Whether you have rats, squirrels, bats, raccoons, or even mice in your attic or insulated crawl space, one thing is certain: They leave a mess behind -- a dirty, filthy, stinky, unhealthy mess. Their urine and droppings can get into the insulation where it can cause odors and serve as breeding media for insects, fungi, and other pathogens, which can then get into the living area of your home (especially if you have forced-air heating and air-conditioning).
Animals in your attic can also damage the insulation itself by pulling and tearing at it, using it for nesting material, or flattening it out (which reduces its thermal efficiency). This winds up costing you more money for heating and cooling.
Contaminated insulation can't be cleaned, and damaged insulation can't be fixed. The only way to fix these problems is by removing the filthy, damaged insulation and replacing it with fresh, new, energy-efficient insulation. That's why whenever we do an animal-removal job in an attic, we inspect the insulation for contamination and damage.
Insulation is designed to trap air between some substance such as fiberglass, foam, or cellulose. It's the air that does the actual insulating, not the insulation itself. But this also means that because of the way it works, insulation can trap and hold droppings, urine, and other body fluids. It can also serve as a breeding medium for bacterial and and fungal diseases.
In addition to the physical filth, contaminated insulation can also trap animal odors and slowly release them into the home over a period of months or years. Because the rate of release is affected by temperature and humidity, you may think the problem's gone, only to find that it comes back when the weather changes.
There's really no way to wash the insulation once it's contaminated. It will need to be replaced. Depending on the extent of the animal problem, all or only part of the contaminated insulation will need to go in order to restore the attic to a healthful condition.
Insulation is actually a more delicate material than most people realize. Remember, it's designed to trap air. If it gets damaged or flatted out, it can't trap as much air, and its insulating efficiency is greatly reduced. When animals run back and force across insulation, they flatten it out, which destroys its thermal efficiency. It needs to be fluffy, not flat, to do its job.
Animals in an attic often do very serious damage to the insulation. Aside from flattening it out, they sometimes tear away large sections of it -- much more than they need for nesting material. They also scratch at the vapor barriers, which can cause dampness, mold, and mildew. Raccoons in particular are known for destroying insulation, but many other animals do so as well. We don't know why. Maybe they're just bored.
Rid-A-Critter started offering insulation replacement very early on in our history as an animal-removal company because so many customers needed it. We invested heavily in training and equipment so our technicians could do the job well, and we rapidly developed a reputation for quality insulation installation. As a result, we often are contacted by people who don't even have an animal problem but who want their insulation replaced for energy-efficiency reasons. We're very proud of that, and if we have the manpower available, we help these folks out. But we always give first priority to our animal-removal customers.
One of the things that customers love about our insulation replacement work is that we take care of everything, from start to finish, including:
In addition to making your attic and home cleaner, healthier, and fresher-smelling, replacing your old insulation will usually save you money. The materials that we use are top-quality and are much more efficient than the insulation that was available just a decade or two ago. With energy prices high and getting higher, the savings from upgrading your insulation can be considerable.
The Athens-Clarke County, Georgia office of Rid-A-Critter provides high-quality insulation replacement in Athens, Commerce, Good Hope, Greensboro, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Watkinsville, Winder, and all the surrounding communities. Please contact us to learn more about this or any of our other quality services.
Here are pictures of some of the insulation replacement jobs we've done in the Athens area.