Your insulation, by definition, is designed to help you manage the temperature inside your home.
That being said, the exposure of such insulating materials to a variety of airstreams is precisely what renders it vulnerable to mold growth, particularly when the Floridian moisture comes into play… which is nearly year-round.
But why? And more importantly, how can you prevent or manage it?
Getting Down To Why You’ve Got Growth
“Insulation materials run the gamut from bulky fiber materials such as fiberglass, rock and slag wool, cellulose, and natural fibers to rigid foam boards to sleek foils,” the U.S. Department of Energy explains.
Thus, some of the softer of the aforementioned materials, like wool and foam boards, are more likely to retain moisture and foster an ideal haven of growth for mold spores. But that doesn’t mean insulation built of more durable material is necessarily immune to mold growth.
Fiberglass insulation, for example, provides ample space for the air to pass through. Thus, small airborne contaminants — like mold spores or food particles — may end up trapped within the fiberglass itself over time, thereby generating mold growth under the right conditions.
Preventing The Permeation Of Particles
One of the primary steps to preventing mold growth in your insulation — and anywhere in your property, really — is to monitor and maintain your indoor humidity levels. Specifically, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests keeping your indoor humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent in total.
Additionally, homeowners may benefit from weighing the pros and cons of the specific material their insulation is made of.
“Changing the type of insulation used inside a building can also prevent mold growth,” according to an article published by SFGate. “Spray polyurethane foam, when used as a primary source of insulation, seals cracks, holes and other defects in a building’s structure to create a tight seal and reduce air and moisture flow.”
Homeowners may also consider installing vapor barriers derived from sealants or moisture-blocking paints to mitigate this type of spread.
Making A Case For Schrodinger’s Mold
Is there mold invading your home’s insulation? Or are you simply smelling it from elsewhere in the HVAC system? Either way, one thing is for sure: You cannot tackle mold when you’re stuck on guessing whether or not there’s any growth to begin with.
Luckily, that’s where Discreet Air Quality comes in!
Our licensed and certified team of professionals is ready to step in whenever you’re left fatigued by a lack of answers (and fresh air) in your home. We offer moisture and mold assessments in addition to property assessments and overall indoor air quality assessments to ensure no small detail falls through the cracks.