Insulating an Attic Where Moisture Is an Issue

Construction & Contractors Blog

If your attic always seems moist, the problem is likely either a leak in the roof or a lack of ventilation. Usually, the best move is to have the leak repaired or add ventilation to help keep the attic more dry. However, there are situations where no matter how much work you do, the attic always seems to stay a little moist. This can lead to struggles with insulation, since most types of insulation will absorb moisture and eventually rot or mold. However, there is a type of insulation that works well in moist attics: spray foam. Here's a look.

What is spray foam?

Spray-foam insulation is a polyurethane-based product. It is sometimes known as SPF or spray polyurethane foam. It starts off as two liquids in separate canisters. When these liquids are sprayed onto a surface using a special device, they react to form a dense foam. This is not foam like you'd find in a stuffed animal or Nerf ball. Once cured, it is hard to the touch. The foam's "cells" are closed, which means they're full bubbles, not open, popped-looking bubbles. The edge of the foam appears smooth.

Why is spray foam so good for moist attics?

Spray foam does not absorb moisture. Water rolls right off of it, and it does not take in water vapor and become moist like fiberglass and cotton insulation do. You never have to worry about the spray foam molding or rotting, and it won't attract bugs or rodents either. You can have it applied when the attic is a little moist without worry, too.

How do you go about insulating your attic with spray foam?

Spray foam needs to be applied by someone who has specialized training. If it's not mixed in the right ratio or applied at the correct thickness, it can peel away from the surfaces, at which point it won't do a great job of insulating your home. Contact insulation companies and HVAC contractors in your area to see who offers spray foam. If your home currently has fiberglass or cotton insulation in the attic, it's a good idea to have a professional remove this too. Since it has been exposed to moisture, it may be harboring mold that you don't want to be exposed to without the proper protective clothing.

If your attic is moist, the first thing you should do is try to solve the moisture problem. But when the moisture problem lingers, know that you do still have an option for effective insulation.

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7 November 2016

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