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Is Old Insulation Dangerous?

Not only is old insulation not as effective as new insulation, but some of these outdated materials can pose a risk to your health. Edwards/Mooney & Moses is here to explain the dangers of old insulation, how to identify dangerous outdated materials and what you can do about it.

Contact Edwards/Mooney & Moses for all your insulation needs! See what our customers have to say.

The Dangers of Old Insulation

Many older homes still contain insulation that was commonly used in the past but has since been found to be dangerous to your health. There are a number of dangers associated with old insulation, including:

  • Health risks posed by deteriorating insulation
  • Fire hazards associated with outdated materials
  • Negative impact on indoor air quality & respiratory health
  • Hazardous substances such as asbestos, lead & formaldehyde
  • Potential for mold growth

How To Identify if Your Old Insulation Is Dangerous

If you’re concerned about your old insulation, there are some steps you can take to help you identify if your old insulation is dangerous.

Steps include:

  • Beware of signs of deterioration
    • Discoloration
    • Moisture damage
    • Pest infestation
  • Be on the lookout for common hazardous insulation materials
  • Call an expert to have your insulation professionally tested

If you’re concerned about asbestos specifically and don’t want to call a professional right away, you can do a DIY inspection. The fluffiness of loose-fill insulation can reveal if asbestos is present.

Loose-Fill Insulation by Edwards, Mooney, and Moses

If the fluff resembles a snow drift, you most likely don’t have asbestos in your home. If your insulation appears firm and lays flat, there’s a chance asbestos is present, and your insulation should be replaced as soon as possible. Do not disturb the insulation if you suspect there is asbestos.

What Is Asbestos Insulation?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that is an excellent insulator, as well as being highly fire resistant. In the past, asbestos was used in a wide range of products, such as insulation, roofing shingles, ceiling/ floor tiles, automobile parts, heat-resistant fabrics and more.

Because of its effective insulation and fire-resistant properties, asbestos was used as a building material for much of the 20th century. Inhaling asbestos can put you at risk for mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer, but these adverse health effects weren’t widely acknowledged until the 1970s. Many homes and buildings built before the 1980s contain asbestos because of how popular it was.

Asbestos insulation in your home can become especially dangerous when it is moved, removed or damaged. This is because the movement of the insulation causes toxic asbestos fibers to become airborne, posing major health risks if inhaled.

Because asbestos is a deadly carcinogen, only licensed professionals should handle it. These professionals are highly trained and certified to follow all legal regulations and safety precautions regarding asbestos removal.

What To Do About Dangerous Insulation

If you suspect there’s asbestos insulation or any other type of dangerous insulation in your home, avoid disturbing it and call a professional immediately. These materials are most dangerous when disturbed because the fibers are released into the air and can be breathed in.

Options for addressing hazardous insulation include removal, encapsulation or containment. It’s important to hire a certified professional for inspection and remediation because they understand the importance of following safety protocols and proper disposal.

It’s important for homeowners to take action to protect their health and safety. If you suspect there is dangerous insulation in your home, contact the professionals at Edwards/Mooney & Moses right away.

Services We Provide
Residential Insulation

Our insulation team adds energy efficiency, comfort & value to your home.

Commercial Insulation

We insulate metal buildings, warehouses and other commercial properties.


No matter your gutter needs, the Edwards/Mooney & Moses team has you covered.

Air Sealing

Edwards/Mooney & Moses provides air sealing services for new homes and buildings.

Home Energy Evaluation

Your heating equipment is only part of the equation. The efficiency of the envelope (the outer walls, floor, ceiling or roof) also calls for thought.

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