DIY vs Professional Insulation Installation: Four Questions to Ask Yourself

So, you need to lay down new insulation, but you're wondering whether it's going to be necessary to hire a professional instead of simply taking care of the job by yourself. If you've undertaken some DIY jobs in the past, you might be able to replace your insulation without issue, but this isn't always the case.

Here are just four questions to ask yourself before you decide to go without a professional.

1. How Accessible Is the Space?

If you're looking to change the insulation within a very open, accessible part of your home, such as in an unfinished attic or basement, you'll probably find it relatively easy to do by yourself. If you're looking at going between walls or within a ceiling, a professional is generally going to be needed. You should also consider whether there are any tricky areas, such as small, tight corners or lots of pipework; such areas can be trickier to insulate around.

2. What Kind of Insulation Are You Using?

Just a few years ago, nearly all insulation was laid down in rolls. However, it's now becoming more popular to use spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which is sprayed through a heated hose to expand and harden into place. Rolls of insulation are easy enough to install by yourself, but SPF is a little harder, and it can be tough to correct any mistakes. For SPF, hiring a professional is best.

3. How Does the Current Insulation Look?

Since you're going to be replacing your current insulation instead of adding insulation where none was before, you can use the previous insulation to gauge whether a professional might be needed. If what is already there simply looks a bit threadbare or saggy, it's unlikely that any underlying problems exist. However, you might notice signs of mould, rot, or moisture. Such issues indicate that there are underlying problems that need to be addressed. A professional will be able to determine exactly what went wrong, then work out how to best solve the problem before laying down new insulation.

4. Could There Be Asbestos?

An estimated third of all Australian homes contain asbestos. Government sources predict that homes built before the mid-1980s are highly likely to contain them, while those built between the mid-1980s and 1990 are still relatively likely to harbour asbestos containing materials. If your home was built during those periods and hasn't been checked for asbestos, it's best not to install your own insulation. When disturbed, asbestos can release tiny fibres that will cause serious health issues when inhaled. A professional will be able to recognise asbestos, but you probably won't be able to.