Insulation Gone Wrong: What to Do When Your Home Insulation Turns Black?

25 March 2022

Good! Your attic is insulated, so you checked it out. You noticed some black spots. Don’t be too scared. It is not that bad a deal, but it is a sign that something is wrong and you need to fix it. The good news is that it is an easy fix and you could have it done in a matter of minutes.

Do not worry! It is not mould or mildew and it won’t infiltrate into the rest of the home. But it is an indication that there are problems with the insulation and your home has draughts and air coming in from the outside.

What Is Black Insulation?

Black insulation can be your best friend because it tells you that there is an air leak in the house. When you see the black insulation, you just need to look around and find the air leaks.

Look for Electrical Wire or Pipe Holes

In the area where you found the black insulation look for openings around electrical wires or a pipe where the hole is letting air in. When fibreglass comes into contact with air, it starts to filter in the air and after a few years, it starts to turn black. If you move the insulation around a bit you may find the leak. You can use caulk or canned foam to fill the holes.

What to Do With Larger Holes?

If the hole is bigger you might need to use sheet metal or drywall cut to size to cover the hole. Once you cover it just seal it with caulk or foam to ensure it stays airtight.

Why Does This Happen?

When a home is built, electricians and builders come in to fit the wires and pipes. Usually, they drill holes in the attic and because most homeowners do not see these holes, the contractor often does not worry about the hole’s size. They don’t bother with filling in the holes, even though it is required by building codes. So because no one notices, they just place insulation over the hole and leave it at that.

What Happens over Time?

If you go up to the attic, you may notice that there are a lot of holes. This is where contractors drilled through the wall framing to add plumbing pipes, vents and chimneys. When you start to count the holes though, it is almost like you have an open window up there. So here is the reason why you want to close up the holes and improve the heating and cooling of the home.

Bottom Line

The next time you see insulation that has turned black, pull it back and fill the hole. This small little thing will make your home more energy-efficient and make it safer for your family.

Tip: Keep in mind that if you do any additional work in the attic or decide to remodel, you need to follow the building codes for your area. So be sure to check with your city to make sure your home meets all of the necessary building codes.

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