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Old 06-12-2020, 08:33 AM   #1
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Air handler leaking in attic


Over the last few days I've notice two soccer ball sized and 1 plum sized wet spots on my bedroom ceiling right where the attic air handler is. I went up and noticed the drain basin is dripping right at the drain pipe connection. Not sure why that randomly started dripping but I'll get that fixed.

My issue is, I have blown insulation cellulose and when I lift it up around the spot, the bottom half inch is soaked. There is a plastic covering on top of the sheet rock so it seems only a small amount of water got into the sheet rock.
What are my options?

For the leak, I'm having a HVAC company come to fix that. I put a bucket under it for now.

What do I need to do about the insulation and the sheet rock to make sure it dries and no mold grows? Should I push aside all the dry insulation and remove the wet stuff and then dry the water on the plastic? I'm sure the water has gone in places I can't reach (behind the air handler). Not sure what the best way is to remove all the wet insulation.

Do I need to remove the plastic and let the sheet rock dry?
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:33 PM   #2
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The plastic on the sheetrock is a new one for me. Is it clear? I would remove the wet insulation, then see how much water vapor is visible under the plastic. Maybe cut back some plastic if it looks water logged. If your attic is as hot as mine is, it'll dry pretty quickly, so I don't think mold is too much of a concern.
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Old 06-20-2020, 12:28 AM   #3
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Re: Air handler leaking in attic


It depends on how wet the sheet rock is.
But I would get the wet insulation out asap. Could throw away if very wet. Or spread out in attic. Should dry quick in an attic on top of dry insulation.
The cut and get rid of that plastic and dont replace.
Let air get to the sheetrock asap to dry out. Then when dry see how soft the rock is to decide if it needs replacement.

To small a claim to turn into insurance. Not worth the insurance cost increases and often have a deductible.

I think will be fine concerning the mold. But if worried just spray with bleach.
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Old 06-20-2020, 07:06 AM   #4
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Re: Air handler leaking in attic


Luckily that plastic was there. It kept 95% of the water off the ceiling. I was able to save a lot of the insulation but the stuff on the bottom was soaking wet. I just threw it away. There is enough in the attic to cover the loss. I dried off the plastic but some of the water made it under the plastic where the air vent is. I had to cut the plastic in a few spots to let the humidity out. Seemed to work great. I taped the plastic back up and put the insulation back.

Now I just need HVAC to come fix the dripping drain pipe
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Old 06-20-2020, 07:41 PM   #5
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Re: Air handler leaking in attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by h22lude View Post

What do I need to do about the insulation and the sheet rock to make sure it dries and no mold grows? Should I push aside all the dry insulation and remove the wet stuff and then dry the water on the plastic? I'm sure the water has gone in places I can't reach (behind the air handler). Not sure what the best way is to remove all the wet insulation.

Do I need to remove the plastic and let the sheet rock dry?
Get a childs garden rake, a toy to pull the insulation out of the way. Yes, cut the plastic back. Is it everywhere or just in the air handler area? You can take the insulation out and replace it. Every big box store sells "some kind" on insulation that would be fine. If you remove enough insulation to see all the damage you can use a fan to dry out the ceiling. Bleach does work on mold but it is also more dangerous than the mold itself. Wear appropriate protective gear if you go that route.
And make sure the leak is 100% fixed before you start adding insulation back.
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