When your pipes burst or the roof leaks, your home’s insulation is one of the first items to be damaged. Your insulation is extremely vulnerable to any type of moisture. If you live in an area with heavy rains, then you will probably have an issue with wet insulation. There are ways to fix your insulation and keep your home safe from additional problems.
Wet Insulation Can Lose Its Insulating Value
When your insulation becomes wet, it will start to lose some functionality, such as inhibiting heat transfer. Damp insulation can lose about 40 percent of its insulating R-value. You might think fiberglass is waterproof, but the thick batt can retain moisture. In turn, wet fiberglass will begin to lose its thermal resistance properties. Cellulose loose-fill is made of pulverized cloth and paper. This type of insulation can also absorb large amounts of water. When that happens, it will lose the fluff factor that makes it act as an insulator in your attic.
Mold Growth Is Another Concern
We all know that mold in your home can be a problem. By nature, fiberglass is designed to trap dust and airborne mold. When that insulation is exposed to moisture, mold can grow on the paper backing on the fiberglass. Cellulose insulation is treated with fire-retardants, and those chemicals are mold-resistant. However, the cellulose can absorb water with mold spores. When the wet cellulose absorbs this water, it can transfer moisture to the ceilings, drywall, and wooden structures. As a result, mold growth can spread and decay these spots in your attic.
Managing Wet Insulation
You might think that you will need to replace wet insulation. While it does lose its potency when wet, it can regain effectiveness as it dries up. You should look out for any loose insulation that is wet with dirty water. Wet insulation will join its fibers together and create clumps in your attic. If your insulation is compressed or contaminated, then it will lose effectiveness. At that point, you will need to replace the insulation completely.
If possible, you need to dry out your insulation. Wet insulation in the attic can be dried out with the help of a fan or a dehumidifier. For some attics, you can remove the wet batts and keep them in a warm area to dry out. After a few weeks, you will need to monitor the insulation. If there are any weird smells, then that could be an indication that the fiberglass was contaminated. In those cases, the insulation will need to be replaced with new material.
Keeping Your Fiberglass Dry
It is never a good thing when insulation becomes wet in the attic. The water will replace the air between the thin glass fibers. In turn, the insulation will reduce its thermal and acoustic insulating capabilities. You never want to ignore a problem with wet insulation in your home. It is important to find the source of the water and dampness. Wet insulation can be caused by a broken pipe, damaged roof, or another cause. For roof problems, water issues may need the help of a professional roofing company. Once you have found the problem, you can start to repair the entry point of the water.
If you want to avoid wet insulation in your attic, then you need to caulk and seal all the gaps in the home. You should seal any external wood sheathing that could allow water into your attic during a heavy rainstorm. Most insulation is treated with a mildewcide, but mold can still occur in areas when the moisture starts to evaporate.
Any leaking roofs or gaps will need to be repaired to avoid further damage to your insulation. An experienced roofing company can help you find the source of the problem and seal up those leaks. Wet insulation can be a health hazard that allows mold and mildew to grow. When you notice any wet insulation in your attic, you need to find the source of the problem and fix it as soon as possible.
Wet insulation is a serious problem. You need to take all the right measures to resolve the issue. Damaged insulation can increase your chances of exposure to mold, mildew, and other contaminants. RGB Construction can help you find the source of the problem with your roof. We will repair your roof so that you don’t have to worry about wet insulation again.
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