Insulation Removal Perth
One of the most common things we see at InsulGuard when it comes to insulation is the old “out of sight, out of mind” attitude of homeowners. People don’t seem to put much thought as to what’s in their roof space, let alone to think what it’s actually doing for their health and comfort. Ceiling insulation is designed to sit on your ceiling and to stop heat transfer from the external temperature variations. In winter, insulation prevents heat from escaping your home and in the summer heat penetrating through your roof and heating up your internal temperature. Obviously in Perth this is imperative as our we can regularly see above 35 degrees. In winter, we see the opposite with minimums below 6 degrees and some days a maximum in the low teens.
What is Lurking in Your Cavity
There could be a variety of materials in your roof space, but the biggest rule of thumb is any insulation older than 10 years needs to be replaced. When the old government insulation scheme went bust under Howard about 10 years ago, probably the biggest thing to come out of that was the advances in insulation. The means that anything that’s in your roof is not meeting the energy requirements as per the Building Code of Australia. Most importantly, it’s not giving you year round comfort and as the old insulation is inefficient, your energy bills are skyrocketing because your home relies on artificial heating and cooling.
Not only is old insulation ineffective, but it can also be toxic. There are a few different variations of old insulation that could potentially lurk in your roof space.
Blown In Insulation
(Also known as: “Cool or Cosy”, “Blow In”, “Loose Fill”, “Cellulose”, “Mr Fluffy”, “InsulFluff”)
Known by multiple names, the old blown in insulation is comprised of organic celluose. In Australia, the old blow in insulation is predominately comprised of emulsified newspaper. In the manufacturing process, chemicals like boric acid is added it to make it flame retardant. This old blown in insulation dates back to the early 1960s, a lot of newspaper printing was done with lead-based ink. Whilst not common, some of the older products do contain traces of asbestos.
Wool insulation is one of the oldest insulators used. It was normally mulched up, and blown into the roof similar to blown in insulation. The problem with the old blow-in wool is rodents, rats, black beetles seem to love to nest in it due to the lanolin and the actual oils that are in the wool.
Probably the most harmful out of the three most common old insulations we find in Perth homes is urea-formaldehyde insulation. If you look at the picture, it looks like the expanded foam that comes in a can, forming large “foam pillow”. In terms of the removal process, formaldehyde is more difficult to remove. We have to wear specialist equipment to remove it and it causes quite a lot to tip it so it can be a bit more expensive to remove the old formaldehyde.
The Health Effects of Old Insulation
Old insulation contains a variety of harmful chemicals. Most commonly, these chemicals are responsible for respiratory problems with children and the elderly, and can also cause symptoms such as early onset asthma and allergens. Chemicals like formaldehyde, boric acid (flame retardant used in wool and blown in insulation) and lead are common in insulation and need to be removed from your home.
The Insulation Removal Process
Not only do we find old insulation in your roof space, but it’s common to find a lot of debris, tiles, wood, timber, old Christmas trees, as well as a lot of dust, rodent faeces, dead birds and rat carcasses. At InsulGuard, we’re proud to have Perth’s largest insulation removal system. The 25HP commercial grade vacuum cleaner will remove your old insulation, debris and give your cavity a clean at the same time. We also offer a free sanitization spray to every job that we do.
The process involves accessing the ceiling cavity via the roof, so we’ll either remove tiles or take off a sheet of tin. Ee can then put up a ladder against the gutters (using a gutter guard of course) climb into the roof and run our commercial vacuum pipes into the roof without going through the home. Our vacuum pump is mounted to the back of a 8-tonne truck, and we run the 300mm hose from there.
Everything is vacuumed from your home into big bulker bags in the back of the truck so that the old insulation can be disposed of correctly. More importantly, being bagged up means that mess is reduced and there is no dust and debris left scattered around your home.
The removal of old insulation and re-installing of new insulation is generally a same day process. Obviously factors like the pitch of the roof, size of the home and accessibility of the ceiling cavity need to be considered. It’s important to remember that the flatter the roof and harder it is to access, the more time your job will take and obviously it can incur additional charges when we quote. We obviously have to take off more tiles to get to certain areas as well as tin when they’re flatter, and other things like ducted air con and that plays a huge part in the ease of access to vacuum out an old roof cavity.
Re-Insulating Your Home
With every insulation removal, we recommend installing new insulation. When we remove your old insulation, whether it be Cool or Cosy, formaldehyde, old batts or wool insulation, you’ve addressed the health and dust problems. But, since we’ve taken out any thermal insulating that you had in the roof, even though it was inadequate, we need to re-insulate for your comfort.
We recommend re-installing with batt insulation. Insulation batts feature a long lifespan, especially with the Bradford Gold range that come with a lifetime warranty. It’s Australian made, and can boast being the only product that’s approved by the Asthma Foundation for being non toxic.
Insulation comes in a variety of different R values, or thicknesses. R values is a standard measure of how well an insulation product resists heat transfer. In Perth, the average home requires a minimum R4 rated batt as per the BCA requirements. We recommend starting with the R5 batt, which is the next in the range. These are up to 20% more effective, and are especially suited for the Perth temperatures.
To complement every insulation removal and insulation install, we do recommend a couple of whirlybirds just allow the hot air to escape in the summer. More importantly, they allow moisture to evaporate during the winter, so you don’t get any mold or mildew build up in your roof and on your ceilings.
Make sure you speak to one of the InsulGuard team who can arrange an obligation free quote for you. Often, we can quote over the phone using Google Maps and Near Maps. Our accurate measuring tools mean we can measure your home and with a few simple questions, we can give you a firm quote. Otherwise, we do offer site inspections if you’re a little unsure what type of old insulation and what the risk it poses to your family.