What You Need to Know About Wet Insulation

Roofing contractors insist on frequent inspection of your roofing insulation to ensure it does not get wet. But what exactly is insulation? What are the dangers of wet insulation? We take you through everything you need to know about wet insulation and the remedies proposed by roof installation Los Angeles contractors.


What is roofing insulation?

It is a roofing material that is installed along the inner lining of your roofing structure as well as the attic and ceiling. The material has insulation properties which helps to retain energy in your home by reducing heat loss. Moisture compromises the heat-retaining properties of roofing insulation, which in turn leads to complications such as:

  • Moss and mildew growth.
  • Weakening of the roofing structure due to rot.
  • Respiratory complications from the moss and mildew buildup.
  • Increased energy bills from heat loss especially during winter.
  • Collapse of roofing skylights due to weakened support.

Remedies for wet insulation

How best to deal with wet insulation depends on the type of insulation installed in your home. Some will require simple DIY maintenance practices when others will require complete extraction. The 5 common types of insulation include spray foam insulation, cellulose insulation, cotton insulation, foam board insulation and fiberglass insulation.

When spray foam insulation gets wet

If your roof has closed-cell spray foam insulation, you are in luck! This type of insulation comes with an air-tight seal and a moisture barrier that prevents any moisture intrusion into the insulation itself. Wet spray foam insulation forms water droplets that glide on the surface of the insulating material. All you need to do is wipe the water droplets with a cotton towel to protect the permeable sections of your roof.

When cellulose insulation gets wet

Cellulose insulation is made of plant fiber and recycled newspaper. It is an affordable green option, but plant fibers and newspaper get water quickly. When wet, cellulose insulation needs to be removed. If caught early, the wet section of the insulation can be dried up and replaced into the same space. In adverse cases, the wet insulation needs to be completely replaced with fresh material.

When cotton insulation gets wet

Just as newspaper and plant fiber is susceptible to water intrusion, cotton insulation too, needs replacement. In propitious cases, the wet cotton fiber can be dried up and replaced after cleaning the extracted section. In cases where the cotton insulation is saturated with water, the entire affected section needs to be replaced by fresh cotton insulation.

When foam board insulation gets wet

If your roofing contractors installed foam board, there’s no need to panic. Foam board possesses the same impermeable properties to water as spray foam insulation. A simple wipe with a cotton towel will suffice to undo the problem.

When fiberglass insulation gets wet

This type of insulation is made of recycled glass and water. It is more impervious to moisture than foam board and spray foam insulation. However, if water sips into the air spaces in fiberglass insulation, it needs to be replaced as the water barely has any room to completely dry off.

Only a qualified roofing contractor is best suited to properly gauge the extent of water intrusion into your insulation and determine whether it can be dried and re-installed or whether it needs complete replacement.


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