Insulation is a vital addition to a house and holds many practical features. But, for all its impressive qualities, it is unfortunately not immune to external factors, such as moisture and mould growth. It is not impossible for mould to grow on insulation batts, and it can be quite tricky to eradicate and stop from spreading once it has formed. However, all hope is not lost. We’re going to explain to you why you may have mould growing on your insulation and what you can do to combat it effectively.
What causes mould?
High humidity, condensation and water leaks are all the primary causes of mould. If there is a leak in your ceiling, water could get into your insulation when it rains – which isn’t great. If your insulation gets wet, then it will eventually grow mould. High humidity – or drastic changes in the air temperature – can also result in mould growth, thanks to the wet air. This is a larger issue for areas that experience constant humid weather for a number of consecutive days.
What are the dangers of mould and wet insulation?
Mould spores can cause allergies. Whilst this may not seem as serious at first, constant exposure to a home with mouldy insulation will result in more regular allergic reactions, some of which may include:
- Runny nose;
- Irritated throat;
- Cold and flu symptoms;
- Hay fever symptoms;
- Rashes and hives;
- Bloodshot or irritated eyes; and
- Sinus issues.
The degree of the reaction will obviously become worse the longer people are exposed to them. Wet insulation batts will also not perform nearly as adequately as dry ones, either. This will drive down the overall thermal value of your property and you will notice the difference. Mould will also cause irreversible damage to your insulation and you may need to have them replaced entirely depending on the degree of the damage.
Reading the signs
If you think your insulation may be growing mould, then it is vital that you inspect it as soon as possible. Visible signs (such as darkened areas or black spots) are easy to identify. If you don’t find any obvious signs visually, but can perhaps smell a musty scent, then you may need to continue your investigation. An insulation expert can help you identify whether or not your insulation has been compromised.
Avoiding mould growth
Though it may not seem like it, there are a variety of preventative measures that you can take in an effort to avoid mould from growing on your insulation. Obviously, making sure that your insulation is kept as dry as possible is a big one. You should also work towards maintaining the outside of your house – such as cleaning the gutter regularly to ensure it doesn’t clog up, especially if there is a large tree hanging overhead.
You should also ensure that areas of the home that may have higher humidity – such as bathrooms – are well-ventilated, too. Thankfully, the majority of houses that are built nowadays are built with house wrap – which acts as a vapour barrier and stops moisture staining.
How to remove mouldy insulation?
If you find that your insulation batts have grown mould on them, then you’ll have to get rid of them. Be sure to wear the appropriate protective gear – gloves, a long-sleeved top, long pants, protective eyewear and a face mask – before tackling this task head-on. Consider your environment and safety before you undergo the removal.
Lay down drop sheets around the area you’re removing insulation from to catch any smaller pieces that may have become loose. It is essential that you place the contaminated insulation straight into your garbage bags and close them using tie wraps to minimise the chance of spores being released. After the removal, be sure to thoroughly wash the clothes you were wearing – as well as yourself – to destroy any lingering spores.
Do you need Insulation for your home?
Insulation Essentialsis your one-stop-shop for all your insulation needs. We offer a wide variety of insulation batts and other related products that are sure to satisfy your needs. Our experienced and friendly staff will also be able to help you find the perfect product for you.
If you would like to know more about what would happen if your insulation gets mouldy – or would simply like to purchase some of our products – then please give us a call on 03 8339 7111. Alternatively, you can fill out the enquiry form on our website.