Wet Insulation – Hope it Dries or Remove It?
Insulation can of course aid greatly in keeping your home as energy efficient as possible – not to mention in keeping you comfortable. Insulation which has become wet, however, can cause many problems in terms of lessened efficiency, structural damage and potential damage to the health of a home’s occupants.
The first problem is the fact that moisture compromises insulation’s ability to do its job properly. Insulation can both keep heat inside the house during the winter and keep it out during the summer. Water, however, is an excellent conductor of heat. So wet insulation is therefore less efficient, allowing heat to pass easily through, thus making a home’s heating and cooling systems less efficient as a result. Rarely does insulation regain its strength once it dries out.
Wet insulation can also cause health problems down the line in the form of mold which will grow not only in the insulation but on the areas surrounding it. Mold can be especially harmful to people with compromised immune systems, including the very young and the very old. The cost of taking care of the situation after the fact can be quite high, especially if the mold has spread to surrounding areas. If left unattended to, this moisture can also cause wood rot and lead to structural damage.
The solution, then, is to replace wet insulation as soon as possible before too much damage has been done. Reinforcing it may help, but replacement is the only way to ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible, not to mention a safe and healthy environment.