If the insulation became wet from water that contained any contaminates such as flood water and sewage, then the affected insulation and the wallboard are likely ruined, and both materials need to be removed as soon as possible.
You might think that you will need to replace wet insulation. While it does lose its potency when wet, it can regain effectiveness as it dries up. You should look out for any loose insulation that is wet with dirty water. Wet insulation will join its fibers together and create clumps in your attic.
If insulation is left wet for long enough, mold and bacteria will start to grow in it. This severely decreases air quality and can lead to major health risks. The longer wet insulation is left alone, the more bacteria grows and the greater the risk to your health and home becomes.
In other cases, there might be a leak in your pipes. Regardless, now your cellulose insulation is wet! If you're wondering how long it takes for it to dry, we've researched this to find out. In an ideal circumstance, cellulose insulation should take around 24-48 hours to dry.
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. Fiberglass insulation without backing may be the best choice.
The Problems with Fiberglass Insulation in Crawl Spaces
While fiberglass actually doesn't absorb moisture (the individual fibers are made from water and recycled glass), it does hold moisture, which can be very bad.
Descriptions of the problematic odor vary. The odor has been compared to burnt cookies, burnt cotton candy, and burnt glue.
If you notice any discoloration on your insulation such as brown, black, or even pink or orange particles, you are dealing with a dirt or mold problem. Insulation sheets are a solid color, so any discoloration will be obvious.
Fiberglass insulation typically needs to be replaced 15-20 years into it's life, as it can easily become dirty, wet, moldy, and ineffective if there's a roof leak or water damage of any kind.
Your insulation needs to be removed along with the droppings, as it'll carry some of its toxicity if left in your attic. Removing old insulation and replacing it with new ones will not only rid your home from any rodent infestation and mold, but also improve its energy efficiency and overall air quality.
You should change your insulation if it has turned black and have it replaced so that it won't cause any damage. Insulation that has turned black will likely be less effective. The easiest way to change your insulation is by hiring a contractor to do it.
Open the house windows and doors to let in as much fresh air as possible to get rid of a fiberglass smell indoors. It may take a couple days to dissipate, but allowing in fresh air will help it disappear more quickly.
Overbaked insulation will give off a very strong odor that smells like something akin to burnt sugar. While not all insulation does this, it is a common enough problem that fiberglass manufacturer Owens Corning has decided to do something about it.
Fumes from traditional fiberglass insulation
To most people the smell of home insulation is just a mildly offensive odor that supposedly goes away over time.
However, when moisture fills the air pockets between the fibers, the insulation loses its ability to slow the transfer of heat. 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.
Blown-in attic insulation refers to cellulose, fiberglass, and other insulation that's thick, dense, and lumpy. It has a consistency similar to that of down feathers and can fit in tight areas such as walls or in between wires or ducts.
Since mold tends to grow on the surface of walls, under carpets, behind drywall and inside insulation, you'll smell it but not necessarily see it. Most people say that mold smells like rotting wood or paper, whereas others say it smells like dirty, wet socks.
You might also have tainted insulation. Some blown-in insulation products contained compounds that smell like this. Any leaks in the duct system allows those smells to be distributed throughout the house. You can easily determine this problem if you stick your head in the attic and sniff.
Many fibreglass products give off fumes which can be harmful if inhaled in sufficiently large quantities. In normal DIY use, reasonable ventilation of the work area will be adequate. Care should be taken particularly when using polyurethane foam mixes. These produce iso-cyanate fumes during the initial reaction.
Circus Peanut. If you notice it particularly behind the walls, it's a good bet that the odor is from older insulation that's absorbed moisture from the humid air.
Unless damaged, it can last 80 to 100 years in most houses before it needs to be replaced. However, insulation can start falling from fiberglass batts after 15 to 20 years, so if your insulation was installed in batts well over a decade ago, it might be time for an inspection or a home energy audit.
Blown-in insulation typically comes in two different types -- fiberglass and cellulose. The material comes in large bags, which are emptied into a blower system. For attics and crawl spaces, it is blown in through the openings for the space. Fiberglass insulation typically lasts from 30 to 50 years.
If the source of moisture is from the inside of a wall (for example a pipe leak in the wall), and if the insulation is not dry within 2-3 days, it should be removed. Before doing this, be sure to shut off electricity to the area affected.