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How Older Insulation Might Be Making Your Air Worse

Learn the hazards of older insulation and why biohazard cleanup may be necessary when removing it.

Learn the hazards of older insulation and why biohazard cleanup may be necessary when removing it.

All Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo buildings need to be insulated to stay warm during winter and cool in the summer, but did you know that your older insulation could also be affecting your indoor air quality? Some older insulation materials contain asbestos and mould that can be hazardous to your health.

Learn about the dangers of old insulation and how Proserve DKI property restoration can help by safely removing older insulation and attending to all biohazard cleanup to ensure your home is safe.


What Is the Most Dangerous Hazard With Older Insulation?

One of the main hazards with older insulation is the presence of asbestos.

A fibrous material made of naturally occurring minerals resistant to corrosion and heat, asbestos was used in many insulating products before it was deemed dangerous to human health.

When older insulation is handled or disturbed, it can release asbestos fibres into the air. Inhaling these fibres can cause a chronic lung disease known as asbestosis and some forms of cancer.

Alberta Health Services warns that some homes and buildings built before the mid-1980s may contain asbestos in drywall mud, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, and insulation.


Can Older Fibreglass Insulation Affect Your Air Quality?

Yes. Older fibreglass insulation that is handled or disturbed can release fine glass fibres into the air. When inhaled, these fibreglass fibres can get trapped in your upper airway and lungs.

While short-term exposure to fibreglass fibres may cause itching, coughing, or wheezing, long-term exposure can lead to serious respiratory issues.


What Are Some of the Other Hazards Caused by Older Insulations?

Another hazard of older insulation is mould. Typically found in damp areas such as basements and attics, mould can attach to older insulation that does not have a working moisture barrier.

Some forms of mould are toxic. When mould spores are released into the air and inhaled, they can cause allergy symptoms, respiratory infections, and other issues. That’s why it’s always important to inspect attic and basement insulation for mould.

Some other hazards caused by older insulation include:

  • Off-gassing: Toxins from the insulation can, at times, leak and release into the air.
  • Pest infestations: Bat and rodent feces can host high toxin levels, made even more dangerous when inhaled.


For more tips from Proserve DKI Property Restoration Company, read Water Damage Restoration: 5 Ways to Flood-Proof Your Residence.

If you are concerned that older insulation in your home may contain asbestos, mould or other hazards, contact Proserve DKI for biohazard cleanup. Proserve DKI is provincially certified to handle asbestos removal and also provides extensive mould cleanup services.