Fiberglass Insulation Problems: 6 Things to Watch Out For
Fiberglass insulation can be found in homes across the country, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its fair share of problems.
Are you considering fiberglass in your home, but these problems are giving you reason to pause?
RetroFoam of Michigan has more than 15 years of experience installing foam insulation, but we have knowledge on all insulation materials. We have insulated hundreds of homes that have had fiberglass insulation problems, so we know a little bit about the subject.
In an effort to continuously inform our customers, we have compiled a list of six common fiberglass insulation problems with solutions.
Fiberglass Insulation Problems
- Coming into contact with fiberglass can cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritations. Fiberglass contains small particles that can detach and cause skin and eye irritations on contact. These particles can also cause respiratory issues if inhaled and can become lodged in the lungs.
Solution: Wearing a long sleeve shirt, pants, gloves, and goggles is recommended anytime the fiberglass material is installed or disturbed. Wearing goggles whenever installing fiberglass insulation is recommended, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). One tip to avoid contact with the material is to dampen the walls to help lessen the chances of the fiberglass particles from becoming airborne, according to Do It Yourself. Wearing a face mask is your first line of defense. You can also use a respirator with a particulate filter that can prevent the inhalation of the fibers, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
- Fiberglass still allows for air flow. Air flow in your home can be a major source of high energy bills and uncomfortable living spaces. The air flow can also cause the material to separate and breakdown over time.
Solution: To avoid air flow, an air seal must be created. If the fiberglass material has separated and broken down, you will need to replace it. A second option would be to use spray foam insulation as it does create an air seal.
- Fiberglass can trap allergens. People who suffer from allergies will have more reactions and issues if they have fiberglass insulation in their home. Fiberglass traps allergens, dust, and moisture that can lead to mold growth.
Solution: People who suffer from allergies will need to find a material that doesn’t trap those allergens and allow them to move throughout the home. Avoiding an insulation material that doesn’t retain water will also be key to avoid any mold or mildew growth.
- Moisture can get trapped inside the fiberglass insulation material. When moisture gets trapped inside the fiberglass insulation it can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can also lead to health hazards. Moisture in the insulation material also significantly lowers its R-Value and insulating capabilities.
Solution: If fiberglass insulation gets wet, it must be replaced. It doesn’t dry out and loses a portion of its insulating capabilities. You can replace the material with more fiberglass or choose another insulation that doesn’t retain water.
- Fiberglass insulation can be a bedding material for pests. The unwanted guests in your attic are pulling and tearing at your fiberglass, making little beds out of it. This causes uneven insulation coverage, which in turn causes air flow and an uncomfortable house. With some pests, this can also cause some health issues.
Solution: Keeping pests out of your home can be difficult. The first step is to find where they are coming in at and cut them off at the source. If pests have been in your insulation and displaced it, you will need to replace it. Choosing a material that is not an attractive home to the critters.
- Fiberglass insulation can be very difficult to install yourself. Fiberglass insulation isn’t as easy to install yourself as you might think. The material must be cut to the specific cavity where it is being installed. If there are any gaps, then more air will be allowed to move into your home raising your energy bills and making your home uncomfortable. You must also take precautions not to come into contact with the material.
Solution: Unless you have the utmost confidence in your handyman skills, it might be best to hire a licensed contractor to install the fiberglass insulation for you.
Choosing the Correct Insulation for Your Home
Now that you have read through some common problems with fiberglass insulation, you may have decided to go with a different insulation material.
If you would like more information on the benefits of spray foam insulation, check out the learning center on our website.
About Amanda Ringler
Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from the The Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.