Amelior Insulation

Amelior Insulation
Contact Phil on 0450 858 568

How Long Does Insulation Last?

A middle-aged woman looks out the window of her old house and considers how long insulation lasts

You might consider getting insulation installed in your home, or may have had it installed a while ago. At some point you’ll probably question how long insulation lasts and whether it’s still in good condition.

Insulation plays a big role in maintaining the comfort and energy efficiency of our homes. Let’s look at the life expectancy of insulation, factors influencing how long it lasts, signs of deterioration, how often you should inspect your insulation and when to replace it.

How Long Does Insulation Last?

Quality insulation, if undamaged, can last for an impressive 50 to 70 years. Insulation companies like Knauf Earthwool and Bradford Insulation are so confident in their products that they offer warranties lasting several decades. Knauf Earthwool’s insulation range comes with a 50-year warranty and Bradford provides a lifetime warranty. According to Bradford’s warranty registration page, the duration of the home’s life is considered to be 70 years from the date of the product’s installation.

Factors Influencing Longevity

There are some factors that will influence how long insulation will last.

  • Material selection. The choice of insulation material is a big factor in determining its longevity. Different materials have varying lifespans, with some showing remarkable durability. Polyester insulation can last for 50+ years and rock wool is said to last up to 100 years when installed correctly!

  • Installation quality. Whether the insulation was installed properly or not significantly influences its overall lifespan. A key factor to ensure that the insulation performs optimally from day one is that it must not be compressed. Whether you’re installing insulation batts or rolls, these must be able to expand to their full thickness and remain that way.

  • Exposure to moisture and pests. Moisture can lead to mould growth in the surrounding space and the degradation of the insulation over time. Pest infestations, especially in the ceiling, can compromise the insulation’s quality as the animals (e.g. possums) often like to rummage around in, tear up and create nests out of the materials. This results in uneven insulation coverage, leading to temperature variations throughout the house and reduced energy efficiency. To make your insulation last longer, take steps to keep moisture and pests out of your roof space.

Signs of Poor or Deteriorating Insulation

Various factors contribute to determining how long insulation can effectively serve its purpose. Signs of poor or deteriorating insulation include:

  • Ineffective heating and cooling. If you have your air conditioner running on a hot, summers day and the house just doesn’t seem to stay cool, or your ceiling is hot to the touch, the insulation may be ineffective.

  • Mould or mildew presence. Moisture usually enters the roof space from water leaks after storms or from damage to the roof, e.g. from a faulty whirlybird installation. Moisture can compromise insulation effectiveness and mould can lead to serious health issues for those living in the house.

  • Unpleasant odours. Insulation that is affected by moisture or pests can give off unpleasant smells. Persistent, musty odours in the home may indicate insulation problems.

  • Visible pest activity. Pests like to rummage around in, tear up and create nests out of the materials. Visible cues like droppings or chewed insulation material can help pinpoint and address the source of the insulation problem.

  • Visible damage. Inspect insulation for any visible damage, including compression, tearing or displacement. Physical changes to insulation materials can compromise their insulating properties.

  • Allergy triggers. In extreme cases, deteriorating insulation will result in an increase of airborne dust and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This may lead to worsening allergies or respiratory problems, especially if the living areas are exposed to the air in the roof space. This may occur while replacing downlights or when the manhole is accessed.

Being aware of these signs will help you identify insulation deterioration early on, helping you to address issues promptly and maintain a healthy and efficient home environment.

A couple wearing thick clothes sitting in front of the heater because their house is so cold and under insulated. They're wondering how long insulation lasts and if it needs to be replaced.
If your house does not stay warm when you put heating on, your insulation may be deteriorating.

How Often Should I Inspect My Insulation?

While today’s insulation is designed to last a lifetime, it’s advised to inspect your ceiling and underfloor insulation every 10 or-so years, or immediately after a hail storm or other significant weather event. It pays to do an extra check so that any roof leaks can be rectified sooner rather than later. This is especially important in older homes. To inspect, you’ll need to climb into the roof space or the underfloor area and check whether there are any visible signs of deteriorating insulation. If you book in a roof insulation inspection, the inspector will take a close look at the condition of the ceiling insulation, do a professional evaluation and give you a report with photos afterwards. Booking in an inspection is recommended as it will save you lots of time and effort!

If you live in an old home with asbestos insulation installed, it’s vital that you get it inspected and safely disposed of by a licenced asbestos removalist. Do not start any renovations or demolition work until your house is asbestos-free.

When to Replace Insulation

As discussed at a recent seminar for landlords in Canberra, the new minimum ceiling insulation standard requires all ACT rental properties that have a ceiling insulation R-Value below R2.0 to upgrade to an R5.0.

Regardless of whether you live in NSW or the ACT, if your insulation is no longer performing as it should in your home, or you’d like to upgrade it, consider replacing old with new. For this, we’d recommend arranging an insulation removal and replacement. Professional installation by insulation experts is key to ensuring the new insulation lasts for decades to come.

If your current ceiling insulation is doing its job just fine, you can also book in an insulation top-up, which involves adding another layer of insulation to your existing insulation, increasing thickness and overall energy efficiency.

Insulation Life Expectancy

Insulation generally lasts for around 50-70 years. During this period, look out for signs such as mould, pests and physical damage to make sure it works as it should. If they’re not dealt with, you may experience a rise in energy bills, unpleasant smells and a less comfortable home.

Arranging a roof insulation inspection is a smart first-step if you’re not confident evaluating the condition of your ceiling insulation. If the inspector notes you have old, loose-fill insulation that should be removed, we’d recommend arranging a roof insulation vacuum. After that, you can book in an insulation company like Amelior Insulation to do the installation job for you. We service all of Canberra, Sydney and Blue Mountains and surrounding suburbs.

Have a question, or want to enquire? Call Phil on 0450 858 568 or request a call-back at a time that suits you. We look forward to hearing from you and installing your insulation so it lasts decades into the future.