Is insulation ruined if it gets wet?
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.
What are the disadvantages of loft insulation?
Most of the complaints are regarding condensation and damp issues after loft insulation. And while that is possible, usually it is a result of a poorly done job, and not good enough insulation material. Another complaint you might find is pipes bursting in a recently insulated loft.
Does loft insulation stop damp?
Damp issues are almost always eliminated by using spray foam insulation. This is because it cures the issues highlighted above. Warm air from outside cannot penetrate the roof and enter the loft, therefore reducing temperature differences between the house and the loft space.
Condensation in lofts occurs when humid air makes its way through insulation or other gaps into the loft space and hits a cooler surface leading to beads of moisture on timbers, lintels and on the underside of the roof.
Why Does my Attic Have Condensation? Attic condensation generally happens during winter & spring months when warm, moist air from the main living area rises into the attic space. However, when the frost melts, it turns back into condensation, which makes everything it touches wet –usually insulation and wood.
Fibreglass Insulation: The Disadvantages
If laid in the loft, it should be covered by boards and not touched. If it becomes wet, it loses its insulation qualities, making it ineffective. This can happen if the product becomes directly wet (ie if there is a leak in the roof), or if it is affected by condensation.
Loft Insulation Causes Condensation and Rots your Roof Timbers!
Again though, moisture must escape, and too much insulation may prevent this from happening. Overall though, if you are asking the question of can you have too much insulation in your attic, it's not really a question of safety. Instead, it's more a question of necessity and practicality.
Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is an effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills. Installed correctly, loft insulation should pay for itself many times over in its 40-year lifetime.
Current government recommendations are for loft insulation to achieve a depth of between 250mm and 270mm but some new properties are increasing their level of loft insulation to 300mm. Again, as long as the loft has adequate ventilation, this is fine.
Don't pack it in: squashing insulation to fit the space seriously compromises its effectiveness. Also avoid pushing the insulation into the eaves to keep ventilation paths at the edge of the roof well aired and roof timbers dry.
After all, water is a conductor, so wet fiberglass insulation is about as effective as no insulation at all. To help fiberglass insulation dry out, place a dehumidifier or fan in the area. If possible, remove the affected batts and transfer them to a warm place to dry.
Wet insulation in a closed wall cavity will usually not rapidly dry out. Wetness (existing even just for a few days) will not only reduce the insulating quality of the insulation, but it might not dry soon enough to prevent mold and wood decay from forming.
Soaked cellulose insulation will retain absorbed water for an extended time and resists drying. During that time, it will also degrade wooden structure and trigger attic mold growth. Wet cellulose is generally not salvageable and needs to be removed, then new material blown-in to replace it.
Two processes must be in place to effectively stop condensation in the loft space. Firstly there must be adequate ventilation. Secondly , you must remove or reduce as much as possible warm moisture laden air rising into the loft. To prevent warm air rising into the loft, ideally, a vapour barrier would be fitted.
If you find that your loft space is too humid, you can use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity. A dehumidifier will not work in an undeveloped loft space because it will be taking the fresh air that comes from under the eaves, which is very inefficient.
The most common causes of mould are high moisture content in the air and a lack of ventilation within the property. For this particular customer, there had been a water leak within the space and inadequate ventilation in the roof space as well as over insulating the area.
What can happen if your insulation gets wet. If the insulation gets very wet, it can be compressed by the weight of the water and it may not recover to its original thickness, meaning it will not perform as well to trap the heat flow between inside and outside.
Mold in attics is very common and can usually be dealt with quickly and effectively. No need to panic and treat your home as if it's uninhabitable and beyond repair. Note also, that we did not mention replacing the roof. You almost never need to replace a roof because of attic mold.
If there is too much moisture in your attic, it will condense on the upper portion of your roof deck which rusts the exposed nail, rots the deck, and could inspire mold to grow. Throughout winter, your home should have about a 35% to 50% humidity level.
Smaller fibers may be inhaled deep into the lungs. Inhaled fibers are removed from the body partially through sneezing or coughing, and through the body's defense mechanisms. Fiberglass that reaches the lungs may remain in the lungs or the thoracic region. Ingested fiberglass is removed from the body via feces.
Expert contractors that specialize in insulation advise that removing old fiberglass insulation is best before installing new cellulose insulation because of possible mildew, mold, or rodent excrement. So, by have attic insulation removal service, you are getting rid of those possible issues.
The simple answer is 'yes'. Insulation is not designed to last forever, eventually it will begin to degrade and whilst you may not always be able to see the deterioration, you'll certainly notice it.
If your loft space has ventilation issues, this makes it the perfect environment for condensation to form. Once this air builds up, rises and hits the cold inner surface of your roof such as slates or the membrane, it will condensate and form pools. This excess moisture will then lead to damp, mould, and rot.
Insulation is your first defense in mold prevention. Fiberglass, a non-biodegradable substance is resistant to mold. With its sharp, ground glass, mold spores puncture before they can attach to it. Mold can grow on the fiberglass insulation backing, which is made of paper and is a mold food source.
If you can't identify any exterior damage to your roof or track down a leak, the source of your water damage is likely water condensation. Condensation can cause mold and poor air quality and can lead to ceiling collapse, so it should be inspected immediately.
The most obvious difference offered by an insulated loft is the saving in energy bills, and it's very simple here. It's estimated that a quarter of all the escaping heat from a building goes through the roof. If that could be stopped, your bills should be reduced by a quarter.
Too much insulation and a lack of ventilation and your home may experience issues such as stuffy, stale and unpleasant air along with related problems such as condensation, mould and damp.
All cold roofs should have some form of roof ventilation in place to prevent warm air condensing in the loft. Older homes that have not had additional insulation fitted will generally not require ventilation if showing no signs of condensation- although this kind of home will naturally be a lot colder for it.
According to ENERGY STAR®, you can put new insulation over old insulation, “unless it is wet. The vapor retarder on top of or between layers of insulation can trap moisture. Any existing batt or roll insulation in the attic should have the facing against the attic drywall floor or no facing at all.
Many homes have some existing insulation, but it may not be very effective. The good news is that there's no need to remove any existing loft floor insulation. Just add one or more new layers on top of it to reach the recommended amount.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors argues that most common types of insulation, such as loose-fill fiberglass or batt insulation can last over 100 years. Catching damaged or wet insulation early will ensure that your home continues operating at peak efficiency.
Can you over insulate your attic? The answer is yes! Past a certain point, insulation in a vented attic will do more harm than good. In most of the United States, achieving an R-Value of 38 is more than sufficient.
So what's the correct way to install loft insulation? All electric cables need to be in free air above the insulation, and well clear of any flooring above. Here's a cross-section of an attic floor as it should be. The original ceiling joists (A) have additional floor joists (B) positioned between them.
The most common form of loft insulation, this comes in rolls of rock, glass or mineral fibre (we use Earthwool by Knauf which is a really good environmentally friendly option), or else foil-backed felt. It's generally the cheapest option and good all-purpose insulation, especially for between joists.
Step 16. Measure the loft hatch and cut insulation to size. You will probably need two layers to achieve the recommended depth.
Preserve The Attic's Airflow
The airflow from the soffits to the ridge vent keeps the roof cool and prevents ice dams, and the material will block that flow. For the same reason, insulation shouldn't touch the roof's underside.