What to do when your roof or attic insulation gets wet?

What happens if your insulation gets wet? Can it compromise the insulation’s efficacy? What can you do if your insulation does get wet? Many homeowners wonder about the answers to these questions and how they can protect their attic insulation from the damage moisture can cause. 

What happens when your insulation gets wet?

Moist insulation within a sealed wall cavity does not typically dry out rapidly. Wet insulation tends to move downward in a wall, saturating the wallboard and framework components. Even if the moisture persists for just a short period, it can diminish the insulation’s ability to insulate effectively and not dry promptly, potentially allowing mold and wood deterioration to develop.

Most types of insulation are designed to resist moisture, but if your insulation is wet and not properly taken care of, it can wreak havoc on your home. Wet insulation loses its ability to insulate, leading to heat loss, air leakage, poor indoor air quality, and higher energy bills. Mold and mildew can also destroy the integrity of your home’s structure. Wet insulation can lead to an infestation of pests such as rodents and insects. No one wants their family to live in an unhealthy environment or a pest-infested home. It’s essential to prevent wet insulation and address any issues that stem from it as soon as possible. The problems that arise ultimately come down to the type of insulation material you have and the extent of the damage. We will discuss the various types of insulation and the concerns that they may bring below:

The Most Common Types of Insulation and the effect of moisture on it

1.Fiberglass Insulation: What if Fiberglass Insulation gets wet? Wet fiberglass insulation will eventually lose some of its insulating properties. The wet, thin glass fibers will cause the material to expand, making it less effective at trapping heat. Moisture can cause fibers to break down, making the insulation less durable. If you notice water damage on your walls or ceiling, it’s essential to inspect it immediately. You may need to remove your drywall and let your fiberglass insulation dry before repairing the wall or ceiling. If fiberglass insulation is frequently exposed to moisture, it may need to be replaced more often than other types of insulation. However, fiberglass insulation is still among the most effective and widely used insulation materials. When installed correctly, it can help to reduce energy costs and keep homes comfortable year-round. 

Worker installing fiberglass insulation

2. Cellulose Insulation: What if Cellulose Insulation gets wet? Cellulose loose-fill insulation is a common material used for attic insulation. When cellulose insulation gets wet, it loses its effectiveness. Cellulose can absorb water, and the water weight makes it difficult for the material to provide the necessary insulation. The combination of moisture and warm air can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. In some cases, wet cellulose insulation may also start to rot, which can cause structural damage to your home. If you notice that your cellulose insulation is beginning to get wet, it’s crucial to take action immediately. Dry out the area as much as possible and consider replacing the insulation if it appears damaged. These steps will help to ensure your home stays warm and dry. 

Worker installing cellulose insualtion

3. Spray Foam Insulation: What if Spray Foam Insulation gets wet? The good news is that spray foam insulation is pretty resistant to water and creates a moisture barrier between the foam and your walls. It won’t absorb much moisture, and it won’t promote the growth of mold or mildew. However, remember a few things if your spray foam insulation gets wet. First, make sure you dry it out as soon as possible. If water is allowed to sit on the surface of the foam, it can cause the material to degrade over time. Second, be aware that wet spray foam insulation is heavier than dry foam, so take care not to damage the structure of your home when removing it. 

Worker installing spray foam insulation

Can you dry the insulation if it gets wet?

When you discover wet insulation in walls, the first step is to assess the extent of the damage. Removing and replacing the affected insulation may be possible if only a small area is affected. However, removing all the insulation and starting over is usually best if the entire wall is wet. The next step is to identify the source of the water leak and repair it. Once the leak has been fixed, the wall cavity should be thoroughly dried before new insulation is installed. Sometimes, a dehumidifier or fan may be necessary to speed up drying. Once the wall cavity is dry, new insulation can be installed using several methods. The most important thing is to make sure that the new insulation has an air-tight seal so that no moisture can enter the wall cavity in the future.

Worker installing fiberglass insulation

Can I replace my damaged insulation myself? 

Homeownership has many responsibilities, one of which is maintaining the home itself. Every house will have some repairs occasionally, and it’s essential to know when to tackle the problem yourself and when to call in a professional. In the case of damaged insulation, replacing it demands consideration of multiple factors. Begin by assessing the extent of the damage. Minor damage might allow for do-it-yourself repairs, whereas widespread damage often requires a professional. 

Comprehensive Services for a Lasting Solution

At Attic Cleanup, we don’t just address the surface-level symptoms of wet insulation; we provide comprehensive solutions that tackle the issue at its core. Our services encompass insulation removal, moisture remediation, ventilation improvement, and insulation replacement using high-quality, energy-efficient materials. By taking a holistic approach, we provide a lasting solution that addresses the current challenges and prevents future problems from arising.

Contact Us

Don’t let wet insulation compromise the health and efficiency of your home any longer. Take the first step toward a healthier, more comfortable living space by contacting our dedicated customer service team. We are here to answer your questions, provide expert advice, and guide you through restoring your home’s insulation integrity. Contact us today to learn more about our services and embark on a journey toward a healthier, more energy-efficient home. 

Your Local Attic Cleanup Expert,

Michael Koski

Michael Koski Attic Cleanup Owner

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