Can RetroFoam be added to a wall that has old insulation?

Great question. The short answer is yes, RetroFoam can be added to walls that have existing insulation, but it does depend a bit on the material that is in the wall. If you have fiberglass, our foam can be added without removing the fiberglass because the RetroFoam will compress the existing materials. However, if your wall has blown in cellulose, we would need to remove that first in some cases.  It depends on how much is already in the wall.

Let’s talk a bit about how RetroFoam is added to walls that already have existing insulation.

So you’ve made the decision that RetroFoam is a great choice for your home, but you’re concerned about some existing insulation already in your walls.  Will the entire wall cavity need to be opened up for removing the old insulation? If the old insulation is left in the wall, what will happen when RetroFoam is added? 

Retrofoam has been the best choice for premium injection foam insulation for over 30 years. We are experienced with all sorts of walls and we can tell you quickly if what you have needs to be removed or if it can stay. It really comes down to the type of insulation you have in your walls already.  Fiberglass, blown-in cellulose, or glued-in cellulose can all vary in how we proceed.

How to Know if there is Insulation in the Wall Already

Prior to adding RetroFoam, it’s a good idea to make sure you know what current insulation is in your walls.  You can do this without ripping out whole walls and sheet rock.  You could try the following:

  • Inquire with the previous homeowners to see if they know what is in the walls
  • Drill a small hole in a place that won’t be noticed (such as behind an appliance).
  • Pull off a baseboard and see if you can see in from the bottom
  • Remove an outlet, light cover, or box to see what is in the wall but before you do, make sure you turn off the breaker that is powering that box.

Adding Injection Foam Insulation to Walls that Have Existing Insulation

As we said before, it all comes down to the type of insulation you find.  If you have fiberglass or cellulose, these age differently so we handle them differently. Fiberglass does not need to be removed.  We can just go in over it because the RetroFoam will compact the old fiberglass and fill in the gaps around it.  Fiberglass doesn’t stop RetroFoam from filling every inch of the cavity. Blown-in cellulose is another story.  It can stop RetroFoam from filling the cavity like it needs to so that is typically removed. We assess this on a case by case basis though, so if there isn’t a lot in there, in some cases we can just leave it.

If the cellulose needs to be taken out, our installer will remove a row of siding from the bottom of the house and drill a hole into each section of cavity. We typically can then use a powerful vacuum to remove the cellulose. 

If your walls have glued in cellulose, then unfortunately we would not be able to add RetroFoam injection foam.  There’s just no way to remove that stuff without ripping out the walls which would be cost prohibitive. 

RetroFoam Insulation for Your Exterior Walls

Let our team take a look inside your walls (we can help you with this) to discuss the best path forward. Our trained installers have seen it all and we can give you sound advice on the best next steps. 

The RetroFoam dealer in your area will take a look inside your walls and discuss with you what you have in there if you don’t already know. RetroFoam installers are trained and experienced in getting the job done whether your walls have fiberglass or blown-in cellulose. At Home Comfort Solutions, we serve all of East Tennessee and we would love to come take a look at your home or business to see if you would be a good candidate for the incredible benefits of Retrofoam injection foam. Give us a call today at 865-966-3000 for a free quote.