified attic insulation company. We couldn’t be prouder of the hundreds of verified reviews that prove we’re a top performing business.


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