Posted - November 1, 2022

The BEST Tips for Restoring Wet Insulation

If you landed on this article, you may be wondering what the best approach would be to handling wet insulation. You may also wonder what

If you landed on this article, you may be wondering what the best approach would be to handling wet insulation. You may also wonder what happens when insulation gets wet? When fiberglass, cellulose or loose-fill becomes wet, proper Maintenance is recommended.

Depending on the type of material, there will be a different approach to how to handle the situation. I will go over the BEST tips and prevention steps to take when handling wet insulation.

What Happens When Insulation Gets Wet?

When insulation becomes too wet, it may cause wet clumps to appear, creating air gaps and overall, losing overall effectiveness as a heat barrier. Insulation becomes wet due to various factors such as broken pipes, snow, hazardous weather conditions, or damaged roofs.

In some cases, it may just need to dry up to go back to its original effectiveness. A few factors may affect overall efficiency, and this becomes an issue when mildew or mold start to appear contaminating the area. In this case, it is always best to have a specialist take a look so they can direct you to what the best move would be.

Determining Factors 

Type of Insulation:

Each type of insulating material contains different properties and materials which will affect whether it is more likely to be restored or not. In some cases, cellulose, blow in, and fiberglass batts can be more forgiving when it becomes wet and just needs to dry out. Other insulating materials such as cellulose loose fill aren’t as effective and don’t take well to becoming wet because it is known for maintaining moisture so extra water that seeps through will have a hard time drying out.

How Long it’s Been Wet:

If you know you have had a leak, flood or pipe break, then it is best to check whether you see water damage in the insulation. If you do shortly after, then there may be a chance to save the wet insulation. If you notice it and are unsure of how long, it has been wet then it would be advised to reach out to a professional that can advise you.

cellulose insulation

How To Restore Your Wet Insulation

The first step to fixing wet insulation is by identifying the type of insulation. This step is important so you can know how to best approach the situation.

Spray Foam: Foam insulation acts as a great moisture barrier and may be great at sealing air gaps in your home but when it becomes wet, it may damage the insulation and wood that surrounds it. It may take up to 24 hours to dry with a fan.

Fiberglass (Batt and Loose-fill types): Being made from glass, it does not absorb water as well but if it becomes wet, the effectiveness greatly decreases since the air pockets between the fibers are being filled with water which may cause a lack of a heat and sound barrier. If it were to be revived, it usually takes between 48-72 hours to dry.

Cellulose: Being made from recycled materials primarily newspaper, this is difficult to revive after becoming wet. Depending on the amount that became wet, there may be hope. If it is a small piece that got wet, then you may be able to take that part out and let it dry. However, if it’s a big chuck of the insulation, then it would be best to get assistance and have someone remove and replace it. It may take 24-48 hours to dry if it were to be restored.

Options for Restoration:

It is recommended to try to dry the wet insulation with a fan if the material is newly wet. Also, removal or ventilation would be alternative options. If it does not become dry or you notice signs of mildew or mold growth, it would be recommended to call a professional. At Insulation First, we can help identify the problem as soon as possible and install insulation as soon as possible.

Steps To Take for prevention

If you dried your insulation on your own or had it fixed, it is always best to find ways to help prevent this from happening again. 

  • Check your roof routinely for any signs of leaks.
  • Seal any air gaps, cracks and holes in your home
  • If there is heavy rain, flooding or hazardous weather conditions, check for any damage afterwards.

Prevention is a huge step in making sure your home receives the proper care. If you are unsure on how to handle wet insulation, then it is always best practice to speak with a professional that can help guide you. If you are interested in receiving an estimate with our Team, you may contact us for more information!