Insulation has been an essential component of buildings since the human species begin rudimentary construction works. Even the earliest homes have either been built out of natural insulators or employing them to add a layer of protection from the elements and increase the comfort levels of all the inhabitants.
With advancements in technology, newer materials have emerged, offering superior performance and safety compared to older ones. However, technology advances continuously, with new materials becoming old in a matter of short decades.
Some of these outdated materials can pose a health hazard, with detrimental effects increasing as time passes. Let’s explore some reasons why you should have HVAC insulation companies in Voorhees, NJ replace your home’s protection if it is old or damaged.
How Older Insulation Can Pose Health Concerns?
Many older homes and structures still contain insulation materials that were commonly used in the past but have since been found to pose potential health risks. These risks arise from hazardous substances like asbestos, lead, and formaldehyde, as well as the potential for mold growth.
The Dangers of Asbestos Insulation
Asbestos was a widely used insulation material until the late 20th century, when its health risks became evident. That said, older homes, particularly those built before the 1980s, may still have asbestos-containing insulation in their walls, attics, or around pipes.
Disturbing or removing asbestos without proper precautions can release harmful fibers into the air, putting occupants at risk. When inhaled, these fibers can cause a host of serious respiratory conditions such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
Considering how some of these ailments can be potentially life-threatening, it is imperative to replace asbestos insulation around ducts and in walls with its modern, much healthier counterparts, and the sooner the better.
The Risks of Lead-Based Insulation
Commonly used in older structures, lead-based insulators can also pose significant health concerns, especially for children. It has been proven that exposure to lead can result in developmental delays, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems.
When disturbed, either during renovations or through deterioration, lead particles can become airborne or settle as dust, creating a hazard that can be ingested or inhaled. This insulation type may be found in older homes, particularly those built before 1978, when lead-based paint was banned.
The Health Hazards of Formaldehyde Insulation
Formaldehyde is another commonly used insulator, especially during the mid-1900s. The problem with this material is in toxic fumes it can release, causing irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. Furthermore, prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory issues, skin problems, and even certain types of cancer.
Homes with older insulation made from these materials, such as urea-formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI), can have elevated formaldehyde levels, putting occupants’ health at great risk.
Potential Risks of Vermiculite Insulation
Vermiculite insulation, mainly sourced from a mine in Libby, Montana, between the 1920s and 1990s, can be contaminated with asbestos. This type of insulation, known as Zonolite, was commonly used in attics of homes throughout the US.
Disturbing or handling vermiculite insulation without proper precautions can release asbestos fibers into the air, posing serious health risks similar to asbestos insulation. For this reason, it is crucial to have vermiculite insulation tested for asbestos content before any disturbances or removal take place.
Mold Growth and its Health Implications
While not a direct result of insulation material, the aging of insulation can contribute to moisture retention and subsequent mold growth. Older insulation may become less effective at controlling moisture, leading to dampness, condensation, and increased humidity levels.
Mold thrives in these conditions and can cause various health issues, particularly for individuals with allergies or respiratory conditions. Symptoms may include coughing, wheezing, throat irritation, and allergic reactions.
Who’s the leader among HVAC insulation companies in Voorhees, NJ & areas near me?
Allied Experts stands as the foremost authority on HVAC and home insulation in Voorhees Township and throughout the NJ region. Our seasoned experts are dedicated to bringing you top-quality solutions, designed to increase the healthiness and comfort of your home in Camden County, while simultaneously reducing your energy bills.
Contact us today and have our technicians assess your current insulation, provide recommendations for superior options, and lead you toward experiencing a more comfortable, sustainable, and healthier lifestyle!