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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Can water damaged insulation be saved?

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Removing wet insulation

My insulation is wet! Can it be saved??

There are two types of insulation that most homeowners use. These are known as fiberglass batts, AKA "The pink stuff" and blown-in cellulose loose-fill.

Both are susceptible to attic water damage but in two specific ways.

Cellulose loose-fill, made of pulverized particles of paper and cloth, absorbs a large volume of water and compacts, losing the fluffy characteristics that make it an effective insulator.

Soaked Cellulose insulation will simply retain water and is very resistant to drying. Generally, wet cellulose is not salvageable and will need to be replaced.

Fiberglass is technically waterproof, inside an enclosed attic the thick batt retains moisture which degrades its thermal resistance properties.

Saturated insulation typically loses at least 40% of its insulating R-value.

Mold is another thing that should be taken into consideration.

Depending on how long your insulation has been wet; Mold growth may have set in. Be prepared to inspect your insulation before deciding between trying to dry or simply replacing.

Drying a large area of soaked insulation as well as detecting mold is a labor-intensive process that should be left to professionals. Due to the chance of contamination. 

Chances are you're going to want to just replace the affected insulation. Mold is quick to grow and spread, leading to a potential health hazard.

If you find evidence of water leaks in your attic, don't hesitate to reach out for help because time is of the essence and mold is not far behind.

SERVPRO of Lebanon/Hanover/Littleton has got you covered! If you have questions regarding water or mold, Give us a call at 603-298-6942!

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