Whether you’re cleaning up the attic, doing some remodeling or just storing things in the basement, if you notice you have damp or wet insulation, it’s important to take care of it right away.
Wet insulation is never a good sign because it usually means there’s a leak somewhere in your home or that you have serious moisture issues. Here’s what causes wet insulation, the problems it can lead to and what to do if you find wet insulation in your Chicago home.
What Causes Wet Insulation?
Any excess moisture in a home can cause major problems. In most cases, damp or wet insulation is caused by things like:
- Leaks from the roof or plumbing: A leak in the roof, a drain line or a water line is often the cause of wet insulation, even if the insulation is nowhere near the leak. Leaking water can often travel far from the source before it collects and causes noticeable damage.
- Humidity: If your home has excessive humidity, it can condense on cool areas as temperatures fluctuate, eventually falling onto nearby insulation or bleeding into it.
- Ground moisture: Porous insulation in basements or crawl spaces can absorb ground moisture or condensation. Always use moisture-resistant basement insulation or crawl space insulation when possible.
- Air infiltration: If moist, humid air from the outdoors can get into your home through faulty weatherstripping around doors and windows, gaps in the siding or poorly sealed appliance vents, the moisture can condense in or near the insulation, leaving it wet.
- Snow blowing into the attic: Open soffit vents, gable vents or ridge vents can let snow blow into the attic on windy days, where it can melt and soak the insulation.
To avoid wet insulation, waterproof your home and your insulation where possible.
Waterproofing solutions like cold-applied coatings, hot-applied membranes or sheet-applied membranes are especially effective for waterproofing basements, crawl spaces and foundations.
What Happens When Insulation Gets Wet?
Every type of insulation will react differently when it gets wet. Fiberglass insulation will lose its effectiveness as air is displaced by water, causing it to conduct heat instead of insulating your home.
Cellulose will begin degrade if it’s not dried quickly, and it can start to grow mold. Spray foam tends to be water-resistant, especially the closed-cell variety, but it can trap water between its surface and nearby materials like wood wall studs, encouraging them to rot.
Once the moisture sets into the insulation and any nearby materials, it can allow mold and mildew to grow, which can reduce your air quality or cause health problems, as some types of mold can be dangerous.
Moist wood can also begin to rot or attract pests like carpenter ants and termites, leading to serious structural problems.
What Should You Do With Wet Insulation?
If the insulation is damp or only a small section is wet, you may be able to leave it to dry on its own or help it along with a fan. If large sections are wet, the insulation is thoroughly soaked or nearby materials have been affected, it’s often best to remove it as soon as possible and repair the damage to avoid long-term mold issues and structural problems.
Call ThermaSeal/Lakeside Insulation for Insulation Services in Chicago
When you find wet or moisture-damaged insulation in your Chicago home, call the professionals at ThermaSeal/Lakeside right away. Our team can inspect your insulation and determine if it needs to be removed and replaced.
We offer insulation services throughout the Chicago area, and we work with these types of insulation:
We feature quality service with insulation projects completed on time and on budget, and we provide industry-leading expertise, professionalism and safety with every visit.
Call (800) 836-2535 today or contact us online to request your free estimate for insulation services in Chicago.