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Old 06-13-2008, 12:54 PM   #1
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Wet Fibreglass Insulation from Leak.


I have a 1 year old house. We had some pretty heavy rain for the last week and are 6'w x5'h window is leaking from above. The outside is stocco and we have white fiberglass batt insulation which is COMPLETELY soaked. The middle of the window is also deflecting which could be from the load from the 2nd floor or it could have not been installed right. The Home Warranty guy came today and basically said they caulk around the window and roof hatch just in case the water came from the roof hatch above. Then he went on saying the the insulation is still good after it is soaked??

Well from what I have learned in school when batt insul gets wet it creates mold PLUS the R value is toast for that insulation. He said it will dry out. Well how does a sealed wall dry out?

I need some proof or something that it needs more than just caulking. What should I do?



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Old 06-13-2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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He's copping out. If the insulation and the wall received water damage, the framing is wet, and the sheetrock got water, the wall needs to be opened up. Sheetrock and insulation need to be replaced.

I don't think getting wet will do much of anything to the R value unless the insulation compacts or settles. But it is just asking for a mold issue.

Once sheetrock gets wet, it needs to be replaced.

If this isn't acceptable to your warranty company, check your contract's language and see if it supports you.


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Old 06-13-2008, 01:20 PM   #3
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You can also hire your own home inspector with thermal imaging equipment. They can see where water is infiltrating the building envelope using this equipment. It'll cost you around $300-400 I imagine.
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Old 06-13-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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Fibreglass itself will not support mold growth, but the problem with fibreglass insulation is that once it gets wet, it takes a long, long time to get it completely dry. While it's drying, it's holding moisture in contact with other materials like wood and drywall that WILL be affected by prolonged exposure. For example, in order to prevent mold growth in drywall, it needs to be dryed out within 72 hours. Wood can go longer. Wet fibreglass insulation will prevent those materials from drying out before molds begin to colonize. Make them remove it. Without special techniques and equipment, drywall is almost impossible to dry within the 72 hours. That's why it is almost always recommended that severely wetted drywall be replaced. Wood can be cleaned and sealed, so it is less of an issue, but is still not so "bulletproof" that it will withstand the drying time of the fibreglass.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:32 PM   #5
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You have good and bad news.

The good news is that the wet insulation is worthless and must be replaced. Fiberglass does not absorb much moisture, but it holds a lot of moisture and will not dry out if it is confined and there is no air flowing through it or movement.

The bad news is that you do not know where the cause of the moisture is coming from. Apparently, you have a two story home and the water could be entering there and runnibg down until it hits something like a header, accumalates below and shows up at a different place than the leak. You either have inproperly installed windows (which is very common - maybe 60%) or a failure/mis-installation of the primary moisture barrier.

It sounds like you are getting a quick brush-off by the warrantee company and contractor.
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