Your home’s insulation might protect the walls, but it’s susceptible to moisture damage. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners don’t think about their insulation until it’s too late. But drips and leaks—when left unchecked—can cause a lot of damage. Below, we’re covering the best ways to protect your insulation, from the ground up.
Add Attic Ventilation
Moisture isn’t exclusive to bathrooms and kitchens. That said, any kitchen and bath remodels should pay attention to surrounding ventilation. Among the locations susceptible to moisture built-up, your attic is the easiest to overlook. If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, its ventilation will absorb surrounding condensation. Install ventilation, or even an attic window, to reduce mold growth.
Use Spray Foam Insulation
Next, you should consider adding spray foam insulation. This insulation—different than classic insulation—can fill in small gaps. If left unchecked, these small gaps can let in pests, humidity and water. By spraying the foam insulation, you can make sure these gaps are filled, locking away any loose corners and areas in danger.
Target Wall Leaks Immediately
If you’re experiencing a wall leak, act quickly. During kitchen and bathroom remodels—or even during a toilet installation, minor leaks can lead to big problems. If you’re experiencing a wall leak, you might be witnessing the surface impacts of wet wall insulation. Even surface-level leaks can greatly damage interior insulation, causing it to sag. When insulation sags, it leaves large voids at the wall’s top.
Treat Mildew Smells Seriously
Sure, you might have a minor mildew problem. You might also have an internal insulation problem. When moisture is trapped within a wall cavity—between its interior vapor barrier and exterior plywood sheathing—it erodes installed insulation. When this happens, the insulation will smell like mold. Over time, the wall’s structural framing can decay. Then, metal fasters will corrode.
In any event, mold on the surface of your wall should be watched with care. Mold and mildew can surface quickly, but it’s often evidence of deeper problems. Both interior and exterior paint can peel, blister and collect water. If it does, it’s your job to search for internal insulation issues. Engage any kitchen and bathroom remodels carefully, too.
While your service provider will ensure as much safety as possible, your home plumbing system may not be entirely stable. Contact Steve's Plumbing and Heating with any questions, and fortify your home from moisture, damaged insulation and long-term damage.